Top 10 Tips for Charter Vacations

Thinking about chartering a boat? Here are some tips to help make it a great vacation, from our sister site Let us know if you’d like to see more charter stories here by posting a comment below, or speak up on the Boat Trader Facebook page.

Once you’re on the dock with cranky kids, a sunburned spouse and the wrong-sized boat, it’s too late to consider your chartering options. When evaluating what you’re looking for in a yacht charter, consider these ten tips before you ever leave home.

Charter tip #8: Be sensitive to various ages within your group. Photo:
  1. Choose from large companies operating multiple fleets in different parts of the world, year-round, or go with a local outfit that manages a handful of boats in-season. Larger companies tend to offer larger boats, typically in the 35 to 55 foot range for sailboats. Smaller companies in more seasonal areas usually offer boats 25 to 40 feet and may have powerboats as well.
  2. Decide whether you’ll be going it alone, or if you want a captain who will take the responsibility from your shoulders. Maybe you want to get your sea legs for a few days with a skipper and then take over yourself. Sometimes, captains come with mates that will even prepare meals featuring local dishes.
  3. Be honest about your experience level. Flotilla charters are available if groups make you more comfortable or bring more experienced friends along. And again, a professional captain serves many purposes beyond running a boat. Some have useful local knowledge that will bring the destination to life by adding details beyond what most tourists know.
  4. Decide why you want to be on a boat to begin with. Are you looking to improve your sailing skills so you may want to charter via a sailing school? Are you looking to learn more about how to be self-sustaining on a vessel? Is this a warm-up and potential introduction to cruising for you or your partner?
  5. Determine your priority in your choice of destinations. Is it to see highlights of the destination itself? Is it to relax and not chase a different anchorage every night? Will you be disappointed if there’s fluky wind and little sailing?

Read the rest of Zuzana’s tips, and search for your next charter destination, on


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