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FAQ

Welcome to our frequently asked questions page. Below we have listed some of the most commonly asked questions, however if there is not an answer to a question you have just simply contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

How Yacht Owners direct works for you?

The user friendly interface makes the site simple and easy to use so you can find the best boats in any destination as well as searching for boats by their size, number of cabins, boat type, crewed or bareboat using the advanced search function. Finding the perfect yacht for any event has never been easier using the events page, whether you are looking to do a static charter for a trade show or corporate entertainment or just a great day out for teambuilding and incentives. We have also listed boats that cater for weddings, birthdays and even hen and bachelor parties. YOD is more than happy to assist you with any special or extraordinary request you might have, just contact us and we will get back to you with the best options. Once you have chosen your perfect yacht – you book direct!

Why should I take a yachting vacation?

– A holiday afloat is one of the very best ways to enjoy ‘time out.’
– Choose your own itinerary
– Avoid the crowds
– Enjoy the freedom
– Holiday at your own pace
– Discover magical cruising grounds
– You don’t have to be a sailor to have the holiday of a lifetime
– Get to places off-the-beaten-track away from the tourist routes

What are the benefits of having a skipper?

If you have no boating experience, or not enough, opt for a skipper. If you are an experienced skipper yourself, but realize the benefits of having a holiday afloat without the responsibility of being in charge, you’re wise to opt for a skipper and relax! A skipper can offer you: – Local knowledge in the destination you’re cruising. – For experienced sailors — the opportunity to relax and enjoy your holiday without the responsibility, and you can still participate. – For the inexperienced — an opportunity to learn the rudiments of sailing.

What's a bareboat charter?

A bareboat is rented without crew or skipper – this is the option to go if you are able to skipper and navigate yourself and hold the appropriate RYA or ICC certificates.

Do I need certification if I charter bareboat?

The certification laws vary from country to country. Generally speaking if you’re chartering a power boat, you’ll need a day skipper license (theory and practice). The accepted license is the ICC (International Certificate of Competence). If you are licensed in your own country you may be able to fill out an ICC application, and send it in through your licensing body (for instance the RYA). If you belong to a yacht club, they also should be able to help you with courses and licensing. British citizens could enquire at the RYA courses in your area. If renting a sailboat, you will need a day skipper license in Spain and it is best to have one in France and the BVI, however there are occasions when you will be able to take the boat if you can show experience and competence. If you have any documentation from previous charters it will be helpful. It is always best to be prepared and have all your documentation reviewed and the agents will make sure, prior to the charter that all is in order. If you do not qualify to charter bareboat, we highly recommend you charter a boat with a skipper. Skippers can be a wonderful addition to the holiday, giving you time to relax and make the most of your vacation!

What's onboard a bareboat charter?

Your boat will have a complete inventory on board (e.g. navigation equipment and charts, complete galley). Your vessel will be fuelled and water tanks will be ready for you to step aboard and go cruising.

What provisioning will I need for bareboat & skippered charter?

Provisioning is generally an extra cost, please confirm this when dealing with your booking, and the selection of provisioning will always be to your personal choice and preferences (Boats in every destination work differently so please check this when booking). Generally you have three options when it comes to provisioning: For most sailing boat you can have your shopping done for you and stowed on board ready for your departure, this is a great option if you don’t want to spend any time shopping however you can expect to pay a fee of between 10 – 20% for this service or you can enjoy the cultural experience of shopping yourselves in your holiday destination at the local market and supermarket, there are always shops close by so just ask when doing your booking. In most destinations you can dine ashore, but to plan your itinerary totally around restaurant meals is very limiting. Please note that if you have a skipper, you will need to provide his meals with your provisioning order.

What meals are onboard for crewed charters?

Depending on the Terms and Conditions of your charter and the size of boat you charter, be it WMT or CT, your meals may or may not be included in your charter fee. In any case it’s important that the chef has a prior knowledge of your preferences and dislikes for food before you board. In this way any food allergies or any dietary requirements can be advised well in advance and you should be given a preference list to fill out when making your booking. The menus are designed around your food preferences. If your charter includes the services of a professional chef, the chef can generally accommodate most diets with advanced notice and prepare any dish requested. Therefore upon booking it is advised that you stipulate what foods you would like to have included and what foods need to be excluded. Drinks such as wine, beer and alcohol are sometimes included as part of the “ships bar”, but this depends on the owner, some yacht owners have an additional cost for drinks. The amount which is available to you and the variety will vary depending on the cost of the charter with larger, more expensive yachts providing finer wines and premium liquors.

Do I need to charter all boats for a week?

Generally speaking, no, but you should discuss your needs with the boat owner. The cost per day will be a bit more than 1/7th of the weekly rate, because the owner has to do a lot of work to get the boat out and back in again. But it’s certainly possible to book a short charter. It could be difficult in July and August in the Mediterranean, as this is the high season and most boats are chartered for a full week. Sailing boats however, do charter for a week

Do I have to tip the skipper and crew, and if so what's the normal amount?

Tipping is purely voluntary. If you choose to tip the skipper and staff, then it’s customary to pay 5% to 15% of the total charter amount. We normally recommend 5% to 10% in the Mediterranean, and 10% to 15% in the Caribbean. If there are multiple crew members, a tip can be given to the captain and he will allocate accordingly.

What are all the hidden extras - what will I REALLY end up paying?

YOD endeavors to have all the costs listed by the owner, however, it is advised to always check ahead. Some costs may change depending on your itinerary and desires. Here is a general guideline for estimating costs of a charter:

Additional coast related to sailing boats
The charter fee generally covers the boat, a full tank of fuel and water, maps, and a dingy/tender. There can be a linen charge and a mandatory cleaning fee ranging from €50 to €150 depending on the size of the boat. There may be an additional mooring fee if one decides to moor in a port other than the home port. If you request for a child safety net or spinnaker there will be an external fee. It is possible to be charged an amount if you want a motor for the dinghy. Beyond this, the major costs are provisioning, which can be done online and will be on your boat when you arrive and mooring fees. If you would like to have the use of a satellite phone, most of the more modern yachts have one available on board due to the fact that some countries insist that there is one on board, if however there is not one on board you may request for one at an additional cost.

Additional coast related to motor boats
For small motor boats, the major additional cost beyond the base charter fee will be fuel. We do require owners to list the fuel consumption per hour for each boat – and a typical charter will burn about 3 hours of fuel per day. Other charges include mooring fees for a night spent in port, mooring fees for visits to external ports other that your destination home port and any provisioning you request. These charges are paid either in cash to the skipper (along with his tip) or via the APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) system. These are extra costs that would normally occur, but differs and depends on the owner of the yacht, these additional costs may vary.

We can't decide between a catamaran or monohull sailboat?

While catamarans are more spacious than a monohull yacht, it depends on what you are looking for. Some say sailing a catamaran is similar to riding a bicycle with training wheels. This analogy it found to be true yet a little unfair. After all, you are still able to get to go to the same places, do the same things and enjoy all that your chosen destination has to offer. It’s just a somewhat different experience in that the actual sailing part is a little changed. A catamaran is certainly more stable than a monohull, which tends to make sleeping, cooking and entertaining more comfortable if you are not accustomed to the movement of a boat. They are also typically very fast while on down wind or beam reaches and frequently faster than monohulls. However, some catamarans tend to be sluggish on upwind legs. For monohull sailors, one has to sail as close to the wind as possible and make headway upwind. If you are looking for the excitement of healing over and truly feeling as though you are sailing … then most sailors would tell you that a monohull is the only way to go. If you have older or very small passengers aboard who may be unsteady on their feet … a catamaran may be best for your purposes. Personal preference is what its all about. Decide which is best for you and enjoy your charter holiday.

What is the "APA"?

The APA or Advance Provisioning Allowance system essentially creates a bank account for the Captain of the Boat to provision on your behalf. It is general practice to add a percentage of 20% to 30% on your base charter fee depending on the itinerary. This will be paid with your charter payment. The Captain is obligated to keep all receipts and balance the account for you; however, if you feel the need you can check the expenditure level at any time. Any amounts not used will be refunded to you at the end of the charter. There are no mark-ups on this amount; the funds go directly to buying fuel, food, etc. This system allows the boat to be provisioned properly, with minimal hassle and straightforward record keeping.

Once I book a charter, how do I pay?

The common payment methods are by bank transfer or credit card. On occasion cash can be accepted. The boat owner needs to be paid in their local currency and therefore these are the best payment options. Credit card charges are generally between 2.5% for master and visa and 3% Amex. Please note that general payment terms to secure a charter are 50% upon booking and the remaining 50% to be paid on month before your charter date (confirm your payment schedule when making your booking) The payment terms will always be on your charter contract.

Is My Charter Vessel Insured?

Charter Terms and Conditions vary between boat owners. All bareboat charter vessels are insured with an excess applicable to claims. Some owners may offer a non-refundable damage waiver thereby limiting the liability. Logic generally dictates that in the case of a collision at sea, the rules of the sea apply. Loss of an item overboard can be deemed as negligent and you can be liable. Formalities are similar to renting a car in some countries. For bareboat sailors, responsibility includes a refundable security bond paid at base prior to departure.

What form of quality control is adhered to on the boats - how do I know they will be in good condition?

The rules are very strict, Coast Guards regularly check papers of the boats and there are large fines if anything is not in order. All commercial yachts need to be insured by law. Operators must also carry insurance by law. You have every right to see these papers prior to embarkation. Beyond this, we endeavor to advertise with proven operators, who have a track record of success and happy customers. We have a high standard of excellence and customer satisfaction and therefore only deal with the best boats which are clean and in excellent condition for their age. Yacht Owners Direct checks all of the above before we list a yacht

Why are only 12 passengers allowed on most boats?

International Marine regulation states that once a vessel carries more than 12 passengers, it is considered to be a passenger vessel and has to comply with MCA and SOLAS convention (Safety of Life at Sea) set out by the IMO (International Maritime Organization). This is to promote passenger safety. SOLAS involves adhering to a comprehensive list of stringent safety restrictions that are expensive to implement. This is reflected in the chartering cost between boats licensed for up to 12 passengers and boats licensed for more than 12 passengers. However, Yacht Owners Direct has a good selection of yachts that can work with large groups.

What Communications are normally available on a charter?

Most bareboat charter companies stay in contact with their fleets daily by VHF. In more extreme destinations it is mandatory to bring or rent a satellite telephone. Generally when crusing close to the coast line you will still be able to have the use of your cell phone, also, most modern yachts today have the use of satellite communications allowing you to be in touch no matter where you are. Yes. You should have a legal contract between you and the boat owner or you and your central agent. Generally you will present you with a contract which needs to be signed prior to embarkation. Smaller boats will have simple contracts, larger yachts will have more in depth contracts and luxury yachts will

Will I be asked to sign a contract regarding my charter?

Yes. You should have a legal contract between you and the boat owner or you and your central agent. Generally you will present you with a contract which needs to be signed prior to embarkation. Smaller boats will have simple contracts, larger yachts will have more in depth contracts and luxury yachts will as you to sign a MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association) contract. Each contract will include general stipulations such as, the boarding time, what is included and what you will need to pay extra for, what happens if there are any damages to the owners’ boat or equipment on the bout at your use etc.

Can I choose which day of the week I begin and end my yacht charter?

Week-long charters usually begin on a Saturday and finish on the following Saturday. If you wish to charter a yacht on a certain day or require more than seven days or request that your charter start and finish mid week, you may discuss this with the owner. In low season you stand a good chance of been able to charter a sailing boat on any days you prefer but high season is always set from Saturday to Saturday. Regarding day charters, you may also discuss with the owner on what day you wish to charter the yacht or go to our day charter boats page to see a list of boats that are available for day charter.

Can I smoke on board the yacht?

Smoking is not permitted inside most yachts. However you may consult the yacht owner for verification, as this policy may vary on certain yachts. For safety reasons, smoking in cabins and staterooms is prohibited on all yachts but may be permitted in certain designated areas outside.

What kind of activities are available?

Some yachts offer water sports which will vary depending on equipment available. Some of these sports might include, snorkeling, Scuba Diving, knee boarding, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaks, fishing and, of course, sailing. If the Yacht has Water Sports equipment on board it is usually included but some activities are extra, and can be arranged by your crew. These would be sports such as diving and parasailing. On shore activities can be recommended by your crew and will vary depending on the location. Your itinerary will also vary depending on the boat you charter and of course your choice of destination.

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