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At this time of year, with your boating curtailed by chilly air and water temperatures, it’s only natural for you to dream about sunnier days ahead. But what if those days weren’t months from now, but next week? And what if they involved visiting new and exciting destinations rather than the same old same?

If this sounds good to you, a yacht charter may be your dream come true. On one of these vacations, you essentially rent, or charter, a boat in an appealing location and do with it what you will. You’re the captain as you cruise to tropical islands, call on historic ports or explore hidden coves that only a private vessel can reach.

Among the most popular charter spots are Florida, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific. Charter companies range from big and global — like Sunsail and The Moorings — to small and regional. Neither one is necessarily better, but if you plan to be a repeat customer, the larger companies allow you to visit more places and often offer discount clubs or loyalty programs.

Any charter company worth its salt will have a knowledgeable staff to help you develop an itinerary based on your wants and to equip the boat with the desired provisions prior to your arrival. Of course, first you need to decide whether you want to spend your vacation on a sailboat or powerboat, and whether you want to drive (bareboat) or have a skipper do it (crewed). There are even megayacht charters if money is no object.

Anyone can take a crewed or megayacht charter and leave the driving to the pros. If you want to run the boat yourself, the charter company will typically ask you to fill out an application and/or submit a boating resume. Standard questions include how long you’ve been driving boats and where you’ve done most of your cruising. Required skills include navigation, anchoring and fundamental rules of the road.

If you’re unsure of your skill level, call and ask the charter company. Many offer classes you can attend before taking a bareboat out on your own. Some companies even offer flotillas that allow you to charter in the company of other, more experienced clients. That way, you can learn new charter skills and gain confidence in good company.

Don’t forget to verify Boat Insurance . Most bareboat charter companies will have a policy in place that covers you. Request a copy for you and your boat insurance agent to review.

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2 Responses to A Yacht Charter May Be Your Dream Come True

  1. Take her on a super mega yacht vacation in the Mediterranean. Maybe in time for the Grand Prix?

  2. Martin says:

    Yes Randy I agree with you, that yacht charters are the best way to enjoy the sea life. Its an amazing way to come directly in the nature’s contact. Great post, loving this. Thanks for sharing this.
    Luxury Yacht Charter Caribbean

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