Why You’ve Been Wrong About Yacht Charters and Some Tips to Get Started

Why would anyone want to holiday on a yacht? Noisy, prone to move without permission, expensive. Worse yet, they make you sick. Not quite the dream holiday you’ve paid for with early mornings, cramped commutes and long interminable office hours. But there’s a ‘but’.

You can look good lounging on your hotel terrace, but you can look fabulous arriving by yacht. The question is how to achieve this without a)blowing the bank, b)getting sea-sick, and c) falling off.

First, yachts don’t need to be expensive. Consider how much you’ll otherwise spend on a hotel. Look at the number of berths on a boat and make sure you fill them. Split down the costs and surprise yourself. The numbers in your party and the berths on the boat are the most important factor. On the whole you’ll find the bigger your party the better rate you can get. A recently booked skippered charter out of Athens for a group of 10 on a 65ft sailing yacht, including all the food and drink (maybe not all the drink), all taxes, fuel and annoying extras came in at 71EURO per head. Not bad.

What else? If you don’t have a yachtie member of your party who can drive the boat then you can easily hire a local skipper for around ?100/day. If there’s 6 of you that’s about ?17 per day – not too distressing for a professional tour guide every day and one who’ll take care of the yacht for you.

What about that sick feeling you get as soon as the wind picks up and you’re supposed to be having a ‘good sail’? Well, there are places where you can avoid this. For example the east coast of Greece is almost entirely protected by the Greek mainland mountains, which also create a reliable afternoon sea breeze to waft you gently into the next port. The breeze takes half the day to develop so you can get in some proper sun-bathing time in the morning or just visit the picturesque town you’ve berthed in, then you can go for a sail (little waves only) in the afternoon. And best of all, once the sun goes down, so does the wind. Just in time to enjoy a gin and tonic sundowner, not a hair out of place. Who’s the yachtie now?

If you holiday in the winter then top up on the tan in those long, wan winter months by visiting to the British Virgin islands. Protected waters, sunny, food and drink at every stop, blue waters and bath-temperature seas. Not to mention stunningly beautiful coral reefs. A trip to the BVIs in November or December followed by skiing in March (or the other way around) must be the ultimate ‘winter blues’ remedy.

Any other top tips? Well, for the Caribbean I can recommend a catamaran, not a monohull, charter. It’s cat country out there. Cat’s are faster, more stable, have more space and have a much more ‘normal’ layout if you’re not used to yachts. The Med is slightly different. There a catamaran can be more trouble than its worth when you arrive when trying to find a space in those tightly packed meditteranean town quays. Still, it is possible and if you’re keen for a cat and also hiring a skipper then you can let him worry about those kind of details. A good local skipper will find the space in every town quay however packed it may look.

So next time you come back from holiday, don’t say “i’m just back from holiday”, try “i’ve been holidaying on my yacht”. Well, it is yours for a week or two. Now how does that sound?

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