Renting a right charter boat can sometimes be a bigger deal than you think, and the time and energy invested can impact your boating experience.
Planning your sailing trip carefully, knowing what you actually expect of it and choosing the charter boat that satisfies your needs will result in a delightful “I had the time of my life” feeling, even if the boat you ended up with is not the best and the most expensive one there is. The important thing is – it was the best one for you. Regardless of whether you are chartering a boat for the first or the hundredth time, these 7 key things are always good to remember.
1. Setting preferences
Choosing the boat that will make your sailing holidays perfect has everything to do with setting preferences. Decide what the most important thing is/are: price, comfort, luxury, boat performances, specific equipment, boat size, etc. Make sure to fit sailing holidays into your lifestyle and be real… you can’t expect luxury from an economy priced older boat.
2. Setting rental budget
It will be much easier to choose the right boat from a large offer if you set the budget in advance. It doesn’t have to be a fix budget, the budget range will help you eliminate everything that you can’t or won’t pay for. Once the budget range is set, you can start looking for the best deals your money can buy.
3. Rental price – what does it actually mean
Make sure to check what is included in the offered charter price, in order to avoid any unnecessary surcharges or surprises (and you end up buying towels in the nearest supermarket). If there are some surcharges, count them in your calculations – a lower boat rental price with surcharges can end up being a higher one, compared to higher rental price without surcharges. Also, don’t fall for big discounts without comparing the discounted price to the ones with smaller discounts. Charter companies have different price policies and different season schedule, so the base charter price can vary quite a lot for two same boats in the same period, but in different charter companies.
4. Condition of the boat vs. built year
All charter boats must be regularly serviced and maintained by the charter company and they usually are. Nevertheless, the quality of the maintenance varies and it is a good thing to have a good agent who can make some recommendation based on experience. Newest build year of the boat is not a guarantee that sailing will go smoothly, but a good charter company with 24h assistance and good customer care is. Also, €100 price difference is not too much to invest if the more expensive boat is a highly recommended one. Keep this in mind and ask for suggestions if you are not sure in your decision.
5. Place of departure – home base
Every charter boat has its home base (Cro.: marina). Don’t start searching for a boat without deciding where you actually want to sail and checking arrival information for that location. You will end up finding an ideal boat in a wrong place – the one that is miles away from your airport. And, no, the charter company will most likely not be able to charter the boat from some other “marina”.
6. Your crew
Time spent on a boat with a bunch of people is an intensive experience. This is an unusual situation due to the limited living space that nobody is actually used to. Surely it helps to have stronger bonds with your friends, family or business partners, because you are set to be near each other 24/7, but at the same time it gives no space to walk away after an argument. Have that in mind when gathering your boat crew.
7. Booking through an agency or directly with a charter company
Let’s be real, it makes no difference if you are choosing between a quality agent or a quality charter company. If you have a charter company that is already very familiar to you, or the one where you’ve been chartering for years and you have them on your speed dial, stick with them. Anyway, if you want to change the rental location to the one where your charter company doesn’t operate, an agency is a logical choice. Agents offer great variety of boats and bases in one place and that is their main advantage. A quality agent should be able to answer your questions regarding the boat and its location, make quick offers, make recommendations when you ask for it and be at your disposal when you need assistance. Once you find a quality agent, stick with him. Stick with quality in any case.