You have probably experienced this already. You have prepared everything, finally, you are on holiday, but yet things don’t go quite as planned.
Here are our 5 things to check when chartering the boat.
1. Charter company
Perhaps the most important of all. Smaller companies have often more personal approach, they will treat you VIP and they will be more flexible if you have any special requests (many times, boats belong to them).
Bigger companies or charter chains have more boats for you to choose, you can try a brand new model as they are adding new ones every year. If there will be a technical problem or damage in a charter week before you, they might as well provide you with an alternative, or even upgrade you to a bigger boat.
A charter that operates longer has a chance of having a better technical team, facilities and therefore boats in better conditions. Check in case something goes wrong, who to call and how soon they can be with you.
Absolutely avoid charters that have no website, look tricky and are asking you to pay a full deposit long time ahead. Check if the charter company has reviews or fan page on social networks.
Here I will skip the usual stuff to tell you that you should know what group are you travelling with so the boat can match it (friends, kids). You know already, that is easier to operate rolling mainsail, Bow thruster can be a good friend in busy marinas and heating comes handy when sailing off main season.
Unless you are renting a brand new boat, try to look for the boats with real pictures so you can see yourself how the boat looks. There is nothing more disappointing than coming to the marina and finding out that the boat looks 10 years older, or GPS plotter is only in the saloon.
The difference can be made in equipment and extras you will have to pay. There are companies which give you some extras already included in the price, for example, free dinghy engine or WiFi. Check what is included in the rental price and how much extra you need to pay for transit log or boat deposit.
You can choose to pay a security deposit at the boat check-in which is refundable if you return the boat undamaged, or purchase a nonrefundable insurance. I can not stress this enough, but considering the costs of possible repairs, I would never sail uninsured.
But always check the insurance you are purchasing. Is it covering all damages, or you will be liable in certain cases? Ask this questions, good travel agent or charter company should answer easily.
There might be also a mixture of insurance, which will consist nonrefundable and refundable part together to cover damages, an insurance company will not cover (toilet, lost equipment).
Truly honest opinions you can get is to ask others what they think or read their review.
Check if the yacht you want to rent has reviews from other sailors.
There are some boat models that have defects done by wrong design or engineering. Some catamaran types have a limited view when sailing due to the missing flybridge. Some must are more tend to get stuck when rolling and some bathing platform has defects in hydraulics.
Put the reviews in the perspective with the rental price. Boats that are older and offers less comfort should be cheaper.
30 extra kilometres by car is nothing compared to sailing the same distance. Plan your trip and choose the starting point as close as your route as possible. You will have more time to enjoy the sea and fewer worries when returning back to the home marina.
Check with your charter or travel agents if they offer any discounts on the car parking for their clients. Many times you can save money and learn some good tips around.