Sport boat licence in your pocket, time to cast off! But it doesn't have to be your own motor or sailing yacht. Chartering a boat has a number of advantages.
The advantages at a glance
Chartering is a good option, especially for boating beginners, as there are no financial risks involved. Chartering also lets you try out different types of boats and experiment with them flexibly. Variety is also guaranteed by the different charter locations. And you don't have to worry about your own mooring and transfers – you simply rent a boat in the desired location and off you go on your adventure. With each new sailing location, your personal wealth of experience expands automatically.
Chartering is also ideal for the inexperienced skipper without a sports boating licence. Many smaller boats or houseboats can be hired without this licence.
And for more experienced skippers who don’t want to commit to a specific mooring or those who are looking for a boating holiday only once or twice a year, chartering also represents a flexible and cost-effective solution. It eliminates all the obligations and costs associated with owning your own boat, such as mooring fees, maintenance and upkeep.
What needs to be considered when chartering?
First things first: you should realistically assess your own skills and choose the type of charter accordingly. If you have many years of sailing experience under your belt, a bareboat charter is ideal. You are the skipper and responsible for the boat and the selection of your crew. An exclusive and comfortable way to cruise on the water is a skippered charter. In this case, a professional skipper is in charge of the boat, if necessary with an accompanying crew. Or you can sail in a flotilla of several yachts taking the same route. Ideal for sailing novices or less experienced skippers, as each boat sails independently but can always call on assistance from the mother ship.
Equally important is the selection of a suitable location. This should also be adapted to the personal skills and knowledge of you and your crew. Right from the start, a well-planned trip is always oriented towards the "weakest" link in the crew chain. Whether children or those new to boating – everyone must first get used to life and procedures on board.
In addition, you shouldn’t be too ambitious in terms of time management. It’s advisable to plan in a buffer or just draw up a rough grid rather than planning the entire trip on a tight schedule in advance. This not only ensures more relaxation on board, but also gives you room to manoeuvre in case of unforeseen events.
Last but not least, read the fine print in the charter contract thoroughly! A contract must contain at least, for example, the full names and addresses of the charterer and lessor, all boat specs and data, the charter price and duration, information on the place and time of takeover and return, a list of the equipment as well as a protocol of any pre-existing damage.
A good and serious charter company will take these contractual and insurance aspects directly into account. If you are unsure, you can obtain a list of reliable providers from the AKC Charterbootassociation. All member companies have been thoroughly vetted according to the strict admission criteria of the AKC and offer almost all charter bases and boat types worldwide.
Conclusion: Chartering is not just a cheap substitute for having your own boat. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skipper, every time you embark on such an adventure you will not only get to know new regions and people, but also learn a lot about them and yourself.
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