The definition of a sailing yacht is a boat used for pleasure and sport. Originally the name ‘yacht’ comes from the Dutch word ‘Jaght’ which translated means, ‘hunter’, a fast, light weight sailing vessel traditionally used to chase down pirates. The name was then bought to England by King Charles the Second after he was carried by ‘jaght’ from the Netherlands back to England. The term yacht then became widely associated with luxury boats.
Today, yachts are still associated with luxury but now the majority have a motor as well as sails. They vary in size but usually have sleeping cabins, bathrooms, salon and a galley kitchen.
A private sailing yacht charter is one of the best ways to explore many destinations in different parts of the world. Sailing yachts can be chartered bareboat, with a skipper or with a crew. Any of those options will allow guests to see different areas at their own pace. They all allow guests to spend a quality time together and are a highly recommended type of holiday for groups of friends or a family.
Crewed luxury sailing yachts mostly come with permanent crews, one of whom is a chef. A professional chef on board will prepare the meals according to the guests’ preference sheet. Dietary requirements and any other wishes will always be catered for to ensure everyone has the best charter experience. Crewed sailing yacht charters are an excellent choice for people who don’t have any sailing experience, or/and for people who simply want to lean back and relax on their sailing holiday, while being fully looked after. The crew will handle the boat, show the guests the best of the area, cook and serve delicious meals, reserve mooring spots, restaurants for meals on shore and help with anything else that you and your guests might need while on board. Being on a private sailing yacht charter is a luxury experience that can easily match a 5* hotel.
A skippered sailing yacht charter is ideal for those who would like to get involved in sailing the boat but might not have the relevant sailing license or sailing experience so will need a professional captain on board. With this type of charter, guests are happy to prepare their own meals on board.
Having a captain on board also means the guests will get some help in an area they are not familiar with. And sometimes, the idea of the best sailing yacht charter might be to have a skipper who will look after all aspects of the yacht charter; sailing and mooring the boat, providing the best sailing routes, and leaving guests just to relax and enjoy the charter experience.
A bareboat sailing yacht charter is for those who have the right sailing licence and a VHF radio licence for the area they are chartering in. With this type of yacht charter guests are completely left to their own devices, to sail the boat, explore the area at their own pace, to prepare meals on board or dine out in restaurants if they wish so. A bareboat sailing yacht charter allows for a great quality time with people you want to be with while enjoying sailing, visiting new places and joining in different activities.
A bareboat sailing yacht charter is an ideal charter for the guests who can and want to operate the boat by themselves, but also for those who want complete privacy and who just want to spend time with like-minded people. It is also for those who love the adventurous side of chartering a sailing yacht. The crewed charters also offer great adventures but are more of a guided experience and a lot of the organisation is done by the crew: provisioning, route planning, cleaning, cooking, sailing. The crewed sailing yacht charter offers a very relaxing experience with your own private host and a chef. If you are wanting to help the captain and crew with the elements of sailing most are always willing to show any guests, the ropes!
You can charter sailing yachts throughout the charter season which will vary depending on the destination. Throughout the Mediterranean, sailing charter season starts early May and lasts until the end of October (or even throughout November if chartering in Turkey). Even though the High Season on the Mediterranean is July and August, we also still strongly recommend a sailing yacht charter in spring and autumn when the heat is not at its peak, but the weather is still warm, when the crowd is not as big and the locals can give you more of their time. Those times tend to feel more relaxed.
The Caribbean is made up of different islands which vary slightly in their seasons however on the whole the High Season is December through to May. The hurricane season runs between June and November and is mostly affecting the northern Caribbean. Charter rates vary depending on the time of year, with High Season being the most expensive, Low Season the cheapest and Mid Season in between.
On a fully crewed sailing yacht charter, there is separate accommodation for the crew. The exact location of the crew’s accommodation may vary from boat to boat.
Sailing yacht charter can be a perfect way of covering long distance charters and big portions of the trip can be covered on sails and without using the engine. Apart from the thrill of sailing, the yacht will also save on fuel. Long distance charters are also ideal for those guests who are available for longer holidays and want to cover a good portion of a particular destination.
By design, sailing yachts are made to be safe in rough seas and most can handle rough seas very well. However, the term “rough seas” is relative to the size of the yacht vs the size of the waves. For the yacht charter experience, the boats considered safe as they would always monitor the weather forecast and generally, not sail with the guests while the weather is stormy. During that period, the yachts tend to spend time in safe ports, waiting for the calmer weather.
The cost of a sailing yacht charter varies a lot between yachts and it generally depends on the following: whether you are chartering bareboat, skippered or crewed yacht, the size of the sailing yacht, age of the sailing yacht, the location where it is based, how many crew members there are on board, the period in the year when it is chartered and the length of the charter.
Depending on the size of the yacht, the price may significantly vary. Sailing yachts size up to 55ft tend to be the cheapest yacht charter option. Bigger the sailing yachts get, the price significantly increases and soon they will become more expensive than gulet. In the group of yachts size 60ft – 100ft, catamarans tend to be the most expensive option while price of a gulet or a sailing yacht will significantly depend on how luxurious that yacht is.
This will depend on the type of charter that a particular sailing yacht offers. In most destinations, listed charter rate is for the yacht only. When offering a sailing yacht, to the listed charter rate, some yachts will also add a half-board arrangement as an obligatory cost, and most will also add the APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) which is an estimate for the costs during the charter, such as: provisions (food and drinks), docking and anchoring fees and fuel. Suggested APA tends to be between 20% and 30% of the charter price, depending on the size of the yacht and on the destination. Most of the time VAT is an additional cost, but sometimes it is already included in the charter rate, which is mentioned at the time of the offer. The amount of VAT varies depending on the country you are chartering in. Crew gratuity is at client’s discretion, but it is customary in all destination. 10% – 15% of the basic charter rate is the industry standard on the Mediterranean, while in the Caribbean, the expected gratuity is between 15% and 20% of the basic charter rate. Most of the Caribbean charters are offered as all-inclusive.
The VAT is mostly added to the listed charter price, although, sometimes, it is already included in the listed charter rate. This is mentioned at the time of the offer. The amount of VAT will vary depending on the country you are chartering in.
This will depend on what type of yacht charter the guests are looking for. For example:
.. and so on.
At High Point Yachting, we have been offering yacht charter experiences for over 20 years. It is what we love doing and what we are experts in. We have access to a great number of sailing yachts around the world. We travel a lot and regularly visit those areas to inspect the yachts and meet the crews. Our network withing the yacht charter industry is our treasure trove. We have teamed up with other yacht charter experts who have the same approach to standards and service as we do and we share the valuable information with eachother. This helps us to ensure that yacht charter experiences that we organise are always professional, memorable and very special for our clients.