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How to charter a boat

The UK is a proud island nation with a long seafaring tradition. This extends into the modern-day, where people all over the country love to get out onto the ocean waves. But what if you’d like to do this but don’t have your own boat? In this instance, chartering is the perfect solution.

Chartering sees you hire out a craft for a period of time before returning it once you are done. As well as giving people without their own boat a way to get out onto the ocean, chartering is also great for trying out a new type of boat you plan to buy or giving sailing a go to see if it’s for you. But how can you charter a boat? The truth is that there are a number of ways to go about it, depending on the specific activity you have in mind.

Bareboat chartering

This essentially sees you hire a boat from a charter company that you will stock, navigate and command on your own. As such, there will be no professional crew who come with the boat when you hire it. This type of charter is ideal for more experienced sailors who value the freedom being in charge brings. It can be challenging though in terms of having to handle sailing and docking yourself, plus having the knack to overcome cultural barriers, should you sail to foreign shores.

Bareboat charters are seen on vessels as diverse as catamarans, monohulls and motor yachts. They are also an easy type of charter to find, with bareboat hire being seen not only globally but also in many local UK areas. Although you might not get a crew to help sail the boat with this sort of charter, you should still find the charter company provides things like charts, tutorials on the boat’s equipment and help in picking a suitable craft.

Crewed charter

You will probably guess what type of charter this is from the name! For clarity, crewed charters see you hire a boat from a charter company but one that comes with trained crew to sail it. The number of crew will depend on the size of the vessel. A smaller yacht, for example, might only come with a captain and chef. This sort of charter can also include provisioning, which will be added to the charter cost.

This option is perfect if you want to head out to sea but don’t want the hassle of setting the schedule or the responsibility of sailing the craft. The captain provided would handle all this and normally take you to the most impressive parts of the cruising grounds. This makes your holiday a lot more relaxing.

Going the crewed charter route does mean that the crew are onboard and part of your group constantly though. You may also find that this sort of charter is expensive, once you include the fee for the captain. This cost can rise further if you are expected to tip the captain for his service at the end of the trip.

Cabin charter

This sort of charter works in the same way as a crewed charter – but sees you renting per cabin, rather than hiring the whole boat. As you would expect, this usually means you are sharing the boat with other passengers who have rented cabins – plus the crew. This can therefore make it less attractive to those who want to travel only with their group or who do not like lots of people onboard. As the captain will have to please the majority, you might find you have to spend time in places you don’t care for or miss out on places you had intended to see.

If you enjoy meeting new people though, want to sail on a craft with a professional captain in charge and want a lower-cost way of setting sail, it can be a great option. If you will be a lone traveller, this type of charter is more financially achievable than renting out a whole boat yourself.

Yacht charter

If you want to explore the ocean in true style and luxury, yacht charters are the way to go. This type of charter usually comes as an all-inclusive deal which includes fuel, food, drink and additional sailing fees. Yacht charter also normally includes a full set of crew, including a captain, mate and deckhands (exact number of crew depends on how big the yacht is).

These types of vessels tend to remain in one place for a period of time before moving onto a new location for a while. This sort of charter is ideal if you can afford the costs involved (some superyachts can cost north of $300,000 per week to hire!) and want a truly relaxing, decadent experience when sailing. As these crafts tend to stay in one place for extended periods, it might not be ideal if you like to move around a lot.

Fishing charter

Many people like to head out to sea in order to have fun fishing. If this is your thing, fishing charters are the way to go. This sort of charter can be for an afternoon of angling inshore or a longer period of offshore action. The key to getting the most from this charter is deciding on what type of fishing you plan to do and hiring the right craft for it. In addition, you need to hire a boat which is big enough to fit all your group on in safety.

Fishing charter deals usually come with the captain, fuel, vessel and dockage included in the price. Some charter companies might also throw in food and drink for more money. If you plan to have an overnight charter, the boat should have bathrooms and beds to use. Many charters of this type also let you keep your fish (if legal) and may even keep it on ice for you.

Charter a boat with Duck-2-Water

Hiring your own boat is a cost-effective and easy way to get out on the waters around the UK. As the above shows, there are many ways to charter a boat and many different types of boat you could hire. The key to getting the most from any of them though is finding a reliable, trustworthy charter company to work with.

Here at Duck-2-Water, we are widely known as one of the top charter companies in the Solent for powerboat training, luxury motor yachts, RIBS and sailing yachts. Get in touch via the contact form on our website for more details on our superb charter deals.