How to Choose a Yacht Charter Company – Your Yacht Charter Guide

Fantastic! You have decided to charter a yacht for your next vacation.
How do you decide which charter company to go with, there are so many to choose from?

This guide will help you understand a few aspects of yacht charter so that you will know how to choose a yacht charter company and have the best experience.

If you have chartered before you will still find advice here to help you with making decisions about the next trip.

There are lots of charter companies based around the world and it can be confusing trying to work out where to spend your money.

Charter Companies

There are small, medium and large charter companies. Yacht charter companies are often classified by the number of boats in their worldwide fleet and the age of their boats.

Small Company

Smaller companies can often offer a more personal service with an increased focus on customer service. They tend to be based in just one country or marina and have great local knowledge with experienced local skippers and crew. A small company may only have one to ten boats.

Medium Sized Company

A medium sized company is more likely to have more than 10 boats and have bases in a couple of marinas within a country or even different countries.

Large Company

The largest companies will have 1000’s of boats spread across multiple marinas in over 30 countries around the world.

Large companies tend to have more yachts and are more likely to be in the position to offer a replacement boat should there be an unfortunate need for one.

All yacht charter companies run regular maintenance schedules to minimize problems arising but that doesn’t eliminate them completely.

Check the policies of charter companies you are considering to see what their solutions to problems are.

Many will offer a repair or replacement within 4 hours or you get an extra day free!

Small companies or those with only one boat may not be in a position to offer you a replacement boat.

Choosing to charter with a large company will give you greater flexibility over destinations as well as choice of yachts.

They will also more likely have a range of sizes so catering for small groups with one or two cabins up to 12 cabin luxury motor yachts with plenty of extra cabins for crew.

What’s also great about large companies is that they often have full resorts at their marina bases with facilities available to charters. Restaurants, shops, swimming pool, hotels etc. are all useful if you need somewhere to stay before and after your charter.

Boats moring in a marina

Yachts Age

Newer Yachts

First tier companies charter out newer yachts up to 4 or 5 years old and these are usually supplied with all the latest gadgets including GPS, chart plotter, air conditioning, autopilot, cell phones, CD/MP3 players etc.

New yachts will often be in a much better condition than older yachts but will be more expensive to charter.

Older Yachts

Older yachts, often those with second tier companies will be cheaper to charter, just be prepared that your yacht won’t be in perfect straight out of the shipyard condition and may not have the latest gadgets.

Older boats that are well taken care of can provide an excellent charter experience and be great value for money. You can ask for a boat to be less than 2 years old with some companies but you will likely pay a premium for this ‘as new’ option.

First tier companies tend to sell off their yachts once they reach 4 to 5 years old and these are often bought up by the second tier companies.


With regular maintenance, yachts can still be in charter after 15 years or more.

Yachts tend to be well built and are designed to last, just be aware that a boat with one careful owner will generally not suffer as much wear and tear as a boat hired out to a different group of people each week, every season for 5 years!

Boat on the water


Sailing With a Group

Have a look at average prices across a number of yacht companies before deciding if you can afford a yacht charter.

You may find that sharing a larger yacht with a group of people is more affordable than trying to charter a yacht as a couple.


Choosing extras such as provisions provided, a hostess and a skipper will all add to the cost. Look at off-peak times for a cheaper deal.

Last Minute Deals

Many companies will also offer last minute deals, although rarely available during peak season unless there has been a cancellation.

Older Boats

Older boats are generally cheaper and cost of a charter can vary between destinations.

Flights and Airport Transfers

You will also need to factor in flights to the country and airport transfers to the marina when setting your overall budget.

New Boats

Brand new luxury yachts will cost more than an older model yacht but still provide you with an enjoyable sailing experience.

Sailing Yachts

Sailing yachts are cheaper than powered boats as a lot less fuel required as long as the wind blows!

Sailing yacht on the water

Charter Broker

A charter broker visits fleets around the world owned by different yacht charter companies and are experienced at matching up clients with their ideal yacht.

Particularly important is their ability to match personalities with crew options.

No point booking a young family in with a skipper or hostess with little patience for children who may be more suited to groups of young couples!

A yacht charter broker acts a bit like a regular travel agent, but with a specialism in finding you the perfect boat for your vacation.

You contact a broker with your requirements and they get back to you with suggested boats and companies complete with pictures and details of options. They assist you with making a decision and your booking.

TIP: Whether you use a broker or not there is no additional cost to you – any fees are paid by the yacht charter company direct to the broker!

My Recommendation

Before choosing a yacht charter company do your research. Find companies that operate in the area you wish to visit, check out their websites, fleet, and packages.

Read reviews on their websites but also find independent reviews on yacht forums or in sailing magazines.


What about you? Do you have a favorite yacht charter company? Please, feel free to share your experience by leaving a comment just below.

5 thoughts on “How to Choose a Yacht Charter Company – Your Yacht Charter Guide”

  1. In your article, you suggested that there are small, medium and large charter companies and yacht charter companies are often classified by the number of boats in their worldwide fleet and the age of their boats. My sons have been bugging me all summer about going on a boating trip. I wonder what type of boats would be best for a first time client.

    • Hi Derek,
      Nice to meet you and thank you for visiting my website:)

      Your sons are right to bug you as they will surely have memorable times on the water! To answer your question, this will depend on your preferences. If you want to have a larger choice of boats, then I would suggest you sail through a medium or large company, but if this is not a concern to you, then a small company will be perfect. Just bear in mind that small companies are only located in one place, and you’ll be more restricted in term of choice.

      I hope it helped and if you need to know further information. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  2. My husband and I have been wanting to rent out a yacht charter for a fun party with friends and family. We want to make sure we find a quality boat at a good price. As you said, it’s a good idea to look at the average price from several companies. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Annika,
      That’s fantastic, I am sure you will have a wonderful time!
      Yes, that’s right. It is similar to buying something. You need to check what is best for you regarding charter companies, including price!
      I wish you a memorable sailing trip and a lovely day:)


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