So, what’s the answer? What exactly makes a yacht, charter friendly?
Here CharterWorld brings together the experience and thoughts of some of the very best & brightest luxury charter broker professionals to answer one question: ‘What type of boat feature(s) make for the best luxury yacht charter?’
This question and its answers are vitally important for yacht charterers looking for the ideal holiday. It provides a list of yacht features that you should definitely consider when shopping for what will be the right charter yacht for you. You should reflect upon these general yacht features whether you are chartering the largest superyacht or a far smaller crewed sailing catamaran.
However, these questions are also important if you are considering purchasing a yacht that you might also charter out. The more ‘charter friendly’ features a boat offers, the higher the price you can charter the yacht for and the more charter weeks you will receive. Similarly, yacht designers and builders also consider these charter features, because a charterer’s desires are fundamentally similar to a yacht owner’s demands.
Well, here is the top 20 most important boat features to consider when choosing the ideal luxury yacht charter holiday:
1. Value – ‘This one is a ‘no-brainer’. You want more for your money, right?’
What is the value of the yacht, or the charter price, like in comparison to other boats on the market, when considering all the following considerations. Is the yacht offering a special rate? Can your broker negotiate a better price for you? Does it offer great relative value even without a ‘discount’? How does the price compare to luxury onshore accommodation for the number of guests you will have aboard (including all related travel, restaurant and other expenses)?
2. Crew – ‘How capable are the crew and do they compliment you, your activities and style?’
For those with experience who are ‘in the know’ this is considered to be THE most important component for the best charter (yacht). How well do the crew compliment you and your intended activities? Although crew are professionals, their personalities and their quality differ markedly from yacht to yacht. This is a crucial aspect to assess with your broker, who will have likely meet the crew personally (and if they haven’t they will have access to other assessments and reviews of each yacht’s crew). How good is the chef and do you favour the type of cuisine they most experienced with? Do you need a jet ski or dive instructor aboard? What about a masseuse or beauty technician? Do you enjoy a relaxed and friendly style from the crew or a more formal professional one?
3. Condition – ‘New or old…but what shape is the yacht in now?
This one is very important but also impossible to know without the expert advice from your charter broker. They have likely inspected the yacht and crew recently and if they haven’t then they can fall back on a vast network of yachting professionals who have experienced the yacht and can let them know. There is also a network of charterers who are happy to provide their valuable feedback on the yachts they have recently holidayed on. Importantly condition is not necessarily directly correlated to the age of the yacht. Sometimes even new yachts have teething problems and may not be in ideal shape for a number of reasons. Conversely, older yachts can often be refitted like new or have a fantastic crew onboard who keep the boat spick and span.
4. Feedback on the yacht- ‘Brokers rely on a network of feedback and reviews.’
You can ask your broker if there is a collection of recent feedback on the yacht and it’s crew. This can make very interesting and important reading when choosing between potential boats.
5. Layout or configuration- “will the designed format enhance the enjoyment of your charter?
The layout on a yacht refers to the interior (and exterior) design layout. Where are the cabins positioned in relation to the master cabin and how many are there. How any cabins have double beds and how many have twins? Are there any fold out pullman bunks to add to the number of guests that can be accommodated? How well does the outside dining and lounging spaces connect with the inside ones?
6. Location – ‘Where is the yacht and does this make a great charter destination?’
Where is the boat located? Europe, The Mediterranean, The Caribbean or elsewhere? Is this a popular and appropriate destination for a yachting holiday at this time of year? Do you need to cover relocation fees or is the yacht already there? Have you considered your intended destination fully? Would you like more information and suggested itineraries for this location and others? Ask your broker.
7. Multiple social living areas – ‘Do they function well and interconnect effectively?’
It’s important to have more than one type of social area. How many different types are there and how do they interconnect? Holidays are about getting together with friends and family. The best yacht designs enhance the social aspect of the charter party.
8. Water toys – ‘A yacht charter is all about a fun ocean lifestyle after all.’
What does the boat offer in terms of fun equipment? How comprehensive is the list and what does it include? Do the toys suit you and your group? Sailing dinghies or jet skis? How old are the toys and do the crew have any particular skills in relation to operating the toys or teaching guests how to use them. This also includes the boat’s main tender. How big is it, how powerful is the engine(s) and what condition is it in?
9. Outdoor decks – ‘Exterior social areas are even more important than the interior ones.’
The space and design of the outdoor areas is important because this is where you will typically spend most of your time. Chances are it will be high summer or at least warm, after all. How well do they interconnect, what features to they have, how much sun shade is there and what is the access to the water and views like?
10. Wow factor – ‘Does it please you to imagine being on that boat?’
The latest contemporary yachts often have a lot of wow factor, but so to do many larger yachts or more traditional or famous ones. This point is personal to each individual but there are certain boats that most agree have ‘wow factor’.
11. Quality of yacht or yacht maker – ‘What is the Rolls Royce of the ocean? What is the Ferrari?
This is more important to consider when buying a yacht. A charter is more about the overall holiday experience over a week or three. You don’t have to be invested emotionally with the idea of owning the yacht long term, like the owner does. However, generally the better the yacht maker or builder the better the quality and overall satisfaction on your yacht. The top brands are considered the best because of an unrivaled emphasis on quality, so ask your broker how favourably the yacht maker is considered generally in the industry. To what degree is this type of yacht coveted?
12. Jacuzzi/Pool – ‘What better way to relax on a yacht?’
Do you want one? Feel like sipping some bubbles while soaking in bubbles? The Largest yachts actually have swimming pools on the aft deck, so this might be nice.
13. The Master cabin
How large is it and is it separated or proximate to the other accommodation? Does the decor inspire? Does it look like the sort of space you can relax and recharge?
14. The Tender quality
A new, large and powerful tender is important. You will spend some time either transferring to shore or playing with water toys on the tender, so make sure it is decent.
15. Her Speed – ‘Fast is good but only given the right weather conditions.’
How much moving around do you intend to do? A fast yacht will mean more time relaxing on location, however the weather also means you cannot always go fast on fast boats, or even move from harbour at all.
16. Her Stability – ‘Everyone enjoys poise on the ocean.’
Is the yacht full displacement and does it have stabalisers, catamaran or mono hull. Once again this might be a question to ask your broker.
17. History / provenance
Some of the older traditional yachts have hosted many interesting or famous people over the years and this may well be a point of difference or interest for you.
18. Dining tables (inside and out)
Alfresco dining in summer s one of the most enjoyable aspects of yachting, so ensure that the layout, position and size of the external dining is suitable to your requirements.
19. The yachts suitability to the location or intended itinerary
Is the yacht suitable? If there are larger seas and you wish to travel larger distances perhaps a displacement motor yacht will have the size and seaworthy stability that you require? If you plan on many short trips along a coastline known for calm seas perhaps a fast semi displacement yacht will give you more experiences for your money? How long will you be living aboard? Have you considered sailing as part of the yacht charter experience?
20. The Crew- ‘The crew, the crew, the crew!’
This is the most important single aspect to a wonderful luxury yacht charter vacation, so I have mentioned it again.
If you bear these considerations in mind you (and your broker) will certainly pick the best yacht available for you, and at the best price. All the very best for your next luxury yacht charter vacation from the expert CharterWorld team.