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Frequently Asked Questions
The best time to charter a yacht in the Caribbean is generally considered to be December to April, when it’s slightly cooler (particularly in the northern Caribbean), drier and less humid. The Caribbean does, however, boast a pretty good year-round climate, so if you want to avoid the large numbers of revellers over the peak period, any time of year is a good time to charter a yacht in the Caribbean.
Statistics show that violent crime rarely touches the 28 million or so tourists who visit the Caribbean every year. And reports of violence are mainly confined to inner-city areas which see few tourists. Like many vacation destinations, petty street crime does occur, and valuables left unattended at Caribbean beaches, in rental cars or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. The safest islands have been reported as Montserrat, St Barths, the Britsh Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Antigua & Barbuda, Martinique, Barbados, Anguilla, The Turks, and Caicos.
Naturally, hurricanes are known to affect the Caribbean, especially in recent years. And it’s no secret that the region is prone to rain and storms – but that doesn’t make it unsafe to visit and should not spoil your Caribbean sailing vacation.
Bad weather in the Caribbean is typically confined to hurricane season which lasts from June to November. But the risk of storms generally peaks in an even smaller window, roughly from August through October. Statistically speaking, even if you charter a yacht at this time of year, the odds are excellent that you’ll enjoy a hurricane-free vacation. But of course, it pays to take precautions and be aware that there are some risks.
Don’t want to chance it? Then consider booking your charter yacht vacation outside of hurricane season. If you’re happy to travel during hurricane season then you could make excellent savings on flights and accommodation, compared with peak periods. Just make sure you get a comprehensive travel insurance policy to cover you if the weather prevents you from traveling. Also, check out the hurricane forecast before traveling.
A bareboat charter yacht is hired and Captained by the guest who is chartering the yacht. A crewed charter yacht includes a captain as a minimum, with the option of a chef. Some under 80ft boats will include a deckhand as well. On a crewed charter yacht, the Captain will take overall responsibility for the charter, as well as drive or sail the boat, plan the itinerary and will offer location-based information pertaining to land-based activities or even water sports. On a crewed charter yacht you and your guests can sit back, relax and be pampered by the well-trained crew.
Depending on your needs, the number of cabins and the size of the boat, you could have a captain, one or more first officers, deckhands and stewardesses, and a chef/sous-chef. It is also possible to hire nannies, personal trainers, dive instructors, beauticians, etc.
Even before you arrive on board the carefully selected crew will have received a complete list of your personal preferences including allergies, favorite food items, activities, etc. On a crewed charter the itinerary can be personalized. While you relax the attentive crew will make sure you receive everything you want and need. You and your guests get to enjoy every meal or cocktail hour without having to worry about hosting, cooking, preparing drinks or cleaning up afterward.
In principle, you can hire any type of boat for a crewed charter. Sailboats are beautiful and elegant, but catamarans offer more space. Motor yachts are easy to navigate – you may enjoy the more classic feel of a sailing yacht, though. So, it depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you enjoy a lot of space, why not consider a catamaran? They are very popular, especially with larger charter groups. They offer great stability underway and on anchor, and are ideal options for people that are new to yachting or that get sea-sick easily. The sizes of luxury yachts vary. Boats larger than 24m are considered superyachts. If they are longer than 100m they are classified mega yachts.
Although you will be in close contact with the crew during your stay on the yacht, luxury yacht crew will always respect your privacy and give you as much space as possible. While respecting your privacy, they will still always try to tend to your needs and wants. This means that you can get on with your vacation and without needing to maintain unnecessary conversations with the crew. The boat is all yours and the crew are here to attend to your needs. You only need to see them when you need them or if you wish to have an occasional chat.
Providing there is enough space, there is no limit to the fancy toys a luxury yacht can have on board. Choices could include water skis, wakeboards, dive and snorkel gear, surf and kiteboards, SUP (stand up paddling) boards, jet skis, sea bobs, tenders, folding bikes, kayaks, donuts, bananas and much more. So, when completing the online inquiry, be sure to stipulate what your preference in water toys is – just let us know in advance what toys you would like available and a boat will be matched to meet with these requirements.
It is not a straightforward answer; however, the factors that could influence price includes the size of the boat (although older, larger vessels can be secured at more favorable rates), the time of year, the location, whether the vessel is crewed or not and whether you are considering a monohull or a catamaran. Crewed catamarans typically publish weekly rates that range from around USD12, 000 for a 36ft vessel to around a maximum of USD 60, 000 for a top end 60ft to 70ft vessel.
It is important to take into account the additional extras like meals ashore and crew gratuity (up to 20% in the Caribbean and around 10% in the Med). Crew work hard and tend to your every need and your safety; tip them well and in accordance with the service you receive. So when considering your budget, bear this in mind.
Trip or Cancellation Insurance.
Charters can be cancelled or interrupted for a number of reasons and some charter contracts do not make provision for all possibilities. Very few contracts make it easy to get a refund of any kind and it can get more costly, the closer your cancellation is to the charter date. Trip interruption or Cancellation insurance can provide reimbursement for cancellations or interruptions as a result of a number of reasons causes including weather, illness, business reasons, some medical emergencies and repatriation, while some Trp or Cancellation policies will provide cover for any reason. Costs vary; however, would usually be around 5% to 10% of the charter fee.
Charterers Liability Insurance.
It is common knowledge that many people tend to think that charterers tend to be people of a certain status, who may have a large portfolio, which means that third parties may assume that they have deep pockets. Since the charterer is not protected against third party claims, they are unable to stop the owner’s insurers from exercising their right of recourse. Also, many decide to charter the yacht personally, rather than through a limited company, which makes them even more of a target for third parties and insurance companies to collect reimbursements for any claims made.