Before booking a sailing holiday there are a few things that you need to be aware of and take into consideration to avoid any unwanted surprises.
Let’s look at the formulas: the classic ones are the Charter and Cabin Charter or journey formula.
The charter is the most classic of formulas and consists of the booking and “rental” of the whole boat, that is to say you pay a price for rental of the boat.
In some cases, whoever rents out the boat sells only a cabin or a single boarding. In this case, the client boards the boat with other people and the group is formed at the moment of boarding.
These are the most advanced types of formula and are offered by only a handful of operators, in this case the concept is the journey and boat is the main objective of the journey. In these cases, everything has already been planned and optimized to help you get the best out of your holiday in terms of fun and comfort
Now let’s look at the checklist!
Usually, the prices on websites that offer charter services offer only the very basic things: the first thing to check on your list is the skipper.
Sometimes the skipper is “obligatory” yet not included in the hire price!
Beware because the skipper comes at a high cost and depending on the boat it can be from 150 Euro per day …add to that the costs of the food and all the rest! The skipper in fact counts as an extra guest.
We mustn’t forget that the skipper is a ship’s commander and is responsible for the boat and passenger safety: that means that he is not always available to cook and manage the cleaning of the boat, so if you require these services you should either understand exactly what types of tasks he carries out, or ask for a hostess.
It goes without saying that in the cabin charter the skipper is included, but not always included in the price.
On board hostesses /stewards are often “obligatory” and not included in the initial price… prices start from 70 euro per day… usually in high season they can be as much as 100 euro per day.
The food provisions are nearly always excluded (apart from some operators and some formulas) … not only do you have to buy them but you have to take them on board and store them all away.
This is often a sore point for guests, especially breakfast foods, since everyone is used to having their breakfast in their own way and getting everyone to agree on what to buy isn’t easy.
The tender is one of the NECESSARY things when going on a sailing boat, unless that is, you know exactly what you are doing each day or are only going for one day. Not having a tender means having to anchor offshore without being able to go ashore; it means getting within sight of beaches but not being able to go to them; if there are no spaces available at the port you cannot go ashore to visit the towns. In any case, it’s always handy to have one. As mentioned, it’s one of the necessary things…shame it’s almost never included in the price, especially in the charter formula.
It’s also important to know what condition the tender is in: if it has inflation equipment, its capacity, size, and how it is loaded or pulled along.
Tied to the tender is the outboard motor – well you can’t row along can you?!
What would you do if the 2.5-meter tender was a bit deflated, could only take a max of two people, there’s six of you and you’re at least 200 meters from shore…? That’s why we strongly advise you get an outboard motor, though most boat rentals don’t even offer you one…
Fuel is not included in the charter formula or cabin charter… sailing boats have small motors compared to the more powerful and faster motorboats, so it’s important to ask what engine it has and what its features are (i.e. cruising speed) so you can check if it’s suitable for the route you want to take. You’ll obviously need to know how much it consumes per hour so there are no hitches on your journey.
For Charters and Cabin Charters the cost of port stops is usually not included. This is mainly because the itinerary is chosen by the group and the ports have not been decided beforehand. In Italy, the port costs are high – almost always over 100 Euro per night, sometimes up to 200 in the more exclusive ports.
This pushes up the final cost, as well as choosing the itinerary which is not an easy thing for a group of people who don’t know each other, as happens with a cabin charter…
These are never included: you have to bring your own from home, covers and pillows included.… this is one of the most important things that people never think of
The final cleaning is always obligatory but almost never included in the price…
These are the differences…and this is why we prefer to offer our trips with our ALL EXCLUSIVE guest formula!
That’s without mentioning the boat, the cabins and the layout… but more about that in the next post!