Charter Guide & FAQ

Charter Guide & FAQ

Renting a catamaran - Guide & FAQ

Probably a book can be written about all the things that should be taken care of while preparing the charter holiday. In this document we have tried to gather all the useful information based on our working and sailing experience in order to help you understanding the yacht rental process and provide some usefull recommendations.

 

Charter costs / economics

If chartering the first time, before booking of the boat the first thing on your mind will probably be: how much will it cost?
 
The charter price (when divided on the number of the people on board) usually does not exceede the price of the accommodation in the sea view room in 4 star hotel. In adition we are advising how to decrease your charter price even more.

Charter prices vary depending on different factors:

 
1.     The type of the boat,
2.     Built year of the boat,
3.     Location (starting port),
4.     Charter period.
 
Younger boats are always more expencive – the difference in price between completely new boat and the boat 3 years older can be significant though the older boat (if properly maintained) can give you almost the same quality of accommodation and navigation performances.
For example, in Croatia, the peak season is in July and August and if you are not limited with school summer vacation or working schedule, the recommended time for chartering the boat is September or June as more convenient prices are offered in these months. Besides lower prices, better choice of the boats, good weather and are just some of the advantages that give you the better value for money.
 
Once that you have found the boat that meets your demands please note that the price paid covers only the boat accommodation. Additional costs that will occur need to be calculated as you will not be able to avoid them: mooring fees, fuel costs, tips… Fuel cost depends on the sailing route that you are taking. For example, on Croatian coast the sailing distances are short and most of the charterers choose the routes which do not take more that 3 hours of navigation what decreases fuel costs. In case you are not sure about your fuel costs we can always help you with calculation if you send us the planned route.

Mooring fees vary from marina to marina. They depend on the size of the boat as well. The average price of the mooring fees are 80 - 120 EUR for the 40ft catamaran, but the prices can always be checked on the web page of marina in which you plan to anchor depending on your sailing route. However, some of the harbours and most of the anchorages are at your disposal without any extra charge. 

Here is a sample cost overview for 1 week rental of Lagoon 450 model in Croatia in high season (average rates):

8.500 EUR - Yacht rental
300 EUR - Mandatory extras (cleaning, taxes, towels, bedlinen etc)
1.050 EUR - skipper
900 EUR - hostess
300 EUR - fuel
500 EUR - harbor fees (if staying 3/4 days in marina)
25 EUR/person/day - food & beverage (excluding dinning in restaurants)
 

The crew assembling
 

The sea life is much more different than our everyday life. The person who is assembling the crew should keep this in mind all the time especially in a situation when a crew is gathered on a cutting down cost bases (the more people are on board - the lower price per person will be). Rather narrow space, lack of intimacy and the new enviroment are just some of the charter „side effects“ that some people cannot deal with. Therefore, it is highly important to compose a compact crew with nearly the same interests and ideas what charter vacation shold look like. If a group of people should coexist in previously mentioned conditions one must be really careful in order to make sure that fun week does not turn into a week from hell.
 
Tip for the skipper: in advance make sure that the crew is aware who is in charge especially in cases of emergencies and dangerous situations. The person who takes such responsibility deserves recpect from other crew members.
 

Choosing the boat type
 

Catamarans are perfect for families and for guests who prefer more privacy and confort, as they are more spacious and more stabile that the rest of the vessels. There are many brands (Lagoon, Fountain Pajot, Leopard, Nautitech etc) with a large number of models from small (36 ft) to XL (> 80 ft).  You can browse through our boat list or if you have any specific inquiries just contact us and we will be at your disposal for preparing the dream holiday.
Tip: all quality boats requested for July or August are usually booked till the end of spring. The more you wait for reservation the bigger is the chance that you will not find the vessel that matches your prefferences. Our suggestion is that reservation for these months sould be done at least 4 month before the departure.
 

Planning the route
 

This part of the trip should be easy if you have the compact crew that has the same preferences regarding the „things to see“. Each destination offers specific  varieties of places to visit, hidden bays, towns, islands, beaches etc. When setting the itinerary please make sure that you predict the anchorages, marinas, fuel stations and places to hide in case of storms.
In a skippered charter route is always agreed with your skipper – the skipper will set the route according to your prefferences but regarding navigation possibilities and the weather conditions. In crewed charter the route is usually set in advance but it can always be tailored to your wishes with capitain`s blessing, of course. Please note thet the person who makes the final decision about the route is the skipper and if safety or weather conditions affect change of the route the skippers opinion and decision should be obayed. If you have any additional questions or need help with planning the route please do not hesitate to contact us - we would be glad to recommend or help in creating the most suitable route for your sailing party.

Contact us for personalized route consultancy.
 

Packing the suitcases
 

All of the yacht that we have in our offer are equipped with all necessary safety, domestic and navigational equippment. Bedlinens, sometimes even towels are included in cahrter price. If you are travelling during the summer months light clothes is only that you need to take with you. During the cooler months warmer clothing, waterproof jackets and sleeping bags are our recommendation. Before leaving home do not forget passports, booking documents (voucher), credit cards, suncreams, sunglasses, hats and medications. Non-waterproof watches, valuable jewlery or any others valuable items should be left at home. When chartering remember that less is more as the yachts have limited storage places. Large traditional suitcases is not something that you will carry with you as they will only be in your way and represent the unnecessary disturbance.
 

Embarkation
 

If not differently agreed embarkation is done Saturdays afternoon. The official embarkation time is 17-18.00hr but in practice the embarkation is usually done earlier or as soon as the boat is ready. If the boat is in charter the week before yours, the service provider needs a few hours to clean the boat from the inside and outside properly and sometimes even to take care of some small repairs. Delays can sometimes happen because of the charteres negligence and therefore in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly and faster please take care of the following:
 
1.     provide the crew list and the skipper`s licenses in advance,
2.     announce your arrival time to marina,
3.     make sure that you prepare enough money for cash payments in the base,
4.     check credit card limits for deposit payments and make sure that you have the right credit cards with you as all charter companies do not accept all credit cards,
5.     announce in advance if you are going to take any additional equippment (gennaker, spinnaker, outboard engine) or if you will make additional insurance of the deposit (the damage waiver).
 
Once you arrive to marina the first thing to do is do the paperwork in charter companies office – this means confirming the crew list, doing the deposit payment and payments for obligatory and extra services and equippment. At this point residence tax should be paid as well. After the paperwork is done take over of the boat is the following. When taking over the boat you will check the boat with one of the base staff – you are suposed to pay attention to the equippment and overall state of the boat (interior and exterior appearance, naviation instruments, engine etc.) and verify its condition in written. Please note that you are supposed to return the boat in the same conditions in which you have taken it. This means that everything that you expected from the service provider at check-in, service provider will expect fom you at the check-out.
 

On board
 

While sailing you are suposed to act in responsible way regarding the navigation regulations about the security at the sea in order to provide safe journey to your crew members but to another sailors at the sea as well. Please note that it is forbinned to bath in the harbours and marinas, to sail in a distance less then 100 m from the coast in inhabitated areas, to discard the garbage in the sea etc, to empty the waste storages in a places that are not designated for such actions etc.
 
In case you have problems with the boat always contact the base manager or another emergencycontact that the charter company provided. This will spare you the misunderstandings that you can have at check-out regarding the boat damages. On the other hand, the service provider will usually act immediately in order to remove the problems and you will be able to enjoy your sea week at ease.

 

Disembarkation
 

Disembarkations are usually done Saturday mornings till 08-09.00hr but please note that the official hour given is not the hour till when you have to be back in marina – this means that you are supposed to leave the boat till then and that before leaving the check-out needs to be done as well. If embarkation is till 09.00 hr, you need to be in marina till 08.00hr in order to do everything in time. 
 
For check-out here are different procedures – most yacht owners insist on coming back to marina and checking the boat at  Friday afternoon and then you can oversleep on board till Saturday morning. For others coming back to marina at Saturday morning is acceptable. However, this is the information that should be checked at check-in. If being late, please note that according to general charter conditions of the most companies, the charterer can be charged for the amount of one day charter. Our suggestion is to try to avoid these situations as much as possible. 
Another thing to highlight for the check-out is fuel – you have taken the boat with the full fuel tank and that is the way the boat should be returned. Always plan that you have to visit the nearest fuel station before coming back to marina. However, the fuel tanking of the boat or the weather conditions are not acceptable excuses for being late at disembarkation – please take care of the weather forecast and the busy boat fuel stations at Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
 
At the check-out the boat is going to be checked the same way as at the beginning of the charter in order to settle if the boat is in the same condition as it was when it was handed to you. In case there are no damages your deposit will be returned to you, otherwise you will have to cover the damage. Remember that you are liable for the damages up to your security deposit amount.
 

What qualifications do I need for bareboat charter?
 

According to Maritime Laws you should be in possession of the license for operating of the pleasure craft that is issued by the state authority of the country that you are coming from. Some countries, like for example in France do not require a license, but you will be asked about your sailing experience and the charter company has the right to refuse the rental if it judges the experience not appropriate for specific boat. For Croatia the VHF license is required as well. To check if you have the valid license, please contact us and we will check it for you.

You can check the latest list of valid licenses for Croatia here:

http://www.mppi.hr/UserDocsImages/TABLICA%20(2)MoU%203_11.pdf

 

When chartering can I leave territorial waters?
 

Charter companies generally do not allow charter outside territorial waters but if you still would like to visit other countries,  then you should highlight this special request when setting the inquiry – all the boats do not have international permitt and charter company needs to know that you will leave the country in order to prepare all the necessary documents for you. Please note that international permitt is usually extra charged. When crossing over the boarder please remember that you are obliged to report to the custom office and to the custom office of the country that you are entering. The custom office is usually placed in harbour master`s office and you should choose the one the nearest to the boarder.
 

Are there any special rules for regatta participation?
 

Besides the fast boat, valid license and good sailing experience is everything you need. However, if the charter company is willing to charter a boat for regatta, keep in mind that some extra costs will arise from this arrangement. The double deposit is usually requested for security reasons. In most cases regatta fee needs to be paid as well – the regatta fee depends on the charter price and is usually charged as 20-25% amount of the charter fee.
 

What is the security deposit?
 

The security deposit is the amount with which you are liable if any damage, that is the consequence of mishandling of the boat, happens while chartering the boat. All the boats are fully insured with Casco, but the security deposit still has to be left in starting marina by cash or credit card. The security deposit will be refunded in its full amount unless the existence of damage or a defect on the yacht or the equipment is found during the returning of the yacht. Please note that the amount of security deposit is the maximum amount with which you can be charged for any damages. Everything that exceeds that amount the charter company will cover from the insurance company. In case of thefts on the boats (the outboard engine or dinghy are items of boat inventory that are in most cases the object of thefts) please do not forget to report it to the nearest police station. 

Deposit Waiver - additional insurance in order to cover all potential damages

The damage waiver (additional insurance of the security deposit that practicaly covers all the damages) in most cases can be offered. Terms and conditions of the damage waiver depend on the insurance company that insures the boat but generally speaking it usually costs 7-12% of the deposit amount of the boat that you would like to book.
 

Travel Insurances

We offer also a range of additional insurance options for your charter. 

1) Cancellation insurance - covers the cancellation cost in case of sudden serious illness, accident or death. 

3) Charter payment insurance - covers against the potential insolvency of the charter company; boating accidents occurring before the rental period or sinking. It also provides insurance in the case of the charter not being able to provide the boat selected at booking or an alternative vessel.

Do I need the license for diving?
 

Diving in many countries is forbidden without the valid license. You need to be in posession of valid diver`s card issued by Croatian Diving Federation. This license can be obtained if you have valid diver`s brevet that was issued by international diving association (IDD, UDI, CMAS, MDEA, PADI…). Please ask us about more information and centers for specific countries.
 

Do I need the license for fishing?
 

For legal fishing valid fishing license is required as well. The license can be obained in fishing clubs that are authorized for issuing the licenses to the foreign citizents. For obtaining the license you only need your passport or ID – if you are already a member of some fishing club in your country take your club card with you as it can decrease the license fee. Please note that the fishing is forbidden in National Parks – when obtaining the license you will receive the list the zones that are off the fishing limits as well as the list of allowed fishing tools.
 

What is the cost of marinas and harbours?
 

The mooring fee varies from marina to marina and from one country to another. It also depends on the size of the boat. The mooring fee for catamaran is usually charged double than the mooring fee for the monohull of the same size. The average price is around 80 - 120 EUR for the catamaran boat of cca. 40 ft per day. If you have already setteled your sailing route you can check the prices on the web sites of marinas on your route. On the other hand, some of the harbours and most of the anchorages are free. 

Can I book a place in marina in advance?
 

There are some countries and destinations, which allow  marina place bookings in advance. Berth in marina is usually not the problem off the season. During the main season period, if you want to make sure that you will catch your marina berth then it is best to leave for the wished marina in early afternoon hours.

Please ask us for any assistance for berth booking reservation in advance along your planned route
 

Where can I get the weather forecast?
 

The weather forecast can be obtained in any marina reception. Of course, you can always call the base or listen to the weather forecast on the radio and VHF as they are broadcasted frequently especially during the summer season.
 

Can I take the electrical equipment on board?
 

The electrical equipment can be taken with you but it is important to be rational with these goods. Croatia uses standard European 2 point plug and the elecrticity is 220 V. However, the yachts have shore power connection and while in marinas you will be able to use all the electrical devices as you are wired to shore electricity. When sailing, only boats with generator will supply with 220 V all the time.
 

Can mobile chargers be used on board?
 

Mobile chargers can be used on bord with the usual 220 V plug in while in marina on shore power connection. Otherwise, you can use the car phone charger that can be plugged into the 12 V cigatette lighter on board.
 

Are mobile phone/internet signals available in all sailing areas?
 

Most of near coastal sea in popular sailing destinations is today covered with mobile phone/internet signal. However, if you plan to sail further off the coast in Mediterranian, Atlantic, Pacific or other destiantions, please note that signal will be lost after ca 20-30  NM.
 

What is included in charter fee?
 

Charter price is usually formed per boat weekly, no matter how many people will be on board (the maximum number of passengers is always limited depending on the size of the yacht). Therefore, charter price covers the vessel rental, all navigation and safety equipment and dinghy. The obligatory payment that needs to be done at embarkation is transit log or charter pack (which inlcudes the end cleaning, gas bottle and local taxes). Outboard engine, bedlinen, gennaker, spinnaker, snorkelling equipment are optional services that are not in charter fee included and can be arranged at surcharge.
 

Are towels included in the charter fee?
 

For catamaran rental in most cases yes. If they are not included in the charter fee, they usually can be arranged at extra cost. Beach towels are rarely included in the charter fee and you should bring them with you.
 

When is the check-in and the check-out?
 

Embarkation is usually done Saturdays in the afternoon from 17-18hr. The charter provider usually needs a few hours to prepare the boat for the charter meaning that the boat needs to be cleaned properly from the inside and outside and, if necessary, to take care of some small repairments. However, if the boat is ready earlier the embarkation will be done earlier. Check-out is in most cases done Saturday morning till 08-09.00hr. Some charter comapnies do the check-out Friday afternoon and then you are allowed to overnight onboard till Saturday morning. However, these information should be confirmed when booking the boat.
 

Is it possible to charter the boat for a short term period?
 

Charter is always done weekly Saturday – Saturday in Mediterranean. Exceptions to this rule can be done but only off the season or in last minute option. Please note that even though you will get the offer for short term charter the price will probably be calculated on weekly bases.
Catamaran rentals in Caribbeans are more flexible for teh dates and you can start your rental on any date of the week if yacht is available (however, the fleet owners mostly prefer Saturday or Sunday periods).
 

Do I have to pay the food for the skipper?
 

The provisioning is not included in the price for skippers services meaning that you have to take care for his food whether you are dining in the restaurant or on board. The skippers do not abuse this custom and in most casess these arrangements run very smoothly.
 

We have small children – can we take them on board and what can we do for their safety?
 

Small children can be taken on board but some precautions have to be taken care of. If you are chartering a motor boat fly bridge type is more suitable then open. If chartering a sailing boat catamaran is our recommendation because they are more spacious and stabile than the monohull. As an extra insurance for the youngest sailors safety net and lifebelts for the children can always be arranged. Please note that these services are extra charged and need to be ordered in advance.

For any further information, please contact our charter experts.