Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

Bareboat Charter Pricing: How is it Determined?

Let’s sort out how your bareboat charter pricing is determined to help you better compare quotes for your next sailing trip.
  • What influences total pricing?
  • Components of your bareboat charter pricing
  • What is not included in a yacht charter quote?
The Baths in the British Virgin Islands

What influences your bareboat pricing?

There are several key factors that will affect your charter pricing:
  • Type of yacht: monohulls are going to be more affordable than catamarans (all else equal)
  • Size of yacht: not surprisingly, the longer and bigger the boat, the more expensive it will be
  • Number of cabins: a 3-cabin catamaran with an owner’s cabin is going to be more affordable than a 4-cabin equivalent
  • Age: you’ll pay a premium for newer boats (but also might experience fewer maintenance issues)
  • Season: when you charter matters a lot. The high season holiday periods are always the most expensive, whereas, you can find great deals (and solitude) in the low season when tropical disturbances might threaten in the Caribbean
  • Discounts: charter companies offer various promotions, but you can always usually to expect to receive an early booking or a repeat charter discount (5 or 10% each). Last-minute discounts are another great way to save money if you are flexible (or work from home!)
At anchor on a bareboat charter in the Spanish Virgin Islands

Components of your bareboat charter pricing

Charter fee

This is your daily, base price fee for the yacht. Some weeks are priced higher than others, and it’s possible you straddle two weeks that are priced differently to give you a blended daily rate.

Included in this charter fee is a booking commission paid to an in-house or independent broker.

Extras

This is the everything else category! These are the common items you may or may not see included here. Think of them as either mandatory or optional.
Mandatory extras
  • Starter pack: it’s common to see a starter kit/pack on your quote. These are some items that might be included
    • Welcome package: bottle of rum, gallon of water, dish soap, sponge, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and matches
    • Dinghy outboard fuel
    • Cooking fuel
    • Cleaning fee: sometimes this might be broken out separately
    • Sheets/linens
    • Full water tanks
  • Damage waiver insurance: this buys down your deductible obligation in the event of covered yacht damage. I’ve seen it lower the deductible to anywhere from $0 to $8,000. Most insurance policies for the charter yachts have deductibles in the 1-2% range prior to the buydown.
  • Municipal/state tax
  • Cruising tax and National Park fees: sometimes unique to the British Virgin Islands
SUP'ing in the Exumas - an optional extra for your charter
Optional extras
  • Sleep aboard option: this allows you to board the yacht the night before your departure, usually at 5:00pm. It typically costs 50-60% of the daily charter fee. Read more about why I think it makes sense in this post.
  • Skipper: this could be an option you add for your entire trip, or it could also be a check-out skipper if required by the charter company. Expect to pay $200-300 per day, depending on location.
  • Chef/Hostess: they will help with provisioning, prepare meals/snacks/drinks, and clean up. Expect to pay $200-300 per day
  • Water sports: such as kayaks, stand up paddle boards, floats, or floating mats
  • Sailing instruction: in some locations you can bring a sailing instructor aboard to conduct courses (ASA). This fee will also include the course registration/materials/certification
  • Wifi
  • Dinghy ladder
  • Lifeline netting
  • Fishing equipment
On the dock in Key West, Florida

What is not included in a yacht charter quote

Don’t let these necessary items escape your budget for the yacht charter trip. You pay for them separate from the charter company.
  • Diesel fuel: most charter companies require you to return the boat with a full fuel tank. Some will give you an option to purchase a tank in advance or let them handle the refueling for a fee
  • Provisioning: your food and drinks for the trip. Some companies will offer a provisioning service where your items will be delivered to your yacht prior to arrival
  • Dockage: any extra nights you plan to stay in a marina. Your first and last night are usually included in your pricing at your charter base marina.
  • Mooring balls: usually $30-40/night


When is your next yacht charter?
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