Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

By-the-Cabin Charters: Pros & Cons

What is a By-the-Cabin Charter?

A by-the-cabin charter is a budget-friendly, crewed yacht option perfect for smaller groups of travelers. Instead of chartering an entire yacht, you book individual cabins, making it more affordable while still enjoying the luxury of a crewed experience. These charters are ideal for budget-conscious travelers, small groups, young adventurers, solo voyagers, and those seeking a structured yet flexible itinerary.
Cooper Island sunset on our last evening

Who is a By-the-Cabin Charter For?

  • Budget-Conscious Travelers: Perfect for those looking to sail without breaking the bank.
  • Small Crews: Ideal for couples, families, or friends who don’t need an entire yacht.
  • Young Sailors: Great for meeting new people and sharing the adventure.
  • Solo Voyagers: For those who want to travel alone but enjoy the company of others.
  • Adventure Seekers: Those who enjoy a planned itinerary but still crave exploration.
Breakfast table ready on our first morning before leaving the dock

What’s Included in a By-the-Cabin Charter?

  • Accommodation: Private cabins with en-suite bathrooms.
  • Crew: A professional skipper and hostess/cook.
  • Meals: Three meals a day plus snacks.
  • Beverages: Water, tea, coffee, and some local drinks. Wine is included at lunch and dinner, but otherwise, you can bring your own grog.
  • Water Sports: Snorkeling gear, paddleboards, and sometimes kayaks.
Fishing gear was not included, but you are welcome to bring your own

What’s Not Included?

  • Travel Costs: Flights and transfers to the marina.
  • Extra Beverages: Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks outside of meal times.
  • Dining Ashore: Meals taken off the yacht.
  • Excursions: Optional land-based activities and tours.
  • Gratuities: Tips for the crew are not included.
Helping the crew to tie up a mooring ball

Pros of By-the-Cabin Charters

  • Cost-Efficient: More affordable than chartering an entire yacht.
  • Great Itinerary: Covers popular spots perfect for first-time visitors.
  • Less Responsibility: Limited crew duties, great for families with young kids.

Cons of By-the-Cabin Charters

  • Shared Quarters: You don’t choose your fellow travelers, which can be a gamble.
  • Variable Maintenance: Fleet maintenance can vary; some issues might arise.
  • Meal Quality: Meals are included but not gourmet; expect simple, home-style cooking.
The Yacht Warriors crew: me, Holden, Emilia after hooking up on a school of Bonito

Our By-the-Cabin Charter Adventure

I recently had the opportunity to check out a by-the-cabin charter in the BVI. This trip was special because I brought along two first-timers: my 7-year-old son, Holden, experiencing his first charter, and Emilia from our Yacht Warriors team, enjoying her inaugural BVI adventure. Here’s what you can expect from such an adventure
Hiking part of the Norman Island trail network with some of the crew
Day 1: After snagging a passport for Holden the day before we left, we caught up with the boat at The Indians on Sunday morning since we had a prior obligation before we left. Dream Yacht Charter was kind enough to run us out to rendezvous with the rest of the crew on a chase boat, saving me a fair amount on a private water taxi. We spent the rest of the day at Norman where we swam at Pirates Bight and soaked in some views from the island's lush trails.
White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

Day 2: We relaxed at White Bay, had lunch at Hendo's (always amazing!), and visited our Irma adopt-a-tree in front of the Pink House Villas. In the afternoon, we scooted over to Great Harbour, taking it slow and enjoying the laid-back vibe (we skipped Foxy's).
Can you guess which yacht was ours? That's Monkey Point in the background.

Day 3: After a lazy morning, we motored up along the north shore of Tortola to have lunch at White Bay—a new-to-me mooring field. Typically, we drop the hook at the picturesque Muskmelon Bay just to the north. En route, we hooked up on a school of bonito, our first fish of the trip. You can't beat a walk on the beach at White Bay, and we gawked at the $250 million yacht, Multiverse, that anchored nearby.

Marina Cay was our next destination, and we spent the late afternoon/evening enjoying the amenities at Scrub Island. It was my first visit to the beach bar/pool at North Beach.
Early morning means you'll have the Baths all to yourself
Day 4: Thanks to our skipper Max’s early start, we enjoyed The Baths in rare solitude. The day continued with exciting newcomer visits to The Caves Trail and breakfast after a refreshing swim and hike.

Next, we sailed up the SFD Channel to North Sound. Unfortunately, Saba Rock was closed for a private wedding, so we spent our time at BEYC. Another first for me in BVI was the rental of a Hobie Cat. So much fun, and I'll definitely do this again next time.

Saba Rock in North Sound

Day 5: Next, we sailed up the SFD Channel to North Sound. Unfortunately, Saba Rock was closed for a private wedding, so we spent our time at BEYC. Another first for me in BVI was the rental of a Hobie Cat. So much fun, and I'll definitely do this again next time.
Setting Point, Anegada

Day 6: With Max at the helm, our swift sail to Anegada was a highlight, topping out at over 10 knots. We rented a Moke and did my usual counterclockwise loop, starting at Flash of Beauty for a roti and snorkeling. We limed away the afternoon at Tipsy's before joining the whole crew ashore at the Wonky Dog for a lively lobster dinner.
Snorkeling at Geroge Dog
Day 7: Our last day featured snorkeling at Mountain Point and George Dog before heading to our final destination at Cooper Island. The highlight here, as always, is the amazing, unobstructed sunset—a great finale to the trip.

Final night's sunset at Cooper Island

Final Thoughts

By-the-cabin charters offer a fantastic way to explore the seas without the high costs of private charters. While there are some trade-offs, the experience of sailing, meeting new people, and enjoying the breathtaking beauty of places like the BVI makes it all worthwhile. If you’re considering a by-the-cabin charter, I highly recommend giving it a try. 

When is your next yacht charter?
Consider booking with the Yacht Warriors.

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