Renting a Boat Versus Chartering a Boat

Did you know that these two terms refer to different boating experiences? Here is what you need to know.


Renting a boat versus chartering a boat

Renting and chartering a boat are technically the same thing: you pay someone to use his or her boat. Practically, though, these two terms refer to different boating experiences. Here is what you need to know.

What to Expect with Boat Rental

In most cases, boats advertised as rentals are smaller boats or personal boats, which are available for rent from an hour to a day. This kind of rent is usually associated with faster motor boats and inflatible power boats. You can also rent a smaller plastic boat along the Dalmatian coast for shorter trips.

What do you get when you rent a boat? You get the boat. You are the captain and you create your own experience and gather your own crew. You need to bring your own equipment; everything you want and need for an extra nice trip you plan: fishing gear, water sports equipment, refreshments, meals, etc.

Sailboats around Mljet

What to Expect with Boat Charter

Boats for charter are usually bigger sailing boats or motor yachts, equipped for longer and more comfortable stay for a week or more. There are three general types of charters; bareboat, cabin and crewed charter.

  • Bareboat Charter is similar to boat rental: no crew or provisions are included as part of the agreement. As a charterer, you obtain possession and full control of the vessel along with the legal and financial responsibility for it. It means you pay for all operating expenses, including fuel, crew and port expenses. Most charter companies require competence – valid skipper licence which validates you have the necessary experience to charter and operate the boat you want. Also, when bareboat chartering, you need to provision the boat, meaning you need to buy the food, beverages, and other items you’ll need for your trip and also gather your boat crew. As a captain, you decide about everything connected with the boat.
  • Cabin charter is the type of charter where you are part of the crew which hire competent captain (skipper) who operates the boat, provision it for meals, and do all necessary operations on the boat. You pay for your berth, meet new people and fully enjoy the experience of boating under his proffesional supervision.
  • Crewed charter unlike cabin charter, this type of charter manages you to decide who will be in your crew which means you hire a skipper and other boat staff like cook and hostess at your service on the boat.

Some charter companies offer modular programs. For instance, the company will provision the boat for you according your needs or it can help you find a captain or a cook for your cruise. This “pre-provisioned” option is helpful if you are chartering a boat shopping for yourself might be difficult for any reason.

Chartering a sailboat

When to Charter a Boat, When to Rent a Boat

In general, deciding whether to rent or to charter a boat depends on what you want to do, how comfortable and relaxed you want to be and how long you plan to travel. If you want an adventure and have the necessary experience to be the captain and operate the boat yourself, bareboat charter could be the right option for you. Chartering a boat can be a lot of fun if you plan to experience the real sailing trip for at least a week or longer. It is almost like taking a cruise, but you can go wherever the wind and lust take you, make your own schedule, and you never have to wait in line for anything!

If you only plan to make a mini trip or excursion and be on the boat for a few hours to a day or two, renting a boat is probably a better option.

First-time Charter Tips

If you never chartered a boat before and you are in a doubt by the prospect of being the captain responsible for the boat, here are some tips to make everything go smoothly:

  • Boat owners and charter companies will help you create an itinerary that suits your travel needs and wishes. They know where you can safely anchor, get supplies, find privacy or enjoy company. If you don't like the idea of anchoring through the night, you can plan an itinerary where you will always be docked in marinas during the night. In most places where charter boats are common, marinas have dock hands who will help you dock, connect your boat to local electricity and water supplies, and advise you for activities in the area.
  • Usually, charter company which charters the boat is available for you all the time via radio or cell phone to answer questions and give advice while you are on your trip. In case of any unexpected problem or situation at the sea, you can contact their service. After all, they want you to have a great time, stay safe, and operate the boat correctly while you're out at the sea. When in doubt, calling for advice or assistance is always a good idea.
  • Sometimes it is even possible to have a professional skipper monitor on you for the first day, to help you get more familiar with the boat and its operations.
  • Invite your friends to share your charter with friends who also love boating. This way, you will have some experienced help on hand and it will also reduce the cost of the charter.

There are so many choices when it comes to boat rental and chartering. Fortunately, Asta Yachting makes it easier than ever to organise your boat charter , whether it is about renting a motor or sailing boat in pre or post season for shorter time or for complete sailing experience and enjoying Dalmatian coast and islands during the official season for week or more.

Remember, when sailing responsibly, there's no such thing as a bad day on a boat! ☺

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