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Crewed Yacht Charter vs. Bareboat Yacht Charter?

French Polynesia - South Pacific Ocean

What is the difference between a Crewed All-Inclusive yacht Charter and a Bareboat Charter?

A Bareboat charter is where you and your guests are running your own vessel. There are no experienced captain and crew on board, or any provisioning done for you. That being said, you will need to be “qualified” in order to do this and must have at least one license to captain your own vessel. (ASA, RYA, ICC…). You must also have basic knowledge of “the rules of the road” and understand basic engine mechanics. If you qualify for this, feel comfortable with taking your own vessel out to sea, and do not mind the work, then Bareboating could be for you!

An All-Inclusive yacht charter is where everything; food, fuel, beverages, alcohol, wines, cruising permits, taxes and crew are all included in the weekly charter fee, WITH NO SURPRISES! The fully crewed all-inclusive yacht charters are typically catamaran sailing yachts, power catamarans, and monohull sailing yachts in the Virgin Islands only.

Which boat should I choose?
When contemplating on taking a Bareboat Charter vs. a Crewed Charter, please speak with your Top Yacht Charter Broker to discuss the differences of the two. Of course, one would think the Bareboat Charter should be far less expensive than the All-Inclusive. It totally makes sense as you are not hiring crew, you are the crew. You are not hiring a chef, you are the chef. So, what are you really saving? The basic fee you are seeing for a Bareboat charter does not cover the additional expenses. Of course, when you see the basic charter fee being significantly less than a crewed yacht charter, you would automatically think this is the way to go. However, you really need to put your pencil to the paper, and really calculate the cost.

Here are some “extras” that are not being considered in a Bareboat Charter…
Provisioning of the boat will be extra. What is included in provisioning on a Bareboat charter? A Complimentary roll of paper towels, 1 roll of toilet paper per head, 2 garbage bags, and one bag of ice. Other than this, you are responsible for purchasing everything down to the salt and pepper. In addition, extra fees include; Insurance, Cruising permits and taxes, Park fees, and a cleaning fee.

How much work in a Bareboat Charter
Not only are there a lot of “additional expenses”, but wait… YOU do all the work while on board. Cleaning the boat, cruising, setting anchors, cooking and preparing all of you and your guests meals, getting all the toys out and putting them back up, and making your own cocktails! I thought this was supposed to be a vacation?  This does not sound like fun to me. I get the “true” sailors at heart love this. But, I can appreciate and enjoy sailing with crew to help with all the “work” while being on vacation.

Is sailing important to you?
If sailing is important to you and this is the main reason to rent a Bareboat Charter, please speak with your Top Yacht Charter Broker. They have access to the “best of the best” sailing catamaran’s and monohull’s in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Some crew are more than happy to teach sailing while on board, and allow the guests to take the initiative to sail.

Do you and your group prefer to be alone on a sailing vacation?
I understand that you and your charter group want to be left alone and not have to meet strangers and “hope” to get along with them while on vacation. At Top Yacht Charters, we strive to know the crew to match them with the charter guests personalities. If this is a big factor in deciding what type of charter to go with, please discuss this with your Top Yacht Charter Broker and he/she will be able to assist you with this.

All-in-all, “All-Inclusive” Charter is the way to go!
To sum it all up; Once you add up all the extra costs, a Bareboat charter comes very close to the cost of an “all-inclusive” Crewed Catamaran Yacht Charter. In my opinion, this is an easy decision. I will always choose an “all-inclusive” charter over a Bareboat Charter any day. But, that’s me, I like to pampered!