There is nothing more exhilarating than the feel of the wind through your hair when you are out on a boat in the middle of the ocean or a lake. The salty sea air is refreshing and invigorating and is the dream of many vacationers. It is expensive to purchase a boat of any kind, but there is a new wave for vacationers - boat rental and charter.
Whether you are in the Caribbean or in Florida, the excitement of the sea air rushing past you can be yours if you choose to go on a charter boat vacation. There are a few things you should know before attempting to charter a boat so that you can have a safe, happy and fun vacation.
You need to know a lot about sailing to do a sail boat charter, and unless you are a very experienced sailor you do not want to rent a “bare boat” - a boat with no captain or crew. While there isn’t a driver’s license for boats, you will have to fill out an extensive questionnaire regarding your experience before you can sail away alone without a captain and crew.
One of the first decisions you need to make is what type of boat you want to charter. You can charter a sailboat, a fishing boat, a yacht, or a luxury cruising vessel. The larger boats tend to be more luxuriously decorated, more smooth sailing and “softer riding”, especially in high seas.
Regardless of what type of boat you want to charter, be prepared to find out what the chartering company requires and what each package they offer comes with. You will need to find out how much it will cost for your vacation getaway, and if your package includes a crew and captain. If you have children that you are bringing along, you will need to find out if there are any requirements for them to be onboard and what boat is best suited for a family vacation.
If you wish to charter a sailboat, you may want to take it out by yourself. Some waters are much calmer than others, and unless you have a great deal of sailing experience in many types of water, you may want to invest in having a captain and crew onboard with you while you sail.
If you are looking at chartering a fishing boat for your vacation, it is easier to “qualify” to rent one to take out on your own. You will need to tell the charter company how many people you will have onboard so you can get the right sized fishing boat.
Some charter companies offer full packages where you are not required to bring any extra gear for your chartered boat vacation. These “all-inclusive” packages will include life jackets, wet suits, and other equipment for your vacation needs. Other companies will require you to supply some sailing gear of your own. Check with the charter company prior to your departure to find out what they require you to bring with you.
If you are looking for a romantic vacation, you will probably want to charter a larger boat, which will tend to be much more luxurious and romantic. A yacht charter boat is ideal, and can include up to three or four couples. However, you may want to ensure that you enjoy the company of the people you will be sailing with, or your romantic getaway vacation can turn into a torturous and long week. If you are looking for it to be just you and your significant other, you can rent a smaller yacht with a crew. Be sure to ask the capacity of your sailing vessel when you call to charter your boat.
There are a variety of charter organizations that you can contact to charter a boat. Some of the larger organizations are much more reputable than some smaller, independently-owned companies. By going with a larger organization, you can guarantee your safety and vacation fun because they have the required equipment and staff to suit your needs. You don’t want to end up with a horror-filled vacation just to save a few dollars by going with a much smaller chartering company. Ensure that you do a lot of research before spending the money on a smaller company; while some of the smaller companies are great, it is imperative that you find some references for them before booking your vacation.
A boat charter vacation can be very exciting, but if you don’t go through a reputable company or use a good guideline, your fun vacation can turn sour quickly. There are obvious risks with taking a boat charter vacation, but a solid company with good captains and crews will help to ensure that you have the safest, most fun and romantic vacation possible. The key to any vacation is to do your research before you depart from your home, ensuring that you are prepared for your journey.
May you have fair winds and a following sea on your next boat charter vacation.