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Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Bareboat” chartering?

Bareboat means you charter the boat alone, without the owner or a skipper on board. Consequently, you may be expected by the owner to be a competent sailor with relevant qualifications (see below!)

The alternative to bareboat chartering is a Skippered Charter - where an experienced sailor takes control of the boat for you and you can relax or engage as much or as little as you like.

I can’t sail, can I charter a boat?

Yes, absolutely! If it’s a sailing boat you’re interested in then we have plenty of options for skippered charters. Alternatively, we have a wide selection of motor boats also available to hire, both inland and on the coast.

Do I pay more for a skipper?

If a boat is listed as a ‘Skippered Charter’ then there would be no extra charge for having someone onboard to sail the boat for you. It it is listed as a ‘bareboat charter’ then you may skipper the boat yourself, or organise a skipper at an additional cost. Normally, you can expect to pay between £75 - £180 a day for a skipper. It’s likely that each boat will have its own preffered skippers that you can use if you wish.

Do I have to be qualified to charter a boat?

You do not have to be qualified to charter a skippered yacht, but you may need qualifications or evidence of sailing experience if you are thinking about a bareboat charter. The qualifications required of you are at the the owner’s discretion, but most would expect a ‘Powerboat Level 2’ for a motor boat, a ‘Day Skipper’ for sailing boats, and a ‘Yachtmaster’ for yachts over 50ft.

Do you teach sailing, fishing or diving?

No. We facilitate a charter service for the hiring of boats, rather than providing any teaching or working towards sailing qualifications. We can recommend some local sailing schools if this is something you are interested in.

How many people can go on the boat I charter?

This depends on the boat in question. The details on the boat’s individual listing will give you a number of ‘Berths’ (beds) or ‘Crew’, which indicates the legal limit for people on board. The numbers range from single-handed dinghies to this 200 passenger steamship!

How far can I go in a boat that I’ve chartered?

How far away from land a boat is allowed to sail depends on its onboard safety provisions and certification. To get advice about your boat’s capabilities, you will most likely discuss your itinerary directly with the owner, or with us, when booking the boat. They can let you know what the boat is suitably coded and insured for, and how far it might be feasible to go in the time you have.

Can you provide crew for race yachts?

No. Some of the largest race yachts come a small professional crew so you can go ‘for the ride’. Smaller race yachts will come with a boat captain or owners’ representitive and if you speak to them, they may be able to bolster your crew numbers, often at no extra cost.

What are the benefits of booking my charter through Boatafloat?

Through our online platform we provide unrivalled access to the widest variety of boats - from paddleboards and kayaks to high-spec racing yachts and tall ships. Booking through Boatafloat also provides you and the owner with a secure, trusted intermediary. If you feel you need any further advice at any stage of your booking process, then do feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1590 427 599.

Where can I charter a boat from?

We have boats listed from all over the UK and Ireland, not only at the coast but also inland on canals, rivers and lakes. The location will be on the boat’s individual details, but to search by area just use our map feature.

Do you charter boats outside the UK?

Yes, we do! We are the largest aggregator of boats in the UK, but we have a growing fleet of boats int he Mediterrean and other popular sailing destinations.

Can I charter a boat for specific events, such as a race series?

Yes, we will advertise when we have boats available for races or events such as Cowes Week, Round the Island, IRC nationals and the Fastnet Race etc. Boats are chartered on a first-come-first served basis so it’s best to ask in advance if you need a particular boat for a specific date.

Can I speak to the owner directly?

Yes. Once you have made a booking request you will be connected through the Boatafloat message centre, and can liaise with the owner directly.

Who pays for additional costs such as fuel and mooring fees?

This varies from boat to boat. Some have fuel included - this is something you would agree with the owner through the message centre. If you are taking a boat and mooring it away from it’s home mooring then you would probably have to pay the additional fees. However, this is also something that you can double check with the owner. It is easiest to have all these questions clarified between you before taking the boat out on charter.

How do I collect the boat, will I meet the owner in person?

Generally, the owner or their representative will meet you at the boat or an agreed destination. All arrangements are agreed individually as you progress through the stages of booking on the Boatafloat message centre.

What happens if the boat is damaged during the charter?

Each boat will have a fixed security deposit, listed on the details in the message centre. The deposit amount varies from boat to boat, but the system works on a ‘top-up’ basis, ie. if something breaks you must pay the cost of repair before taking the boat out again, so that the initial security deposit is always intact.

Will there be safety equipment onboard or must I bring it myself?

All boats listed on our site are coded, which means they have adequate safety equipment and have been well maintained by the owners. Whilst essential safety equipment like life-rafts, flares, life-jackets and VHF radios will be provided on the boat, you must ensure that you take adequate clothing and resources to be out at sea.

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