Working for quite some time in the yacht charter business, I have noticed that you can never get enough reminders about what is included in your charter contract. I have witnessed so many discussions and even disappointments which were mainly caused by not reading the terms and clauses part of the charter contract.
First of all, additional sailing equipment such as spinnaker and gennaker is always available, but only with an advanced order. That means that additional sails have to be ordered at the same time when confirming the booking period. Furthermore, such equipment is charged extra so do not be surprised when you get the receipt. Last but not least, your crew has to be able to handle such sails…
The outboard engine for the tender is also considered part of the additional equipment and is, in most of the cases, charged extra. Some companies provide their yachts with outboard engines as standard equipment so it is (once again) recommended to read the terms of the contract with special care.
Speaking about comfort and the “interior equipment”, most complaints regard towels, bed linen, galley and bathroom items. First of all, bed linen is always provided as a single set per bed. It is not to be extra-charged, but in case you need more sheets and blankets, you should ask for them in advance.
Charging the extra bed linen is up to each charter company’s business policy. Bathroom towels are usually considered extra comfort items and are in most cases are extra charged. However, some charter companies offer a so-called “comfort package”, which includes one large and one small bathroom towel per person, along with a shower gel and a shampoo. Make sure to check out whether your charter contract includes a “comfort package”.
Toilet paper is a very important item, but is not always provided by the charter company. The same goes for a dish-washing liquid, cloths and sponges. If you do not find such equipment aboard, you should put it on your shopping list. The same applies for basic galley necessities, such as salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, sugar and spices. Plates, pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, jugs and glasses are standard equipment aboard any charter vessel.
One other item from charter contracts has also been a cause for numerous disputes. It concerns deadlines – when to embark and when to disembark. Charter companies usually give a yacht to their guests around 5 p.m. That means that the company is obliged to provide the vessel at that time or earlier, but not later. It is good to contact the agency before coming to the base in order to organize check in procedure without needless stress and disputes.
The similar applies to the check out procedure. There is a deadline for guests to leave the vessel. That means that until that time (usually 9 a.m.) the vessel should be ready for the check-out. The garbage has to be taken to dumpsters, cabins have to be empty and the dishes have to be washed. The final cleaning of the vessel is paid with the so-called ‘transit log’, so it is not possible to avoid payment by cleaning the deck and interior.
To conclude this reminder, it is very important to go through your charter contract in order to avoid misunderstandings and to make your holidays better.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!