One of my old teachers used to say that there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers. One of my colleagues has once said that there are no stupid questions, just stupid people… The question from the title is legitimate and not stupid at all because there are a lot of people who do not know anything about chartering a sailing yacht. The answer, however, requires a bit of thinking.
There are so many parameters and conditions that one should take into consideration in order to calculate the total budget of a sailing trip and give a straight answer. This is where my struggle begins. Once I invited some people interested in sailing to join me for a dinner in order to discuss the matter. “No,” they said. “Just give us the calculation so that we can plan the trip, there is no need for spending the entire evening to get the amount of money we need for a sailing holiday. “ I insisted on meeting them in person and this is what I told them.
First of all, I needed to know where they wanted to sail. The price of chartering a yacht differs from country to country. Second of all, it is important to choose the period of the season to charter a yacht because the prices differ depending on the high/low season in the chosen area. Finally, I needed to know the number of persons aboard in order to choose the type of the yacht that would be appropriate to accommodate that specific number of people. Now we can start our quest for the best price in the range of the chosen type of the yacht.
At this point, it is important to know that the price differs according to the length and the age of the yacht – the shorter and older the yacht, the cheaper it is. When choosing a specific yacht, it is important to go through her specifications because the number of toilets, storage spaces, refrigerators and other items that provide comfort makes a huge difference between two yachts, and I didn’t even mention rigging, the set of sails and navigation instruments.
All right, supposing that we have chosen the yacht and know her charter price, one should be informed about additional payments such as tourist tax, transit log, final cleaning and insurance deposit. Those costs have to be stated in the offer of the charter agency. Have in mind that some of those costs may be paid in cash, depending on the country and region and the policy of the charter agency.
This is not the end of budget calculation. Since the yacht has to be brought back to the base with the full fuel tank, it is important to calculate the fuel budget. Fuel consumption depends on the type of the engine and the weather conditions because sails are used in favorable conditions and the engine when it is difficult to sail. It is pretty easy to calculate the fuel consumption because every charter agency should provide the information about the consumption of a specific engine.
Docking in ports, the use of buoys at the anchorages, overnight stay at the marinas and even anchoring are charged according to the length of the yacht, the category of the marina and local rates at the anchorages. That cost also has to be calculated in the overall budget.
Last but not least, food and drinks are a special item of budgeting because it makes a great difference whether you cook aboard or eat out.
At the end of the day, one can give a straight answer only after all the mentioned information is provided. Gathering this information and creating a final calculation gets much easier if you engage a good charter professional, who is going to guide you through every step of planning a sailing holiday.
Before deciding about going on a sailing trip, you should visualize your expectations and consider pros and cons about this type of holidays. More about advantages and disadvantages of sailing holidays in one of my next posts.
I wish you a calm sea, a fair wind and a strong mast!