How much does it cost to (not) own a yacht

The advantages of chartering a yacht
© CdT/Archivio
Dina Aletras
Tommy Cappellini
Dina AletraseTommy Cappellini
21.05.2022 06:00

Boating is undoubtedly a high-end market, which makes it a captivating and intriguing one. A world that is not for everyone and it’s precisely this exclusivity that makes the nautical market a charming and exclusive niche, which also encourages people to enter the sphere of high end charters. Yachts are true floating homes (islands, for the lucky ones), a getaway from everyday life and a junction between man and nature. It’s no coincidence that with the outbreak of the pandemic yachts have been re-evaluated as a safer place to spend time with family and friends while cruising towards somewhere unique and exclusive. In recent years, an outcome, in some ways unexpected has been the explosion in the demand for yacht charter vacations to the point where demand far surpasses availability. To define the charter of a boat as a simple rental would be limiting, because it is truly a path in selecting the right yacht for one’s needs and for the type of experience one wants to experience. A client deciding to approach this field may find himself, in certain instances, overwhelmed and unable to navigate in the right direction, so choosing a serious charter company with experienced brokers is definitely the first step.

As Corrado Di Majo - the founder of Equinoxe Yachts, a charter specialist and a leading company in international nautical brokerage for over thirty years - explains, «our job is not only to find the right boat according to the client’s budget, but above all it is the ability to advise, that is, to understand which are the real requests and needs of those we have in front of us. Furthermore, knowledge of the market and our technical and professional relationships with the best designers and shipyards in the world help us to be a point of reference for the charter and thus to find the best solutions for our clients. It also means that we can offer services, insurance products and precautionary contracts. The broker’s job is to foresee the client’s needs and guide them in their choices. The cost of a yacht charter vacation can range from a minimum of 4,000 CHF per week for small uncrewed sailboats to a maximum that can exceed a million CHF per week for 60-meter and above motoryachts. Generally speaking, the larger the size of the yacht, the higher the price, but this isn’t the only variable because the price is often affected by other factors such as performance, design, model, year built, and number of crew members. Basically, the solutions offered by charter companies, such as Equinoxe Yachts itself, are two: the first is the «Bareboat» solution (sailing or motor), i.e. the rental of boats without a crew, but with the client/consumer in the possession of a nautical license or, if not, with a skipper on board.

At contractual level this means that the client undertakes full responsibility for the yacht. In this case the range is from 10 to 18 meters in length. Often the choice falls on the «Bareboat» because it gives, to the experienced customer, greater freedom in the decisions of navigation. The second solution is the «Crewed Charter» of sailing or motor yachts with crew on board, with dimensions ranging between 18 to 100 meters in length. This option is for people who want to be pampered in all respects and wish to experience a vacation in total relaxation. It is the crew of the yacht that will take care of every need: from food preparation to the laundry, attending to every need and also taking care of navigation. This solution - explains Di Majo, of Equinoxe Yachts - provides that, contractually, the responsibility on board is of the captain and not of the client. The other big issue is which type of boat to choose: sail or motor? And then do you want a planing, semi displacement or a displacement boat? There’ s no absolute answer, and the choice is entirely personal. Typically, those who choose sailing have a particular bond with the sea and know it well.

The sense of «experiencing the boat» is quite different and sailing becomes a point of contact with the environment. Sailboats, however, are divided into monohulls and multihulls, the latter also known as catamarans, and whose demand for charter is constantly rising because they guarantee great comfort, stability and space, inside and outside, wider than a traditional monohull. In addition, the catamaran has a limited draft and can therefore anchor closer to shore and easily find shelter, it is wide, it doesn’t tilt and is very comfortable both in navigation and when mooring. On the other hand, those who are looking for adventure and authenticity in navigation can opt for a monohull where you are at one with the sea and the wind. Occasionally, though, you need to be a little more sporty because the spaces are more confined, but perhaps that’s something that goes by the wayside when you have the wind in your hair and see the hull cutting through the waves as you sail toward the horizon. Motorboats are no less, but the basic difference is the «culture of the sea». Whoever opts for a motor boat will have to decide what he expects from the boat. In a few words, which kind of performance and features are you looking for? The motor yacht is suitable for anyone, with all amenities of home but also with that unique something: swimming pool, beach club, cinema with sea view, water toys, tender, and equipment for water sports such as snorkeling or water skiing. In short, you can find that kind of luxury that has always enchanted anyone looking in from the outside. The adrenaline-filled and slightly adventurous aspect of those who select the motor is often filled by the speed of the boat, and hence by the performance it is capable of providing. Irrespective of the personal choices everyone wishes to make, the real beauty is in having an unparalleled experience.