Yacht charter terminology

Bareboat charter is an arrangement for chartering a yacht and being responsible for navigation and safety on board without any help of a professional skipper, provided that you have experience in navigation. Bareboat charter requires a valid certificate of competence in navigation and a VHF radio operator’s certificate.

Cabin charter allows you to book a berth or a cabin on a pre-scheduled sailing trip and share a vessel with other guests. This option usually refers to motorsailer charter.

Crewed charter includes the services of a professional captain and a crew, which usually consists of a chef, hostess, engineer, or even more members. The captain and the crew take care of all duties on board, including navigation, cooking, cleaning, provisioning, safety and all other details during your journey.

One-way charter allows you to charter a boat and embark in one port and leave the boat in a different port. One-way charter may sometimes require an additional fee for the relocation of the boat.

Advance payment (sometimes termed deposit) is the amount of money one needs to pay upon making a reservation and signing the contract. The amount of advance payment is usually 50% or sometimes 30% of the total charter fee.

Balance payment is the remaining amount of money one needs to pay at the latest one month prior to charter start date. The amount of balance payment is usually 50% or 70% of the total charter fee, depending on advance payment.

Check-in is required before departure and usually lasts one hour at most. A professional skipper goes through check-in and provides advice and instructions for guests on every detail regarding navigation and equipment.

Check-out is required after disembarkation. The boat must be inspected for possible damages. If no damage occurs, the security deposit will be refunded to the client.

Operating expenses vary depending on the area you cruise and the yacht you choose. If fuel economy is important, discuss this with your broker at the beginning of your selection process. There also may be some harbor fees and positioning (delivery) charges if your charter involves meeting or leaving the yacht in a place other than it’s home port.

Harbor fees are often called dues in Europe, ande they vary from port to port. Normally this is a small item in the charter budget.

Western Mediterranean Terms (WMT) mean that the charter fee includes the use of the yacht and equipment, the crew’s wages and insurance. The charterer will be charged at cost for all other expenses including fuel, food and beverages for the charter party, berthing charges and port taxes, charges for water and electricity taken from shore, laundry, telephone and SatCom costs. A number of large yachts use WMT while operating in the Adriatic, Aegean and Caribbean.

Eastern Mediterranean Terms (Greek & Turkish) (EMT) mean that the charter fee includes the use of the yacht and equipment, crew’s wages and food, insurance, breakfast and lunch and fuel for a specified number of hours cruising per day, averaged throughout the charter. Usually, berthing dues and harbor charges also are included. The charterer will be charged for fuel for the tenders, dinner on board, beverages, laundry and telephone.

APA (Advanced Provisioning Allowance) is paid by the client to cover extra expenses while on board, including food, fuel, communications, onshore arrangements, etc. APA is usually 25% of the charter fee. Any funds not used will be returned to the client at the end of the charter. In case the expenses exceed the APA, the client is expected to reimburse those expenses.

Security deposit has to be left before embarkation in case of damage to boat during the sailing trip. It covers any loss or damage which is not covered by the insurance of the boat. Security deposit is completely refundable, if no damage occurs.

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