Sailing with a crew is one of the areas that is either misunderstood or not known in the yachting industry. You may ask,”why would I need a crew on board? Isn’t it boring? I am a competent sailor, why a crew?”
Read on and see reasons why getting a crewed yacht is ideal and can be done on a budget too.
- Your skills are perfect but your family or friends have no clue how to sail a boat and they would be of no help at all. So, who’s going to handle every requirement before, during and after sail? Would you be able to raise a major sail solo on a 45ft boat with winds at 25kts?
- On this particular sail, you have rented a boat that you are not familiar with and are not confident of sailing it.
- Being in a new area requires somebody who is knowledgeable and a crew would come in handy. Apart from serving as your captain, cook and deckhand, the crew will be your guide and interpreter. This arrangement is beneficial to you especially if you are sailing in the Mediterranean where there are archeological and renowned sites to explore.
- You may have come from a sailing expedition and this time round you just want to lay back and relax. Having skilled help in checking weather updates, levels of water, cooking, provisions and cleaning will give you time you so much need. However, you have an option of engaging yourself in any of the activities or not.
- Having gone through the expenditure, you have realized the cost would be much higher in a resort compared to having a crewed yacht which is more fun and sharing the cost with another couple is a win situation. Why not hire a crewed yacht?
Kind of boats to expect
While searching a yacht with a crew, you will come across two options. The privately owned yachts and companies with charter crews.
Hiring Company Boats
Quite a number of companies have catamarans and monohulls for hire. These boats range between 50ft and 70ft and most have the following specifications:
- Maximum number of crew is eight with an addition of a certified captain and competent chef.
- Fully air conditioned double rooms that are master ensuite.
- Showers with freshwater on the deck
- Excellent housekeeping resources
- At times each cabin has a Tv,Dvd and the whole boat may have a sound system.
- You can come with your own snorkeling and diving equipment, though they are provided.
- Either a sailboat or kayak but some boats have both.
- In the Caribbean, a cellular phone is availed.
- Books and board or video games.
Privately Owned Yachts
Privately owned yachts are diversified in different parts of the world. Some are operated by their owners, whom in most cases is a couple while others have a skilled crew who are hired by the owner.
These boats are not in a fleet and so their standards differ as they are in most cases customized by the owner. Hence, the boat’s quality, facilities aboard and level of the crews’ competence vary greatly among them. It is difficult to know their standards unless you get to know from somebody who used their services and can give recommendations. So it’s wise to beware and get adequate information from a broker.
The rates you get while searching to find a yacht to charter the world with a crew depends whether it’s a high or low season.
You can get a chartered yacht with a crew from anywhere in the world. Having a crew gives you the advantage of exploring new areas. Furthermore, the privately owned charter yachts have no specific port where they pick and drop their clients. They can pick and drop you at any port that is convenient to both of you.
Services and leisure activities offered.
What you get is tailor made. Though the quality and quantity gets better with the cost of chartering.
Food and drinks provision
It’s recommended to communicate with the chef earlier on what your food preferences are and any special diet you need adhered to. The menu can range from European, American cooking to low cholesterol and vegetarian dishes. Chocolate and different kinds of pastries are also available. The skilled chef provides 3 meals through the day inclusive of cocktails in the evening. The boat owners recommend their sailing party to go ashore for at least one evening meal, for the chef to have a break. Though you will certainly need to disembark and explore the towns that are part of your cruise.
Nothing beats waking up to the fresh smell of coffee amidst the ocean’s gentle wind.
The crew will oblige to your travel plans including the distance you want to cover every day only if they are decent and will not put anyone in danger. Recognize that the captain is not only part of the crew but is responsible for outcomes of the decisions made and it’s uncalled for, to put unreasonable demands on him.
Though if you were thorough while searching then you must have found a yacht that has a well skilled and experienced crew. Hence, they will make sure to tailor the cruise according to your liking to not only make it memorable, but for you to spread word around. Repeat clients through word of mouth are excellent for any business.
Organizing your cruise
In most cases you will need a broker while chartering a crewed yacht. Except:
- You have hired from the particular owners and they have no problem with you dealing with them directly.
- You are chartering from a company and since their services are standard, then it lowers your risk of ruining your cruise.
- Through internet searches you get a private yacht that has excellent reviews over a long period and are easily verified.
That said, if this is your first cruise, then it is recommended you get brokering services because:
- They know the standards that a chartered yacht must meet and the type of crew suitable for you. An example is if you are travelling with kids, the broker knows which crew will be friendly.
- Certified brokers must have an escrow account. They keep your payment till they ensure your cruise goes according to plan before releasing the whole amount to the yacht owner. This protects you just in case of unforeseen events and you need to be reimbursed.
Satisfied that you can get a crewed boat within your budget owing to the options available? Make a decision to charter with a crew on your next vacation and you will have a memorable cruise.