Yacht Charter Pricing Guide
How much does a yacht charter cost & how to get the best value for money
The price of chartering a yacht has many variables including:
- Size and type of boat
- Time of year
- Age of boat
- Early booking discounts
- Long term discounts
- Last minute discounts
- Promotional discounts in advance of season
- Promotional discounts during season for fleets with surplus capacity
- Repeat client discounts
- Exchange rate
- Strategy of the charter operator in that destination
- Volume of trade Sail Connections places with charter operator
On top of the charter cost for the boat you also need to consider:
- Cost of living while cruising
- Cost of travel to the destination
- Cost of mooring fees while cruising
Many websites are now displaying real time quotes which is a good way for you to find out the rate for a boat in the destaination you choose but it is a poor representation of what is available. The database on which these boats are listed only has the companies that pay to use that service. We have access to all boats and will quote the best deal for your dates. This is why we do not have this feature on our website. We can provide much better value by doing our job and quoting the best boats.
Size of Boat
It is important to consider the amount of space and accommodation required for you and your crew. Space as well as the desired layout and level of private facilities all affect price. Catamarans offer a larger platform with the cockpit and main saloon on the same level as well as more private cabins and easy location of ensuites. The living area is equivalent to a much longer monohull so you pay more on a per foot of length basis but not so much when you consider the total volume.
Given your brief on numbers and desired comfort level we will make recommendations to ensure you get maximum value from your budget.
Time of year
Obviously charter companies base their prices on demand but holiday periods where demand is high are not necessarily the best time to sail. Shoulder seasons can be the best or at least as good times to charter, saving you money and making your holiday more enjoyable.
Age of boat
New boats book out first and there are obvious reasons for this. Production Boats have become progressively cheaper to buy keeping the charter costs down. What you may not realise is the price of a new boat is not always more than an older boat. There is currently an anomily in the market where new boats are cheaper than comparable older boats in other fleets. This happens where the charter operator has fixed contracts on their older boats and are forced to charge a premium for new boats even though they cost less.
Charter prices of similar boats can vary significantly by destination. This is mostly driven by competition and the length of season. The Caribbean operates all year round and can be very cheap in the low season but invariably when the high season arrives prices are raised to represent the demand in this desirable cruising ground.
Eastern Mediterranean season is just 6 months long so their list prices are higher but can be subject to decent discounts when there is surplus capacity. World events can play a part on early bookings, an example was the bad press in Athens which reduced charters in Greece so operators relocated boats to Turkey. The following year tension broke out in Syria and Turkey lost bookings.
Tahiti was cheap when there was a new operator who was vying for business, it has remains good value as there is now surplus capacity but only in Catamarans, small monohulls are very expensive. There have also been issues in the Pacific with total accommodation capacity exceeding the local airlines capacity to fly people to the outer islands so operators are keen to get people booked early to secure their flights and will publish attractive discounts well in advance.
Asia is a new charter ground and tends to be middle of the road for boat prices but travel to this destination and cost of living is usually considerably cheaper keeping the overall cost low. As this market develops the charter boats will get cheaper.
The cost associated to chartering in the Indian Ocean is all about getting there. If you live in South Africa or Perth you are very lucky to have these prostine areas within easy reach.
Early booking discounts
Varies from company to company but can be as much as 15% in the Mediterranean. Charter operators like to get their books full early so they can assess demand and resource accordingly. The early booking discount is one incentive to plan your holiday in advance and the other is new boats and catamarans book out first. The most valuable advice I can give you is book early to get the best boat at the best price with the best operator.
We can often arrange favourable cancellation terms for bookings committed to well in advance.
Long term discounts
Again these vary with companies but as a general rule 2 weeks is an extra 5%, 3 weeks is 10% and more than 3 weeks is open to negotiation.
Last minute discounts
These are published monthly and Sail Connections keeps a file on surplus short term capacity. If you find yourself in an exotic part of the world but stuck on the beach you may be surprised what we have on offer. Charter companies don’t like boats tied up costing marina fees.
Promotional discounts in advance of season
As mentioned before charter companies like to get their boats booked well in advance and will issue promotional discounts for bookings made before a given date. Sail Connections is aware of current specials and we can even anticipate when specials will be released based on the strength of bookings and will promote these savings to our clients.
Promotional discounts during season for fleets with surplus capacity
If the boats are not booked there is bound to be a special deal on the way and even if there is not we know who is short on bookings and will ask for a discount that reflects the surplus capacity.
Repeat client discounts
Sail connections know who clients have sailed with and will look for suitable boats in their fleet first and claim any repeat client discounts that may apply. There is a practice with some companies of having extra margin built in to offer discounts so we will show other charter companies boats in the quote for comparison. Often the boat with the loyalty discount will be more expensive. This is an old trick that is now easy to expose.
It does not happen often but in the unfortunate event when someone cancels this invariably releases a good boat that can be offered at a lower price.
Charter company rate sheets mostly get fixed annually and currencies move over the year. Sail Connections is often able to quote in multiple currencies. At times it can be cheaper to quote in a foreign currency rather than using the sovereign currency of the client ro charter operator.
Strategy of the charter operator in that destination
There are often business dynamics in a market that can artificially lower the price. We are aware of this and will sometimes work proactively to book the boats being offered at a lower price providing it is with an operator we consider to be professional and will look after our clients. Lower cost should never be at the cost of poor service.
Volume of trade Sail Connections places with charter operator
Sail connections has been booking charters for over 20 years and now books a considerable amount of charters per year. Naturally we have developed strong relationships with our preferred charter operators. They in turn cement our loyalty by making us competitive when quoting their boats.
Cost of living while cruising
The cost of your bare boat charter is only a part of the holiday cost. The benefit of chartering is your boat provides you with a hotel and transport and there are fewer opportunities to spend money while on a boat. Some destinations are cheaper such as Asia offering cheap cost of living, little or no marina fees and is accessible to get to as a major hub for airlines promoting cheap flights from most parts of the globe. As a rule of thumb the further east you go in the Mediterranean the cheaper the cost of living and marina fees. In the Caribbean the US dollar is proving attractive to some people but as a general rule you will spend more money ashore. In the Pacific there are some great deals on boats but the cost of being a tourist can be expensive. On a boat you can live like a local and self cater. It is not expensive for the locals to live. Local produce and the lack of any marina fees can keep the cost of living low while on charter in the Pacific.
Sail Connections have a good understanding of onshore costs to expect from any destination and will be happy to discuss this in the planning stages when selecting a destination.
Yacht Charter Pricing Guidelines
This price guide is based on the average standard charter for one week during the 2012 season using quality yachts and operators as a benchmark. As for all the reasons explained above this guide will inevitably be inaccurate in parts. As this guide is not to be relied on a better way to assess pricing is to contact us for a personalised proposal with current prices for your travel dates.
Pricing is in US$.
High season is not Peak season over xmas in The Caribbean, New Zealand and Asia.
|Yacht Size||low season May- October||mid season August and October - December||high season December 20 - April|
|52 ft monohull||3500||5600||6800|
|Yacht Size||low season August - October||mid season April - July and 20 October -December||high season December - April|
|52 ft monohull||2400||4000||8000|
|Yacht Size||low season October - April||mid season April - June||high season July - September|
|52 ft monohull||3000||3700||7300|
|Yacht Size||low season December - March||mid season April - June and September - November||high season July - August|
|52 ft monohull||2900||3600||4400|
Please do not budget your holiday based on the above guide. There are so many factors affecting the price of a charter holiday. The only way to find out is to contact us and get up to date prices. It costs you no extra to book through us and we are always at your service.
Talk to us today about your sailing holiday plans and we will help make your holiday more affordable and enjoyable.