Chartering a sailboat
Chartering your own sailboat from $25 a day
Everyone dreams of sailing the Greek Islands, cruising around the Mediterranean or Aegean Seas on their own sailboat, or chartering a bareboat (landlubbers: that means no crew; you sail it yourself) to explore the Turkish coast, but most also assume this is the sort of a vacation reserved only for the rich and famous.
How much does chartering a boat cost?
It can cost as little as $700 per week to charter a 31-foot sailing yacht with two cabins and six berths. That means two couples could afford their own sailboat for as little as $25 per person per day.
Of course, that's in the off-season; in high season (roughly mid-July through early September) you're looking at a starting price of around $1,100 per week.
Of course, you could spend loads more. Let's say the average range of prices for most standard sailboats and motor yachts will be $1,200 to $3,000 a week, depending on (among many, many other factors) season. A decent 38-foot catamaran sleeping nine runs around $4,400 in high season—still decent once you break it down: go with a group of, say, four couples and it's less than $80 per person per day.
How much does having a captain, crew, cook, or hostess on a boat charter cost?
If you're not feeling up the idea of captaining your own boat, most charter outfits will also rent you a skipper for around $150 per day. Taking along a hostess or cook would run another $100 to $150 per day.
What about cruises?
Prefer to leave the driving and the schedule to someone else? You needn't board an enormous cruise ship to sail Europe. There are plenty of small sailing ships out there, as well as loads of private yachts looking for a few extra bodies to fill berths and haul sheets for as little as $700 per person for a week's sailing.
How can I sign on to crew a boat and sail for free?
You could also hire yourself out as a deckhand on a boat—sometimes just for free passage and the chance to sail around Europe, sometimes even to make a few bucks.
Resources for chartering sailboats and finding cruises
You can book via our partner, BoatBookings.com (there's a booking form at the bottom of the page), but be sure also to check out these sites:
Boat Bookings (www.boatbookings.com)
Charter sailboats, motorboats, and luxury yachts all around the world.
Loads of info and one-on-one contacts between yacht owners and charter groups. Some excellent info covering all the basics of sailing and chartering boats and the process of renting and sailing a yacht.
Another great general sailing and boat-chartering resource.
Ocean Blue Yachts (www.oceanblueyachts.com)
Britain-based charter service offering bareboats and charters on the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Seas.
Odyssey Sailing (www.odysseysailing.gr)
Thousands of bareboat charters, crewed sailings, and set cruises both high-end and economy, most in Greece. Nice site; good selection; not always the cheapest.
Small Ship Cruises (www.smallshipcruises.com)
Loads of links, tips, and resources for all sorts of boating and sailing trips around the world.
Online site to find more than 50 sailing trips in nearly 60 countries.
Order hundreds of brochures for sailing and boating programs, both major cruise lines and small, local charters and tour companies around the world.
Enquire about a bareboat charter or skippered yacht
In partnership with Boatbookings.com Yacht Charter