FAQ

The luxury yacht charter industry can raise a lot of questions, especially for newcomers. This is why we gather and answer everything you need to know about chartering a yacht!

Frequently asked questions about chartering

Navigating the booking process of a yacht can be a daunting experience. Between contracts, the APA, itineraries and on-board etiquette, it is possible to miss out on the details. Boatsters Black exists to make this process easy and straightforward for you. In this section you will find detailed information on the yacht charter booking process, explanations on the terminology used in the industry, and various tips on how to ensure this experience is memorable.

To help you along the way, we have created a few categories of questions we frequently receive from our partners and clients. Have a look through the answers to see if this answers your questions already. 

If you require more detailed information or are uncertain as to which yacht to book or where to cruise, get in touch with one of our experts here. Our team is available 24/7 to assist you and has a wealth of expertise in the industry.

The charter process

How do I book a yacht?

In order to book a yacht, a charter contract must be signed between the charterer and the owner of the yacht. This contract is prepared by the stakeholder, the agent who manages the yacht on behalf of the owner. Learn more about the charter contract below. To book your favorite yacht, reach out to Boatsters using one of the contact options listed here and one of our agents will assist you.

Superyachts are usually made available for charter for periods of a week or more, however in some instances yachts can be booked for shorter periods such as long weekends, especially in low season. Additionally bookings made for specific events such as the Monaco Grand Prix can be made for the same duration as the event itself.

The majority of the industry works with standardised contracts which have been created and refined by a consortium of industry professionals called MYBA. The charter contract outlines all the variables of a specific charter, such as the yacht, price, dates and location, as well as all the terms and conditions which cover all eventualities and the relationship between the various parties to the agreement.

MYBA, or the Worldwide Yachting Association (previously Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association), is a globally recognized organization whose goal is to guide the industry on best practices and ethical conduct. The MYBA charter agreement is the most widely accepted and commonly used charter agreement. It has been developed following decades of experience in the industry and ensures all parties are adequately protected.

Agents exist to facilitate the selection, negotiation and logistics of a yacht charter. They provide expert advice to ensure you book the right yacht for your group, and liaise with the central agent, or stakeholder, on your behalf. 

The stakeholder, otherwise known as the central agent, is the Owner’s broker. He/she manages the charter operations of the yacht on behalf of her Owner.

Upon signature of the contract, you will be asked to pay 50% of the charter fee. One month before the start of the charter you will have to settle the other 50%, as well as the APA (see below), any VAT or other tax due, and any special costs agreed at the time of signing.

The Advance Provisional Allowance – or APA – is a deposit paid in advance to the yacht’s account to allow the Captain and crew to provision the yacht ahead of your arrival. This is used to pay for such things as fuel, moorings, food & drink, airport transfers, etc… The Captain keeps a detailed account of what is spent and the balance is refunded at the end of the charter. If the amount spent goes over the initial APA, the Captain may ask for additional funds to be transferred during the course of the charter.

Value Added Tax, or VAT, is a tax levied by the relevant tax authority of the country where the charter starts. Since chartering a yacht is seen as providing a service, VAT is due on the charter fee. In Europe the rates of VAT vary from country to country and are sometimes dependent on the itinerary itself, with reduced rates being applied if the itinerary takes the yacht to international waters or across borders. Contact one of our charter experts for more information.

Once the charter contract is signed, your funds will be held by the stakeholder in a protected and separate client account until the start of the charter. No funds are paid to the Owner of the yacht until you have boarded the vessel.

In addition to the charter rate, which is the cost of renting the yacht, its equipment and its crew, there are extra costs which will be charged on top. These typically include any tax due on the charter (see VAT section above) and the APA which covers everything you will consume during your charter. On a case by case basis there may be delivery fees if you prefer to book the yacht in a location different to its base. Finally, some yachts require security deposits when hosting events.

Choosing a yacht

Why do I need an agent?

The process of booking a yacht can be quite complex, between finding the right yacht from the thousands available on the market, negotiating the best rates, the contract, working out the itinerary, the most efficient tax structure and many more. Our charter agents are here to take care of all the details so that you can focus on the fun part of the trip: relaxing on board and enjoying the sea and the area you are cruising!

Many factors come into consideration when selecting the right yacht for a charter. The size and composition of your group will influence the size and style of the chosen yacht; the crew is also a determining factor as some yachts are more suited for families whilst others are great for partying. Our charter agents have decades of experience in successfully selecting the right yachts for our clients and creating unforgettable memories.

The best time to start speaking to your broker is right at the start of your charter project. Your broker will be aware of the latest developments in the market as well as which yacht has the best references and crew and will be able to advise you on the most appropriate yacht for your holiday. Contact one of our charter agents now.

All yachts have a limitation as to the number of guests which can be accommodated on board. This relates to the rules and regulations for the safety of passengers and is determined for each yacht based on the number of berths (individual sleeping places) and safety equipment. The maximum number of guests on board is usually 12, which is dictated by the general rules for commercial vessels, although some larger yachts can accommodate up to 36 guests if they are classified as passenger ships. 

It is possible to charter a yacht everywhere in the world. Although the hot spots of the Mediterranean and Caribbean are the most developed, with the highest variety and availability of yachts in the world (approximately 90%), there is a growing global fleet in such places as South East Asia, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, Alaska, and many more. Additionally, it is possible to organize an expedition charter to explore far away and remote areas on a yacht. 

Additional questions?

Get in touch!

Thomas O’Nial

Commercial Director

Ieva Zukauskaite

Head Charter management