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How much does it really cost to charter a yacht?

Honestly, I think we can all relate to the fact that chartering a yacht seems like a dauntingly expensive holiday option, especially for those of us that haven’t done it before and don’t know quite what to expect. This, paired with the fact that the Rand has not been a very happy currency over the last few weeks, makes this type of holiday feel just that more out of reach.



The expenses involved in chartering a yacht can all add up and with many charter companies not being upfront with expenses to their customers. All of these extras can end up in your bill drastically spiraling out of control, which can leave you with a very nasty surprise of a bill just before your holiday.


Don’t let this deter you as the perks of such an incredible trip easily outweigh the costs and you CAN get it right! Getting it right means you can have the peace of mind knowing what all of your expenses are up front and will be able to relax and enjoy the build up to your once-in-a-lifetime holiday!



We have broken down any of the usual expenses you can expect in planning your sailing holiday, to help you get an idea of what you are in for. This will help you to manage your expectations as to what you can afford, and to keep those unnecessary costs down once you have taken the first step in confirming your charter. This will also act as a guide, so that you know WHAT questions to ask your charter company so that you are not kept in the dark.




The Biggest Expense:

This will undoubtedly be the cost of chartering the boat itself. The 2 biggest factors that dictate the costs of your boat are the length and how many cabins it has. So the longer the yacht and the more cabins it has (i.e. the more people it can accommodate) the higher the price.

Here is a great value tip: From about 5 cabins and 15 metres and up, the charter cost starts to decrease again, which means if you are travelling with a larger group and sharing the cost, this is the way to go. The lower price is due to the fact that larger yachts require more qualified skippers, and as a result, are not as high in demand. Why not hire a skipper and split the cost between a group of you and 10 friends? Among smaller groups, the best value comes from yachts that have about 3 to 4 cabins and are normally between 12 to 15 metres long.

In addition to this, it is important to note that monohull yachts are much more cost effective than catamarans. This is because catamarans are less readily available and are generally more spacious than your standard monohull. So if you are looking at keepings the costs down, look into chartering a monohull instead!


The Smaller Expenses:

These extras generally need to be booked in advance as stock is sometimes limited, so it’s a good idea to consider what you fancy hiring in advance to see what fits your budget. That way you can weed out the unnecessary extras and spend a little more on the things that matter to you (or pop that extra money into your piggy bank for your next trip).


Here they are:


Captain / Skipper: These are different titles for the same person – they are here to sail your yacht for you if you don’t have the qualifications or if you just feel like relaxing while someone else does the hard work! They are generally great tour guides too and can assist in finding some hidden gems when it comes to private beaches and coves. Please remember that you will also be responsible for the Skipper’s meals and it is customary to tip them at the end of the trip.


Crew: The hiring of crew is entirely optional. They can be made up of a hostess or a chef. They will generally cost about 100 EUR per day, so if split between a group of you can be well worth it, as they are trained to take the utmost care of you. However, sometimes half of the fun is cooking up a storm yourselves with local groceries – it all comes down to what sort of a holiday you are after.


Taxes, Permits and Fees: Many places around the world do charge a tourist tax per person – this is never too hefty a price though and is generally just a few Euro per person. Research which Nature reserves and Private Marinas you’d like to visit in advance, as there can sometime be an admission fee into these too.


Transit Log: This is necessary in many countries and is an official document – these are generally around 150 EUR per charter.


Outboard: This is the engine for your dinghy (or tender), which comes with your yacht and is a must (unless you plan on rowing!). It will assist you in zipping ashore when you feel the need or to  easily visit remote beaches and bays – expect to pay about 80 EUR for the week for this.


Safety Net: If you have small kids, this is a must just to give you that extra peace of mind. These also go for about 80 EUR per week.


Cleaning: The cleaning post charter is sometimes a compulsory add-on to the price and this will include professional cleaning at the end of your trip.


Some Other Extras:

  1. Provisions and Drinks (TIP: Instead of pre-ordering through your yacht company, why not shop locally – you will get lower prices and be able to explore the local areas and discover local produce).
  2. Linen & Towels (These are sometimes not included, so make sure you check.)
  3. Wifi
  4. Fishing Gear
  5. Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards
  6. Refundable Security Deposit and Yacht Damage Waiver
  7. Travel Insurance
  8. Starter Pack
  9. One way charter
  10. Water Sports (Jet skiing, scuba diving, water skiing, etc)
  11. Fuel (You normally receive a full tank to start, but may need to top it up at the end).
  12. Parking.


Here at Yacht Charter Options, we are always UP FRONT with our customers regarding all expenses involved in your charter so that you know what to expect from the very beginning stages of planning your trip. There is no reading between the lines with us and we can help you make the most of your budget (and can hopefully secure some great discounts for you along the way).


If a sailing holiday looks like the type of thing you’d like to tick off your bucket list, contact us now at or pop in and visit us at the Marina Centre at the V&A Waterfront and let’s have a chat!