When chartering a yacht for the first time, accurately budgeting for the trip may prove challenging. To fully understand the costs involved we have provided an explanation of all the costs and expenses that occur during a yacht charter, and when they are applicable.
Yachts available for charter come in all shapes and sizes and this has an impact on the published rate the yacht can be chartered for. The main variables are size, age, builder, type (motor, sail, catamaran) and refit year that impacts the published charter rate.
It will come as no surprise that older and smaller yachts will on the whole be less expensive to charter than a larger and newly built yacht. Most yachts will undergo a refit at some period – an overhaul of the interior, exterior, mechanical and aesthetical elements of the yacht. How recently the refit was carried out, and the scale of the works done, will greatly influence the charter price. As a general rule of thumb, sailing yachts and catamaran tend to be less expensive than motor yachts but this can again greatly depend on the specific variables of each yacht.
During a yacht charter season most yachts will advertise a high season and a low season charter rate. The published high season rate could be considerably higher than the low season rate – however there may only be a week difference between the dates. In the summer the high season rates runs apply in July and August, and the low season rates apply all during other months. Other special events, known as event charters, such as the Monaco Grand Prix and Cannes Film Festival will also be more expensive and charge the higher charter rate.
The most widely used charter contract worldwide for yacht charters over 24m is the MYBA Charter Agreement. This contract sets the standard for yacht charters and includes the hire of the yacht and crew to be used at the discretion of the charterer. All other expenses are not included, unless specified, meaning that guest food and beverage, fuel, dockage and harbour fees, and miscellaneous expenses are all extra expenses usually expected around 30% of the published charter fee. VAT is also due on the published charter fee and is applicable according to where the charter starts. As different countries have different VAT rates, this can greatly impact the final cost of a yacht charter.
Other contracts, such as the Caribbean Terms Inclusive (CTI), which is sometimes called Standard Caribbean Terms (SCT), have more inclusive terms. This can include meals, basic beverages and a set number of hours cruising per day at no extra expense to the charterer, however the published charter fee may reflect this.
The ECPY transport/Cruising Contract is another contract that offers benefits to the charterer, however it can only be used for charters starting in France and Monaco. The contract allows for up to 0% VAT to be applicable – a high incentive for potential charterers. It should be noted that not all owners will accept different charter agreements.
The Charter Fee (the published rate) is for the hire of the yacht including the crew, crew provisioning, the yacht’s insurance and brokers’ commissions. The Charterer is responsible for his own personal travel & Charterer’s liability insurance.
For bookings made over 4 weeks from the charter start date the Charter Fee is due in two instalments; 50% upon signing the Charter Agreement and 50% is due 4 weeks prior to embarkation.
For bookings made less than 4 weeks from the charter start date the Charter Fee is due in one instalment; 100% of the Charter Fee is due upon signing the Charter agreement.
All other operational expenses are to the Charterer’s account, such as fuel, port fees, food and beverages, personal laundry, local taxes, customs formalities, charges for water and electricity and ship’s agency fees etc.
Generally speaking, we estimate these costs in the region of 30% of the Charter Fee, although this could vary depending upon the type of cuisine you select, your choice of yacht and the extent of cruising undertaken.
Therefore, a 30% Advance Provisioning Allowance, (or A.P.A.) is required at least 4 weeks prior to embarkation in order for the crew to fully provision the yacht according to your requests. A fully itemised set of accounts with supporting receipts will be provided at the end of the charter and any outstanding amount left-over will be returned to you.
VAT is charged on the agreed charter price in territorial waters. Rates vary according to the place of embarkation and the chosen itinerary. Your broker will be able to advise you on the latest tax situation for any country you wish to visit.
The VAT to be paid is due 4 weeks prior to embarkation. If a booking is made less than 4 weeks from the charter start date then VAT is due upon signing the Charter Agreement.
Relocation fees can be charged should you wish to start a charter in a port that is distant from the yacht’s home port, within reasonable distance. It is industry standards to charge the fuel consumption only (not the time) to relocate a yacht. These are often negotiated should your enquiry fit within the yacht’s cruising schedule or take the yacht closer to its following bookings.
Relocation Fees are due 4 weeks prior to embarkation. If a booking is made less than 4 weeks from the charter start date then Relocation Fees are due upon signing the Charter Agreement.
While it is customary to offer a gratuity, the amount is completely at your discretion. The industry recommends between 5 to 15% of the basic Charter Fee. The Captain will disburse the gratuity amongst the crew, unless you would like to personally reward an individual that has been particularly outstanding.
A security deposit is customary during event charters such as the MIPIM, Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix. It is very rare to pay a security deposit for a standard yacht charter.
Booking made over 4 weeks before charter start date.
50% of the Charter Fee is due upon signature of the Charter Agreement/Contract.
50% of the Charter Fee + 30% APA + VAT + Delivery/Redelivery Fees are due 4 weeks prior to embarkation.
Booking made less than 4 weeks before charter start date:
100% of Charter Fee + 30% APA + VAT + Delivery/Redelivery Fees are due upon signature of the Charter Agreement./Contract
When booking a yacht charter we aim to be as open and transparent as possible about all the costs involved to help our clients understand the charter process. We have provided a series of worked examples that demonstrate all the costs involved when booking a yacht charter and when they are applicable. VAT rate may vary according to the contract used and the departure of the charter.
A yacht charter does not have to break the bank, particularly when chartering with a group of friends. There are many crewed yachts available for smaller budgets, ideal for a small luxury holiday to spend time reconnecting to those closest to you.
A 15.85m sailing catamaran available in Greece for 8 guests
Charter starting in Greek waters.
One week Charter Fee: 11,340 EUR in June low season
30% APA: 3,402 EUR
12% Greek VAT: 1,360.80 EUR
TOTAL: 16,102.80 EUR
If you are looking for a new experience, or you are passionate about sailing, then there are a wide range of luxury sailing yachts available for charter around the world. Sailing yachts tend to be much more efficient on fuel and have lower running costs compared to motor yachts, resulting in a smaller proportion of the APA to be spent on running costs and more can be used to embrace the luxury experience.
SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS
A 23.60m sailing yacht available in the south of France sleeping 8 guests
Charter starting in French waters or Monaco using the transport contract.
One week Charter Fee: 20,000 EUR in June low season
30% APA: 6,000 EUR
VAT: 0% VAT if using the ECPY Transport contract.
TOTAL: 26,000 EUR
Chartering a motor yacht is the most popular luxury crewed yacht holiday as it combines comfortable cruising with easy access to the top locations. Motor yachts can generally sleep more guests in larger cabins as they do not have the rigging or specifications of sailing yachts. Motor yachts can also be equipped with a large array of water toys and activities for guests to enjoy during their time on board.
SPICE OF LIFE
A 31.00m motor yacht available in the south of France sleeping 12 guests
Charter starting in French waters or Monaco using the MYBA charter agreement.
One week Charter Fee: 43,000 EUR in August high season
30% APA: 12,900 EUR
20% French VAT: 8,600 EUR
TOTAL: 64,500 EUR
There are all kinds of yachts available for charter all over the world for . It is important to offer your preferred criteria to us at the enquiry stage so we can select appropriate option for you. The more specific criteria the better options we will be able to provide. This includes interior style, specific water toys, location, dates, type of yacht, age of yacht, number of guests, the breakdown of guests, etc.
A 36.00m motor yacht available in the south of France sleeping 12 guests
Charter starting in Italy.
One week Charter Fee: 59,400 EUR in August high season
30% APA: 17,820 EUR
22% Italian VAT: 13,068
TOTAL : 90,288 EUR