What does a broker do? Why do I need one?

Every luxury yacht has a managing company authorized by the owner to deal with charter issues. This managing company looks after the interests of the yacht owner. On the other hand, an independent broker exclusively protects the client’s interests. A competent broker is familiar with most available boats and can give you detailed information on the crew, level of service, and condition of a given vessel. A broker who has never dealt with the yacht in question will refer to a trusted colleague from another company with the relevant expertise. In either case, you will receive detailed and unbiased information.
Apart from identifying which options would best suit you, the charter broker is indispensable should any issues arise before or during the charter. Though problems are rare, a yacht is a complicated engineering structure functioning in a changeable environment, and unforeseen issues can occur. It is also essential to consider the human factor (for example, a yacht crew that stays in a confined space for a long time) and the kinds of problems that occasionally arise.
These are just a few good reasons for signing charter contracts by four parties: yacht owner, managing company, charter broker, and charterer (client). Here again, the managing company acts in the interests of the yacht owner, and the broker acts in the client’s interests. If a problem arises, an experienced broker can settle it in your favor in the best possible way, even offering an alternative yacht if necessary (for example, if the vessel is seriously damaged).

Are quoted prices negotiable?

The yacht owner identifies charter rates for a given yacht, and prices in the industry are not particularly flexible. It is always a good idea to ask for a discount, especially if you are considering a charter in the low season in a given destination (for example, outside of July/August in the Mediterranean or during winter holiday periods in tropical destinations). It is advisable to arrange the booking process through your dedicated broker to obtain the best terms and do so well in advance.

What do charter rates include?

The charter rate covers rental of the yacht; crew; equipment (all in good working condition); food supplies for the crew; insurance for both vessel and crew; payment for using state-owned marinas, if applicable. (In Greece, most marinas are state-owned; this is usually only the case in Greece.)
The charter rate does not cover – VAT; fuel (unless expressly provided otherwise); food supplies for passengers (unless expressly provided otherwise); alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (unless expressly provided otherwise); delivery/re-delivery fee; fuel for tenders and water sports; channel dues; payments for entering foreign waters; cost of communications, laundry, and other personal expenses; gratuity for the crew (5–15%).

What other payments can I expect?

In addition to the charter rate, the client usually pays an APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) before beginning the charter to cover the running expenses not provided for in the charter rate (see above). This deposit usually amounts to 30% of the charter rate under the specified provisions.
The allowance generally covers fuel for cruising and generators, port fees, all onboard meals and drinks for passengers, and other onboard expenses during your trip. At the end of your charter, you will receive a detailed breakdown of these expenses (food supplies, fuel consumption according to the yacht log, etc.) supported by invoices. You will either get a refund of any amount outstanding or, if the expenses exceed your APA, you will be required to cover the difference by the time of disembarkation.
The captain keeps accounts of running expenses and warns the broker and the client in advance if an overdraft is about to occur. This ensures you have sufficient time to make the necessary financial arrangements.

Do I always need to pay VAT?

VAT is only applicable for yachts registered in certain countries and if you intend to sail in certain areas. Outside the European Union (EU), commercially registered vessels usually don’t have to pay VAT. However, the tax legislation of the EU and local tax regulations of some countries require VAT payments. (The majority of European Mediterranean countries apply VAT.) Our brokers can give you a detailed VAT breakdown for your chosen vessel and destination.

What if I want to charter the yacht from a different location to its current moorning?

Almost all yachts are assigned to a port, where they stay when not chartered or being used by the owner. If the embarkation and/or disembarkation points of your itinerary do not coincide with the base port, you will have to pay for relocating the yacht to and/or from your chosen charter location. This is known as a “delivery/re-delivery fee.”
The relocation charge consists of two components: the fuel consumed for delivering the yacht to your embarkation point and, if the vessel has to travel a significant distance, some charter fee for the days it takes the vessel to travel to its destination.

Can I arrange one-day or short-term charters?

Most yacht owners prefer longer charters lasting at least a week to ensure continuous yacht engagement. However, one-day and short-term charters are popular charter formats. The best time to enquire about short-term charters is about two weeks before your required start date – by this stage, the yacht owner will be aware of any gaps between longer-term bookings and able to respond appropriately to your request.

Why do I need to provide references?

If you have already determined what kind of vessel you would like to hire, be ready to provide references on your previous chartering experience.
Most owners of yachts measuring more than 40 meters in length request references to ensure the charterer is trustworthy and knowledgeable of chartering rules and norms. The owner usually requires the name(s) of the yacht(s) you have chartered before and the exact charter dates. Sometimes owners of smaller vessels will need this information too. Any yacht owner can reject an applicant if the applicant’s charter history is flawed or non-existent.

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