When does my bareboat yacht charter start?

Our advice for when to check-in for your bareboat charter holiday.

What you need to know about Checking In

Working out the best time to arrive for your bareboat charter holiday is one that has vexed many a group of sailors. So here are the facts and our advice on how to handle this tricky question.

The Simple Facts

It’s likely you will have a standard yacht charter agreement that states your check-in time is around 5 or 6 in the evening. This means you should be ready to sail – if there is somewhere close enough – at this point. You can often sail before this and our advice will tell you how, but first of all, we need a plan! Everyone will have a slightly different agenda, your decisions will be based on many factors – here are a few facts to take into account.

  • Victualling (provisioning). Unless you have ordered crew or the provisioning service, at the very least, you will want to ensure you have some drinks and light snacks on board.
  • Chart Brief. Carried out subtly different by different fleet operators, unless you are very familiar with the waters in which you are about to sail, the skipper and navigator will need to get a good briefing from the local staff.
  • Safety Brief. There should be two. One given to you by the charter operator and the one you give to your crew at before sailing or spending the night on board.

If you’re keen to get away

This is our advice to clients who are looking to take advantage of every moment.

Please bear in mind that your official check-in time is likely to be late afternoon. This is because the operators have only disembarked last weeks clients at around 9am.  This only gives them a few hours to inspect the yachts for damage, make repairs and clean the boats for you.

That said, like any good hotel, they will allow you to take the boat once it is ready, in fact they actually rely up it, they could not administrate every yacht ay 5pm.

Our advice first is to let us know you are looking to get away as early as you can (understanding that this may not be able to and will end up waiting around a little). We will check to see if the yacht has been booked the week before, if it hasn’t, you will know that there is a good chance of an early get away.

If you’re more relaxed

For many, it’s about reducing the stress levels on day one.

We know that some yachts are charted from very nice places and very nice marinas. For many they have planned in advance not to sail on the first afternoon and enjoy the boats location, particularly if it’s a one-way charter.

In this case, try to arrive 2 or 3 hours before your check-out time, less if you have already got your provisions.  Use this time to realx and enjoy the surrounding area.  Try to call the base on the day and find out where your yacht is in the queue to be cleaned and if there is any anticipated dealy.

Busy Yacht Charter Companies
Enjoy the ViewsJetties can get busy on Change-over day

Advice for All

This is an extremely busy day for charter fleets.

Unlike hotel rooms, yachts are not perfect, the previous week’s charter may not have gone well, and you may experience a late check-in. After a long travel, spending a lot of money and often with others looking to you as the organiser, things can be a little stressful if you are not prepared. It’s best to have more than one plan for the first day and to lower the expectations of the more ambitious in your crew. The fact is, that most charters are handed over much earlier than stated and without any issue whatsoever, but having thought through the other possibilities, will make you more prepared if you are one of the unfortunately few.

Finally we repeat one of the peices of advice from earlier, it is best to try and communicate with the base on the day, particulalrly if there is somewhere more comfortable you could be. Yes they will be busy and they may not always be able to give you any extra information, but any information you do get will no doubt make your day more relaxing.

Got a question? Please leave a comment below and see how quickly we respond!  If you would prefer, please contact us info@sailchecker.com for more information.

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