Is it too hard to charter a yacht and is it elitist?

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We often hear people ask “is it hard to charter a yacht?” and “is it elitist?” – In my opinion, the answer is no to both!

Written by: Geoff Moore, Managing Director, West Nautical

The majority of charter brokerage companies explain the MYBA charter contract very well and the system to get documents signed and money sent is fluid. There are a number of apps and websites for instant yacht bookings available nowadays, which are popular for the day/weekend charter market and make total sense for clients to book directly on their phone and pay by credit card, so technology is certainly making things easier.

Is chartering a yacht elitist? Well the thought of chartering a yacht certainly is luxurious and it’s a holiday a lot of people can only ever dream of achieving – or so they think! Our industry certainly focusses its media attention on the 800+ yachts of 50 meters and above, which I believe most people would say are elitist. However these yachts don’t represent the majority of the industry, which is mainly in the sub 50-meter bracket. It is this section of the yachting industry where doors can be opened for new clients to purchase or charter, with more than 9000 yachts in the 25 to 50-meter size bracket.

If we focus our attention on the sub 25-meter market by looking at the charter broker website YachtFolio, there are around 300 fully crewed yachts of 25-meters and below listed as available for charter, roughly divided into 155 sailing yachts and 235 motor. These have a weekly charter price range from €9,500 – €80,000, and the majority can accommodate 8+ guests.

If we compare those prices to luxury cruise ships, an individual ticket for a week’s cruise in the Med could be €2,500-5,000, or for a top cruise line and a luxury balcony cabin, prices for two people can easily become €10-15,000. When comparing these prices for 6-8 people to holiday in the Med on a cruise, the total prices can easily reach €30-50,000 which is then in the same league as a private yacht charter, and I hope we all agree that a private yacht charter is a much more unique and special experience than being in a cruise ship!

The Monaco Yacht Show is a great platform for HWI’s who are interested in yachts to come and see a wide variety of vessels in one place. There are the 40-meter+ yachts which are very hard to board unless you’re a pre-qualified client with a broker, but the majority of the sub 40-meter yachts can be boarded by registering the day before or on the morning of the visit. It also gives people the opportunity to be close to the elite section of the industry which allows people to dream and gives them something to aspire to!