I was surprised to find that bareboat chartering is a very economical way to vacation IF you’re willing to vacation with a boatload of your (soon to be) closest friends. Your accommodations always have unlimited access to the worlds largest infinity pool!
Money Saving Tips
Of course you have to be conscientious about money from the start or you’re likely to spend a lot. Our strategy for saving money on bareboat charters is to be willing to negotiate with the charter companies for deals and be flexible with your dates so you can get the best prices on flights. Usually we book 6 months in advance so we get commitments from the crew using an approximated cost and a range of dates (an example of date ranges would be February). After we collect the cash from the crew we pick the lowest combined price based on the quotes we’ve gotten for the charter company and online quotes for flights. The quotes for flights are easy; the quotes from the negotiations with charter companies take a lot of back and forth via email.
Once we settled on this rough strategy we’ve been able to beat our cost estimates by enough money to add an 8th day to what would have otherwise been a 7 day trip 🙂
Charter Company Negotiation Tips
Most charter companies offer a loyalty discount so it’s cheaper after the first charter. Try to convince them to offer this discount as a new customer; it’s usually around 5%. The best method to negotiate on price is to have a written copy of a quote from a competitor offering a similar boat during similar dates. Try to plan your trip outside of high season: you have a much better chance of negating on price and they typically offer extra incentives in the off-season.
Above all: always be courteous and friendly while negotiating!
What does Chartering Cost?
The first thing a potential crew member asks about joining our a trip is how much is it going to cost. Much to my surprise the cost of all three of our winter Caribbean bareboat charters has been quite similar. Without further ado:
St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines 2016
Antigua and Barbuda 2015
British Virgin Islands 2014
This March trip had 5 people on a Jenneau Sun Odyssey 39i.
- For flights I just used the flights I purchased and extrapolated for everyone else. We provide details of the best flights we found with the crew when we confirm the dates.
- The “Boat Split” includes a small amount of incidental costs; the “Boat Split” leftover after paying the charter company is credited to the crew in the “Incidentals Split”