What is a Bareboat Charter?


What is a bareboat charter and how does it operate are two common questions people have when wanting to reserve a sailing vacation. A bareboat charter is exactly what it sounds like: you rent the entire boat unmanned and provide your own crew to sail her. The boat does come fully furnished with sails and all other essential accessories, so this is obviously oversimplified, but it still helps to convey the main idea.

Bareboat charters essentially give you total control over the itinerary and may be the best option for individuals seeking a genuine sense of independence. Indeed, they are the ideal option for seasoned sailors who want to thoroughly explore a place or who are coming back to a favorite sailing location. Here is a complete guidebook to help you prepare for your next bareboat yacht charter.

The definition of a bareboat charter

The rental of an entire ship under a contract where the lessor merely supplies the basic vessel. The lease does not also include the vessel’s operation. Additionally, a ship’s master and crew must be hired by the charterer. In simple language, a bareboat charter implies that you and your group rent the boat and sail it on your own without a captain or crew.

What does a bareboat charter mean when you are renting a yacht?

There is no crew to assist you.

In contrast to boat rentals, bareboat charters do not include personnel or supplies as part of the contract. Consequently, you must take care of the vessel’s maintenance, operation, and all other boat-related activities.

You will have to sign a bareboat charter agreement

You will be required to sign a bareboat charter contract before you set out. This is a written agreement that confirms your understanding of your obligations. It covers a wide range, from establishing the terms used in the contract to stating the obligations in terms of money and law. The agreement also lists the waivers and disclaimers in detail.

You are responsible for the yacht during the hire period.

Since there will be no crew with you on the bareboat charter, you are responsible for the entire yacht during the hire period. You get possession, complete control, and legal and financial liability for the vessel as a charterer. In other words, you are responsible for covering all costs associated with running the business, such as those associated with the crew, the port, and the gasoline.

Additionally, while renting a bareboat, you must furnish the vessel, which means you must acquire the food, drinks, and other necessities for your voyage as well as assemble your boat’s crew. You make decisions regarding every aspect of the boat as the captain.

What is the difference between a bareboat charter and a crewed or skippered charter?

The yacht’s provisioning falls under the charterer’s purview in a bareboat charter agreement. You will be able to steer your boat independently if you have a boating license and enough sailing expertise. If your resume for the sea is insufficient, seek the assistance of service providers who can provide you with a captain and/or hostess/cook with your rental boat. You will, however, continue to be the boat’s charterer legally, which means you are responsible of the boat.

The term “crewed boat charters” refers to vessels between 16 and 20 meters in length that have a crew (a skipper, hostess, and sailor) exclusively for that yacht. The crew will undoubtedly look after you and the boat. We provide vessels that are in outstanding condition with expert crews who provide first-rate service.

An unforgettable experience is renting a luxury yacht longer than 20 meters. Indeed, your WI Yachts broker has expertly planned this. Hence, pay attention to your preferences and needs, as each and every detail matters.

What are the main advantages of chartering a bareboat?

Liberty: Bareboat charters give sailors much more independence than a holiday on a luxury yacht. You have control of the steering and can travel wherever you like at your convenience.

Privacy: The entire privacy offered by bareboat charters is an excellent bonus. Bareboat charters are the ideal private retreat. Indeed, you will only have yourself, your friends, and/or your family on board.

Unfussy sailing: Yacht ownership is an expensive endeavor. You can gain experience at sea without spending time and energy maintaining a depreciating asset by going on a bareboat charter, which is the ideal middle ground.

Additionally, when you charter a yacht, you have access to the newest models, allowing you to take advantage of the most recent advancements in boat design.

Complete control of the itinerary: Being in charge of the schedule means that you can also take pleasure in designing your itinerary, including as many crew members as you like, identifying the best locations to visit, and creating a sailing vacation that is uniquely yours.

What do you need to charter a bareboat vessel?

A boat license: highly recommended when chartering bareboat

A valid boating license attests to your ability to charter and manage the desired boat. Even some destination like France, or the BVI do not require a sailing license, a nautical resume attesting you have chartered boat of similar size and tonnage will be asked and checked. This is for your safety and others, so we kindly ask to be honest. The base manager at check in will attest you have the capacity to charter the boat chosen otherwise you will be provided with a skipper at your expenses.

Check out the qualifications needed to charter bareboat around the world here.

Some sailing experience to avoid stressful situations

This goes without saying that having some experience of traveling aboard a ship or sailing is a plus point. Furthermore, such experience helps in efficiently handling any stressful situation or mishap that occurs with the bareboat.

Food & Provisioning: no one will do it for you

Having a bareboat charter means you have to take care of all the food, provisioning, and other entertainment facilities on the boat. In most destination you can pre-order online your provisioning and ask it to be delivered right before your check in for convenience.

Bareboat hirer’s liability insurance to protect yourself in case of damage

You must offer protection against unintentional loss or damage to the vessel and auxiliary gear for all bareboat charters. So, you have the option of paying a greater security deposit at the base or buying a damage waiver up front.

If you choose to purchase the yacht damage waiver your security deposit will be significantly reduced if not null. If not, upon arrival at the yacht base, you will also be required to make a damage deposit payment that will vary depending on the size of your boat.

Read also: Bareboat charters – Frequently asked questions

How much does a bareboat charter cost?

It all depends upon the size of the vessel. Additionally, as the vessel’s captain, you are responsible for paying mooring fees, gas, and all other expenses associated with operating a typical boat or yacht.

What are the best yachts to charter a bareboat?

Sailing boats: a popular choice for bareboat charters

Motor yachts: the easiest bareboat rental to sail

Catamarans: plenty of bareboat options available

What are the best destinations for bareboat charters?

There is no such thing as a lousy day on the water, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned sailor who will never waver in your devotion to mono-hulls or a catamaran enthusiast who enjoys space and stability. Your opportunities for new adventures are essentially limitless, and each experience is unique from the last. There are several amazing sites to sail to, but these are the best that make for the top bareboat charter destinations.

The British Virgin Islands

Consider the British Virgin Islands to be the sailing capital of the world. The BVI is undoubtedly perfect for sailing all year round due to the abundance of distinct islands with a variety of cultures and ambiances. Consistent winds and simple anchoring are additional benefits that bareboating offers.

St. Martin

The Caribbean and sailing go together like bread and butter. In fact, St. Martin was among the best locations for bareboating. Visitors can experience the dual cultural influences of France and the Netherlands by hopping from one magnificent island to the next.

French polynesia

One of the unique tropical locations for yachting and sailing on earth is Tahiti. Bareboating is, however, a little more difficult, but the trip is definitely worth it. This area is one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world due to its bordering reefs, pristine waters, and plenty of animals. It’s also the ideal location for your upcoming bareboat excursion.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a member of the Windward Islands and is situated at the southernmost point of the Caribbean. St. Lucia is the ideal location for anyone who is truly passionate about bareboating.


A popular “new Riviera” destination is gradually becoming Europe’s best-kept secret for tourists of all kinds. The Mediterranean Sea has many wonderful sailing destinations. However, Croatia has grown to be the most well-liked bareboating destination, and for a good reason.


For travelers with certified sailing experience, bareboat yacht charters are best. So, a bareboat charter is a top choice for you if you have a valid boating license and enjoy sailing independently.

You have the option to not only captain your own yacht but also to choose your own schedule and pace. It is entirely up to you whether you prefer to stay in quaint coves and harbors or stick to popular tourist destinations. For your next bareboat hire, use the given information as a starting point.

Read also: Luxury Crewed Yacht Charters – Frequently asked questions