This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s Bareboat Charter Course, a comprehensive online course that equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. The Bareboat Charter course is part of the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses, fully preparing you for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

How to Book a Sailing Charter

There are a few things you need to know about booking a charter.

(1) SEASONAL BOOKING SCHEDULE: The most important thing to remember is that you have to book far in advance.  In fact, this is the biggest mistake we see made–not booking early enough.   The popularity of bareboat chartering these days is very high. The pressure on locations during peak seasons means that those waiting till a few months before are left with old boats at high prices or no boats at all. As an example, for Christmas in the BVI,  booking 10 months in advance is advised. For the Mediterranean, in July and August, book 10 months to 1 year in advance. 

 Here is a guide to tell you when the best times to book depending on the season and location.

(2) WEATHER FACTORS and MONSOONS: Sometimes with a vacation schedule, weather is unavoidable; but tropical locations have rainy seasons that you should try to steer around. Each location has ideal weather conditions at specific times of the year. This is a good website for weather conditions:

(3) OTHER FACTORS: Research locations!  Or consult with us.  For example, the Whitsunday Islands in Australia are awesome but Jellyfish season runs from October through May. Those little blighters are not fun. If you plan to go during that time, either don’t swim or wear a body suit. For Tonga – the whale-watching season is in August. Greece – the tiny ports are jammed in August. Amalfi Coast – expect to pay 100 to 200 Euros for mooring balls and marina fees. Bahamas has great snorkelling but the food is not so great. Martinique – love the chocolate croissants. Sicily – our number 1 pick.

(4) CHARTERING 101 ADVICE: Here is a blog article we did to help with the basics

(5) A PROPER SAILING RESUME: Despite what you have been told elsewhere, every charter company requires a sailing resume. A certification on its own is not sufficient. There are no real “zero to hero” weeklong programs that qualify you to charter. Even if that organization gives you a bareboat charter certificate, it carries no weight with the charter companies. They want to see sailing experience which is ultimately demanded by the insurance companies. Makes sense right? Why would the insurance company let charter companies give a boat to someone who had only a week of sailing experience? Typically, the charter company will require significant experience on a similar vessel type within 10 feet of the boat you are renting. NauticEd provides you with a FREE resume-building software resource; just enter past history sailing experience in your NauticEd logbook and watch your resume grow.

Here is a blog article we wrote on this topic

NauticEd Yacht Charter Agency

We hope you don’t mind if we start out with a shameless advertisement but we really are good at what we do and we really love helping out in this manner. So whether it’s your first time chartering or you’re an old hat at this, NauticEd specializes in helping you get what you want and/or learn about what you might want. 

(1) NAUTICED IS A BOOKING AGENCY for yacht charters. We don’t charge you a fee. You get the same price as if you went direct but we give you a whole lot of benefits. Foremost, we can probably save you money since we are agents for all the yacht charter companies in 55 destinations worldwide. We can do a search across all the companies and the inventory of 5000 boats. Usually, we save our students money.

Inquire about a yacht charter booking now

(2) WE GIVE LOCATION ADVICE: We have chartered in just about every sailing vacation destination and thus can give you local knowledge. When you make the inquiry above, just ask and we can help. Some locations might be too advanced for newcomers, some locations are very remote, while some locations are good first-time starter locations.

(3) RESUME AND LICENSING ASSISTANCE: Depending on where you are going, we know the requirements and we will help you get your resume qualified. If you are going to Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey you’ll need either an ICC or the NauticEd SLC.

(4) FREE GLOBAL SEARCH ENGINE: Use our free search engine to find a yacht of your choice on our sailing vacations page. Or you can have us do the searching for you. We are pretty good at it – you might say we’ve done it a few times.

(5) DETAILS: Once you have made a request, we provide all the details of your booking inside a sailing vacation portal we have built into our software.

Inquire about a yacht charter booking now


Now in the meantime, please enjoy this course and most of all, enjoy your charter experiences and consequently your life! Make friends, be happy.

This shot was taken in Belize. Good winds. Remote location sailing. Nice beaches. Good snorkeling. Plenty of previous sailing experience is required.

You can learn more in the Bareboat Charter Online Course....

The Bareboat Charter online sailing course is your go-to resource for planning an unforgettable sailing vacation. This comprehensive online course equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. Upgrade to the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses to fully prepare for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

Source: Bareboat Charter
Topic: Bareboat Chartering
Authors: Ed Mapes, USCG Captain Master Mariner. Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.