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FAQ: Are you ready to set sail?

The difference between a crewed, bareboat, captain only, and cabin cruise charter?

bella vita yacht

Crewed Charter

These are private charters with at least two crew members to serve you and your guests. There is a captain and chef/mate on yachts under 75 feet and more crew on larger yachts. The crew will caters to your needs on-board by preparing meals, serving drinks, sailing and navigating the yacht and many other essential functions.
Compass Point Yacht Charters will be your liaison with the crew in designing an itinerary based on your preferences and desired activities. The expenses for crewed yacht trips vary and depend on the yacht, level and type of service, and the port of destination. Our years of hands-on experience is the differences between the perfect getaway or just simply sailing on a yacht for vacation. Most rates will include three meals a day, snacks and beverages including a standard ships bar. On most larger yachts, motor and sail, there is an Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA); this is roughly 30-35% on top of the charter rate. Contact our consultants for more details...

Bareboat Charter

You are the captain of the yacht! It allows you and your crew to have complete control over the sailing and handling of the yacht. To be responsible for the yacht as the captain you will need to have a fairly robust sailing resume to prove your capabilities. If you have some experience, but it has been a while since you've sailed, most yacht owners will put a "friendly skipper" aboard for a day or two. This will familiarize you with the yacht and sailing area. If you prefer to hire your own skipper, prices generally range from $125 to $250 per day. We have a great list of Captains we use exclusively for our guests. Bareboat chartering allows you the ultimate private sailing vacation, and is more affordable than other options.

Captain Only Charter

This type of charter offers a relaxed time aboard with the option to be at the helm if you desire. Many crewed charters offer a less costly captain-only option. On larger yachts, a ship mate will be required to assist the captain. No chef is provided with the ‘captain only charter’; you are responsible for preparing meals, beverages, providing all other the provisions. It can be a way to try the sailing lifestyle with a captain who knows the cruising area while keeping expenses slightly lower.

Cabin Cruise Charter

This type of sailing option means you will be renting a stateroom or cabin on the yacht. Cabin guests can vary in age and demographics. In some cabin cruise yacht charters you may encounter all guests on-board are strangers meeting for the first time. While on other cruises, you may find the majority of guests know each other as they would be sailing with friends and family.

How do we choose the best crewed or bareboat charter for us?

We do all the planning, research, scheduling and phoning around for you; a task that would overwhelm the average sailor. There is no extra charge for our service, we lobby for the best charter price and pass the savings onto you. We listen to what you want, what you like to eat, where you want to travel, how you like to have fun with your family and friends, and we match your preferences with the right yacht, and crew for the right price.

We will ask you a lot of questions to assess your interests and needs:
green tick sm What is the purpose for your yachting trip?
green tick sm Is this a special event, an anniversary?
green tick sm Do you like nightlife or are you an early morning riser who would prefer dinner on the yacht with a nice glass of wine at sunset?
green tick sm Are you interested in diving, snorkeling or learning how to sail yourself?

{showhide}Yacht charter and planning is all we do, every day. We base our recommendations on our personal hands-on experience. Our consultants not only have 15+ years’ experience in sailing yachts to many well-known and unfamiliar ports, dining at destination restaurants, snorkeled with advanced divers; but we also visit yachts and crews every year. Compass Point Yachts stay up-to-date with the condition, specialties and quirks of yachts and their crew.

If you are looking to reserve a bareboat charter, we can discuss the condition of the yacht. Each yacht has a different service level and execution.{/showhide}

Why charter a yacht vacation with Compass Point Yacht Charters?

We provide intimate knowledge, advice and experience for your piece of mind!

Unlike other charter agencies who merely facilitate charters as an intermediate; Compass Point Yacht Charters has had direct involvement for over 15 years with yachts, destinations and crew members. We offer expert advice to corporate and private clients and have worked with some of the world’s largest sailing companies.

Our expertise extends to the intrinsic of what goes on behind the scenes on all types of yachts, and more importantly what to expect on your yachting vacation. When we plan your itinerary, activities and meals it is based on yours, and your groups, preferences.

We go the extra mile for you:

  • To find out what is truly unique and outstanding about each yacht and its crew.
  • To understand what is important to you and what you are craving: an enriching learning experience, a water-sports adventure, an ultra-luxury and relaxation cruise with lots of TLC, etc.

Over the years we have organized many specialty charters to gorgeous destinations and would love to be part of your experience.

What is the average cost to charter a yacht?

Yacht Charter pricing varies depending on time of year, type and size of yacht, bareboat or crewed, and number of people traveling. You might be surprised to know that an all-inclusive week long charters can be as low $800 per person for a group of 4 or more or $1,800 per person for a couple. All inclusive means you get a private yacht, captain and chef, additional crew members if necessary, all food (including 3 meals/day plus snacks) and all drinks (including bottled water, juices, sodas, beer, wine and liquor). You also have access to several water toys. These vary with each yacht and they typically come with the charter at no extra expense.
Yacht prices are often lower during off season months and 10% more during the Christmas and New Year periods. The listed prices do not include a crew gratuity (customarily 10-20%) if you were pleased with their service. The crew includes your captain, chef, maid, bartender, water taxi driver, tour guide and in many cases instructor who are on duty 24/7.

You can charter a “Captain Only” charter and pay less for the yacht but incur higher running expenses.

Bareboat charters cost less, however you have to be confident in operating one. Bareboat operational expenses, such as food, are not included.

"By The Cabin" charters are also possible; in this case, you would charter a cabin on a catamaran power yacht which usually cost more than catamaran sailing yachts due to the cost of fuel.

Are there any additional charges?

Most companies will require a security deposit; this can range in price but is fully refundable upon return of yacht with no damages. This can be paid at basecamp with your credit card. Depending on your destination, you may also have mooring fees. Other fees include: customs and immigration, dockage fees, provisions, fuel and water are also part of the journey. Please contact our office so we can breakdown all the additional expenses based on your yacht type and destinations.

Bareboat companies charge a non-refundable daily insurance rate; typically $35 to $55 per day.

What can we expect at basecamp?

When you arrive at the base expect to be greeted by a staff member who will introduce you to your yacht. Once you get settled, a “check out skipper” will spend approximately two hours reviewing the yacht’s mechanisms with you and perform a chart briefing for the crew.

What kind of activities or specifications should we look for?

The importance of the crew should never be underestimated as the chemistry between you and your crew is a crucial factor in your enjoyment. Crew profiles are featured along with the information on each yacht. You can review profiles on your own but our charter consultants will be able to easily match you and your guests with complementary crew members. Our brokers interview the crew every year, talk to guests every day to gather reports, and often hire the same crews members for other opportunities within our sailing company. Crew members represent a vast array of backgrounds, nationalities and have a variety of talents and skills. In short, we know these folks! This is good news for you because we want you to be matched with a crew that may be, for instance; family friendly, gay friendly, offers high-end silver service, casual family style, water-sports enthusiasts, love to be part of the party crowd, more active or easy-going.


Water Toys

This refers to inner tubes, water skis, wake boards, and other water related activities.  The common denominator here is that these toys require a dinghy with at least 25hp or better 40hp to pull adults.


Some yachts specialize in diving and allow for diving directly from the yacht; additional fees may apply. If the yacht does not allow for diving directly from the yacht, a rendezvous can be arranged with a professional diving crew.


When you browse yachts online, make sure you check cabin configurations, number of heads (bathrooms), and deck space for lounging, outdoor dining space and so forth to ensure a good match for the number of guests you will be bringing along. The headroom between yachts varies greatly, it is important to factor in your physical height if this is a concern for you.

Compass Point Yachts will help you with these issues and more, such as:

  • Berth size
  • Storage
  • Types of toilets: manual vs. electric
  • Water maker: allows more liberal use of water, as it is produced on board through reverse osmosis
  • Deck shower: nice to wash off salt water after a quick dip
  • Access to water: ladder, swim platform
  • Wet vs. Dry shower: dry is a separate shower area while wet means the shower is nozzle from sink
  • AC off dock
  • Electronics:  TV, iPod docking, Wi-Fi internet, satellite communications
  • and many more…

What should we pack on our yachting vacation?

Travelling in the Caribbean and in other warm climates; general pack casual wear, mostly shorts and T-shirts, and of course swimsuits. A few of the more formal restaurants require long pants and collared shirts for the men and a nice sun dress for women, but "smart casual" is the norm.
Pack your sunglasses, polarized are especially recommended on the water, and don't forget sun glasses for children and caps to further protect from the hot rays of the sun. Flip flops or other casual beach shoes are fine most of the time. If you plan to hike the trails you may want to bring some closed-toed shoes, depending on how serious you plan to get about your walks. You may need some long pants, long sleeves and jackets in cooler climates.

Only bring soft-sided luggage, such as a duffle bag, since space is limited and storage is easier with this sort of luggage.

You can bring your own mask and snorkel, if you prefer, but all yachts carry an assortment of sizes. If you are expecting to scuba dive, check with your broker to make sure the right equipment on board for you. Most yachts carry sunscreen but we recommend you bring your own as they may not have the brand you like and the protection level you want. In many locations your proximity to the Equator will make the sun strong and young skin can get especially burned so pack an extra bottle or two.  We recommend you do not use oily lotions as they stain upholstery and can make the decks and hand holds slippery.

How do I book a trip?

The easiest way is to call or email us.
We will assist you in choosing a destination and itinerary, selecting the right size and type of yacht. You can browse our website to get an idea of the type of available yachts, destinations and general pricing. Contact our expert consultants for advice and availability.

Please note:
Many yachts are booked months in advance. If you are interested in a particular yacht and have an idea of when you want to charter; contact us for assistance. We will be able to check availability, special deals and help you through the chartering process.

Do we need Travel Insurance?

We recommend you purchase trip insurance in case of unexpected delays, cancellations or unforeseen events. This is not absolutely necessary though. Cancellation insurance is highly recommended and may be required during hurricane season by some owners. You can compare policies with If you choose not to purchase trip insurance we will ask you to indicate this on your charter yacht agreement.

Our Recommendations:
Global Care
Access America
Travel Guard

Do I need a passport?

Yes, you will need a passport to travel to your charter destination. Travelling to some countries may also require a visa. Check with immigration for your particular destination well before you travel.

yacht deck