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Bareboat vs Captained Boat Charter

Bareboat or captained boat charter

Let’s say you’ve finally talked a group of friends into joining you for a week-long charter in the Med – how do you go about deciding which type of charter to go for?

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Well, the answer to the above question depends on many factors. A bareboat charter is simply a boat that is rented without crew or a skipper, which means that you yourself have to be responsible for all aspects of the boat, the crew members, the vessel and the journey.

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When booking a boat charter, you will find that usually, you’ll require one person in your group to provide a recognized proficiency certificate.  There are of course exceptions to this, and whilst you don’t have to be an experienced boater to sail, we recommend that you don’t put your and your crew’s safety at risk.  One way of going about this is to get accredited by investing in an internationally recognized, online bareboat sailing course, such as the one offered by Nauticed. Bear in mind that it’s always recommended that at least one other person aboard has enough sailing experience to take over should you need a break or an extra helping hand.

If, however, you feel confident enough to take the helm, make sure that you’re aware that some sailing destinations may require knowledge of some sleek sailing techniques. In the Mediterranean, for instance, knowing the stern-to berthing maneuver, commonly known as ‘Mediterranean mooring’, is a must. So, if you’re looking to embark on your first bareboat experience we suggest you try places with reliable winds, such as the Mediterranean, Thailand or The British Virgin Islands. A prime sailing hot spot, the latter is known for being one of, if not, the easiest place to sail in the world.

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If you are a novice sailor, or simply do not have a qualified captain in your group, then there’s always the captained charter alternative.  Yes, taking a captain along with you can add to the expenses, however, there’s a lot to be said for choosing captained charters.  For instance:

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  • Captained boat rentals are never stressful, as the captain can plan your route for you.
  • You’ll have a local who’ll be able to show you and your friends the best spots.
  • If you are a beginner, a captained charter can offer you the opportunity of learning how to sail from a seasoned sailor, in a stress-free environment.
  • You’ll get a safe-boating experience, as the captain will be familiar with the sailing environment and know the boat inside and out.
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