Only a decade ago, longer term charters were defined as anything more than 2 weeks which is a typical summer holiday duration.
It has never meant anything other than 4 weeks however as, once again, vast majority of people simply could not get a longer holiday.
This was especially the case for those with children or those with successful businesses or in full time employment.
However, back in 2012, a client of ours has enquired about an extensive sailing within the Mediterranean and since, a number of such enquiries, mainly asking about long-term charters have come forward.
Changes in industry and employer-employee relationships, allowed sailors to take a sabbatical year or to work more flexibly, away from the office. In other instances, some people have become successful and independent at the same time, which created a new type of a client which A2A YACHTING was amongst the first to recognise.
We are therefore writing this limited blog, to support this phenomenon, even though some information in here may be more appropriate for a general leaflet.
The ones that stand out are 5-months one way charter on a Lagoon 400 from Turkey to South of France, 8-months charter on a 40ft monohull in the Med and 4 months 42ft cat charter in the East Caribbean.
In other scenarios, the clients realised that buying a new boat and placing her into a charter management with one of the local companies was the way to go.
In each case the clients could not find a solution anywhere else and it was only due to A2A YACHTING initiative and understanding these clients requirements and negotiating with local base managers that such charters or purchases were made possible. Finding your way around the maze on your own may also be possible and there are certainly many other ways to go on about it, yet we do invite you to consider speaking to us before making any initial decisions.
Thus, if you are planning a sabbatical year out soon or simply wish to plan a longer term yacht charter of 2-8 months in any of the major sailing destinations, do get in touch.
We have both the knowledge and experience to advise you appropriately, even though a final solution may have to be found somewhere else.
The cost of a long-term yacht charter:
In general, one of the biggest issues the clients face when planning a long-term yacht charter vacation is the cost.
This is where we can help massively and fairly so that you get reasonable and realistic deals that would otherwise not be available.
Long term charter does not have to cost a leg and an arm and working around your budget, as long as you are flexible on the type of the boat, locations and duration fot he charter, we are certainly going to be making an effort around it.
Yacht choice and equipment:
Second issue that occur most of the time is type of yachts available. There is no rule here, as one simply has to understand your requirements and than compare with realistic availabilities to get to the next step. In recent months however, there is a move towards better organisation of long term yacht charter fleets and you can expect some changes on this.
The next major worry is the level of equipment. We have become accustomed to offers yachts to our clients that include some of the following:
- Charter yacht equipped for extensive, pre-approved itineraries one is accustomed when bluewater cruising
Here it is difficult to ascertain all equipment included at times, especially as some clients will ask for a SAT PHONE (which is not included and one has to bring this on board) or simply there will be concerns about the safety equipment on board or just a special equipment for heavy weather. The general rule is that all special equipment will not be available as the charter yachts are equipped to satisfy legal requirements mainly, although some may have extra equipment such as a watermaker for example.
- To add to this, on some yachts offshore safety equipment should meet or exceed the requirements of the World Cruising Club (ARC). This is not guaranteed or set in stone for every yacht, as at times arranging a long term charter in the Mediterranean or even in the Caribbean and other sailing destinations involves sourcing out a boat which has never been involved in anything longer than a regular one week or fortnight yachting vacation. These yachts would still have legally required charter equipment. If you would prefer a yacht with a more extensive equipment, we can ensure the offers will mention this.
- The base managers will always prefer extensive, multiday handover with training on your bluewater yacht. This may mean higher charter cost however although A2A YACHTING is always committed to provide good value for both the owners as well as the charterer. We will therefore try and find a way out of this to satisfy both parties.
- In general, one can expect 24/7 email support; which may include asking anything to do with the charter and itinerary as well as the yacht. Thus you can expect some local tips, how to use certain equipment, how to proceed with repairs, how-to plan, or simply about the local weather, …)
- Crucially, the move within the long term charter vacations towards periodic maintenance stops. Previous charter clients may have had issues or would have treated the yachts inappropriately, thus there is an increasing need to manage the charter yacht involved in long term seabbaticals with request to visit a designated service office or a marina every few weeks. This can be arranged alongside itinerary or at times a turnaround and painful loss of time has to be calculated in. The important issue to remember is that safety of the boat and the charter crew is paramount for everyone. The next comes maintainance of expensive item such as the boat as the owner cannot be left in ruins after the charter, as much as the charterer cannot be expected to pay over the odds for the rental time.
- Apart from this, you can expect to receive spares and tools for minor maintenance and repairs; at times additional spare parts may be needed on board
- Finally, regardless of your experience, qualifications or general acceptance of both, final checks of your suitability to navigate with the yacht are always done on the day. So do make sure you are not under the influence of anything, including alcohol and do request base managers assistance prior to leaving the port a your long awaited extensive sailing holiday so that you are comfortable and safe in adverse conditions when they hit.
We hope this blog has helped you and that soon you will place your enquiry with A2A YACHTING forward.
If not, simply give us a call to discuss your ideas and plans and we can take it from there. Both ways, you will be having a direct contact with decision makers and will not be flung around from one charter assistant to the other. With A2A YACHTING your time is precious and your plans become our plans.