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Buying into the dream

After you've decided to buy a yacht, the following step is to figure out what kind of yacht you want. There is a huge array of different yacht types, ranging in size, style, performance capabilities, purposes, and, of course, affordability. From yacht builders to hull types to distinct styles and their functions, there is a broad array of different yacht types available. 

  • What types of yacht are available for charter?
    SAILING YACHTS: Sailing yachts provide a romantic and adventurous element to a luxury yacht charter. They provide the highest degree of cruise comfort, as well as an additional dimension: a thrilling and rejuvenating embrace of the elements whilst travelling between places. With only the wind to power you through the waves, you truly feel at one with nature. MOTOR YACHTS: Motor yachts are often speedier and provide a higher degree of sophistication to your luxury yacht charter. Superyachts generally, are some of the more technologically advanced vessels on the ocean and the degree of amenity and entertainment that can be afforded to you is vast. For the same length of yacht, they can normally accommodate more guests. However, you must examine the rate of fuel consumption since you must incorporate the cost of fuel in your budget. CATAMARANS: In the world of luxury charter yachts, power and sail catamarans arguably bring the best of both worlds to your charter. They're quick, reliable, stable on the water and surprisingly large, with the finest in amenities. GULETS and MOTOR SAILORS: The Turkish gulet is a classic wooden motor sailor. They come from a long line of ancient ships that cruised the Aegean and Mediterranean seas for thousands of years. More modern designs are built with far more accuracy and carry high-tech maritime equipment, as well as air conditioning, excellent chefs, and crews that provide superyacht standard service. The more traditional style gulets have become the most genuine way to see the cultures and coasts of Turkey, Greece and Croatia, and they make excellent yacht charter alternatives for families and groups of friends.
  • When is the best time to charter?
    Almost every one of the world's most prestigious superyacht charter locations is impacted by the seasons: there are excellent and bad times to visit. Our knowledge at SWM Yachts will add value to your planning: we will advise you on the optimum time of year to visit any chosen charter location, and if it does not suit your needs, we will propose an alternative.
  • What is the minimum charter length and how are the rates determined?
    For the hiring of the yacht, charter fees are offered per week. Yachts normally take charters for a minimum of seven days; however, superyacht charters can be for any length of time under or above seven days. The weekly charge is divided by seven and multiplied by the number of charter days for charters longer than seven days. Charters less than seven days usually attract a premium. For yacht charters of less than seven days, the weekly charge is reduced by six and multiplied by the number of days. Charters typically begin at 12 p.m. on the first day and end at 12 p.m. on the last day. A one-week yacht charter, for example, is defined as a charter that begins at noon on June 1 and ends at noon on June 8. A day charter usually begins in the morning and concludes in the late afternoon or early evening. The most popular charter times, namely July/August and Christmas/New Year, are subject to high season prices, as are all significant events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival. Please keep in mind that while the charter prices shown are thought to be accurate, they are subject to change and don’t necessarily include tax duties, VAT and any additional costs subject to itinerary and function of the yacht charter.
  • What are the charter payment terms?
    On signing the Charter Agreement, a deposit of 50% of the entire charter price is due through bank transfer. This completes your reservation. The remaining 50%, plus an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA), plus applicable taxes, delivery/redelivery costs, and any further agreed charges, is due five weeks before the charter begins by bank transfer. These terms can vary however dependent upon type of vessel and sailing area.
  • Are children allowed on board yachts?
    Children are welcome on most yachts, and some yacht charters can be specifically suited for them. However, certain yachts may have a minimum age limit for children and/or require the presence of a nanny on board throughout the charter. The yacht crew is unable to provide child care or babysitting, as they are responsible for the vessel and your safety. If you have youngsters in your party, please let us our team know so we can find your ideal charter.
  • Am I allowed to smoke on board the yacht?
    Most yachts do not allow smoking inside. Please check with the SWM Yachts team for confirmation, since this policy may differ on different boats. On all yachts, smoking is forbidden in cabins and staterooms for safety reasons. On certain yachts, smoking is permitted in specific outside areas. If you intend to smoke, please inform your SWM Yachts charter broker.
  • Do I have to leave the crew a gratuity?
    Crew gratuities are discretionary, although it is customary for a charterer who has enjoyed the kind and attentive service of an obliging crew to extend a gratuity. Yacht crew gratuities are usually around 10% of the charter charge, however they can be adjusted up or down according on your level of satisfaction. Entrusting the distribution of gratuities to the captain is the best approach to ensure that all crew members receive equitable acknowledgment. In this approach, unseen crew members such as engineers and chefs will not be neglected as crucial contributors to your safety and satisfaction.
  • What does the charter rate include?
    The majority of quoted superyacht charter rates are based on MYBA Terms, which imply that the yacht will be delivered to the charterer in full working order and with all necessary equipment, as well as properly insured for marine risks and managed by a crew whose wages, food, and clothing will be paid for by the owner. The charterer is responsible for all other operating expenses, which include (but are not limited to): fuel and lubricating oils for the yacht, her tenders, and motorised water toys; local taxes; pilotage; port, harbour, and marina dues; customs clearance; water and electricity; personal laundry; all provisions, wines, beers, spirits, soft drinks, and consumables for the charterer's party; telecommunication costs. Please keep in mind that a yacht - such as many of the gulets we have listed - may occasionally provide a different set of terms than those listed above. When presenting the appropriate yachts, our brokers will offer complete details of any charter conditions that differ from regular MYBA Terms.
  • What is APA and how does it work?
    The Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) is due when the charter payment is completed. This amount is normally equal to 25% of the overall charter charge under MYBA Terms, however it can be up to 30% in rare situations. These monies will be paid to the captain before the commencement of your charter to cover operating expenditures such as fuel, meals, beverages, port fees, and ad hoc incidentals. When you go on board, the yacht will be fully fuelled and prepped accordingly. While you can request an up-to-date summary of accounts at any moment throughout your charter, the captain will usually send a full set of accounts at the conclusion of the yacht charter. If the expenditures during the charter exceed the amount previously paid, additional payment will be required immediately. Before final disembarkation, all outstanding bills should be paid. Naturally, any remaining credit at the conclusion of your charter will be fully refunded to you. SWM Yachts or the captain can make transfer arrangements to and from the vessel upon request, with charge taken from your APA. Our concierge services are well suited for superyacht charter transfers but will require an additional cost, whether this can be covered by the APA or not is dependent upon the service required. Any private aviation via our partners for instance, will be treated as a separate contract and payment.
  • Can I specify the food and drink served on board during the yacht charter?
    Prior to your charter, we will ask you to complete a full questionnaire explaining the preferences and specific needs of all members of your party, including dietary or medical restrictions, information of any allergies, and athletic or entertainment demands, well in advance of selecting or you boarding the yacht. This will allow us and the crew of your selected yacht to do all that is possible to make your yacht charter a memorable experience.
  • Is insurance included?
    We highly advise charterers to get Cancellation and Curtailment Insurance to safeguard their investment in the event that unforeseen events prevent or shorten their charter. Furthermore, all members of the charter party should be protected by Personal Accident and Medical Insurance, as well as having their personal belongings insured against theft, loss, or damage. Other types of insurance, such as Charterer's Liability, may be necessary as well. Any policy not covered by the standard Charter Agreement can be arranged with the help of our charter brokers.
  • Can I go ashore?
    Absolutely. Almost all superyachts have a tender that can ferry you ashore. When you step ashore there are numerous options to explore and enjoy: it all depends on where you are in the globe. In some places, the tender can even get you closer to that prime snorkel or scuba spot, aid in fishing, or ferry you ashore to stroll on a deserted beach. The captain or ourselves are also on hand to assist with arranging excursions ashore, with plenty of recommendations and bookings help for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums, historic and cultural sites, safari’s, theme parks, national parks and much more.
  • Will I have internet aboard?
    The majority of luxury yachts have satellite phone and internet capacity (in some cases a fee may be applied). Most charter destinations offer cell/mobile phone connection. We can supply the contact information of your charter yacht, which you may provide to relatives or friends before you leave. We cannot guarantee however, especially aboard expedition yachts or superyachts cruising large distances that connectivity will always be present.
  • Yacht charter etiquette
    Before departing on your yacht charter, you must have a valid passport as well as the necessary visas and charter agreement paperwork. When you depart the charter yacht, it is a good idea to keep your vital personal documents with you. Consult the captain and crew for recommendations. It's crucial to remember that the captain and crew are onboard for two major reasons: to keep you safe and to guarantee that your yacht charter runs as smooth as possible. The captain and crew are employed by the yacht's owner and are very familiar of the vessel, including with the yacht's limitations as well as the local waterways, and your safety is always paramount. Aside from your safety, the captain and crew want you to feel at ease and have a pleasant time. They'll go above and above to make sure you do, but when it comes to safety and laws, it's always best to listen to the crew. As soon as you and your guests board the yacht, the captain will introduce his crew and provide a safety briefing on lifejackets, liferafts, the yacht layout, and any other pertinent safety information for the yacht and its surroundings. This briefing is required by both maritime law and insurance, but it also serves to guarantee that everyone aboard the boat is safe. You may begin your superyacht charter when this is completed. If you wish to invite further guests during the yacht charter, this must be organised ahead of time so that the captain and crew are aware that you will be bringing visitors onboard. The basic reason for preparing ahead of time is that it allows the captain and crew to purchase more supplies, assuring that there will be no embarrassing shortages of food or drink and that the chef will be well-prepared to attend to you and your guests.
  • Can I use the watersports toys and scuba equipment on the yacht?
    It’s often the case that the yacht crew will possess certificates, licences and training to act as an instructor for you whilst on the water. In those cases where they do not SWM Yachts can arrange for an instructor to come on board the yacht during the charter to grant a certificate if engaging in water sports activities in certain countries. This is known as a Certificate of Competency (jet-skis, wave-runners and other mechanically propelled watercraft). Please think about who in your group will want to use the yacht's motorised water toys. The same is also true for the Scuba gear aboard, with PADI qualified crew who can issue licences if required, or by a local instructor. Please keep in mind however that all tuition payments are the charterer's responsibility, and local teacher availability cannot be guaranteed. Certain places outright restrict the usage of motorised water toys. Personal watercraft use is only authorised if the operator has the necessary licence and follows all local operating laws. Any liability resulting from noncompliance is solely the responsibility of the operator.
  • Can I go anywhere aboard the yacht?
    It is critical to respect and recognise that certain places of the yacht should not be entered without prior permission. The crew quarters, galley, engineering spaces, tender garages, deck lockers, pantries and anywhere else not dedicated for guests are out of bounds unless express permission is granted. This is both for the crew’s privacy and your safety as a lot of complex machinery may be in operation. It is important to understand a yacht is both a workspace and home for the crew, as well as the owner’s property.
  • What is 'the barefoot rule'?
    The teak deck of a yacht is delicate and requires constant upkeep. Superyacht crew will enforce the barefoot rule strictly, and it is advisable you are barefoot (socks are okay) whilst aboard at all times. When embarking or disembarking a basket is left at the side of the passerele or gangway for your shoes, usually on the dock. If you carry a different set of footwear to the dock a chair is often left aside so you can put them on once you reach shore. If shoes are permitted, they must be soft-soled "boat shoes." Slippers may also be permitted. Teak may be dented by stiletto heels, and black soles can cause unsightly scuff marks that are difficult for the crew to remove during a busy yacht charter. Similarly, street shoes might ruin the carpets or special flooring within the interior of a superyacht.
  • Can I bring my pet(s)?
    Pet-friendly superyacht charters are uncommon but are possible with SWM Yachts. At SWM Yachts we can provide you with a range of pet friendly superyachts. Prior to chartering with your pet, it is important to consider your pet's general health and safety. Some pets are prone to motion sickness. Keep in mind that you'll be on the water for the most of your charter, which can limit walks with your pet. In many cases, a yacht owner may also charge a security deposit to bring aboard your pet in case of damage or mess. The crew’s primary duty is in the safe manning of the vessel, not looking after your pets. There will be additional needs if you are travelling overseas. Keep in mind that each nation will have its own set of requirements for your pets to enter lawfully. Microchips, vaccines, and even pet passports are required in some locations, so check with your SWM Yachts charter broker when booking to ensure a smooth yacht charter.
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