top of page
bareboat yacht charter, sailing holiday

What is Bareboat Charter?

There are many ways to enjoy a yachting holiday and they all have their own merits. Probably the most common method for chartering a yacht is Bareboat. By definition, that means that you have the relevant experience and suitable qualification(s) to skipper and handle a yacht safely and responsibly. 

Who normally charters bareboat yachts?

Most of our bareboat clients are experienced sailors. They come from all kinds of backgrounds and with different levels of experience. Some of them just potter about the boats while others race across oceans but most come from anywhere in between. 

One thing they all have in common is the confidence to handle the boat and confidence that they have enough nautical knowledge to enjoy the experience. 

What type of yacht can I bareboat charter?

Family sailing holiday on a yacht

Provided that you meet the licensing requirements, you have several options. Most typically, sailing monohulls and catamarans are available for bareboat charter. Same applies to motor yachts up to a certain length and gross tonnage​. 

Generally, larger yachts (>60ft in length) are available only for crewed charter. 


How do I select my charter yacht?

There are several considerations to take into account when selecting your charter yacht. Our team members have plenty of experience in this area and are standing by to help. However, you should carefully consider the following:

  • Size, age profile and relationships within the group. For example, if your sailing group is made of three couples in their late 50's, you should look for three double cabins with minimum two heads and additional smaller cabin for stowage. Smaller cabins with 'coffin' bunks may not be most suitable option.

  • Time of the year for your charter. If you plan your holiday for July or August in the Mediterranean, paying a little bit extra for a yacht with air-conditioning will be money well spent, for everyone's comfort. 

  • Where do you plan on sailing? If you plan to visit known shallow spots, you need to be mindful of your yacht's draught. All our quotes clearly display this information.

  • Be honest in relation to your experience and confidence and try to find a yacht that matches both. You don't want to spend your well deserved holiday stressed out and frazzled because the boat is just a bit too big for you.  

Where can I charter a yacht?

We work with operators in over 50 countries worldwide. Being an Irish company, our primary focus is on the Mediterranean sailing destinations such as Croatia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France and Spain but we also have fleets in the Caribbean, Bahamas, French Polynesia and many other parts of the world. 

yacht charter Greece. sailing vacation, bareboat charter

How much does it cost to charter a yacht?

That is 'how long is a piece of string?' question and there is no straight answer to it. The cost of yacht charter depends on the location where you are chartering, type and size of the yacht, its age, time of year, etc. Having said that, we pride ourselves on our ability to find a yacht to suit anyone's requirements and any budget. Having over 9,000 of them on our registry makes it possible and easy, so please talk to us and tell us as much as you can about your expectations, needs, interests and we will tailor a sailing experience for you.

For illustration purposes, a 2017 Bavaria Cruiser 46 in Croatia costs €4,550 at peak season, without any discounts applied. This yacht features four double cabins and three heads (WC + shower) and can comfortably be shared by 8 crew / guests.

However, you are highly unlikely to pay full €4,550 charter fee as there are always discounts available. These are clearly outlined on all our offers.

Are there any other costs I should know about?

Yes, there are. Below costs vary between operators and not all items may apply. However, typically, you would need to pay the following on top of your charter fee:

  • Transit log / final cleaning. This depends on the size of the yacht and typically costs anywhere between €100 and €300 per yacht. The service typically includes yacht cleaning after your check out, gas for cooking, full tank of marine diesel, inflatable dinghy and all paperwork that needs to be filed with the marine authorities. In some cases, the service includes an outboard engine for the dinghy, bed linen and towels for each guest.

  • In some cases, there is bed linen and towels fee, in around €15 per guest

  • In some cases, there is additional fee for an outboard engine for the dinghy, typically in around €80 per yacht

  • All 'toys' such as snorkeling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, etc. are charged extra

  • You need to return your yacht with the full fuel tank, otherwise you will be charged for marine diesel top up

  • Some countries require base staff to collect tourist tax. In Croatia this costs around €1.40 per person, per day

  • All operators will require a security deposit. The amount of it depends on the size, age and value of the yacht you are chartering. It generally ranges between €1,000 and €3,000 and is payable at check in either by cash or swipe of the credit card. If you use your credit card, the funds are only 'reserved' rather than charged to your card. Some operators accept much smaller non-refundable insurance contribution in lieu of the security deposit. Others allow non-refundable insurance contribution for any potential damage to the yacht itself and refundable security deposit for 'household' items supplied. This is an excellent option for groups of friends and we highly recommend it. It is possible to 3rd party insure 90% of your security deposit for a relatively small fee. We are not directly affiliated with any insurance providing this service but highly recommend that you avail of this option.

We clearly outline all mandatory and optional extras on all our offers so you know exactly how much your charter will cost. In case of any ambiguities, we are more than happy to discuss each individual item with you and explain what it is. Extras are typically payable in cash at check in. 

When is the best time to book my charter?

Here is a secret we shouldn't be sharing, but, any time between November and March for the following summer's sailing season. 

Early booking typically opens in October / November and most operators offer discounts to kick start their bookings. Early booking discounts taper off at the end of January but the boat show discounts come in to replace them in February. 

By booking your charter yacht early you are not only getting the most favorable price but also the best selection of yachts. That is something that should not be ignored.

You can pick up pretty good last minute deals too but, they can prove to be not so good if you add an expensive last minute airfare to get to your charter. It's a good idea to check availability and cost of transport to the base before you book your last minute charter.   

When do I need to pay for my charter?

Once you have selected your yacht, we will put an 'option' on it with the operator. That means that the yacht is off the open market for a few days and tentatively reserved for you. At the same time we will issue you with an invoice with the full breakdown of costs payable to and at base. 

You should transfer your 50% deposit straight away to us. Once we have received your deposit, we confirm your yacht booking and we pass it on to the operator.

Approximately 7 weeks prior to your charter commencement you will receive a reminder from us that your balance is due for payment in the next 7 - 10 days and a list of documents you need to submit.


If you booked your charter less than 6 weeks prior to your selected commencement date, full charter fee is payable straight away in order to secure a booking. 


All applicable extras, such as transit log, outboard engine for the dinghy, bedding, tourist taxes, airport transfers, etc. are payable at the base at check in.   

Champaign Bottle and Glasses

Why should I book my charter with WannaGoSailing?

You don't have to and we can't make you. We still enjoy sharing our extensive knowledge of sailing, cruising and chartering. But if you decide to give us a chance, we can promise you the following:


  • We will find you a yacht that best matches your requirements, expectations and ability

  • We will make sure that you are not paying any more for the same yacht that you would with any other broker

  • We work only with most professional operators and offer only the most reliable and best maintained yachts with proven track record. 

  • You will receive all the information that will make your sailing holiday a memorable and enjoyable experience, including nearest airport, suggested sailing routes, general information about the weather, what to bring on your holiday, information on points of interest in your selected sailing area, etc. 

  • We will arrange any ancillary services you may require, such as airport transfers, provisioning, early check in, etc. 

  • We will be at your disposal 24/7 should you need any assistance during your holiday.   

Our clients keep coming back which is a true testament to the effort we put in and personal attention we give to each and every client and their booking.    

Do I need special qualifications to bareboat charter?

Throughout the Mediterranean, International Certificate of Competence (ICC) is the norm. The ICC was created under resolution 40 by the United Nations and signed mostly by European countries although South Africa also signed the resolution. Neither the United States nor Canada participated.

ICC is generally issued by the national sailing bodies but there are no sailing bodies or associations in the USA or Canada who can offer the ICC. ICC’s can only be issued by the national sailing bodies of the signatory countries. Typically the ICC is issued through the Royal Yachting Association out of the UK of which there are three locations in North America – Florida, Toronto, and Halifax, and many more internationally. If you can obtain the ICC without traveling half way around the world, it makes sense to hold one.

How do I obtain International Certificate of Competence?

Generally easily, provided that you have ample knowledge and experience OR already hold other sailing qualifications, such as Day Skipper or any Yacht Master level. You could obtain your ICC following theory and practical assessments before a licensed instructor / examiner. 

Theory part of the assessment is a thorough exam of your knowledge and understanding of navigation, tides, collision regulations, lights, etc. You would be expected to plot a course keeping tide and tidal streams in mind, plan a passage, recognise or describe cardinal marks, work out when you can cross a sandbar using the tide tables and almanac, etc. 

Practical part of the exam entails boat handling - and generally involves maneuvering the boat in and around the marina, springing on and off and reversing the boat. You would likely be asked to demonstrate MOB procedures, mooring, anchoring, reefing, sailing skills, heave to, holding a course, tacking and gybing, crew leadership, and good seamanship in general.

We strongly advise that you prepare for your ICC exams carefully and maybe even have a trial run with a friend before the real exam. 

sailing holidays, yacht charter, bareboat charter

Do I need any other qualifications?

In most charter destinations you will be asked for a VHF certificate, in some places one of your sailing companions will be required to have a minimum of Competent Crew Certificate. In other places you will be asked for your Sailing Resume as a proof of relevant experience that can be checked. If you have chartered before, make sure to include your previous charter experience with the names of charter agencies and / or operators you chartered from. 

But, let's be logical about this. Even though all of the above sounds like a nuisance, it's there for yours and others safety and protection. Would you be happy knowing that charter operators hand out boats to just anyone, with no or very little knowledge of the 'rules of the road' and no ability to handle an actual boat? Probably not! 

I don't meet the qualification requirements, does that mean that I can't have a sailing holiday?

Absolutely NOT! Sailing or yachting holidays are for everyone, regardless of their sailing experience! Sailing is an environmentally responsible sport and sailors love sharing it with others. While you can't charter a bareboat yacht, you most certainly can hire a professional skipper with it or join one of our private yacht cruises. Our skippers are happy to involve any guest who is interested in taking part and showing them the ropes. That is also a good starting point to see what you think of boats and sailing which may entice you to join a sailing school or take a sailing course when you get back home. Sailing community is very hospitable and would love to welcome you aboard!  

bottom of page