Oct 24, 2019

CY Charter HandbookCanadian Yachting’s Chartering Handbook, full of information and advice for heading off to a charter, no matter what your level of expertise is. The Handbook is part of your October CY magazine and you can also read it online – just click here  

Here’s how writer Rob MacLeod explains the Handbook in his introduction:

This Charter Handbook begins by addressing the basics (for the least experienced charters) and shifts to more adventurous destinations for the more experienced boaters. Chartering a boat can be divided into several categories – bareboat, flotilla, crewed, luxury, etc...

Bareboat means that you possess sufficient skills in the eyes of the charter operator to be able to handle the size and type boat you are chartering and that you have sufficient skill among your crew to assist in the safe operation of the vessel. Bareboat also means that you are fully responsible for the safety of the vessel and crew and that any damage is on your credit card. Most charter companies will insist that you take out charter insurance with a reasonable deductible – typically a $1,000.

By the Cabin is a form of bareboat that does not require you to have to put together the entire crew. Sunsail ( uses this approach to allow strangers to jointly charter a boat and share the costs. It is a good way to make new friends. (I wonder if an online dating service might be considered for determining crew compatibility! Just kidding. Sort of.)
Flotillas are very popular for individuals who are competent but would like to sail in the company of others or with a leader to build confidence, especially in a new destination.

Skippered charters are a great way to sail without being responsible for the boat. This may be ideal for individuals who have had some training but would like to leave the ultimate responsibility of the boat in the hands of a professional captain. The skippered charter may also include a cook, then your dream sailing / boating vacation can be quite relaxing and, depending on the skipper, you may also be able to participate in handling the boat. Some captains are also willing to instruct
Racing charters allow winter bound North American racing sailors the opportunity to compete on retired, but very desirable racing sailboats.

Luxury charters have gained popularity. It is difficult to sail in any of the popular chartering destinations – Bahamas, BVIs, Grenadines, Belize, Greece, Croatia – you name it – without encountering a luxury yacht. If you have the budget, the sky is the limit.

Read the full Chartering Handbook for advice on how to arrange the right charter, where to go and what to expect.