FAQ Crewed Yacht Charters
I could write a book on FAQ Crewed Yacht Charters but will do it in several parts instead. Welcome to Part 1. Planning a luxury yacht vacation can feel like a lot of work! Don’t sweat it! We want to make every step simple and painless. Welcome to part one, where I will focus on general information and your relationship with a Yacht Charter Broker.
Do Charter Brokers own the yachts they offer?
It will help you if you think of charter yacht brokers as travel agents who specialize in yacht vacations. Most charter brokers do not “own” any yachts, but specialize in viewing hundreds of boats every year in different locations, so you don’t have to. Yacht Charter Brokers are independent (such as H2O Luxury Yachts), where we have no loyalty to any make, model, or fleet, or they can work with particular yachts only.
Who owns the charter yachts?
Yachts are either privately owned or part of a fleet. Mainly an owner decides that he wants to offer his yacht for charter for whatever reason. He or She has many steps to get it ready.
1) Which region of the world they are.
2) If they will be running it themselves (more common in the smaller yachts) or hiring a crew to run the boat.
3) If they are going to manage it or hire a management company to represent the yacht and handle the business side.
4) Then charter ready boats need websites, photography, marketing material, pricing, and charter program. Top this off with the appropriate licenses, flags, and manning requirements to enable them to charter in the desired area.
5) The next step is getting the information out to the brokers who sell crewed yacht charters and vacations and the online industry-specific databases.
What is a Yacht Clearinghouse?
A Yacht Clearinghouse is different than a broker, and every boat will (should) have one. The Yacht Clearinghouse role is to be a go-between the boat and the broker. They also help with positioning the yacht in the market, so it receives bookings! Many years ago, boats did not have the communication technology when they were out on the seas, and the yacht clearinghouse would keep all the details of each boat they represented and answer questions. They hold the calendar, which is quite important so the yacht is not double booked.
The clearinghouse also arranges to have an escrow account for the money and pays it out to the yacht owner at the correct time. There are many Yacht Charter Brokers, not as many Clearinghouses, and they tend to be somewhat in the background of the industry, although some do have Yacht Charter Brokers that work in their offices.
Why do most sites seem to have the same Yacht Search Engines?
Many have the same yacht search engines as there are only a few of them IN the industry, and each one seems to deal with different segments of the yachts. These are industry-wide and different from Clearinghouses. Boats, Yachts, Clearinghouses, and Yacht Brokers subscribe to these services so they can have as much up to date and charter fee information to get in your hands as quickly as possible. Just about all Yacht Charter Brokers and sites offer the same yachts at the same price.
Your choice of broker is equally as important as your choice of a yacht vacation! Yacht Broker experience varies significantly, with many having zero or little knowledge of what chartering entails but more of a blind expectation of what they think that boats and their crews should be able to do. H2O Luxury Yachts is Independent, which means that we have no financial incentive to push a particular yacht over another. With over 400 weeks of crewed yacht charters in their past life, H2O team members will NOT make promises that the yacht will not be able to meet.
How do the Yacht Brokers know the yachts?
In simple form, Boat Shows! Good yacht brokers attend at a minimum; several boat shows every year where they can board the yachts, meet the crew, and see if the yachts match the online brochures. These are typically B2B (business to business) events. November is the time for them in the US and British Virgin Islands and December in Antigua for Caribbean Yachts. The spring and fall see many Mediterranean Boat Shows, including Greece, Barcelona, and Monaco. We take photographs and meet the crews in depth. We do not rely on glossy websites and brochures.
For example, many yachts say they have fishing on board, but when asked, many professional Captains don’t encourage fishing as they don’t want the mess on the back deck. Or, you can fish, but they will make sure you troll in an area where you won’t catch much 🙂We also have Industry Associations and a vast network of charter brokers and crews that we can count on.
What is my relationship with a yacht charter broker?
Loosely this brings you to your part! You arrive at a website like H2O Luxury Yachts. Each Yacht Brokerage has its own set of boats that they “prefer” booking. Their yacht preference is for as many different reasons as there are yacht charter brokers!
- Some may sell any yacht charter to anyone with the ability to sign a check.
- Others may get extra commission from various yachts so that they will push those.
- Some represent a specific fleet and therefore push those regardless of whether they are your perfect match or not.
- Yachts that come into the market recently are unknown quantities and will offer specials or price themselves lower than comparable yachts to get bookings. With bookings hopefully, come great reference letters that they can use to entice other brokers to book them
- Some are genuinely professional and genuinely try to find out what you are looking for and then match you up with your perfect yacht.
H2O promises to give you up to date information, facilitate the process, and guide you on the logistics around your yacht charter vacation. We are there for support right until you return home, and we follow up with you on HOW your yacht charter vacation was. Reviews also help us with future client bookings.
If you have any problems with your holiday, we are still there to help you work through it either with the boat or clearinghouse. Some yachts and bareboats sell directly to the public at the same price you get with using a broker. Their advice can be biased, as can be expected when they are selling their product. If you have any problems with the yacht, crew, service, or otherwise, you are on your own to sort it out without our experience and input. We are independent of any yachts, and YOU are our only concern, not the yacht. Being as our service is free to you, why wouldn’t you choose to use a professional independent yacht broker?
Will different Yacht Brokers have different prices for yachts?
All brokers get the same commission rates from the yachts. Emailing a hundred different brokers to get the best price is not a good strategy. Brokers and yachts who do otherwise do not tend to stay in business very long. Trust your instincts, find a yacht charter broker that you feel comfortable with, and want to work with and work with them!
Who pays the commission amount to the broker, and how much is it?
The commission is paid by the yacht to the broker! It costs you no more to go through a broker. Boats who offer a lower price then they would provide a broker are soon shut out of the industry. Sometimes the yacht will give a discount on a week they want to sell or for repeat guests. Same with a broker. They may offer a bit of their commission back to repeat clients or add in extras that the yacht does not cover. The commission rate is fairly standard throughout the industry. The yacht pays 15% to the broker on average, sometimes a bit more or less, depending on the week. It could be a bit more if you have a Travel Agent you work with as well as the Yacht Charter Broker.
Watch for Part 2 of FAQ Crewed Yacht Charters next week, which will cover Holding and Booking the Yacht, Payment Details, Cancellation, Travel Insurance, and more frequently asked questions!
Let H2O Luxury Yacht Team Members help you plan to book a yacht vacation.