Renting and chartering a boat are technically the same thing: you pay someone to use his or her boat. Practically, though, the two terms refer to different boating experiences. Here is what you need to know.
In most cases, boats advertised as rentals are small boats or personal watercraft, and are available to rent from an hour to a day.
What do you get when you rent a boat? You get the boat. You need to be your own captain and bring everything you will need for your trip—fishing gear, water sports equipment, refreshments, meals, etc. Of course there are exceptions. Houseboats, which are essentially floating RVs (Recreational Vehicles), usually are advertised as rentals, are quite large, and are typically rented by the week.
There are several types of charter boats. Most are large yachts that you will live on for a week or more. There are two general types of charters; bareboat and crewed.
Some charter companies offer modular programs. For instance, the company will provision the boat for you according to your needs and you can hire a captain or a cook for your cruise. This “pre-provisioned” option is helpful if you are chartering a boat in a foreign country where shopping for yourself might be difficult.
Another type of charter experience is when you hire a boat for a specific purpose, like fishing or whale watching. These types of charters are usually by the hour or day and are equipped with a captain, crew, meals, and refreshments.
In general, deciding whether to rent or charter a boat depends on what you want to do and how long you plan to travel. If you are comfortable and have the necessary experience to be your own captain and operate the boat yourself, then renting a boat or a bareboat charter could be the right option for you. If you only want to be on the boat for a few hours or a day or two, renting a boat is probably the best option. Renting a houseboat or chartering a yacht can be a lot of fun if you will be out on the water overnight or for multiple days. It is almost like taking a cruise, but you can go wherever the wind takes you, make your own schedule, and you never have to wait in line for anything!
If you have never chartered a boat before and are intimidated by the prospect of being responsible for the boat, here are some tips to make everything go smoothly.
There are many choices when it comes to boat rental and chartering. Fortunately, GetMyBoat makes it easier than ever to take advantage of all of these options, from renting a power boat for a day of shredding to chartering a sailboat to sail into crimson sunsets. There is no such thing as a bad day on a boat, so whatever route you choose, enjoy!