So, you’ve always fancied the idea of a yachting expedition on the high seas.
What’s that you said? You want to own your very own yacht? Well that’s perfectly understandable… in fact, who doesn’t? In the vast universe of water sports there are few leisure activities which are more enviable than the luxurious experience of yachting. While many of us may never have the opportunity to own one for ourselves, there’s no reason we can’t dream in the meantime! And the truth is, you don’t have to own a yacht to enjoy the experience of yachting. There are charters and all kinds of different yachting adventures you can arrange in a huge variety of settings around the world. You may just need to get a bunch of your friends to go in on it with you… like a lot… that’s all.
Just picture it now…
you’re lying back in a luxuriant deck chair, skimming across the crystalline blue water, wind in your hair, sipping a cold drink, occasionally diving into the cool refreshing sea, only to return to the luxury of your deck chair for another cold beverage and perhaps a nice meal and a nap. Whether you’re chartering your own yacht or taking advantage of the full-crew amenities with your very own skipper, this is the slice of paradise that awaits you.
The difference between yachting and sailing is that yachts generally refer to larger boats that are designated primarily, if not exclusively, for recreational use. The very word yacht has come to connote this emphasis on recreation, relaxation and luxury. We absolutely love looking at the latest innovations in sporting yachts to check out all of the brand-new features. Some are so incredible as to be difficult to believe… as in, you can have that feature on a boat!?
The instant appeal of yachting for most of us is the intrigue involved with the crafts themselves. Intrigue? I mean all of the clever, crazy, unbelievable features that you discover on today’s coolest yachts that make you wonder if such things are even possible outside the world of James Bond himself. I mean who else but 007 lives such intriguing, luxurious, posh lives? You don’t even have to venture into the fantastical realm of superyachts to be completely blown away by the virtually unlimited variety of luxury amenities, from sprawling swimming pools and waterfalls to decked-out game rooms and exquisite master suites.
Yachts come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They are typically around 24 feet at the small end of the spectrum and can range up to hundreds of feet in length.
As you might imagine, this means there is a huge breadth of styles, options and amenities from which to choose; so many that it makes it nearly impossible for us to come up with a short list of some of the most amazing features out there.
Here are some features of yachts that we consider to be just off-the-charts ridiculously cool.
Swimming pools on a boat. That sentence, or fragment of one, says it all. Just think about a boat that is big enough and luxurious enough to boast a freshwater swimming pool! And you can probably imagine that, for those who have the resources to have a boat with a swimming pool on it, these generally are not shabby pools. They’re usually large in size and elegant in design. Infinity pools are especially breathtaking on yachts, providing a sense that the edge of the pool floats out and joins with the line of horizon and the sparkling sea. You’ve got it made in the shade when you’re going to the pool and it’s on your boat.
Yachts with garages. Ok, they’re not exactly garages… they’re called tender garages, and some of the most souped-up superyachts in the world have this feature that allows you to pull a tender (a smaller transport boat) in and out of the yacht, so you can board and disembark with style and ease. “Honey, do you have the garage door opener?” takes on a whole new meaning aboard these floating mansions with their own tender garages.
Yachts with sporting facilities, fields, courts. Yes, there are actually yachts that are large enough to feature full-size tennis courts, basketball courts, fields to play football and just about any other kind of recreational activity you can imagine.
Yachts with full spas. You heard it right. Some of the sweetest yachts on planet Earth feature epicurean spas, with everything from hot and cold baths to every conceivable kind of therapeutic room and service available in the trendiest spas in any major cosmopolitan center on dry land.
The cool thing is that many smaller yachts that are available to the general public for charter may also feature scaled down versions of these very same features. You don’t need to have a football field on your yacht to enjoy it. Many smaller crafts have spas, small pools, hot tubs or both, as well as gorgeously appointed bedrooms, living quarters and kitchens, and plenty of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves in peace and tranquility.
Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind as you consider planning for your very own yachting adventure. We hear a lot of the same questions pop up for these kinds of trips. First, you should know that you have the option of either chartering a yacht with a skipper or a full crew or a crew that makes sense for the size of the vessel and your party. You can also look into a “bareboat” charter, which simply means operating the boat by yourself, which assumes that you have prior experience operating a craft of this kind. Rules and regulations vary depending on your destination, but you will have to have a certificate for operating such a motorized watercraft.
People often ask if there are minimum time requirements for chartering a yacht. Not every yacht charter is for seven days. There are a wide variety of five-day charters, day trips and companies that allow their customers to tailor their experience to fairly exacting specifications. Any reputable company should make you aware of any fees over and above the advertised rates. If you’re working with the right kind of company, this sort of thing shouldn’t even come into question. They will line itemize any additional costs, including a standard cleaning fee (if relevant), estimated fuel costs for your planned trip and any other vital details. Lastly, keep in mind that if you do charter a yacht with a skipper or small crew, you’ll also want to plan on a reasonable tip, generally ranging anywhere between 5% and 15% of the total cost of the yacht charter, again depending upon where you charter your yacht.