Renting a boat with friends
A boat holiday with friends is one of the best things you can do: it should be done at least once in your life!
Awake in a cove in the morning, go for a leisurely sail, take a trip along the coast, dine in a restaurant along the beach, play sports on the sand or watch the sunset on the deck. After a week’s sailing holiday, you will accumulate many precious memories to last a lifetime.
The experience can be unique, but it is advisable to follow a few tips, especially if you are sharing a boating holiday with friends for the first time.
What kind of boats are rented for a week?
If you are going to sleep on a boat, you will obviously need a boat with cabins and beds. Sailboats are the first choice for most people and are ideal for groups of six or eight people. They are usually 12 to 16 metres in length to make it easier for the group to fit into several cabins.
In some more sailing destinations, catamarans are also available. Their price (in terms of beam, i.e. the width of the boat) is higher, so their cost is usually about 50% higher than that of a sailing yacht, which makes them more habitable. The main reasons why they are more expensive are mainly due to the value of the boats, because the supply is smaller and because of their size, they tend to pay for more expensive moorings in the harbour.
Catamarans and sailboats
Catamarans and sailboats are the most popular options.
For those with a larger budget, you can choose a motor yacht. These types of boats are generally more expensive than sailing yachts. Also, keep in mind that sailboats consume very little fuel (approximately 100 to 200 euros per week) while on a large motor yacht fuel costs can skyrocket.
How many people can be accommodated on the boat?
The charter for most groups of friends usually ranges from 6 to 8 crew members. This is an ideal group size and there are more options for finding boats. In destinations where more charter boats are available, you will usually find boats with 3 or 4 cabins or double cabins to accommodate groups. Some larger boats have a fifth cabin or forward cabin (called a hutch), which is often used by professional captains.
For smaller boats in groups of six, there are 2-cabin boats, which are less common and do not represent much of a saving. Some people also like to have more space or separate cabins, although at a higher cost.
If you are eight people, you have to consider what is more interesting, whether you are looking for larger boats or catamarans, which usually have a larger capacity, or renting two or more boats as a fleet.
It is important to bear in mind that, according to regulations, a pleasure boat can only have a maximum of 12 passengers. In this case, a professional skipper must be hired. The boats that allow more crew are passenger boats or small cruisers, which is not the subject of this article.
How much does it cost to charter a boat with friends for a week?
It is important to determine the budget range between groups in order to find the right option. The factors that affect prices are as follows:
Date: Yes, in high season everything is more expensive. During the high summer season, sailing destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Croatia or Italy can cost 50% more than mid-season months such as May, June or September and October.
Type of boat: If we want a new catamaran, each with a cabin, the price is likely to be three times or more than if we choose the old sailing yacht with double cabins, even if we use the saloon cabin for sleeping.
Booking date: To find the best price, you should book a few months in advance. From March onwards, bookings start to increase and in the most demanding weeks the supply of boats will be exhausted. As we get closer to our sailing date, we are unlikely to find discounts or lower price recommendations than usual.
Boat hire price
The weekly charter boat price is 350 to 1000 euros per person.
These amounts usually include the following expenses:
Boat: We will choose a boat charter for one week.
Captain: In most cases, the captain’s fee is around 150 to 200 euros per day, i.e. between 1,050 and 1,400 euros per week.
Mandatory add-ons: These usually include add-ons, which are not optional, such as having pneumatic assisted devices for going ashore, cleaning the boat, and sheets and towels at the end of the weekend.
In addition, we must take into account that we must have a pot of money to eat during the week (we must take into account that if there is a captain we must take care to have enough food for him during the whole week), fuel (if we go by sailboat or catamaran, within a week the consumption is very rare to exceed 150 euros), the captain’s gratuity and the cost of mooring in the port or buoy, although the night is usually moored in the bay to avoid mooring expenses.
Payment arrangements and expenses during the week
It is important to be properly organised with regard to boat payments during the week. This is a delicate matter and to avoid conflicts between friends, it is recommended to follow some suggestions.
When booking a boat, you usually have to pay a percentage for the boat reservation a few weeks in advance and then pay the rest. If you book in advance, the payment is 30%. When boarding, if not done before, it is necessary to pay additional fees or captain’s fees and to deposit a deposit.
If the boat fee is paid equally among all the friends, it is recommended that only one person in the group is charged to receive all the money for the cost of the boat when the booking is made. Sometimes, there are disputes between friends, because after booking, one friend withdraws from the plan and decides not to pay his or her share, forcing the rest of the group to carry the unplanned share. To avoid this delicate situation between friends, the ideal is that everyone makes their promise by investing money when making the reservation. If someone decides not to go, they will have to find someone else to cover for them. Or take responsibility for the loss of money, so as not to affect other people.
It is also very convenient that the bond is assumed by everyone using the boat, although the cost can be reimbursed as long as nothing happens on the boat, since the cost can be high, it is better not just one person who assumes the payment.
The Spliwise app allows you to manage the group’s expenses
When it comes to paying for meals, fuel, mooring equipment, dinner, etc. during the week … it’s best to use an expense-sharing mobile app, such as “split expenses” or “settlement”, so you can keep the group’s expenses to yourself. as well as The fees paid by each group are used to pay at the end of the trip.
Hire a professional skipper or go it alone?
For groups of friends, it is strongly recommended to always have a professional skipper. If one member of the group has a valid sailing licence for the boat we want, if he/she is responsible for the boat, this can mean a saving of more than 1,000 euros for the group.
Although, the boat is equipped with a professional skipper so that the team can forget about the organisation, manoeuvres and route of the boat. In addition, if we want to go ashore for lunch or a walk, and then moor the boat in the bay, it is advisable that there is always someone on board. Rare is the summer that a boat does not end up stranded because the wind causes an anchor to start dragging (dragging along the bottom), taking the boat against the beach or rocks. This situation can only be resolved when there is someone on board.
Choosing the skipper
Hiring a professional skipper allows you to reduce your worries and have more fun.
Good skippers are usually used to working on boats. They try to make the group holiday as pleasant as possible. They stay on the boat with caution and advise the group to take the best route according to the weather forecast. It is important to remember that the skipper’s job is not to clean or cook, although some people are willing to do so, these tasks are the responsibility of the group.
How to live together on board?
A boat is a small space, in this space it is important to have a good atmosphere for coexistence. It is normal for everyone to have their own hobbies, so tolerance, open-mindedness and consideration for enjoyment make any friction in the day a one-off occurrence.
As we are not accustomed to this room it is normal for there to be some disorder. This is dangerous on deck during the crossing, so it is recommended that everything is tidied up before each crossing to avoid any inconvenience. Inside, it is best to keep all our things in our cabin.
In order to prepare meals on board, it is necessary to plan your shopping, so it is advisable to check the capacity of the fridge (not as good as the capacity of the house), and to check the galley items you have. When sailing in summer, what we want most are light meals, fruit and snacks. It is best to leave the tedious work of preparation when we go out to eat. In any case, the ideal situation is to reach a consensus in the group, everyone likes to have breakfast, a drink, etc. We are on holiday, this is a good time to treat ourselves.
For shopping it is very convenient to consult with the skipper before going up to the supermarket to choose, so that we know if we need to shop once a week, which takes a few hours, or we can buy things in these few days. Sometimes skippers are willing to do the first shopping, but it depends on their time. Many times it is not possible because they have left one group and are preparing and cleaning the group for the next one to come in.
Which route to take, where are we going?
A good skipper always checks the weather forecast before deciding on a route. When taking a sailing holiday, it is definitely not recommended to set a fixed route. Due to the weather, we may not be able to stick to the rules, or unfortunately we had to sail because we found a very comfortable bay and wanted to stay longer.
It is best to have some freedom and get advice from a professional skipper.
Route when renting a boat for a week with friends
Discuss the route with the skipper or the charter company
It is normal that during the week we make short crossings every day to change beaches, bays or harbours, and combine sailing time with our relaxation time at each mooring or stopover.
Things we will never be able to do on board
For beginners, caution on the first day is crucial. Before doing anything, it is best to ask the boss if it is OK. There are some important things that should be respected and avoided, such as:
Touch the ship’s equipment without permission from the captain. On the boat we can find a multitude of devices, such as radios, radars, AIS, control units, plotters, etc …. It is not advisable to touch or play with them. Although if you want to learn how they work, the skippers are usually happy to teach you.
Jump into the water at regular intervals to sail or anchor. Never go swimming without the skipper’s permission, especially when sailing or manoeuvring the boat. For the skipper, nothing is more annoying than when you reach the small bay, the crew jump in before completing the manoeuvre, if you don’t grab the anchor, there is a risk of manoeuvring again.
You can swim without a stairway. When we are in the bay, we should always put the ladder on the boat. If there is wind or ocean currents, it is recommended that a crew member cast a line with a buoy from the stern while swimming.
Placing objects on deck while sailing. Before sailing, our belongings should be properly stowed in the cabin. As the boat or inventory moves, they can easily fall into the water.
Do not close the engine room portholes while sailing. If you forget to close the engine room portholes (windows) before the boat sets sail, it is very likely that water will splash inside and the bed will get wet.
Throwing towels or paper in the toilet. This is one of the worst things you can do to an employer. You are forced to dismantle and unblock the toilet because they have not complied with the obligation to always put paper and rags in the bag, and never put them in the toilet.
Putting yourself in a dangerous place while sailing. On the navigation deck, you will find many ropes, winches and control elements. Check where the skipper can sit or lie down without interfering with the operation.
Failure to heed safety instructions. It is not a lot of things, and it is very likely that every crew member will be able to move freely and comfortably on the ship on the third day, but it is very important to take into account all the safety instructions that the captain gives at the beginning. . When boarding: use of toilets, bottom taps, what to do every time we anchor or dock in a port, etc…
Participate in manoeuvring the boat or let yourself go?
One of the main attractions of this type of trip is the possibility of taking a boat to participate in the exercises. Most captains are happy to teach the crew and share drills on the boat, as well as steer the helm during long trips.
In any case, the captain may need help when anchoring in the bay or mooring in the harbour, requiring the crew to perform simple tasks such as pulling a line, pulling the anchor chain or putting up wings to avoid chafing the boat or the dock. Other ship.