Chartering a private yacht is a new experience for many. It seems like something that is going to be very expensive, and reserved for the rich. It is actually a simple, fun and much less expensive an undertaking than many think. Less expensive often than going out for a nice meal and is an event that will be remembered for years.
Since most yachts are in secure marinas, upon your arrival at our location you will be greeted by a company representative, and escorted to the yacht. At this point any additional paper work will be taken care of, such as a charter agreement, liability waivers and any remaining payment. You will also be introduced to the captain and host who will be aboard to assist you.
Please feel free to have a look around the yacht and ask questions. Yachting people are very proud of their yachts and like to talk about her – much like parents talking about their children. Like a child, the yacht is an ongoing project; owners work hard to maintain her, and provide the best possible quality experience for their clients.
The Safety Briefing
Before you depart to open water, the captain will go over some safety features much like an airline pilot or flight attendant would at the beginning of a flight. The captain will talk about where the life jackets are and how to use them, what you can and can’t do on the yacht, how to use the washrooms (heads), and a few other topics that will make your charter safe and enjoyable.
During departure, the captain will be piloting the vessel from the fly bridge (top deck). The view is great up there, and you are welcome to join him. Your host will be assisting with the dock lines and helping the captain take the boat out of the slip. The boat will then be taken down the fairway and you will proceed from the harbor out into San Diego Bay. On occasion, depending on the wind, it is easier to drive the boat down the fairway backwards. It looks a bit funny at first, but is a common practice.
The Yacht Charter
For the purposes of this article on what to expect in general, let’s assume that you will be doing a “San Diego Bay Day Charter,” although there are many other possible scenarios.
On the “San Diego Bay Day Charter,” upon leaving the harbor you will turn right (starboard) – to head toward ocean. There is a lot to see in the bay and your captain and host will describe points of interest as you go. Let’s hope you brought your camera! The tour may be customized, but generally the boat will loop up toward the ocean and the end of Point Loma, and then downtown toward the aircraft carriers and the Coronado Bridge, and then loop up again on the downtown side of the bay past the Midway aircraft carrier museum, cruise boats and the Star of India. Charter durations vary, but a basic sightseeing charter on San Diego bay is two hours.
Eventually you will head back to your starting point in the “America’s Cup” harbor, and back into the slip.
Your captain and host will secure the yacht back in the slip. During this process please be careful and maintain a secure footing. Do not try to depart the yacht until instructed to do so by the crew. This would probably be a great time to sign our guest book and to fill out any suggestion cards so the crew can improve their service.
When you depart you may wish to take some pictures of your group with your yacht and crew to help you remember your adventure!
Hopefully you now have a more clear idea of what is involved in chartering a private yacht. It is a fun experience – and one that you and your group will remember for years.
Go ahead – Make the Call – Charter a Yacht today!