What Are The Requirements For A Bareboat Charter?

Most people’s ideal vacation consists of sailing through majestic bodies of water and enjoying the freedom of the open sea. The typical way to do so is by booking a stateroom on a cruise ship, which is inexpensive and common. However, there are a lot of people who seek a more independent and exciting tropical get-away. Many adventurers consider self-skippering (“bareboat”) the most enjoyable way to enjoy a boat with friends or family. But before you plan your trip, you should double-check the required level of skill and qualifications to use a bareboat charter in your desired location.

In this article, we will be going over what the requirements for a bareboat charter are, so you may learn and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to sail independently!

Do I need Sailing Experience to charter a bareboat charter?

A bareboat is a monohull or multihull vessel that is chartered without any crew. The charterers are solely responsible for the boat, including provisioning, for the cruise duration. If you have the proper sailing and captain permits, bareboat chartering is possible. In almost all instances, experience is the only requirement to rent a bareboat charter.

Charter companies require assurance that you will not cause damage to their vessels. Moreover, they do not want you to cause any type of damage to them. They need to make sure that those who rent their boats have real sailing experiences. That is, whether you can establish you have chartered boats of similar scale in the same region. Before specifying our qualification criteria, it is essential to note that in many nations, no formal credentials are required by law, which is typically not a barrier to yacht chartering.

Ultimately, the charter company must ensure that you have the appropriate experience to operate the yacht securely. Typically, this involves filling out a questionnaire and submitting a sailing resume. However, certain countries (primarily in the Mediterranean) require the skipper to possess a sailing certificate, typically an ICC or International Certificate of Competence. However, in our experience, any charter company will expect to see this backed up by relevant practical experience.

Additionally, one individual on board should possess a valid VHF licence. Finally, it would be best if you remembered to bring these credentials with you, as you will likely be required to submit them to the local authorities. Any yacht charter firm that offers you a vessel without a captain is likely breaking multiple laws. The experience required to charter a yacht boils down to three factors:

  • Comfort

An essential aspect that a suitable sailor needs is comfort, especially when on a rocky body of water. In most instances, you will be accountable for other individuals and someone else’s boat.

  • Charter Region 

We divide our charter regions into five categories, from the easiest to the most difficult. The Ionian in Greece would be one of the more accessible routes for those interested, while the English Channel would be the most difficult.

  • Charter Fleet Operator (CFO) 

These are the responsible parties and insurance companies. Regardless of what your agent suggests, the CFO makes the final choice. It is ideal if you have previous sailing experience on a vessel of comparable size. Additionally, having at least one crew member with similar experience is advantageous.

Although a bareboat charter certificate is not typically required, safety should always be your number one priority. Even if you have extensive sailing expertise, we recommend enrolling in courses offered by recognised organisations. Refresh your understanding of anchoring, navigation, and operating a large sailboat in a confined marina, as well as other aspects of bareboat chartering.

Suppose you are still doubtful of your sailing skills or if you desire the advice of a local skipper. In this scenario, you can engage a professional captain on a daily basis until you feel confident enough to continue on your own.

What is the difference between a bareboat charter and a crewed charter?

In bareboat charters, you charter a yacht with a few essentials but without a captain or crew for the duration of your journey. On a bareboat, everything is your responsibility; you have no outside assistance. The benefits include the freedom to cruise at your own pace, choose your crew, and explore a new location on your own terms. You get to charter your fate. It is not as intimidating as it may seem. You must be able to anchor your boat overnight or secure a mooring for the night.

In stark contrast, crewed charters offer a completely different form of independence; an experienced crew (often includes a chef) and captain handle a substantial portion of the duty and allow you to choose your level of involvement in the day-to-day operations. The chef cooks your meals, mixes your drinks, and maintains the ship’s cleanliness. You only need to relax and enjoy it. The crew will be responsible for all ship-related tasks. Consider it to be an all-inclusive resort. You could also choose to delegate the navigation to qualified specialists while you and your guests enjoy the ride. 

To avoid uncomfortable situations, it is recommended that you establish how involved you want to be with your chartered staff before the trip (i.e., whether they will participate in or plan your meals and excursions). The crew’s deep knowledge of the area you are visiting allows you to discover under-explored locations and learn about local customs, both of which can quickly become the highlight of your stop-over visits. Few disadvantages exist, however some charter guests prefer to be in control of every element of their yachting experience.


Now that you know the distinctions between a bareboat charter and a crewed charter, you can determine which option is ideal for you, your friends, and your family. Select the most suitable charter for you, and you can set sail on your next grand trip.If you are in search of a boat charter in Phuket, then feel free to visit Isabella Yacht’s official site to book your next dream get-away today! 

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