FAQ – Why Use a Charter Broker?
The short answer is: because they’re free.
Whether you’re booking a bareboat, instructional, or fully crewed yacht charter vacation, it is the charter yacht’s owner or management company that pays your charter broker’s fee. The yacht owners and management companies want charter brokers to bring them clients like you, so they foot the bill for all the work the broker does to help you through the booking process.
Brokers, at the end of the day, are people, and they all have different personalities and skill sets. You can pick up the phone and call more than one broker at first, so that you can find one whose personality jibes with your own, but once you begin working with a broker, you need not call sixteen others to check on the price you get for a particular yacht. In virtually all cases, every broker will get you the same exact price. What your choice of broker comes down to is your comfort level working with the person, and the service that she gives you.
At Sanderson Yachting, that service includes everything from helping clients select a destination itinerary to helping them navigate the often complex world of charter yacht contracts. These contracts have become relatively standardized worldwide in recent years, but because most yachts are privately owned, every contract is by definition a deal made with a new entity—and one yacht owner may want clauses inserted that another yacht owner may go without. Additionally, yachts are governed by their flag state (the country of the flag which flies at the stern). The combination of the flag state and ownership contribute to the decision of which contract is used in which destination.
Ensuring that you have a fair contract, not to mention insurance needs and any problems that may crop up during your actual cruise vacation, is why you want to work with a reputable charter broker. He or she will look out for your best interests, even when you don’t know exactly what they are.
Where is the value in the charter price?
This is one of the most frequent questions a client asks. How does the owner arrive at a charter price? This usually stems from two virtually identical yachts in terms of: cabin sizes, length and amenities which are priced ten to fifteen thousand dollar apart. Click here to read my detailed answer to this question.
Can I/we take a turn at the helm?
Most captains enjoy sharing the helm with the guests at an appropriate time. The captain will not allow guests to take the helm during docking maneuvers.
How can we be reached while on charter?
Your Sanderson Yachting Broker will supply you with the boat’s or Captain’s cellular number and/or SatCom number. There will be additional charges for their use. You may bring your own cellular phone while on charter or ask the captain to rent one on your behalf.
Do I need a passport?
Any time you leave the USA, you are now required to have a passport which is valid for at least 6 months from date of charter.
Where will we go?
Prior to charter, your captain and your charter broker will have made some recommendations. Unlike other vacations, a charter does not have a definite itinerary. You can elect to stay places longer or leave earlier.
Will the Captain eat with us?
As a rule, no. If you’d like him to join you and your guests for a meal, invite him ahead of time.
What happens if there are funds left over from the advance provisioning allowance (APA)?
Upon disembarkation, the captain will hand you a log of all expenses incurred on behalf of your charter. If there are funds left over at that time, he will return them to you in cash of which ever currency you used, (Euros or dollars).
How do I handle the gratuity?
There are two ways:
— Take the gratuity (we suggest anything between 10 and 20% of the charter fee) in cash or traveler’s checks and give it to the captain upon disembarkation. He will distribute it among the crew.
— Send the funds to your Sanderson Yachting broker for safekeeping in our escrow account. Notify us when you want it released.
“This was absolutely one of the best trips we’ve had. We are sold on catamarans. We had the best chef who serve good small portions using quality ingredients.” S/Y LADY BOU BOU, St. Martin