FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why book through a broker at Clearwater Passages?
When you decide to book a crewed yacht charter, choosing the right yacht and crew is essential to getting the most out of your vacation. When you use a brokerage such as Clearwater Passages, you are utilizing their access and knowledge of the boats and crew. You are able to get accurate, current information on all options available. If you book a charter through Clearwater Passages, it will be the same cost as if you were to book the boat directly, however it ensures you a great deal more of expertise and security for peace of mind. Our contracts have the protection of being an industry standardized charter agreement (CYBA, AYCA or MYBA), and your deposits will be made through an independent and safe escrow account.
We are with you every step of the way. We are able to provide you options for your choosing as well as a wealth of information and ongoing support, assisting you with all of your vacation planning and helping to manage to your relationship with your crew. And if for any reason, the yacht has any problem which makes it unable to take your charter, we will be able to move fast to help find you the best alternative solution on another yacht (or a full refund).
What is a crewed charter yacht?
A crewed charter yacht is typically a boat that is 45 ft or more, crewed and hosted by a Captain and a Chef/Mate/Hostess. Most often this team is a couple who permanently live onboard and occasionally own the boat. On larger boats 60 ft or more, a third crew member is sometimes added as a deckhand or stew. These days, the most common crewed yachts are catamarans because their spaciousness and comfort offer an amazing working platform.
Generally each party onboard has their own private cabin and head (bathroom). The charter is designed as full-service (meaning you won’t have to do anything except relax if that is your choosing) and all-inclusive means that all of your meals and beverages are included, along with several water toys and equipment. Usual amenities include A/C, a generator, TV/ DVDs, wifi connection (though often not unlimited data), etc. Each yacht has a specification sheet to define their yachts offerings.
For those who are seasoned sailors, do keep in mind, the skipper is responsible for the boat, the crew and all guests onboard. Therefore, if any disagreement arises, he as the Master of the vessel will have the last word.
Are the clients involved in the charter cruise planning?
Clients are able to take an active role in the planning of the cruising itinerary. Upon your arrival and occasionally prior to your trip, the crew will discuss where you desire to go within your cruising area. Your crew (along with us here at Clearwater Passages) will be available to answer any questions you have regarding the area, as well as offer suggestions. Your crew will be able to arrange any land based excursions or scuba diving rendezvous you make want to make. Generally the goal is for you to make it to the locations you would like to go, and your Captain will be able to change a planned itinerary if weather, timing or schedule is not suitable for a safe journey, or if you love an anchorage so much you decide you’d like to stay!
How will the Chef know our food and dietary preferences?
Prior to the charter we will send you a preference sheet for your group to fill out. This provides you the opportunity to fill out all of the preferences and dislikes of each member of your party; it is also important to note any dietary or health needs such as food allergies, sensitivities, etc. On the preference sheet you are able to make your crew aware of any celebrations or special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. We will then be in contact with the Chef and they will design a menu according to your preference sheet. They will contact you if there are any questions or concerns prior to your trip.
If I am used to sailing on my own, why would I want to bother with a crewed yacht?
Many clients are decent sailors or even hold licenses themselves, and fancy going out with a bunch of seasoned sailing buddies, and not bothering with crew. However, depending on the circumstances, sailing with crew can be a very enjoyable, beneficial experience. These are reasons why:
It is an absolute luxury to have someone cook for you for a week, let alone a professional Chef or cook!
Sailing with family or friends with young kids makes it much more difficult to count on others to help handle the boat. Furthermore, while your crew would never be your babysitters, they can entertain you and your kids with fun new adventures while snorkeling, beach combing, inner-tubing, etc. Many good crew enjoy sharing stories with kids, teaching them boat terms and how to tie knots.
You are not required to get up in the middle of the night to check the anchor if it’s blowing hard. The crew will be doing that while you sleep soundly.
You do not need to worry about food provisioning, refueling the boat or tender, filling water, and other chores along the way.
No one needs to be concerned about cooking, doing dishes and cleaning the galley!
You have your choice of relaxing and doing nothing, or reading, or socializing with cocktail in hand, while still sailing down the channel…and at the end of a long sailing day, you can shower while your crew prepares appetizers and a sundowner cocktail.
Alternatively often you can choose to take part in sailing with the crew, if they are okay with it
Your crew can share many lesser known secrets of sailing in your cruising area including anchorages, snorkel spots, or other tricks of the trade, cruising with a crew can offer a learning experience of an area you might otherwise think you know.
In some cases, by the time you add up the cost of the boat, the permits, the provisioning, etc, often time you are well on your way to paying for a crewed charter!