FAQ'S

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1. How much does it cost?

Many things influence the final cost of your vacation, including which destination you choose, when you want to go, and which yacht you prefer. In general, high season costs more than low season, and bigger yachts cost more than smaller yachts. A bareboat is less expensive than one with a skipper or crew. Flotillas can be economical if you enjoy meeting new people. Just like flying first class and staying in a 5-star hotel costs more than flying coach and staying in a 3-star, you can decide what level of luxury and conveneince you are willing to pay for. Having said all that, a 2-cabin monohull yacht in low season in the Caribbean can be as low as $1500/week, and a large 5-cabin brand new catamaran in high season can be over $10,000/week.

2. How can I pay for everything?

You can pay with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express, bank check, or cash. Once at your destination, you can use credit cards or the local currency, and often U.S. dollars or Euros, too.

3. How much is the deposit?

If you are booking many months in advance, the yacht deposit is normally 25%. If your vacation is less than 60 days away, the entire amount may be due. Airline tickets are normally paid for in full when the reservation is made. Hotels usually need a credit card for a guarantee, but do not require a deposit. Some discount rates may require full payment in advance.

4. What is the refund policy?

Generally, if you cancel your yacht reservation more than 90 days before boarding, a $300 cancellation fee will apply. Less than 90 days before boarding there is no refund. Airlines and hotels have varying refund policies. You will be provided with all the terms and conditions concerning your particular vacation when you first make a reservation.

5. Will I need a passport or visa?

You will most likely need a passport. Many countries also require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after you arrive into their country. Visas may be required for some destinations, and these regulations change frequently. We can try to help you determine what is required, but you are ultimately responsible to make sure you have the proper documents necessary for all international travel.

6. How do I get there?

We can arrange your flights and ground transportation for you, or you can travel on your own. We will give you the address and phone number of your charter base, along with other local information to help you.

7. Does my time on the yacht start on any day of the week?

Most locations do not have restrictions on when you can start or end your time on the yacht, but depending on which location you choose, and whether it is high season, you may be required to start and end on a Saturday.

8. Can I book more or less than a whole week?

Most of the time, you can choose any length of charter, from a few days to a few weeks or more. Depending on which location you choose, and whether it is high season, you may be limited to booking whole weeks. But even then, you can choose one week, two weeks, or more.

9. Are yacht charters safe?

Yes. Thousands of yacht charters happen every month around the world without incident. All of the charter bases are located in highly desirable locations, in safe surroundings, and where the wind and waves are not normally dangerous. The yachts are modern, maintained to the highest standards, and have all the required safety gear on board. In addition, the local staff will spend time with you reviewing everything on the boat, to make sure you understand how everything works. Despite all that, sometimes crazy weather can happen anywhere in the world, and if you are on a bareboat you need to make good decisions about when and where to go. If you have a skipper aboard, it will be the skipper’s responsibility to keep the boat, crew and guests safe. Your personal safety, of course, depends on your personal actions.

10. What if I like it too much, and don’t want to go home?

If you really don’t want to leave, it may be possible to extend your time aboard the yacht, or change to a different yacht, and delay your flights home. A better idea might be to come home first, then take some friends back with you!

11. Do I need to have a license to charter a bareboat yacht?

Local regulations determine whether a special license is required, and in many locations it is not. If a license is required, we will let you know, and can normally help you with whatever paperwork may be required for your level of experience. If you have taken a certified bareboat course at a sailing school , or you have a professional yacht license, you will usually be fine in any location.

12. How do I know what boats I am qualified to skipper?

For a bareboat charter, many factors determine what boats you are qualified to skipper. The amount of boating experience you have, the types and sizes of boats you have skippered, any special training or schools you may have attended, and any certifications you have earned, all help determine what size yacht you can skipper. There is a simple form to complete to determine what you are eligible for, and we can help you with this if you like. If you want to skipper a boat larger than you are initially qualified for, you may be able to utilize a “friendly skipper” during your first day aboard, who will instruct you on the yacht, and help you with any skills you may need to practice. If all goes well, you will then be certified for that yacht and be on your own for the rest of your vacation.

13. If I hire a skipper, can I choose any yacht I want?

Yes. Your skipper will be fully qualified on any yacht you choose.

14. Will there be other people on the boat with me?

The only time you will share a boat with other people is on a flotilla. You can choose to just pay for a cabin, which can be very economical. If you have 4 or more people in your group, you may be able to enjoy your own boat as part of the flotilla, benefitting from the group pricing and camaraderie, but still with your own bareboat.

15. Who does the cooking?

On a bareboat, you can cook if you want to. All the yachts have fully equipped galleys. You can also choose to eat at restaurants. If you hire a skipper and crew, your meals can be prepared for you. On a flotilla, the decision is yours, although many guests enjoy sharing recipes and taking turns in the galley.

16. Do I have to clean the boat?

You are not required to clean the boat when you return it. Your charter fee includes all normal wear and tear, cleaning of dirty sheets, pillowcases, towels, and other linens, and a general cleaning of the yacht.

17. What if there is a problem with the boat?

The yachts are maintained to the highest standards, but it is still possible that something might break. Minor items like a water pump often have a back up already in place, so all that is required is to turn a valve or flip a switch. If any critical system such as an engine, batteries, sails or windlass should fail during your charter, the local staff will normally come to you and repair it within 4 hours. If it takes longer to repair, you will be compensated for the lost time upon your return. You will be provided with a written guarantee when you book your charter.

18. Will someone show me how everything works on a bareboat?

Yes. You will be given a thorough briefing and walk-through of your boat. Everything will be discussed and demonstrated to your satisfaction, and all equipment and safety gear located. You can ask as many questions as you like, to ensure you are comfortable with everything before leaving the dock.

19. Is there insurance in case I damage the boat?

Yes. As part of your bareboat charter fee, there is insurance coverage for damages. The cost varies with the type and size of yacht. You will have options to pay less for the insurance and have a higher deposit or deductable, or pay more for the insurance and have zero liability. Your choices, and the prices, will be explained to you when you book your charter.

20. Are there spinnakers on the sailboat?

No. In a few locations, yachts can sometimes be chartered for local races, and cruising spinnakers may be available for an extra cost, but that is an exception.

21. How old are the boats?

Most yachts are less than 3 years old, and many are brand new. Yachts are almost never older than 5 years.

22. What gear and amenities come with the boat?

The yachts have all the equipment you would expect of a premium yacht. Fully equipped galleys, linens and towels, dinghy and accessories, snorkeling gear, safety equipment, and much more. See a more complete list of a typical yacht inventory on the Yacht Equipment page.


YACHT EQUIPMENT

23. Does the boat have a life raft and other safety gear?

Yes, all yachts have all required safety gear, including life jackets, radios, emergency flares, and more. Yachts that are used on the ocean have liferafts with sufficient capacity for the entire crew.

24. If I hire a skipper, do I need to provide a cabin for him?

Yes. Many of the larger yachts have crew quarters specifically for this, but no matter which yacht you choose, your skipper will need a cabin. If you are bringing friends and family, remember to leave one cabin for your skipper when choosing your yacht.

25. It’s my first time- How do I know where to go, or what itinerary to follow?

When you arrive at the local charter base, you will participate in a chart talk, where you will learn about recommended places to go, places to avoid, weather forecasts and sailing conditions, and suggested itineraries. Any questions you have regarding local conditions and destinations will answered at this time. In addition, you will have paper charts, a cruising guide, and a GPS/chart plotter on your yacht.

Contact

Venture Nautica
Ellensburg Washington, 98926

Phone: (425) 830-9219

ocfulton@gmail.com

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