All the answers you require when chartering a luxury yacht

How do I secure a charter boat?

A deposit will be required to secure your desired vessel on the requested date and time. A deposit ensures that no other party can book the vessel on your desired date and time and you have sole exclusive use of the boat. Usually a deposit is 50% of the charter hire fee, unless otherwise stipulated by the individual operator. In some of the exclusive charter boats an APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) will be required. This is the purchase of food and beverage prior to the charter. A signed booking form will need to be completed, agreeing to the terms and conditions.

What’s the difference between bareboats and crewed yachts?

Bareboat is solely the hire of a vessel that is skippered and crewed by yourself, alternatively you are able to hire a captain at additional cost. Crewed yachts are the hire of a vessel with captain and crew and occasionally some basic equipment or water toys, will depend on the operator of the vessel. Very few of the vessels Luxury Charter Yacht (LCY) hires out will be bareboat options, also known as self-drive. There are extensive qualifications required for the bareboat form of charter.

Why are there no prices on the website?

Every charterer’s circumstances are different. Prices are rarely quoted on the LCY website due to these varying circumstances particularly if you require relocation fees to be added, or your charter is only one-way, berthing fees also can be charged etc. etc. We are not able to provide a real quote, until we can firmly establish what your requirements are, as things can change like your numbers, duration of charter, catering requirements etc. etc. However, we can provide you with an estimate based on the understanding that amounts can change according to changes made to your arrangements.

What is a Fact Sheet?

These will contain: rate per hour, minimum duration, capacity, deposit details, whether the vessel is fully catered & licensed or BYO, home port and other relevant detail for the initial contact with the client to gauge interest and get some idea on what the contact is looking for. Sometimes it may be advised to refer back to these initial documents, if in doubt or there is a point of contention.

Why are different options provided?

Everyone has different expectations, levels of luxury, style and many other differing factors, so what we endeavour to do is provide a few different options of charters with varying styles and prices, via vessel Fact Sheets and hopefully we can meet a desire one way or another. We would expect though, that if none of those expectations are met, that you would be kind enough to come back and advise us exactly what you are looking for and we can make every attempt to fulfil those needs.

How do I get Availabilities?

We do not hold availabilities of all vessels mainly based on the fact that there are many different operators that we represent and their availability status changes every hour. So we ask that you allow 24 hours at the most to get availabilities back to you, once you have decided on the vessel that you would prefer to go with. Additionally, we ask that you keep open to a couple of the options provided, or let us know order of priority of your likes, to avoid disappointment in your desired vessel not being available on the date and time required, particularly in the busy late November & December Christmas periods.

What is the Minimum Duration?

The minimum duration to charter a luxury yacht is in most cases 4 hours minimum, particularly during the November – December season where the vessels are the busiest. You may be lucky to get a charter for a minimum 3 hour period between January and October, all that would take is to ask us and we will seek permission from the individual operator.

Do you Cater or BYO?

LCY is an agency and representative of many different operators, and therefore all conditions or licences change or vary from boat to boat. The majority of luxury vessels to charter are equipped with onboard chef and are fully licensed. A fully licensed vessel will rarely offer the BYO option.

Can I charter one-way?

Yes, one-way charters are permissible e.g. a transfer or drop off to a location other than the other you departed from, however, the operator will charge a drop off fee which is generally considered a fee to return to base i.e. get the vessel back to it’s point of departure or home port. A fee is generally costed out in fuel usage, time and crew required.

I wish to be picked up at my hotel – is a Relocation fee required?

Relocation is termed as such based on the vessel having to pick the party up and return them to a location other than the vessel’s home port. There are additional costs involved due to the use of fuel, the hire of staff and time spent that the vessel would otherwise be paid on another charter. If the client is more economically inclined it would be more advisable for the charter party to depart from the vessel’s home port and organise ground transport (limousine) however, some parties are more interested in the convenience of door to door service.

Is Entertainment included in the charter?

Entertainment onboard is an additional charter cost. Some of the vessels have preferred artists that they refer you to; others will ask you to find your own. Keep in mind a separate contract may be written up from the external source. Some of the luxury vessels allow outside entertainment onboard the charter, this is done in consultation with the vessel’s Master or owner as the use of some equipment will need to be approved, as well as the use of power.

Forms of entertainment are:

Acoustic band – maximum 3 piece (minimal drum kit), with the exception of string quartet
Team building events – clay shooting

The majority of luxury vessels will not approve loud bands onboard the vessel mainly due to size, sound carry and the style of vessel.

Can we decorate the boat for a wedding?

Yes in most cases this will be allowed with permission. Decorating the vessel with wedding ribbons, Christmas tinsel etc. will require extra permission from the individual operator as well as additional staffing costs to construct.

Will the charter still go ahead in Inclement Weather?

Yes the charter will still go ahead in wet weather, unless under very extreme conditions. The postponement of a charter due to bad weather will be decided by the Captain and only on the day of the charter. Most operators are quite flexible in this case and will reschedule the charter. Winter – come prepared with warm clothing as some vessels do not have air-conditioning and depending on the number of people you have booked on to attend onboard, you may be looking to spend some time outdoors. Summer – prepare for storms in the afternoon during Summer in the Gold Coast

Should we bring the kids?

Children are always welcome on the vessels; however, this answer is handed back to the clients who have the responsibility and knowledge of their own children’s behaviours. Young children can get bored and find it difficult to resist touching expensive equipment and instruments, in which the adult is responsible for the costs of any damage incurred. At the end of the day, it will come down to the hirer’s comfortability and relaxation during the charter, as the staff and captain generally do not have child minding licences and are not responsible for the actions or entertainment of children onboard and they would prefer that the client is relaxed on this special occasion. In some cases, the vessel will charge an upfront bond held until after all charges have been finalised, also known as a Damages Bond.

Do I have to pay if I need to Cancel the charter?

Cancellation fees will be applicable, the amount will just depend on how far out the cancellation occurs. See Terms & Conditions of each operator as their clauses vary from company to company.

What’s included in the hire fee?

Your hire of a luxury charter yacht covers the cost of exclusively hiring a boat that allows no other outside parties onboard for the duration that your hire fee covers. The yacht hire will be inclusive of the Captain and some crew and in some of the more luxurious options, additional equipment like tender and snorkelling equipment including mask, fins and snorkel, some fishing gear. It is always advisable to check directly with the operator if there is a specific activity you would like to conduct, please be prepared to pay additional costs for some activity equipment that is not included onboard.

How should I dress? And what should I bring?

This will all depend on the level of luxury of your charter yacht, as well as the season. During the Winter you would be well advised to bring plenty of clothing, windproof jackets, in some of the charter options the vessel would not be comfortable enough to allow all guests to be inside at the one time for a long period of time. During summer the usual items of sunscreen, hat, other protection, sunglasses, towel, water, snacks, camera is advisable. It is also advisable that all passengers wear comfortable non-slip, non-marking soft soled shoes.

What is a Damages Bond?

Some of the charter operators will request a Damages Bond prior to the departure of the charter. This is generally in the form of a credit card imprint before the charter starts and discarded 24 hours after the charter if there is shown that there is no damage incurred, there will only be funds taken from the card if there is damage incurred to the vessel.  This tends to apply mainly for Bucks parties.

Should I get Insurance?

The charterer is fully responsible for all the actions of the whole chartering party inclusive of children. It is always advisable to take out your own insurance policy. However, the insurance generally does not cover damage or liability caused by negligence, for example damage or death caused by charterers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We are in negotiations with a preferred marine insurance supplier that we can refer the client to, or we are able to add the option to the charter quote.

Am I responsible for damage?

You are responsible for any damage or loss to the vessel during the term of your charter. See Damages Bond. We like to advise the charterer to obtain their own additional insurance for liability and injury insurance.

What’s on board the boat?

Everything needed to be comfortable for a short term charter (4 hours) i.e. seating & dining (if stipulated), bathroom facilities, dining crockery & utensils & bar facilities is provided. Sound equipment is available to be able to play favourite CDs or tracks from iPods. Some vessels are equipped with air conditioning. A galley and kitchen tools or utensils will not be available to the charter party unless organised with the Captain or Operator beforehand. There will only be access to the cabins for overnight charters, other than that, these will generally be locked. The overnight charters often supply a tender for the guests and will supply the guests with linen, towels and other extras you would find in hotel accommodation.

What about extra “toys”?

There are a quantity of water ‘toys’ provided on longer term charters (24 hours or more), if in doubt as to what is provided, contact the operator directly for a listing. As mentioned, please keep in mind that any additional equipment not included in the charter will require additional costs to hire and a separate contract may be required by an external company. Generally, the operator can help you to arrange for windsurfers, wind gliders or kayaks to be delivered to the yacht prior to the charter. You can also arrange rentals yourself.

Can we go Diving?

Permission to dive will be on a case by case basis, depending on the operator. Diving as a general rule, is a sticky situation because of the liabilities and most yachts wont do diving unless it’s an official dive operation. Some of the luxury vessels do have the diving equipment onboard, if not, you would need to enquire directly with the operator for a listing and if any additional equipment is required they may be able to organise on your behalf at additional costs to the charter. They may also be able to organise a dive instructor for you. There will most definitely be insurance requirements additionally.

Will there be sufficient seating for a Dining style charter?

If you require the style of dining in which all guests need to be comfortably seated please keep in mind that the capacity on the fact sheet is the official amount of people allowed onboard standing. Dining will be quite different to this figure as it requires tables and chairs and the right location to have all parties situated in the same area. Therefore you can expect that as little as a third of that capacity can be seated for an official style dining function. Buffet style can cope with a few more as this mostly does not always require tabling and seating can be staggered. Cocktail style is pretty safe to go with the vessel’s capacity as this is generally a ‘standing’ style catering.

Are Drinks included in the Hire Fee?

Drinks are an additional cost to the hire fee. Almost all charter operators are fully licensed which does not allow the client to BYO drinks. Some operators are negotiable on this for a per person corkage fee. In the instance that a charter vessel does allow BYO, it is advisable that you enquire about the refrigeration and whether you need to also provide additional ice and possibly even eskies. The more luxurious vessels will have refrigeration throughout the vessels especially outdoor decks.

Is night time hire allowed?

Most charter operators do operate after dark. If for any reason the operator does not operate in the evening, this will be stated clearly on the fact sheet provided upon initial liaisons.