Frequently Asked Luxury Yacht Charter Questions
Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about yacht chartering
Who is StunningYachts?
What is MYBA
Do I need to charter all yachts for a week?
Is tipping the Captain and crew expected, and if so what's the normal amount?
Your service is free to us - how do you get paid?
What kind of quality control do you have on your yachts- how do I know they will be in excellent condition?
Are there any hidden extras - what will I REALLY end up paying?
What is the "APA"?
Why are a maximum of 12 guests allowed on most yachts?
Once I book a charter, what are my payment options?
How can I trust that my payments will reach the yacht's owner?
StunningYachts.com has highly skilled professionals around the world that are experts in their geographic regions, and possess intimate knowledge of the most outstanding yachts and crews available. So when you contact us, you have access to our worldwide resources, knowledge and support. We will find you the ideal crewed luxury yacht in the perfect destination. We will work with you before, during, and after booking your dream charter to assure you have the experience of a lifetime. See more about StunningYachts.
MYBA - (originaly called the Mediterranean Yacht Broker Association) is an industry body that provides contracts, standards and general help in assuring the quality and professionalism of the luxury yacht charter industry. Their purpose is described on their site:
"MYBA is a worldwide professional trade association founded in 1984 by a group of prominent yacht brokers with the aim of promoting standards of professionalism and ethics in the yachting industry throughout the Mediterranean, and ultimately, worldwide. Today, MYBA remains the only organization in Europe with this focus and enjoys international standing in all corners of the globe."
MYBA has created an excellent contract used on most luxury yacht charters, with significant protections for you the charterer. We are happy to discuss the MYBA contract in detail if you are interested.
No. Although many luxury yacht owners require a one week minimum charter, especially during high season, for certain international events that last only a few days, occur during the low season and are popular charter destinations, many owners are willing to charter their yacht for the shorter duration.
In addition, there are some superb yachts that specialize in corporate entertainment and team building, and may be chartered for only a day. Please just let us know your requirements and we'll match the right yacht to your needs.
Tipping is purely voluntary and the source of endless debate. If you are happy with the level of service you have received from your Captain and crew it's customary to pay 10% to 15% of the base charter fee (the amount you paid before provisioning and other fees). It's best to give the tip to the Captain and he'll allocate it to the crew members for you.
We act as an independent yacht charter broker, matching your needs with the ideal yacht and crew. The Luxury Yacht Industry has established standard practices to protect all parties involved in the process. The Central Agent for the yacht (the company under contract to manage the yacht on behalf of the owner, which includes keeping the charter calendar) pays us a commission out of the charter fee for finding the customer and taking care of all questions, paperwork, and payments.
Our prices come from a standard price list that is set by the yacht owner and is therefore the same as the price that the charter operator offers to the general public. Normally charter operators do not reduce prices for individuals, so the price we propose to you is the best price you'll receive.
What kind of quality control do you have on the yachts you propose - how do I know they will be in excellent condition?
First and foremost, all charter companies must adhere to the local maritime laws and regulations. This is your primary protection, and in most cases the rules are quite strict.
Most of the yachts that StunningYachts.com propose are MYBA yachts, meaning that they are managed by a strict set of standards in order to qualify as a MYBA yacht.
Beyond the above standards, we strive to propose yachts where we personally know the captain, crew and yacht. We regularly tour as many yachts as possible, speaking with the Captain and crew, to intimately understand the yacht and service you will receive. We attend most of the Charter Industry shows, such as the MYBA Charter Show in Genoa and the Antigua Charter Show, where stunning new yachts and those most popular on the charter circuit are on display for Brokers. We regularly post descriptive information about the exciting luxury yachts we visit on our Yacht Charter News Site.
The base charter fee pays for the rental of the yacht and services of the crew for the duration of your charter. All other items, unless specifically itemized in the contract, are extra and will be billed at cost. This includes food, fuel, moorings (except for the home port), occasionally use of certain water toys and diving. The vast majority of our charters will use the "APA" system (see below), where an estimate of costs is included in the contract, with any remaining funds to be reimbursed at the end of the charter.
APA (Advance Provisioning Allowance) is the standard arrangement for paying your expenses on a luxury yacht charter. The APA essentially creates a bank account for the Captain of the yacht to provision on your behalf. A percentage is added on to the base charter fee, generally 25% to 30%, depending on the itinerary. The fee will be included with your final charter payment. The Captain will make all payments out of this account, and is obligated to keep all receipts and balance the account for you. You can review the expenditure level at any time with the Captain, and he will let you know if it's getting low and needs to be replenished.
Any amounts not used will be refunded to you at the end of the charter (and may be conveniently allocated for the tip). There are no mark ups on the APA - all of the expenses go to buying fuel, food, etc., and you can review every receipt if you wish. The APA system is a simple way of getting the yacht provisioned efficiently, with minimal hassle and straightforward record keeping.
International Marine regulation generally states that once a vessel carries more than 12 passengers, even if it is being used as a private yacht, it is considered to be a passenger ship and has to comply with the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) convention established by the IMO (International Maritime Organization). This organization is dedicated to promoting passenger safety.
SOLAS involves adhering to a comprehensive list of stringent safety restrictions. Chartering costs increase significantly between vessels licensed for maximum of12 passengers and those licensed for more than 12 passengers. For most charter yacht owners, these additional costs do not make economic sense. Ultimately charterers would have to pay the extra regardless of their party's number.We have an excellent selection of yachts that can accommodate groups exceeding 12 guests. Click here for a list of our yachts that carry more than 12 passengers.
The most common means of paying is by bank transfer. Prior to payment, your contract will clearly detail the amounts and dates of payments due in the local currency of your charter. This enables us to pay the supplier in the local currency.
Although normally you are obligated to pay us in the currency stipulated by the yacht owner, as a courtesy we can accept payment in your preferred currency and manage the transfer and currency exchange for you through our HSBC secure electronic wire transfer service. In this case we will charge you a "buy price" that is approximately 3% above the spot rate you can see on any financial web site (we use the Yahoo rate). This relates to what we in turn get charged to exchange your money - even the largest banks in the world have to pay above the spot price when they exchange currencies.
For certain payments we can accept credit cards for your convenience.
Customers often ask us how they will be assured that monies paid to us will reach the yacht owner.Here's the assurance we can provide to you:
Our Reps are upstanding members of key industry organizations including CYBA (Charter Yacht Brokers Association) and FYBA (Florida Yacht Brokers Association)
We pay the Yacht's Agent immediately upon receiving money from you. We do not sit on the money or try to "bank it" to make money on the float. That's why we prefer to work with bank transfers - they're easy, safe and secure.
All of our charters are contractual, which provides significant protections for you. Please read the fine print, or ask your representative to explain the numerous ways you are protected.
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions and we will enthusiastically provide the answers for you!