When it comes to booking a yacht charter, there are a few options to consider. One option is to use a booking platform like GMB or BoatSetter, which are similar to Airbnb or VRBO for homes. These platforms can be convenient because they offer a wide range of options and are easy to use. However, they also have some downsides. For example, there may be added fees for charter guests, and the listings may be from individuals rather than companies. This can be risky because these individuals may not have the required licenses, insurance, and other safety measures in place. In some cases, you may also be messaging a broker who lists the boat but does not actually own it.
Another option is to book through a company like Latitude 33 Yacht Charters. This has some pros and cons compared to booking through a platform. On the plus side, you can talk directly with the company or boat owner, who is likely to be more attentive and care more about your experience. These companies also typically have more experience and are fully licensed and up to date with regulations. They may also offer better pricing. On the downside, you don't have the ability to browse as many options as you would with a booking platform. However, you can always price check with these companies and then book elsewhere if you find a better deal.
To ensure the best possible yacht charter experience, it's a good idea to look for companies that provide a captain and crew member, especially for larger yachts. This ensures a safer charter and allows the captain to focus on navigating while the crew member can support the guests. It's also important to make sure the company has been checked for safety by the coast guard and has the appropriate permits and licenses. Finally, it's a good idea to ask whether the person you're talking with owns the yacht and/or business, or how they are affiliated if they don't. By following these recommendations, you can choose the right company for your yacht charter and enjoy a smooth, safe, and enjoyable experience.