Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

So you’re about to enjoy your first bareboat charter in the Caribbean.  You own a powerboat back home and can’t wait to try your hand at a Caribbean yacht charter vacation.  If you practice the same mechanical checks on your bareboat charter yacht that you do on your own boat, chances are you’ll be in for a hassle-free adventure.

The best advice we can offer a motoryacht bareboat charter client is this – perform a daily engine check – even if the engine was running well yesterday!

Here’s a step-by-step engine maintenance guide to follow during your Caribbean yacht charter odyssey:

Before starting your boat:

  • Engine compartment: Take a quick look – make sure the bilge is clear.  Look for oil or water leaks, look for loose wires, and make sure all belts are ok.
  • Raw water inlet: Valve should be open and the strainer clear.
  • Fuel filter: Use a transparent filter and check for water or dirt. Drain off if needed.
  • Engine oil refill: Check with the dipstick. Fill if low, but take care not to overfill.
  • Checking bareboat engine

    Checking bareboat engine

    Ready to Start:

  • Switch over to starting battery. Start the engine with the gearbox in neutral, and run at medium revs to warm up.
  • Check the cooling water: Is it running from exhaust?
  • Look at the instrument panel:  make sure batteries are charging, and check the oil pressure.
  • While running:

  • Check the stern gland twice a day for leaks. Tighten the grease filter (if fitted) as needed.
  • Gearbox oil: Check periodically when the engine is running and warm. Remember to top up with gearbox oil, not engine oil.
  • These daily maintenance tips can prevent costly time delays during your vacation.  Now get out there and have some fun!

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    Anyone who has booked a bareboat charter vacation knows that charter companies, especially the large syndicates such as Sunsail and The Moorings, heavily promote trip cancellation insurance. 
    For the bareboat charter fleets managed by Sunsail and The Moorings, trip cancellation insurance is a substantial profit point. Commissions of as much as 20 per cent for selling this product are common, and these bareboat charter titans simply add the cost to the charterer’s invoice. Although optional, they make the customer waive the coverage in writing in order to remove it. 
    Suggestive selling is not limited to the industry giants. Luxury yacht charter brokers often offer this coverage to their Caribbean yacht charter customers who fear trip delays due to summer tropical weather disturbances. Mediterranean yacht charter customers also hear the pitch to purchase this coverage, as concerns for lost baggage are common with long, international flights. 
    Putting aside the fact that someone “profits” from the sale of these policies, a luxury yacht charter customer should give serious consideration to this coverage option. Whether you rent a boat or a megayacht or a superyacht, for a Caribbean yacht charter or elsewhere, the facts remain the same – you are spending a lot of money and you may wish to protect your investment! 
    Here are some common questions and answers about travel insurance:
    Q. Why should a traveler buy travel insurance?
    A. Travel insurance gives travelers coverage for unforeseen problems, such as cancelled flights to serious illness – or in rare cases, even an act of terrorism or the financial default of a travel supplier. If an illness, accident, or other covered unforeseen circumstance forces a traveler to cancel or interrupt their plans, they face two major financial losses – money invested in nonrefundable prepayments and medical expenses that in many instances may not be covered by health insurance. 
    Q. What happens if a traveler must cancel his/her vacation?
    A. Often a traveler will lose nonrefundable deposits and prepayments that can add up to thousands of dollars. An insurance plan can provide coverage for the charterer’s vacation investment – the insurance company reimburses the traveler for nonrefundable expenses for a covered loss. 
    Q. How does the coverage work?
    A. It reimburses for forfeited, nonrefundable deposits if the traveler must cancel or interrupt their trip due to a covered reason. 
    Q. What other coverage is typically included in a travel insurance plan?
    A. In addition to cancellation and interruption, the more comprehensive plans may also cover emergency medical expenses and transportation, when ordered by a doctor, to the nearest adequate medical facility; reimbursement for accommodations and expenses incurred due to travel delays; reimbursement for the purchase of essential items if baggage is delayed; and coverage against lost, stolen, or damaged baggage. 

    Lost luggage and trip cancellation insurance

    Lost luggage and trip cancellation insurance

    Q. Does travel insurance cover terrorism?
    A. Many travel insurance policies do not cover terrorism; but some do. 
    Q. Is the financial default of an airline or tour operator covered?
    A. Many programs include financial default coverage if insurance is purchased within 15 days of making the initial trip deposit. 
    Q. How much does coverage cost?
    A. The cost is based on the value of the trip and the age of the traveler. Typically, the cost is five to seven percent of the trip cost. 
    Q. What else is offered?
    A. Most providers offer 24-hour travel agency-type services, in case a traveler has to change a flight or a hotel room. Some offer assistance with emergency cash transfers, pre-trip consultation services (travel advisories, passport requirements, inoculation information, etc.), and live messaging, which will relay any email or phone message to family, friends, or business associates.

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