Whilst many of our RYA students own or plan to own their own yachts, many more only ever plan to charter yachts on holiday with their family or friends. For those first-timers amongst you, it might be worth running through what is included in most charters and where Jolly Parrot is different.
First, all British flagged vessels must be coded by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). This entails an annual inspection to make sure the vessel is safe, properly equipped with a life raft, fire extinguishers, radios, flares, TPAs and the like. That's a good start and you shouldn’t consider going to see without these items.
Then, there are consumables like gas and diesel. A charter yacht should be provided for charter clean and tidy with water and diesel tanks full and with at least one full gas cylinder. It's normal to be charged for fuel used, so check with your charter company. Bringing the yacht back as you took it is probably easiest if you're responsible for these costs.
Next, is bedding, food, mooring fees and optional extras like a tender, chart plotter, outboard engine, bimini and perhaps some toys like a windsurf board. These are usually extra with mooring fees payable by you each evening. Unlike many Mediterranean yacht charter companies, at Jolly Parrot we provide freshly laundered bedding and towels, a hair dryer, chart plotter and GPS free of charge. Not having to bring bedding and towels means you can travel light and there’s less laundry when you get home!
Finally, there is insurance. In addition to travel insurance, as skipper you might want to consider personal liability insurance. There is also the vessel to think about. Most charter companies will require a surety deposit. This deposit can sometimes be reduced or eliminated in return for a non-returnable fee payable at the time of booking.
Sunshine and dolphins. OK, we can’t guarantee it, but as Gibraltar enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year and sits at the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean, there is a very good chance that sunshine, blue skies and dolphins will be a major feature of your charter holiday with Jolly Parrot!