Genesis Mega Yacht Charter Contract Terms & Customs

Charter Contract Terms & Customs

Courtesy of M W & A

Understanding Fees & Expenses


Operating Expenses: These vary depending on the area you cruise and the yacht you choose. If fuel economy is important, discuss this with your broker at the beginning of your selection process. There also may some positioning or repositioning charges if you charter involves meeting or leaving the yacht in an unusual location.

Harbor Fees: Often called dues in Europe, these vary from port to port. Normally, this is a small item in the charter budget, especially in the Caribbean or Pacific Northwest.

Gratuities: Just as with cruise-ship staff and hotel and restaurant service professionals, tipping yacht crews is both customary and discretionary. The standard practice is to award 10-20% of the charter fee, based on your satisfaction, at the close of the charter to the captain for disbursal.

Deposits: Once you select a yacht,dates, and location, your broker will provide you with a charter contract. When you approve the contract, you will be asked to provide a deposit -- usually 50% of the charter fee. The balance is due in advance of the charter, along with any provisioning allowances.

How do I figure costs and expenses?


Charter costs range widely depending on the yacht, location, season, number of guests, distance cruised, days spent in ports, and the level of luxury provided. Rates will be quoted either as "all-inclusive" or "plus expenses." A guideline often used for estimating expenses is to factor in an additional 25-35% of the base charter rates. Taxes are not included in base charter rates.

Charter rates, which are listed on-line in US dollars, are subject to change and will be subject to varying rates of government-mandated taxes (VAT within EC community waters). Local taxes may also apply in certain areas outside the EC. Your broker will have the most recent information for your cruising area as well as any additional insurance requirements.

When you charter on a plus-expense basis, the captain will give you discreet updates on such items as fuel usage, telephone/fax charges, and liquor/wine consumption. You will also receive detailed accounts at the end of the holiday.

It is customary for the charter party to leave the entire gratuity, usually 10 to 20% of the charter fee, with the captain. The captain should be made aware of any especial services provided to you or your charter party members of the crew that you think should be rewarded, however, even those members of the crew you might never have seen - engineers, deck hands or perhaps a laundress - have contributed to the success of your yacht holiday and the captain is the best qualified to determine how your tip should be distributed.

Deciphering Charter Terminology


Though the first time you see a charter contract you may be taken aback, it's really not at all that frightening. Not when you consider you are being given the keys to someone's multy-million-dollar investment. Ask your broker to explain anything you do not understand in layman's terms.

You will encounter number of specific business terms associated with chartering. The majority of yachts (some using slight variations) now operate under an agreement sponsored by the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) and adopted by the American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA). The agreement clearly defines the rights and obligations of each party. At the risk of over-simplifying, here are the most common terms and explanations.

Western Mediterranean Terms - WMT: The charter fee includes the use of the yacht and equipment, the crew wages, and insurance. The charterer will be charged at the cost to the yacht for all other expenses including fuel, food, and beverages for the charter party, berthing charges and port taxes, charges for water and electricity taken from shore, laundry, telephone, and SatCom costs. A number of large yachts use WMT while operating in the Adriatic, Aegean, and Caribbean as well.

Eastern Mediterranean Terms - EMT: The charter fee includes the use of the yacht and equipment, crew wages and food, insurance, breakfast and lunch, and fuel for a specific number of hours cruising per day, averaged throughout the charter. Usually, berthing dues and harbor charges also are included. The charterer, will be charged for fuel for the tenders, dinners on board, beverages, laundry, and telephone.

Standard Caribbean Terms - SCT: The charter fee includes all items included under WMT and EMT plus three meals a day. This is sometimes called all-inclusive. Some yachts also include wine & beer, excluding vintage wines and champagne.

Greek Terms - GT: The charter rate includes use of yacht, insurance, crew wages and food, harbor dues within Greek waters, water and ship's laundry. The charterer will be charged additionally for fuel, meals, drinks, telephone and taxes.


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