faq

Here are a few answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.


How do I book a yacht on YachtLife?

It's easy to charter a yacht on the YachtLife app or website. First, choose the location in which you want to charter. Once you find a yacht you like, you can create an account and request a reservation. Your reservation request will be sent to the broker at YachtLife that manages that particular yacht. Once your reservation is confirmed, we charge your credit card on file and the broker will follow up with a Charter Agreement for you to sign.

When is my payment collected? Is it refundable?

Once you confirm your reservation, your broker will process your payment.

  • If you are booking for a single day and your reservation is confirmed more than 7 days in advance, a deposit of either $1,000 USD or 50% of the total cost of the reservation (whichever is greater) is processed immediately in order to hold the yacht. Once your embarkation date is 7 days away, the remainder of the amount due is processed.
  • If you are booking for a single day and your reservation is made 7 days or less in advance, the total price of your reservation is processed immediately.
  • If you are booking for a multi-day charter and your reservation is confirmed more than 30 days in advance, a deposit of 50% of the cost of the yacht is processed immediately in order to hold the yacht. Once your embarkation date is 30 days away, the other 50% is collected for the price of the yacht, plus the APA, plus the taxes due.

Terms of refunds are dictated by the Charter Agreement. Generally, once a payment is collected, it is non-refundable. In certain circumstances, as dictated by the Charter Agreement, credits can be provided so you will be able to enjoy your yacht charter at a future date that is convenient for you.

Why is there a 3% credit card convenience charge?

At YachtLife, we are hyper concerned about your privacy and the security of your payment details. We use one of the largest and most trusted credit card processing partners in the world to handle all credit card transactions. None of your sensitive payment details are stored on our servers, and we are compliant with the strictest PCI requirements. The 3% fee goes to cover the credit card processing fee.

Are my payment details saved on the app?

As stated in the previous question, no sensitive payment details hit the YachtLife servers. Instead, we use one of the largest and most trusted credit card processing partners to handle all credit card information. We are compliant with the strictest PCI requirements for handling payment information, so you can rest easy knowing that any transaction on YachtLife is safe and secure.

What if your servers get hacked? Is my payment information really safe?

As stated in the previous two questions, customer payment information is not stored on our servers. If our servers were to get hacked into by a third party, no sensitive payment information would be found.

What is supplied aboard?

All of our yachts are stocked with waters, soft drinks and ice along with yachting necessities aboard such as toilet paper, sunscreen, linens and towels. You are always welcome to bring your own supplies if you’d prefer.

What do I need to bring with me?

All the essentials will be waiting for you once you step foot on your yacht. If you have something specific you’d like to bring, feel free. However, we recommend packing light. Most people will want to pack bathing suits, sunglasses, boating shoes or athletic shoes. If you’re planning to visit any islands outside of your home country, please remember to bring your passport and visas (if required). If you are boating in American waters and not an American national, please remember to bring your passport with you. It is required by law and in the event you encounter the US Coast Guard, they will ask you to show it immediately. If you are a US national, then you’ll need to have a valid driver's license or any other government issued ID. If anyone in your party is prone to seasickness, over the counter medications or prescriptions may be a good idea. Soft sided luggage is recommended as it usually fits in cabin compartments and is gentle on woodwork and paint.

Are there set hours in which the yacht can cruise?

In general you can sail at most times of the day if weather and visibility conditions allow it, and providing it doesn’t conflict with the itinerary discussed with your broker and the captain. Always work with your YachtLife broker as they are familiar with the local laws and will be able to advise on what is possible and what is not advisable.

Will arrangements be made for airport pick-up?

YachtLife will be happy to arrange to have you and your party picked up and transported to your yacht when you and your guests arrive at the airport. If you would like to arrange airport pickup, simply coordinate with your YachtLife broker and they will be happy to assist.

How many extra guests are allowed aboard?

You’ll notice that most yachts have a cruising capacity of no more than 12 guests. This is due to the fact that most local coast guards have a law in place that dictates that no more than 12 guests can be onboard a chartered yacht regardless of the size of the vessel.

If you have more than 12 guests in your party, work with your yacht specialist, as they will be able to assist with finding a yacht that is certified to hold more than 12 guests, or they can help arrange a multi-boat charter so your party can remain compliant with local laws and tie up together once on anchor.

Can I charter a boat for a period longer than just a half day or full day in order to sleep aboard and explore various islands and coastline?

Chartering a yacht for a period longer than a single day and having guests sleep aboard is what is referred to as a "Term Charter". In order to book a term charter, you will simply select your embarkation and disembarkation dates and you’ll need to pay via bank transfer as opposed to credit card. You’ll also work with your broker to set an itinerary and have a meal preferences and activity sheet so the crew has a detailed provisioning list for your charter.

Can I choose the food and drink served aboard?

Most yachts will be stocked with waters, soft drinks and ice for your charter. If you would like, you can always bring your own food and beverages for your charter, or you can have your broker arrange to have food and beverages delivered to your yacht prior to embarkation. Another option is to have a chef onboard for your charter that can prepare meals for you while on charter.

For multi-day (term) charters, you will fill out a meal preferences sheet that will inform the crew of what meals you would like prepared for your charter and what food and beverage preferences you have, so that the boat will be provisioned exactly to your specifications, and the chef will be able to prepare a menu for you in advance of your charter for you to review and approve.

Why the name YachtLife?

Yachting is really more than just going out on a beautiful boat for a day or two. Yachting is a lifestyle. Most of our world is water, and some of the most beautiful places on the planet are only accessible by boat. Yachting is all about having a great time with your family and friends. Whether you’re on the open water or island hopping, relaxing or partying, everything is better on a boat. We think the name YachtLife captures this lifestyle, and we hope you have an amazing time on our yachts.

How come some boats have a maximum capacity of 12 passengers and others even less?

Many years ago in the United States and other major yachting destinations there were several laws passed in order to protect local boat manufacturers. One such law was the Jones Act, which among other things deemed that unless a vessel is a US Coast Guard Inspected Vessel, it may not carry more than 6 or 12 passengers during a paid charter. There’s a long list of factors used to determine if a boat may qualify for either a 6 or 12 persons maximum capacity while under hire, but most major yachting destinations do have a 12 guest limit unless the vessel is coast guard certified to hold more passengers.

What is a Charter Agreement?

A Charter Agreement is a legal document between the broker, customer, owner and crew that outlines the key terms of your yacht charter. It will specify among other things your yacht’s technical specifications, cruise date, intended destinations, yacht pickup and dropoff details, insurance and cancellation terms.

Do the crew need to be tipped?

Although not mandatory, it is customary to leave a gratuity for the work of the crew and the captain at the end of a charter. Most brokers recommend a tip of 15% of the charter fee. YachtLife automatically includes a gratuity charge of 15% for US charters and this fee is paid out to the captain and crew of each charter. If you would like to add an additional tip, you are more than welcome to pay the captain at the end of your charter. The captain will make sure any additional tips are split accordingly with the crew. If you are chartering outside of the US, you are recommended to pay the captain a tip upon disembarkation for a job well done.

Can I bring my own alcohol and food onto the boat?

In almost all cases, you are allowed to bring your own food and beverages for your yacht charter. Or you can work with your broker and they can coordinate to have beverages delivered to your boat prior to embarkation. If you would like to have a chef onboard, you can work with your broker and they will be able to assist with this request.

Are children allowed on charters?

Chartering a yacht can make for an excellent family vacation, with activities to entertain both children and adults. In general the crew are not responsible for their safety. We recommend that you bring childcare if you want to truly relax and have a carefree time while ensuring your children are being looked after.

Are pets allowed aboard?

Typically pets are not allowed aboard for health and safety reasons, and sea travel can be extremely uncomfortable for animals. If you need to be accompanied by your pet for any reason, we ask that you check with your broker for the yacht’s pet policy.

Is smoking permitted aboard?

In general, smoking is not permitted inside most yachts, and is strictly forbidden in any cabins or staterooms. Usually yachts will have a designated smoking area on the aft deck or flybridge, but please ask your captain and crew before lighting up.

Why do you charge a 2-day rate for a 24-hour charter?

If you are looking to do an overnight, 24-hour charter, a 2-day rate is typically charged. The reason behind this 2-day charge is that the boat is being chartered by you as the client for the 24-hour period and we/the owner are not able to charter the boat for those 2 days.

Why is the 7-day rate for a term charter priced as a 6-day charter?

This is known as the “rule of 6” and is industry standard. When a client is chartering a yacht for a 7-day term charter (or longer), it is customary to have every 7th day provided to the customer complimentary. So if a customer is chartering for 7 days, they are only charged a 6-day rate. If a customer charters for 2 weeks, it is customary to only charge for a 12-day rate instead of 14 days, and so forth.

What is this 30% APA and why is it charged on multi-day charters?

It is industry standard to collect a 30% APA (advance provisioning allowance) for any multi-day term charters. This APA is collected from the client and passed on to the captain and crew to provision the yacht per the client’s specifications and also used as an allowance to pay for any berthing fees and fuel fees incurred during the course of the charter.

If there is are any funds remaining in the APA upon disembarkation, the broker can return the remaining amount back to the client, or the client can pay the remaining funds towards the crew gratuity.