Technically there is no minimum, but it is 1 yacht per group – we don’t do ‘cabin only’ bookings currently. We usually recommend a group size of 6+ people as a minimum because it is the smallest group size that is cost-efficient for you! If there’s just 2 or 4 of you that just means it will be a little more expensive per person, but in return you’ll have more space onboard.
Please find a list of recently asked questions that might be able to help you...
What's the maximum group size?
There is no maximum – the more the merrier! Our yachts sleep up to 12 people (11 guests + skipper if you need one), so if you have a group of 30 for example we will simply organise 3-4 yachts for your group to accomodate everyone.
How much does it cost to secure a booking?
In light of COVID-19 payments and booking terms are more flexible, in order to give you more confidence in your booking. For most charters we are now able to confirm a booking with only a 10-20% deposit and then the balance will only be due 2 weeks before your charter. This policy is a guideline and whilst it applies to most bookings, it doesn’t apply to every single yacht – we will discuss and confirm the booking details with you directly before confirming any booking.
We usually require 50% of the booking amount up front to secure your booking. The final instalment is then due 45 days before you travel. For some larger groups where everyone pays individually, we request a £75 per person deposit initially and then 50% within 30 days of booking, but this will be detailed in your booking confirmation.
When are payments due?
Booking payments are usually split into 2 instalments, although you can pay it all up front if you wish.
- 50% is due immediately to confirm your booking (or within 30 days if we request a smaller deposit initially)
- The remaining 50% is due at least 45 days before you embark on your holiday with us, but we’ll send you a reminder nearer the time.
For larger groups, upon request, every crew member can pay their own share of the total cost separately. Please request this at the time of booking, and the specific terms will be discussed with you and will be included in your booking confirmation.
What qualifications do I need to skipper my own yacht?
In Croatia, Greece, Spain, Italy or France you will require an ICC (International Certificate of Competence), and in Croatia you will also require a VHF Radio certificate. The ICC is equivalent to an RYA Day Skipper certificate, and if you have a Day Skipper or higher qualification (Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster) you can apply to the RYA to issue you with an ICC. This is free for members of the RYA, or £43 for non-members. It is worth noting that often the cost of membership is similar or cheaper than the certificate cost, especially if you are younger than 25, when membership only costs £23 per year, so it is worth signing up as it is cheaper than the certificate cost. Read more on the RYA website.
The ICC application form can be found on the RYA website here: ICC Application Form (RYA)
For the VHF certificate, the RYA run a Marine radio course that can be taken as a 1 day course at an RYA training centre or as an online course. If you want to take the course online, select ‘Show only centres which do RYA Interactive courses’ as you run your search. Please note that it is only the learning that takes place online, the exam still must be taken in person at an RYA training centre so do pick a training centre that is close to you.
More information: RYA Marine Radio (SRC) Course
In the Caribbean, whilst an ICC or RYA certificate is preferable, if you are experienced then you usually have the option to simply submit a resume of your sailing experience in lieu of certification. If you have any questions about specific qualifications or specific destinations please contact us.
What is included in the price for a yacht charter?
Your yacht will be your place to sail, explore, relax and sleep for the week, and The Big Sail have made sure that all our bookings come with:
- A professional Skipper (if you have booked a Skipper)
- WiFi onboard
- Bed linen & towels
- End-of-trip cleaning of the yacht
- Cockpit speakers with radio, CD and/or iPod connection on most yachts or we will specify if not.
- Inflatable dinghy for getting around when at anchor, to explore caves and beaches, go for a meal ashore or simply to visit other yachts.
- Outboard engine & fuel for dinghy
- Starter pack of essential domestic supplies for first night onboard including loo rolls, dish washing soap, bin bags
- GPS, digital charts and paper charts for the local area
- All safety equipment, lifejackets, harnesses, liferaft, VHF radio & Flares
For full details about what is included, please visit this page
How much are marina fees and running costs for a typical week of sailing?
This depends on your destination and group size, but we recommend that you prepare a “boat kitty” (ideally in cash in the local currency) which will be used to cover any daily usage costs you incur as a group throughout the week. These costs include diesel, mooring fees, tourist tax of €1 per person per day (in Croatia only) and a yacht insurance waiver to cover you in case of any damage to your yacht. We include WiFi, dinghy rental and end of week cleaning in our prices, so there are no additional costs other than what is listed here.
Recommended boat kitty:
- 40ft monohull: €400
- 45ft monohull: €600
- 50ft monohull €800
- Catamarans €1,000
- 40ft monohull: €275
- 45ft monohull: €400
- 50ft monohull €500
- Catamarans €500
These prices are a guideline only, and are based on an average of 3 nights in marinas per week and 3 nights at anchor. Your first and last nights in the marina are included for free in your charter price.