Frequently asked questions
Catamaran or sailing boat ?
Basically this depends on your preferences and how well you master sailing. Catamarans are highly recommended for people who are not used to sailing as this type of vessel doesn't tilt, thus reducing the feeling of seasickness. However, for someone who is an experienced sailor, cruising in a catamaran can be a bit boring. In general, they have very ample and comfortable cabins and a spacious saloon with 360 degree views. In addition, they are easy to manoeuvre as they have two motors and a small draft which allows them to cruise in shallow waters and thus closer to beaches and coves. Normally, the charter price of a catamaran is higher than that of sailing boats but obviously it depends largely on the type of catamaran or sailing boat you choose.
Are there a minimum number of days required for a boat charter?
In the Mediterranean, charters are by weeks from Saturday to Saturday; however, if you want to charter a boat for fewer days, we can try to find something that fits your needs. Contact your TSCH consultant. In the Caribbean, the minimum duration of a charter is 5 days, although during Christmas time the minimum is 10 days.
Is it mandatory to hire a skipper?
A skipper is hired if you don't have a sailing licence or experience or if you do have a licence but don't know the area and prefer to cruise with a skipper.
The skipper is normally accommodated in one of the cabins. In some sailing boats and catamarans, there is a special cabin for the skipper’s use. If there is no cabin for the skipper, he may use the saloon as his cabin. However for your comfort, we always recommend that the skipper use one of the cabins.
The skipper’s job is to make your trip as pleasant as possible. He watches over the safety of the passengers and so he has the last say when it comes to possible changes in the itinerary due to weather conditions. In addition, he is an expert in the area and will take you to the most beautiful spots and the best coves. His job is to steer the boat but not to clean or cook.
His keep is our responsibility so he must be counted as one more in the group when it comes to shopping for provisions. This doesn’t mean that you have to invite him if you decide to eat out at a restaurant. However, you have to make sure that there is sufficient food and drinks on the boat so he can have lunch or dinner on board.
The skipper is at your service 24h but keep in mind that he also needs his rest.
Some crewed boats and gulets include the skipper or the captain in the price. However, for the majority of sailing boats and catamarans, this is an additional service that should be paid directly to the base unless your TSCH consultant informs you otherwise.
When you charter a bareboat, some ship owners may perform an aptitude test and can, on some occasions, require you to hire a skipper.
What are the additional service fees?
These are fees for services that are not always included in the price of the charter such as final cleaning, outboard motor, sheets and towels, skipper, transit log, protection network, etc. Some of these additional service fees are mandatory while others are optional. If they are mandatory, they will always be included in the quote the TSCH consultant has sent you. In general, the additional service fees must be paid in cash directly to the base at boarding time. However, some ship owners may charge the additional service fees along with the payments. If this is the case, it will be specified on your reservation sheet. Regarding optional service fees, we have to know before you make the second payment which services you would like to purchase so the base can prepare them.
Who performs the check-in?
The base manager is responsible for performing check-ins. The manager will thoroughly explain how everything works and the regulations on board, and together you will review all the kitchenware. If the charter includes a skipper, normally he will explain everything. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about how the boat works, for example, where the fuel and water intake and the tank valves are located, where the control panel is and how it works, etc. He will also inform you of the weather conditions for the week so you can plan your itinerary accordingly.
At TSCH Group, we recommend you make sure the water and fuel tanks are completely full.
Where can I buy provisions before boarding?
Some bases work with supermarkets and send them a provisioning list. You can fill out this list of provisions and send it to the base at least one month before departure. Your provisions will be prepared so that when you arrive, everything will already be on board. This service will be paid for at the base and normally there is a surcharge of 2-5% of the total purchase amount.
Even though the base does not offer a provisioning list, most bases have supermarkets where you can buy all your provisions. If the base does not have a supermarket, they will offer you a van service that will take you to a supermarket so you can purchase your provisions and then they will bring you back to the base.
What is the security deposit?
This is a certain amount of money used to cover possible damages the boat may incur. It must be paid in cash or by leaving your credit card number at the time of check-in. The amount depends on each boat and/or boat owner and will be indicated on the reservation sheet and boat record. If the charter is returned in the proper conditions, the security deposit will be returned in full. However, on the contrary, if the boat has incurred damages or material lost, the money will be withheld until an assessment of the damage is made and the total cost of the damage is determined. The maximum amount the customer shall pay is the total amount of the security deposit even when damages amount to greater.
Some ship owners offer or require you to purchase a security deposit insurance which reduces the security deposit amount.
At TSCH Group, we recommend you review everything with the base manager before departure.
Should I fill the gas oil and water tanks before boarding?
Boats are delivered with their gas oil and water tanks full (at TSCH Group, we recommend you check the tank levels at the time of check-in) so they must be returned in the same conditions. During check-in, you should ask to see if the base has a place where you can fill the tank upon your return. If there isn’t, you have to make time to go to a nearby port and fill the tank before disembarking. This is the first thing they will look at during check-out.
What does the check-out entail?
Upon your arrival at the base, a manager will check the boat to make sure it is in perfect conditions: motors, cabins, WC, hull, kitchen, gas oil and water tanks full, etc. At most bases, a diver will check the hull of the vessel and if he sees any possible damages, the security deposit will be withheld.
Is there a set limit of miles for a week long charter?
The amount of miles you may travel in a one week charter may vary depending on the experience and how motivated you are to sail. However, you have to plan wisely and keep the weather conditions in mind. Don’t organise an overly tight itinerary that will tire out the rest of the crew. We will always rely on the wind and the sea.
Are berths included in the charter price?
For most berths, only the first and last nights are included since the rest of the time the boat will be cruising and won't use the base port. Most people anchor in coves or beaches, but if you want to use a berth during the trip, the cost is always assumed by the customer.
What is the crew of a gulet like?
The cost of the crew is already included in the price of the gulet and there is no additional fee to be paid to the base.
The number of people in the crew of a gulet depends on the category and the length overall of the gullet. As a standard, normally a captain, chef and sailor(s) are included.
The crew takes care of everything: steering the boat, shopping for provisions, preparing meals, cleaning the boat and, optionally, the cabins (you must specify if you want this service), etc. It's like staying in a floating hotel.
All the cabins indicated for the gulet on the web are for the customers; the crew has separate cabins.
Are port taxes included in the price?
This depends on the country where you charter the gulet.
In Turkey: The price of the gulet already includes anchors and port taxes; however, berths in private marinas are never included. Keep in mind that if you choose an itinerary that includes the Greek Islands, there is a supplement for customs and the marinas on the islands. Calculate between €600-€1,000 depending on the number of people and the length overall of the gulet.
In Croatia: Anchors and port taxes are never included. These are additional fees that must be paid at the end of the charter. If there is a gulet that includes these fees, your TSCH consultant will inform you. The cost for a week is approximately between €800-€1,000 depending on the coves you anchor in and the length overall of the gulet and the number of people. Private marinas aren’t included in this quote.
In Greece and Sicily, it depends on the gulet. Your TSCH consultant will indicate this in the quote.
Who determines the itinerary for the gulet charter?
For gulets, the itineraries are determined beforehand because normally they already have set itineraries. For example, in Turkey leaving from Bodrum, there are three possible itineraries one of which includes the Greek Islands. If this itinerary is chosen, we need to know in advance in order to prepare the procedures for customs. There is also a possibility of a one-way itinerary (leaving from one base and returning to a different one) with a supplement.
How many hours do we cruise each day?
Generally, the price includes enough fuel for 3 to 4 hours of motor cruising a day. This is just an average. Some days you may cruise more and others less, depending on the itinerary. If you request a special itinerary that includes more cruising hours, then the cost of the extra hours will be assumed by the customer.
Can gulets cruise with sails?
Most gulets always cruise by motor. These boats have a large tonnage and so they have difficulties cruising with sails. Sometimes they can be offered with sails upon customer request; however, they are not used to follow the itinerary but rather to travel short distances and only for the pleasure of sailing.
What is the layout of a gulet?
The spaciousness of the cabins depends on the length overall and the level of luxury of the gulet. They all have a bathroom. There is a type of cabin called "master cabin" and these are the most spacious. Cabins may come with a double bed or two single beds. The saloon usually occupies the middle part of the gulet. On the aft deck, there is a large table and some sun pads where you can relax and enjoy soaking in the rays. At the bow, there are a set of sun pads with an awning to provide shade during summer.
What is APA?
Some gulets require APA (Advance Payment Allowance). This is a percentage, normally between 20% and 30%, of the total amount of the boat charter that must be paid in advanced. This amount is used by the crew to buy food and drinks, pay for fuel and possible berths and have available any items the customers may ask for without having to bother the customers during the trip. At the end of the charter, the total amount of expenses is calculated and if it is lower than the amount the customer paid in advance, the remaining money is returned to the customer (this is what normally happens if the customer doesn’t ask for special foods or drinks). On the other hand, if the total amount of expenses is higher than the amount the customer paid in advance, the customer must pay the difference before disembarking.
What is the “preferent list”?
Before the charter starts, we will send you the “Preferent List” so you can indicate the likes and preferences of the group and also the relationship you would like to have with the crew.
At the time you make the gulet reservation, you must indicate whether you want half or full board since this service needs to be paid beforehand. Drinks are never included. Some gulets offer an option with drinks included but they are basic drinks (local wine, beer, water, soft drinks, etc.) and never include spirits.
Are transfers included in the price?
Transfers are never included in the price of a gulet. If you would like to request the contrary, there’s no problem. Just let your TSCH consultant know.
Do I have to leave a tip?
Tips are not mandatory but are common with gulets. There is no set amount. That depends a lot on the customer and the category of the gulet.
Do I have to pay additional fees?
Additional fees, such as land excursions, entrance fees to natural parks, transfers, drinks, tips, etc., are never included in the price of the gulet.
Do gulets have air conditioning?
Air conditioning on board gulets is included for a few hours (normally 3 or 4 hours). Keep in mind that depending on where the gulet is anchored, the generator must be turned off at night so as not to bother the rest of the anchored boats. More luxurious gulets don't have this problem; the air conditioning can be left on all night if you wish.
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