Yachting Monthly

Get ready to charter

Toby Heppell is Sailing Editor of Yachting Monthly. He has been sailing his whole life and writing about it for many years

When you arrive at your charter boat, itching to get underway, maintenance is unlikely to be top of your mind. It’s fair to expect the boat to be in good condition when you arrive, particularly if you are chartering from a reputable company. Knowing that these boats are sailed hard all season, however, should be enough of an incentive to give the boat a good once over before you set off, when potential problems are easily remedied.

In the first instance it is worth having a quick look round for any scuffs or marks that have not already been noted. Much like hiring a car, you want to make sure you are not held responsible for any damage that has occurred before your hire commences.

How thorough you need to be with this visual checking is dependent on your charter. If you are chartering from a larger, well known company or are hiring from somewhere you have previously successfully chartered with, then you may feel more confident in the boat than with a private charter, when you might wish to be a little more thorough. If there is anything you feel is particularly significant, it will be worth flagging this up with a representative and taking a photo for reference.

Realistically the checks you will want to perform on your boat are a pretty set list and any boat owner is likely to undertake most of these checks on at least an annual basis. The difference here is that it is an unfamiliar boat with little time for you to naturally understand potential problems, so while you are eager to be

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