When you charter a yacht from a reputable charter broker dealing with luxury Caribbean yacht charters, a written agreement will be drawn up for you to sign, a contract between you and the boat. It is nothing to be nervous of. It simply details what you’ve paid for, and it works to protect you the customer. Some people don’t look at it, some go through with a fine tooth comb. Something in-between these two extremes is probably appropriate and without exhaustively going in to every line we’d like to draw your attention to key points that you may want to check out.
The agreement will name the yacht owner and where they are domiciled. This is important information that can also tell you about the vessels ‘flag’, the state it operates under. If it is unclear it may be prudent to ask your broker what flag the vessel flies as not all countries regulate their commercial vessels to the same standard.
What is included in the agreed price, and importantly what is not included, is usually set out at the start of the contract. Check that this is the same as you were told by the broker. Any additional conditions, for example if smoking is permitted or what happens to the price if the number of guests increases, will be shown as well.
After details on payment there may be an important note on delivery of the vessel and what would happen if, very unusually, the yacht is not delivered for the start of your charter. Take a close look at this and any accompanying note on Force Majeure.
Most yachts make a note in the contract about the use of drugs or any illegal activities and how this would result in immediate termination of the charter without any refund.
Finally, it is worth taking a look at the procedure if there are any disputes.
Most yacht charter agreements use a standard industry format that is proven and exists to ensure clarity and understanding while protecting you the client. Seldom does it get in the way of a blissful charter experience, the intention being to provide the charterer with peace of mind and confidence in the boat and broker.