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What to look for when chartering a boat


If you are chartering a boat for the first time, there are a few important points you should keep in mind.

What to consider before signing a contract

  • Does the skipper have the necessary documents for both the ship, e.g. B. the nautical qualifications such as sport boat license with scope in inland or sea waters or radio operating certificate. This should definitely be clarified, otherwise the insurance cover may not apply.
  • What is in the inventory of the boat?
  • Do the type and size of the boat meet your requirements in terms of space (cabins, toilet, shower, pantry)?
  • How much is the deposit and how should it be deposited (cash, check, credit card)?
  • What services does the charter price include? Are there any additional costs, for example for bed linen, cleaning or a dinghy and outboard motor?
  • Are pets allowed on board?
  • Is there a parking space for the vehicle? If so, is it complete or not, is it included or paid for separately?
  • Are there bicycles on board?
  • Is the shipping area restricted by contract?
  • What insurance coverage is contractually stipulated and to what extent is there personal liability or a deductible in the event of damage for the charter customer?
  • Is there a travel cancellation or charter cancellation insurance? A charter deposit insurance covers the deposit amount if it is retained in the event of damage to the chartered yacht. A skipper’s liability insurance is an additional insurance. It takes effect when the liability insurance of the charter yacht shows security gaps or does not apply, such as B. in the case of gross negligence.
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Important points of the charter contract

The charter contract is a very important basis, especially in the event of any disputes, and should therefore be as complete and comprehensive as possible. The following individual information is part of the minimum scope of a charter contract:

  • Names and addresses of the charterer and the charter company
  • Ship data such as ship name, boat type, length, width and draft and, if applicable, the mast height
  • Charter price and charter duration
  • Place and time of taking over and returning the ship
  • Number and type of documents and keys transferred
  • List of equipment on board
  • Protocol on previous damage and defects

In addition to the individual information, the following points should be regulated in the general charter conditions: Reservation and conclusion of contract as well as withdrawal and services not included in the charter price, further obligations and liability of the charterer and charter company, place of performance and place of jurisdiction. Make a note of the consequences of defects on the ship or the interior fittings and the amount of the excess. Pay attention to items like “cleaning costs” or “repairs” – additional costs may apply. Also make it clear that if the ship is returned properly, the deposit should be refunded immediately. The charter company should provide you with proof of insurance as well as the charter license and operating license.

What to look out for when taking over the ship

  • Checklists or equipment and inventory lists require careful examination, for which one should take sufficient time.
  • The items and equipment listed in the lists should be checked for functionality and completeness.
  • All safety equipment must be available: a life jacket for each person, emergency signals, flags N + C, working fire extinguisher, position lights, on-board pharmacy, flashlight with batteries, sufficient fenders
  • A clean and full fresh water tank and a tight filler neck are basic requirements.
  • The fuel tank, filler neck and fuel gauge should be carefully examined.
  • Are the sanitary facilities (toilet, shower, sink) leak-free?
  • Is the bilge dry?
  • If there are any defects, write them down immediately and insist on their removal.

Carrying out an internal inspection

  • Has the ship been cleaned and the holding tank (if present) emptied?
  • How do you operate the toilet, the holding tank and the water system?
  • Are the water and sewer pipes all tight?
  • Check that the refrigerator, heater and water pump are working.
  • Confirmed inventory must be complete and in perfect condition.
  • In addition to the existing gas cylinder, a full replacement cylinder should be on board.
  • Have all damage and missing inventory recorded in detail in the takeover log so that there can be no later disputes.

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