A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING CHARTER PAPERWORK
Like anything in life today, it is important to have a contract in place to set out your rights, obligations and be sure of your cancellation policies. The charter contract shall include dates and locations of the charter, details of the payment schedule and insurance along with warnings of any unacceptable behaviour. Read out for a comprehensive guide into what to expect from your chartering contracts.
Although charter paperwork has recently become much more standardised, a charter broker will have plenty and enough of experience with charter contracts. The broker will be able to explain any clauses which charterers may find confusing. A charter contract is constructed word by word and since years to protect both the charterer and the yacht owner. Although might difficult to understand, charterers must be aware of maritime rules and regulations. The contract is constructed to ensure the laws of the country to which a yacht is flagged are abided by.
Typically the contracts used are provided by professional organisations. MYBA offers the most commonly used contract in the industry, particularly for large vessels like our 30 meters, cruising within the Mediterranean seas.
Formerly known as Western Mediterranean Terms, MYBA (Worldwide Yachting Association) terms are often referred to as a "plus all expenses" contract. Under the terms of a MYBA contract the below are typically inclusive of the base charter fee;
Hire of the yacht including all water toys and equipment (in full working order).
Wages and food of the crew for the duration of the charter.
In addition to the above, expenses such as food and drinks for the guests, fuel (including main engines, tender fuel and jet skis etc.), personal laundry, communication costs and berthing fees will also be applicable.
In order to make the payment structure coherent for guests, the additional expenses for the charter party will often be covered by an Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA) and often equates to approximately 30-40 percent of the base charter fee, depending where yacht is sailing. For more details on APA and how it is calculated please visit our Understanding Charter Costs page.
We will not give details here about "Standard Eastern Mediterranean Terms" (SEMT) and "Greek Terms" (GT) where you will find good explanation here.
Think Fuel expenses.
Although we can modify terms of MYBA contract and inclusive of fuel for up to four cruising hours per day, it is important to remember that should guests wish to exceed a cruising speed, use jet skis and electricity whilst at anchor, more fuel will be used with the cost applied to the charterer.
Reading the contract
It is essential that each charter guest has a full understanding of the charter contract and how they will be affected by it, therefore each guest should take the time to read the contract and familiarise themselves with the content.
Don’t be afraid to speak up with the broker or the Captain.
Although a charter contract may seem daunting at first, it is here to protect both you and the yacht owner. It is critical that guests speak up should they have any questions regarding the contract or are unsure as to how the payment structure is applied or how costs are calculated. Charter brokers are experts in the field and will be able to explain one contract clause to the next, so don’t be afraid to ask anytime.
Please visit our pages on How to Plan and Book a Yacht Charter and Understanding Charter Costs for more information on booking your private yacht charter.