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What is the Difference Between a Boat Rental and a Charter?

Private Daytime Charter Cruise

Exploring the vast blue waters and experiencing the freedom of the open sea is a dream for many individuals. Whether it’s a leisurely fishing trip, a romantic sunset cruise, or a thrilling adventure with friends, being on a boat allows you to embrace the beauty of nature from a unique perspective. When planning a boating excursion, two options often come to mind: boat rental and boat charter. While both offer opportunities to sail the waters, there are distinct differences between the two.

Ownership and Responsibility

When you opt for a boat rental, you are essentially borrowing a vessel for a specified period. You are responsible for operating the boat, ensuring safety, and adhering to local regulations. On the other hand, a boat charter involves hiring a boat and a professional crew. The crew takes care of navigation, maintenance, and safety protocols, leaving you to relax and enjoy the journey.

If you have boating experience and prefer to be in control, a rental might suit you. However, if you desire a hassle-free experience with expert guidance, a charter is the way to go.

Level of Expertise

Renting a boat assumes that you have the necessary skills to operate the vessel. While basic training may be provided, it is generally expected that you are familiar with boating techniques, safety measures, and navigation rules.

Chartering a boat, on the other hand, allows you to indulge in a worry-free voyage. The crew members possess extensive knowledge and experience in handling the boat, so you can sit back and enjoy the ride. If you lack boating expertise or prefer to leave the technicalities to professionals, a charter would be more suitable.

Boat Selection

Renting a boat often offers a wide range of options. From small speedboats to luxurious yachts, you can choose the size and type of boat that best fits your needs and budget. Rentals allow you to pick a vessel that suits your preferences and accommodates your desired number of passengers.

More Than Six Passengers on a Charter Vessel

When chartering a boat, there is another layer of Coast Guard regulations to protect the passengers. In this area, hundreds of charter boats can operate with up to six passengers, no matter how large they are. Only a handful of charter boats undergo very stringent inspection by the Coast Guard to carry more than six passengers. These boats have to be built as commercial inspected vessels. They must pass stability tests based on the number of 185-pound passengers they are allowed to carry. They must pass annual inspections and crew drills. Examples of inspected vessels are the ferry and Plan Sea. The captain must hold a Master’s license rather than a Captain’s license. These licenses are expensive to maintain. If your group exceeds six people, make sure the charter boat is an inspected vessel.

Duration of the Trip

Boat rentals generally allow you to choose the duration of your trip. Whether it’s a few hours or several days, you have the flexibility to plan your adventure according to your schedule. Charter trips, however, usually have a predefined duration. They may range from a few hours to several weeks, depending on the charter company and the type of trip you select.

Cost Considerations

The cost of a boat rental and charter can vary significantly. Rentals are typically priced by the hour or day, and the price varies based on the size and type of boat. Additionally, you will need to consider fuel costs, security deposits, and insurance fees.

Charters, on the other hand, are usually priced per trip and include the services of the crew. While charters may seem more expensive up front, they often include amenities, such as food and beverages, which can make them more cost-effective in the long run, especially for larger groups.

Purpose of the Trip

When deciding between a boat rental and a charter, consider the purpose of your trip. A rental may be more suitable if you have a specific itinerary and know exactly what you want to do and where you want to go. Renting a boat allows you the freedom to explore at your own pace and tailor the trip to your preferences.

However, if you desire a curated experience or need assistance in planning activities, a charter can provide expert guidance and a structured itinerary to ensure a memorable journey.

A Boat Rental Or Charter Will Be An Unforgettable Experience

Boat rentals and charters offer different experiences depending on your preferences and requirements. Boat rentals are ideal for those with boating expertise, a desire for independence, and flexibility in planning their trip.

On the other hand, charters cater to individuals seeking a luxurious, hassle-free experience with professional crew members to handle navigation, maintenance, and safety. Consider factors such as ownership responsibility, level of expertise, boat selection, trip duration, cost considerations, and the purpose of your trip to make an informed decision that aligns with your boating aspirations.

Regardless of your choice, embarking on a boating adventure promises to be an exhilarating and unforgettable experience on the open waters.

Book A  Charter At Plan Sea Today

Are you looking for an unforgettable boating Experienced Captain Of Plan Sea experience? Look no further than Plan Sea! Our private charter services for up to 18 passengers on Martha’s Vineyard and Falmouth, Cape Cod offer the perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful waters of New England in style.

Our experienced captain will ensure a safe and educational journey, while our knowledgeable and friendly staff will assist you with every aspect of your charter. With the surrounding areas of Falmouth, Cotuit, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown, MA, trust Plan Sea to make your next boating adventure a success.