Have you considered using a broker?
It’s getting close to time to book your charter! You have done your research to find the best locations, have an idea of what charter company you may want to use, and may even have your boat picked out. The charter website has all the info you need, including the prices. All you must do is click add to cart, enter your credit card info, and you are done right?
Well, that is certainly one way to do it, but Bareboat Advisor recommends that you at least consider using a broker. This is a big deal! You are renting a boat that may be worth more than your home; below are a few reasons why it may be a great idea to get a little assistance.
Cost- The first thing I think of when someone talks about any sort of middleman, I think of extra cost. Everyone must get their cut, and I am the one paying! In most cases a broker will not cost you anything more than you would pay by going directly to the charter company. Their fees are generally negotiated with the charter company and are not in addition to what you would pay for the boat.
Contract Captain! Ok, so you know all about being a great skipper, but how good are your legal document reading skills? Some of the boats you could be chartering can have price tags creeping up on 7 figures. The risks, liabilities, responsibilities, and obligations when you enter an agreement to lease the boat can be significant. A good broker knows what to look for in a contract to make sure that you are covered, and not signing up for something that is unreasonable.
Expert advice- A good broker will be familiar with the area that you are going to and have some great insights that you may not have. Maybe it’s worth it to pay for that cancelation insurance based on your charter date and location. They can provide insight on better times of the year to go, let you know about other events on the calendar at your location that you may not have been aware of.
If something goes wrong- Who has more pull with the charter company? You as a guy who does 1 to 2 charters a year or a broker who places 90 charters per year, and likely has a strong relationship with that charter company? If there is a mistake, a problem, or anything that doesn’t go to plan your broker should have your back, and when renting a 6 or 7 figure boat… it’s nice to have someone else on your side.
We have found that brokers can be an invaluable piece of the charter puzzle. For no extra cost you can get someone who advocates for you, is well versed in contracts, has dealt with the charter companies before, and has local knowledge of your destination.