Guest Post: Chartering vs Owning a Boat

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When debating whether or not you want to charter or own your own boat, you should not only consider the financial costs, but also also time and flexibility. Our featured guest blogger Louise of the popular sailing blog Sandy Toes and Writer Woes shares her thoughts on chartering vs owning a boat. 

Chartering vs owning a boat

There are many benefits to chartering instead of owning your own boat. Primarily, you don’t have to deal with the unexpected B.O.A.T. (Break out another thousand!)

Owning a boat is a huge financial commitment. Every year there are costs that are expected and there are always a few unforeseen extra costs to cover, mainly thanks to breakages or wear and tear. The boat gets hauled out of the water once a year at considerable expense and the maintenance is a frequent drain on funds. Boat owners also have to consider the best insurance for their needs  and keep the resale value in mind, if they intend on selling their boat one day.

chartering vs owning a boat

Owning a boat gives you the opportunity to invest time and love into it. You can maintain and customise the boat, which is both satisfying and enjoyable for some people. There’s also the possibility of living aboard if you want to and you’re not restricted to time constraints. The freedom of being on anchor in your own boat, with the option to change your plans at a moments notice is wonderful. You can really have individuality with your own boat and of course you have the ability to leave things behind so you don’t have to keep packing and unpacking.

chartering vs owning a boat

On the flip side however, chartering a boat is more cost effective than owning a boat, unless you have three months available to make use of the boat. It’s also a lot less of a commitment and nowhere near as time consuming. If you try one size or style of boat and you like it then fantastic, but if your needs or tastes change frequently then chartering gives you the opportunity to change boats each time you set sail. If there’s just a couple of you, a single cabin boat is perfect, if you have children or you’re sailing as a group, something bigger with more cabins would be more comfortable and offer more privacy. The ability to choose different sized boats each trip is a luxury that boat owners just don’t have.

Chartering also gives you lots of flexibility on location. You don’t have to move your boat to another country or continent you can simply charter somewhere else. Again, this is both cost effective and saves a lot of time.

chartering vs owning a boat

As a boat owner who loves her boat, I enjoy being a live aboard sailor, but it’s certainly not for everyone. That being said, I would love to charter a boat in far flung places. Logistically we can’t sail outside of Europe yet due to work commitments, so for a week or two chartering would be the perfect way to go somewhere new and satisfy our love of exploring by boat.

Chartering is hassle free; you don’t need to worry about maintenance or mooring fees. The safety equipment is provided and up to date and the best part is, you’ll receive great customer service from

How to be the Perfect Boat Guest

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We all know the proper etiquette for being a guest in someone’s home, but what about being a guest on a boat? Our guest blogger and fellow boater, Louise of Sandy Toes and Writer Woes shares her thoughts about how to be the perfect boat guest while on your next sailing holiday. 

How to be the perfect boat guest

If you’ve not been on many boats before, sometimes boat etiquette can be quite bewildering. With a little thought and consideration though, it isn’t difficult to be the perfect boat guest.

Firstly take your shoes off.

how to be the perfect boat guestJust like in people’s homes on land, on boats its polite to ask if it’s okay to wear your shoes. Deck shoes or white-soled rubber shoes are usually all right on deck, but generally shoes should come off before you go into the cabin. High heels should never be worn on boats because they will mark the boat.

Bring your own towels unless you’re told otherwise.

Laundry can be quite a hassle when you’re on a boat. So unless your host tells you not to worry, it would be a good idea to take your own towels with you if you intend on swimming or lounging in the sun.

Offer to bring bottled water or heavy items.

Most marinas involve a walk from a car or even a supermarket, so lugging heavy items to and from the boat can become quite a chore. If you fancy being really helpful and impressing your host, you could offer to bring some bottled water or other heavy items with you.

how to be the perfect boat guestGifts.

If you want to bring a gift to thank your host, bring something useful. If your hosts like alcohol you can’t go wrong with a bottle of their favourite tipple. Alternatively, small useful things will also always be appreciated. Storage is at a premium on a boat, so large decorative gifts should be avoided.

Be considerate.

Your host will want you to have a lovely time, but be mindful that they’re also supposed to be enjoying themselves. You can offer to help clean up or take the rubbish off the boat with you when you leave. With small thoughtful gestures you can really help your host out and secure an open invitation for future trips.

Don’t use too much water.

how to be the perfect boat guestWater is a commodity on a boat; it comes from a tank with a limited supply. Even if you’re only out of the marina for a short time, your host is unlikely to want to refill the water tank(s) on a daily basis.

Toilet etiquette on a boat.

As a rule- if it hasn’t been through you, it doesn’t go down the toilet. Generally new people will be given a tour of the head and be informed on how to use it. A suitable place for toilet tissue and sanitary disposal will be pointed out but if it isn’t …


If there’s anything on the boat that you’re not sure about then you should always just ask. Then you can relax and enjoy your trip with the knowledge that you’re a great boat guest.


Our Favourite Destinations for Sailing in Northern Europe

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Our favourite destinations for sailing in Northern Europe

Lidingo, Sweeden

sailing in northern europe

Explore the marvels of the Stockholm archipelago while experiencing Sweden’s natural beauty and experiencing Swedish culture while sailing on your private yacht from Lidingo. Sailing around the 24,000 islands and inlets that make up the Stockholm archipelago is an experience like no other. Situated close to Sweden’s capital, Lidingo is an ideal place to start your holiday. Lidingo is also famed for the Lidingo Regetta, an event highly esteemed by yachtsmen across the globe.


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Rostock is a charming Hanseatic city, famous for historical treasures and its ideal location by the Baltic Sea. The low current and ideal wind conditions beckons sailors from all over the world to enjoy the long coastline around Rostock. The city is also home to Hanse Sail, the largest maritime festival in Mecklenburg, Germany and one of the largest in Europe. Check out the event on your own private yacht. We’ve got a lovely Vilm 41 Cruiser that’s perfect for your next sailing trip in Rostock.

Jyväskylä, Finland

sailing in northern europe

Jyväskylä is located in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland, an alluring labyrinth of rivers, lakes, canals and islands. It’s the largest lake district in Europe and boasts some of the cleanest and most pure bodies of water in the world. Get to know the lively city of Jyväskylä, known for its vast cultural offerings, including an intriguing wooden church that has been included on the List of World Heritage Sites then get ready to cruise gently on the placid waters of Finland while taking in the beauty of the surrounding landscape aboard a Bellamare Deluxe houseboat.

Tromsø, Norway

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Most famed as wonderful destination to see the Northern Lights, Tromsø is also an excellent place for a sailing holiday. This amazing city is only 350 km from the Arctic Circle, making it an ideal location to start expeditions to the Arctic. Outdoor and nature enthusiasts will love Tromsø’s diverse offerings of activities including hiking, fishing, dogsledding and of course, sailing. Tromsø is an ideal location to witness the wonders of Arctic wildlife and natural landscapes, including the fjords. Begin your journey in the Arctic in Tromsdalen.  

Stavoren, Netherlands

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Ijesselmeer Lake is the largest lake in Holland and is one of the Netherland’s most popular sailing regions. The picturesque views, calm waters, diverse wildlife and the charming fishing and trading towns that surround the shores of this lovely lake make it a fantastic place for a weekend getaway. One of our favourite villages is Stavoren, the oldest of the 11 towns that border the lake. Stavoren was one of the most important towns in the Hanseatic League and was a major player in the Baltic Maritime trade in the middle ages. Though not a lot remains from its rich past as a trading town, Stavoren has become a prime destination for water sports enthusiasts.