Whether you’re a West Coast resident or just visiting, San Diego boat tours are a great way to spend the day. Basking in the warm sun as you cut through the blue waves is sure to create cherished memories.
Before you head out, however, there are a few things you need to consider. For example, should you rent a boat or charter? There are some pretty significant difference between the two and which you choose can make a serious impact on your seafaring experience.
While you can technically rent a boat of any size, smaller vessels are more readily available. They’re usually personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, or sailboats.
Chartered boats, on the other hand, tend to be larger. They can range from big sailboats with multiple masts to motorized yachts. Due to this size difference, a chartered boat typically requires several people to man it, while many rented vessels can be successfully used by one person.
Period of Use
There’s also a major difference related to how long you have use of the watercraft. Typically, you rent by the hour or for one day. Chartered vessels, in contrast, are designed for longer voyages. When you choose private boat charters San Diego, you can expect to be on the water for at least a week.
When you rent a boat, you’re in charge. You’re the captain, and if the vessel is small enough, that’s all the crew you need. If you do opt for a sailboat that can support multiple people, you’re responsible for the “crew.” When renting, this usually consists of friends, family and guests.
Chartered watercraft work a little differently, as there are three distinct types:
- Crewed: These voyages have a full staff, including captain, sailors and catering. This is ideal for weeks-long pleasure cruises. Depending on the company, you may need to hire staff yourself, or it may staff the boat with employees or contractors.
- Bareboat: This type of chartering actually has a lot in common with renting: You’re the captain and are personally responsible for the crew. Since you’ll be steering a larger vessel, many companies require you to provide a skipper license as part of the transaction process.
- Cabin: If you want a compromise between complete responsibility and catered luxury, cabin chartering is a great option. When you sign up for this type of experience, you’re part of the crew with a professional captain heading the voyage.
As you may expect, your experience can vary greatly when renting vs. chartering. If you’re up for a daytrip or just want a quick tour around the bay, renting a boat may be the best option. For longer trips, a bareboat charter gives you the same flexibility.
If you’re uncomfortable taking on the responsibility of a ship or if you just want a relaxing vacation, crewed chartering is an excellent choice. However, if you want to be more active in the watercraft’s operations or if you want to learn more about seafaring, a cabin charter may suit you best.
No matter your plans, there’s a boating option that can suit your needs. So why not throw on some sunscreen, get your gear and head out to the dock?