Frequently Asked Questions


We've tried to answer as many questions as possible below, but if you still don't have the answer you need then just give us a call (0800 612 8210) or get in touch & one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 


BOOKING

Booking is super easy through this site: simply search for a boat by entering the dates, size and location of the boat you would like to charter, select which boat you would like to book, then follow the straightforward booking process. If there are any problems, or things that you don’t understand, then feel free to give us a call.

For the first couple of months, the bookings will need to be confirmed by us with the yacht charter companies, so we will hopefully confirm your booking as soon as possible (and will only process the payment if the booking is accepted). Once we’re fully up and running, we hope to allow the boats to be booked in real-time, but this will take a little time to implement and get running smoothly.

For the first couple of months, the bookings are not in real-time, and should not be considered to be completed until after you have received a confirmation email from us. We will hopefully confirm your booking as soon as possible (and will only process the payment if the booking is accepted).

However, once we’re fully up and running, we hope to allow the boats to be booked in real-time, but this will take a little time to implement and get running smoothly. But it is one of our top priorities, and we know that it is important to our users (and to us).

Prices are set by each individual yacht owner, since they are the ones who own the boats – so we can’t do anything about the prices. However, the back-end of the system is quite sophisticated, and allows them to set different prices depending upon the time of year it is, whether there are any big local events going on, how many days you are chartering it for, etc… so fiddling with the dates could have an effect on the price of the booking.

It should be noted that we have agreements in place with most charter companies which means that they offer our users their lowest prices – so you won’t find their yachts cheaper by booking anywhere else :)

At the moment, we accept all major debit and credit cards, which hopefully means that you can book rightaway – though be aware that our bank charges us money to process credit card payments, so there is a surcharge for using these, but we don’t receive a penny of the ‘extra’ money.

Yes - if you're booking well in advance you can secure the boat of your dreams for just 30% of the full charter cost!  The rest of the money needs to be paid when you are 6 weeks away from the start of the booking.

If you're booking with less than 6 weeks to go then you will be required to pay the full balance when you make your booking.

Optional extra’s, such as bedding, clothing or food and drink, must be paid for when you are ordering them – but this can be done when making the original booking, or at any point up to 7 days before you pick up the boat.

For the first couple of months, the bookings are not in real-time, and should not be considered to be completed until after you have received a confirmation email from us.

We will hopefully confirm your booking as soon as possible (and will only process the payment if the booking is accepted).

Bookings can be amended or cancelled by logging into PlainSailing.com and heading to the ‘manage my booking’ area.

Here you can add (or remove) optional extra’s, such as bedding, clothing, or food and drink, as well as contact the yacht charter company. You will be asked to pay for the optional extras when adding them, and we normally process refunds for the things you remove within 3-5 working days. Optional extras need to be finalised 7 days before you pick up the boat.

Bookings can be amended or cancelled by logging into PlainSailing.com and heading to the ‘manage my booking’ area. Here you can click to ‘cancel’ the booking, and find out how much you will receive as a refund. In some cases, and depending upon how close it is to the charter date when you try to cancel it, part of the fee may not be refunded - different yacht charter companies have different cancellation and refund terms and conditions (so check that you are happy with these before you complete the booking).


CHARTERING A YACHT

Ok, so you are new to sailing, and are not sure which boat you will need, so let’s get back to basics and start at the start. Obviously there are boats of different shapes and sizes, so which one is best for you?

Firstly, if you’re a qualified sailor, you probably won’t be reading this, but I’ll say it anyway: to charter a yacht ‘bareboat’ means to basically just take the boat – but unfortunately you’ll need to be qualified by the RYA (or international equivalent) before you can charter a yacht in this way. If you are not qualified, then you will need to hire a ‘skippered’ boat – which is where the boat comes with a driver, who will stay with the boat (and help drive it) during your trip, and will probably become a friend as the trip progresses! All skippers are very friendly, mostly helpful, usually funny, and almost always have a long stream of sailing anecdotes to share! So if you are new, you’ll need a ‘skippered’ boat.

The next thing to consider is how many friends you have that are coming sailing with you? The average yacht will fit in 4-8 people quite comfortably, but you can get a bit bigger or smaller if required. The ‘berth’ is how many people the boat is for, so select the ‘berth’ you need for your trip, then add the dates of your planned trip, a rough location of where you want to start and end your trip, click search, and you are away! You can sort the results by price, or by the reviews that the boat or the charter company have received from other PlainSailing.com users.

Clicking on a boat will give more details about it and enable you to compare a few different yachts. In general, all will work for you. Click to book, make the payment, phone your mates to tell them about it, scream about how excited you are about it, then pack your bags and prepare for a fantastic holiday!

To charter a yacht ‘bareboat’ means to basically just take the boat – but unfortunately you’ll need to be qualified by the RYA (or international equivalent) before you can charter a yacht in this way. If you are not qualified, then you will need to hire a ‘skippered’ boat – which is where the boat comes with a ‘driver’ or, in nautical speak, a ‘skipper’, who will stay with the boat (and help drive it) during your trip, and will probably become a friend as the trip progresses! All skippers are very friendly, most are very helpful, they are often fun guys or gals to have around, and almost always have a long stream of sailing anecdotes to share!
To charter a yacht, you will need to complete (and pass!) the RYA DaySkipper award, or higher, or international equivalent. This will usually cover you to sail a charter boat during daylight hours (but not during the night). Some Yacht Charter companies may differ, so check the small print of their T&C’s when making your charter booking.

The Yacht Charter company will need to see a copy of your DaySkipper license, as well as a Passport or Driving License (to verify your identity). Images of these can be uploaded into your user account so that they can be submitted to the Charter company ahead of your booking (to make the check-in process quicker and easier) – but it is likely that they will still need to see these documents (briefly) in real life. The charter company may also need to take your credit card details, or request a security deposit (which will be returned in full if the boat is returned undamaged).


OPTIONAL EXTRA / FEES

The optional extras you can book are dependent on what the Yacht Charter company offers, and can be added at any time from making your booking up to 7 days before the trip!

You should hopefully be able to hire bedding (which includes a pillow, a duvet and a towel), waterproof jackets and/or trousers, and even food and drink, which will all be stowed on board ready for you when you arrive.

Optional extra’s should be on-board the boat when you arrive, or will be given to you as part of the check-in process. If the yacht charter company forgets, then do please remind them :)
Yes! Optional extras can be added up to seven days before you make your trip. To add a few extra luxuries to your booking, head to the ‘manage my booking’ area of the site (when you are logged in). Here you can add (or remove) optional extra’s, such as bedding, clothing, or food and drink, as well as contacting the yacht charter company. You will be asked to pay for the optional extras when adding them, and we normally process refunds for the things you remove within 3-5 working days.
Bookings – including optional extras - can be amended or cancelled by logging into PlainSailing.com and heading to the ‘manage my booking’ area. Here you can add (or remove) optional extra’s, such as bedding, clothing, or food and drink, as well as contacting the yacht charter company. You will be asked to pay for the optional extras when adding them, and we normally process refunds (where applicable) for the things you remove within 3-5 working days.

Bookings – including optional extras - can be amended or cancelled by logging into PlainSailing.com and heading to the ‘manage my booking’ area. Here you can add (or remove) optional extra’s, such as bedding, clothing, or food and drink, as well as contacting the yacht charter company. You will be asked to pay for the optional extras when adding them, and we normally process refunds (where applicable) for the things you remove within 3-5 working days.


CHECKING-IN

After your booking is confirmed, then you can relax: we will keep you informed (by email) of what (if anything) you need to do. You will receive a ‘booking pack’ which tells you what exactly you have booked, where you will need to be, what you need to bring, etc… as well as key contact details.

A week or so before your charter begins, we will also telephone the lead booker to reconfirm the details, find out your travel plans (so that we can let the yacht charter company know when you are likely to arrive) and check that you are happy, excited, and ready to go!

The Yacht Charter company will need to see a copy of your DaySkipper license, as well as a Passport or Driving License (to verify your identity). Images of these can be uploaded into your user account so that they can be submitted to the Charter company ahead of your booking (to make the check-in process quicker and easier) – but it is likely that they will still need to see these documents (briefly) in real life.

The charter company may also need to take your credit card details, or request a security deposit (which will be returned in full if the boat is returned undamaged).

The simple answer is yes.

As you will be taking a seriously expensive piece of kit away for a few days, then it is normal to have to pay a security deposit – this is so that any the owners can charge you for any damage you cause to the boat, but we find it also helps to keep us concentrating when we are at the wheel!

Assuming there are no problems, then you should expect your security deposit back. The boats should be inspected when you drop them back at the marina, so you should agree any recharge costs with the yacht charter company before you leave the marina. Normally, the security deposit will be paid on a credit or debit card, but the yacht charter company may request a cheque or cash – but don’t worry, we will inform you of how this is to be paid before your charter commences, to make sure you are appropriately prepared.


COMPLAINTS

Oh no. You’re either a bit of a pessimist if you are reading this before your trip (who does that?!) or you’ve had a bad experience in using this site – in which case, we’re really sorry, and we’ll do everything we can to try to make this better.

It’s probably best if you give us a call so that we can take down all the necessary details, but feel free to contact us via the contact us form, or drop us an email, and we will respond as quick as we can.

Give us as much information as you can about your experience, and we’ll do what we can to sort it. If it’s an issue with our site you have, then we’re super-sorry, and we didn’t mean it – honest – and we are trying our best. If it’s an issue with one of the yacht charter companies, or their staff, then it may be best to take it up with them directly, but we are happy to intervene on your behalf if you prefer. We take a common sense approach to complaints, and we have good relations with all the people who offer services on our site.

As a side note, and for the benefit of those people who are reading this before they go away, it is usually always best to try and resolve any issues as and when they arise, and directly with whoever is the source of the issue.

It is also a good idea to resolve issues before leaving feedback about the yacht or the charter company, since it may just be a misunderstanding or a miscommunication.

And if you’re still angry after reading all this, then it is always worth sleeping on it…


FEEDBACK

Feedback, as the name suggests, is left after a charter has been completed - we email everyone who has chartered a yacht with us and request that they provide feedback on both the boat and the yacht charter company they got it from. We encourage them to be honest - which will hopefully help other people who are looking to charter a yacht to find a good ship.

Obviously, if you haven’t completed a charter with someone, then you can’t leave them a review. We think it is the first time that yacht charter companies have been rated and ranked, and we’re excited that finally we will get to know which companies are AMAZING and which ones are one to avoid (though hopefully you won’t find any of these sorts of companies on here).

As well as helping fellow sailors, we do occasionally review the feedback for each company, and will look to work with them to resolve issues with their services, or remove them from offering their services on this site – so it IS important!


If there are any questions not answered here, please get in touch with us.