What Documents Do I Need to Charter a Boat?

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Packing for a summer holiday? Don’t forget your paperwork!

Before departing for your dream sailing holiday in the Mediterranean, for example, you’ll need to ensure you take some important documents with you.

The answer to the question of “which documents do I need to charter a boat?” varies from country to country and charter to charter.

However, we’ll try to give you a brief overview of which documents you’ll likely need to bring on your next sailing holiday and ensure your sailing preparation checklist.

Documents to Charter a Boat

After booking a boat with Borrow A Boat, the charter company will get in touch with you. You’ll need to complete the following documentation for the charter company:

  • The crew list – detailing the names and passport numbers of everyone in your crew.
  • The charter contract – you’ll need to sign the charter’s own rental agreement and send it back to them.
renting a yacht

Once You’re On Board

When you check-in at the charter office, they will usually give you a checklist. This checklist is for you to take to the boat and record that everything is in order before setting sail. The charter will compare this list with the state of the boat when you return it.

Man on a sailing yacht Borrow A Boat

Documents to Charter a Boat – Sailing Licences

  • Sailing licences: A valid licence is needed to sail all boats. However, the licence type you will need differs between boat types and countries. To rent a sailing boat, you’ll need, at the minimum, a day skipper licence. An ICC licence (International Certificate of Competence) is a globally accepted licence required to rent a boat in most countries. An ICC licence is easy to obtain – simply fill out an application, send in a copy of your current, valid licence and they will send back an ICC verified licence. Also, any documentation you have on your previous sails and charters is helpful to bring with you.
  • Motorboat licences: If you want to rent a motorboat, you’ll generally need, at the minimum, a day charter licence, which is obtained through theory and practice. To obtain one of these licences, contact your local yacht club to find out what steps you need to take. You’ll also need to obtain an ICC licence, as above, when driving a motorboat in a country other than your own.
  • Prior to booking, we can review your licence documentation with the charter company to ensure you’re all set to sail.
  • If you do not have a sailing licence and are unable to obtain one before your trip, we recommend booking with a captain (skipper). A captain (skipper) will take care of all the complications of sailing a yacht, letting you kick back, relax and enjoy the sunset.
  • Fishing licencesIf you’re planning to do some serious fishing while on your holiday, you’ll probably need a valid fishing licence. These can be obtained at your local fishing club before departure.

Documents to Charter a Boat – Customs, Passports and Visas

Travelers always need to carry their passports on them. Do not forget this! Also, make sure to check that it is valid – you’d be surprised at how many times people try to travel with an expired passport. Always bring a photocopy of your passport in your checked luggage, too, just in case.

You may also need to obtain a tourist visa for the country you’ll be chartering a boat in. This, of course, depends on your nationality and where you are traveling to. You should contact the embassy of your destination to find out.

sailing a boat documents needed

Airport and Marina Transfers

Make sure you have booked your flights and transfers to and from the marina location. Always bring a printed confirmation with you, just in case.

Documents to Charter a Boat – Travel Insurance

We wouldn’t call sailing holidays an extreme sport, but it’s always important to be sufficiently covered by travel insurance when you’re abroad. Make sure you carry your policy number and your insurance company’s contact details at all times. You can also get deposit insurance for your chartered yacht.

Documents to Charter a Boat – Booking and Charter Confirmations

It’s a good idea to bring along your Borrow A Boat booking confirmations and any confirmations you receive from the charter. This will ensure you have the contact details of both our team and the charter’s team just in case you need them.

If you have any questions, the Borrow A Boat team is always here, happy to help. If you need more information about these documents to charter a boat, or want to discuss your next sailing trip, just give us a call! Read through the ultimate guide to sailing for beginners to make sure you don’t miss anything.

4 thoughts on “What Documents Do I Need to Charter a Boat?”

    • Thank you! You’re right, it isn’t easy, so we’re hoping this post makes it a little less confusing for our customers.


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