What does bareboat charter refer to

A bareboat charter is a boat or ship that is hired or ‘chartered’ by a third party without the inclusion of a crew or other provisions within the agreement. Bareboat charters are usually hired by a family or group of individuals for leisure purposes, who are responsible for organizing and taking care of the additional arrangements, such as the crew, onboard meals and other preparations.

Features of a bareboat charter

A bareboat charter is essentially an agreement made between those renting the boat and the owner of the boat. This type of chartering contract is made between individuals and vessels of any type, including yachts and ships.

When an agreement for a bareboat charter is made, it should be noted that the agreement does not come with any extras, such as a crew, technical maintenance or other provisions. Instead, the charterer must make his own arrangements for a crew and master. Unlike in other chartering agreements, the charterer is free to roam whichever waters he pleases, provided the vessel is registered to sail in those waters.

Granting the charterer full possession over a rented ship or yacht can be viewed as a disadvantage for the charterer, as they are liable for all legal and financial issues with the vessel. This includes maintenance of the ship while in the care of the renting party, administration and technical costs, and any other additional costs for crewing, fuel and so on.

However the primary benefit for the charterer is that they are not bound by any restrictions that the owner may stipulate in  other agreements.

Bareboat agreements for yachts are typically valid for a short period of time and are normally hired by parties of people seeking to charter a yacht for a holiday break. This is because it is substantially cheaper to rent a yacht than to purchase one’s own.