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3 Useful Tips for Chartering a Yacht in Miami

3 Useful Tips for Chartering a Yacht in Miami

July 8, 2016

Thanks to Miami’s location at the tip of the United States’ tail, the Magic City is a magnet for yachts, brokerage houses, captains, crews and travelers craving a luxury getaway on the water.

Marinas dot the banks of the Miami River, Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, and stay busy from November through July (read: not during the height of hurricane season).

Ready to set sail? Here are a few tips to consider before you shove off from South Florida:

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  1. Determine your destination.

Admittedly, there’s one problem with choosing an itinerary for your Miami yacht charter: There are almost too many choices!

Starry-eyed and short on time? Book a four-hour tour of Miami’s ultra-exclusive residential islands, where celebs live and play in stunning waterfront mansions.

Fighting for your right to party? Schedule a stop near the popular Haulover Sandbar, which attracts a fleet of boats filled with spirited sailors.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, enjoy a leisurely trek along the Florida Keys, set sail for Key West or travel in high style to international ports, including those in Cuba and the Bahamas.

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  1. Make a list of what to pack.

Chartering a yacht for an overnight trip isn’t like boarding a cruise ship. The environment aboard a yacht is far more casual – after all, you’re not even allowed to wear shoes on deck.

Here are a few things you’ll want to be sure to take with you from Miami:

  • Your passport.
  • Your medications, including something for seasickness, although it will likely affect only the most sensitive of stomachs.
  • Sun protection. The South Florida/Cuba/Caribbean region is a UV beast, so definitely pack a wide-brimmed hat, quality sunglasses and a sunscreen with a high SPF number.
  • T-shirts, shorts, bathing suits and a swimsuit cover-up or sweatshirt for mild nights.
  • Baby wipes (for quick clean-ups in place of long showers).
  • A dry bag.

What to leave at home? Towels. Snorkel gear. Fancy clothes. Expensive jewelry. Extensive makeup.

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  1. Include tips in your trip budget.

Miami is a truly international city, attracting residents and visitors from Central America, South America, Europe and Asia. Each of those folks brings with them different tipping conventions. Americans may grumble about tips, but they’re accustomed to them, while tourists from other nations aren’t as tip-happy.

The norm across the yachting industry is to tip the captain and each crew member between five and 15 percent of the total value of the charter. Tips can be distributed in a number of ways – cash in an envelope, handed to the captain as you depart; bills placed directly in the hands of each crew member; or funds wired from an account after you disembark.

Still not sure what to do? Ask your yacht broker for an assist.

Bon voyage!