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Nowadays, sailing vacations are becoming more popular. Many people have heard of the benefits of going on a sailing trip compared with the typical hotel stays. When you choose to go boat sailing, every day will be a unique experience. You have the freedom to travel to every island you want to see. You can visit and explore the mainland, enjoy the beaches, wake up to a new view, and try out different cuisines each destination you visit has to offer.

Aside from that, you can save yourself time and energy from carrying heavy bags if you travel through public transportations and pack and repack your things whenever you’re at a stopover. On a sailing vacation, your boat will be your accommodation and transportation at the same time. So, if you travel to another place the next day, you don’t have to worry about repacking your things and carrying them again. You can settle freely as soon as you’re inside the boat.

However, not everyone has the luxury to buy their own boats. Boats are an expensive investment. Thankfully, there’s always another option for you to have a sailing vacation, and that is by hiring a boat. When hiring a boat, you’ll use and rent the boat depending on how many days you’ve negotiated with the boating company, but the course of your sailing will still be all up to you. So, if you’re reading this and you’re planning to go sailing, this is your sign to learn how to sail! The Marine Spot has a very simple and easy-to-follow beginner’s guide that you should check out.  But, before you go ahead and hire a boat, there are some things you’ll need to consider to ensure your boating experience will be safe, secure, and enjoyable.

Below are five things you should know before hiring a boat:

1. The Boat Skipper

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Before a boating company allows you to hire and rent one of their boats, it’ll need to make sure that there’s a skipper among any of you in the group. It’s someone who’s had some previous boat sailing experience in the past or someone who knows the basics of boat operation and navigation. The skipper will act as the captain of the boat. Thus, he must have a boating license or certificate before you and the group can hire a boat.

But, if no one among your family or friends has the needed skills and license, don’t worry!

Most boating companies also have some skippers for hire in case their clients are not eligible to navigate and operate a boat. The hired skipper will be with you during the entire trip.

However, some people want the boat all to themselves and experience the sailing vacation on their own with their group. Fortunately, there are numerous boating courses available in the United States that you can take for you to earn your boating license and operate a boat! Some companies like even offer a boating course that you can complete in three hours. Once you’ve earned your boating license, you can now be the skipper of the boat and start looking for a boat to hire.

2. Choosing Your Boat

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There are actually many types of boats for you to choose from, but the boating company will usually recommend the kind of boat that best fits you and your needs. The type of boat most often rented by tourists is the sailboat. Sailboats aren’t fast, but it’s actually a good thing as they allow you to take your time cruising, exploring the sea, and visiting your chosen islands and coastlines.

For non-experienced sailors or those looking for an easier vessel to navigate, the company may suggest the catamarans. They’re easy to operate, especially in shallow waters; have plenty of living space, deck space, and fly decks; and they’re easy to get in or out the water if you want to do soul exercises on the beach or take a swim.

Catamarans are also perfect for families and children as you can’t feel any seasickness on them while onboard.

For those who like speed, the company may offer you the motorboat. These boats usually have two to three cabins and can take you from one island to another very fast.

For those who have the budget to go for luxurious and elite choices, boating companies may suggest a luxury sailing yacht, luxury motor yacht, or even a small cruise ship. There are also luxury boats with a spa, a gym, high-speed Internet, and other luxurious perks.

3. Narrow Down Your Search

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Now that you know what type of boat you’re planning to hire, it’s time to narrow your search into one to two boat types. This will help you make the right decision and make sure you don’t hire the wrong boat type. In narrowing down your search, you need to consider two things: the number of passengers and the deal offers.

The number of passengers will help you determine the size of the boat you should rent. Meanwhile, the price may also affect the planned duration of your vacation. Some companies charge an hourly fee, while some charge per day. If you’re planning to go sailing for several days, don’t be afraid to negotiate the amount as they might give you a discount and a better deal.

4. Condition Of The Boat

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Once you’ve chosen a specific boat type to hire, the first thing you need to do is inspect the boat’s current condition. Your boat must be well-maintained and free from any damage or potential breakage. Otherwise, these minor damages may cause unnecessary inconvenience in the long run. Aside from that, it’s also crucial that you spot any damage as early as you can so that by the time you return the boat, you’ll not be the one liable for it.

5. Complete Navigation Tools And Safety Equipment

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When traveling on land, you usually rely on signboards, maps, or geographical features to reach your destination. However, that’s not how it works when you’re traveling in the water. You need to have complete navigation accessories that will guide you to the island you wish to visit. Thus, you need to inspect if your boat has the complete navigation tools such as a chart, a map, or a compass to help you navigate.

Another primary concern when you’re traveling in the water is everyone’s safety, including yours. While it’s true that everyone is responsible for his own safety, when you’re the skipper, you’re the one who must be knowledgeable about the safety and security measures on the boat. For this reason, you should know whether the vessel has safety equipment and where they’re located.

6. Time To Sail!

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These are the main things you mustn’t forget before hiring a boat. Now that you know them, you can start your hunt for the best and suitable boat type for you and start your unforgettable sailing vacation!