Day Charters - Eventuality or not Feasible? / by Trevor

The world of air travel is far different from getting around by boat. However, both markets have relative high costs of entry and considerable longterm upkeep costs and considerations. If you cannot afford this full price to purchase, or it simply is not feasible based on your location or lifestyle, you can still enjoy the perks by leasing or chartering. There are many timeshare styled boat clubs and rental organizations out there to cover the lower end of the market, and obviously higher end charter for the extreme top end of the market. However, there are few reputable organizations to cater to the middle of the market. Say you have a dozen business associates that you would like to take out for the day. Or, extended family who would like something different from the typical landlocked get together. A quick look at Freedom Boat Club shows their biggest boat in a few markets is a 20' bowrider. This is not large enough or comfortable enough for a large, discerning group. Not to mention that places like the Freedom club require an upfront fee, and monthly dues, and do not cater to the one-time ride.

Aviation has had these organizations, such as Netjets, which does have its dues for X hours of usage. Now there is an entry to allow people who do not want to sign up for the long term, but want to fly in style for a few occasions:

JetSuite's fleet of 4-seat Embraer Phenom 100 jets are the best, most fuel-efficient aircraft in their class with speeds up to 450 miles per hour, an operating altitude of up to 41,000 ft, a stylish interior cabin designed by BMW and the largest baggage compartment in its category. The company provides service to major cities (AKA "SuiteSpots") throughout the Western United States, Canada and Mexico. They aim to make the luxury of flying private more accessible and affordable with prices starting at just $999 for a one-way flight – for the whole plane.

So, rather than a Netjets Membership with a $100-$250k commitment, you can have plane ready to go, on a whim, at an affordable price (airfare for 4 one way is often close to $999). Also $999 is the base rate, it does get more expensive the farther you travel.

Let's see this with some boats! An equivalent to this would be somebody wanting to take out a million dollar boat for the day, with no long-term commitment, and no necessary worries other than showing up on time. Typical charter prices establish a base rate, with incidentals (fuel, food, tip) being tacked on top. I don't think it is unimaginable for a flat-rate package to be assembled.

Trevor's boating packages:

  • The large trip. A 60ft motoryacht, with a captain and 1 stew. Capable of entertaining a dozen executives, or a family gathering. Capabilities of the boat allow extended trips, anchorages for the day, and plenty of toys on board. Also, a full galley allows great flexibility with meals.
  • Mid Size. A 40-50 Express. Still with range and comfort, but for a smaller group. A Captain would be all the crew required. Lunch trips, dinner trips, or certain destinations could be offer, such as a remote sandbar, or a lake/home tour.
  • "Picnic" boat. Not saying this has to be a certain manufacturer's Picnic boat, but a well laid out day boat is far more luxurious and appealing than the idea of renting a white fiberglass bowrider. A Captain would still be provided, and could serve appetizers and wine on sunset cruises.

What else would make these packages more attractive? Well suited boats for the roles? Suggested locales? Let's hear it in the comments!