The low cost boat renting is not an utopia. A few days, one week or longer periods to spend on a boat can be low cost with some, simple tricks.
Today the web gives really many possibilities and finding them is not so difficult anymore. You think we were able to spend a weekend in mid-August – so the worst in the year as regards economic terms – looking for a boat on Thursday for Friday.
How much did we spend? We were 5, the three of us and a couple of friends, we rented a sailing boat with skipper in Liguria exclusively for us: only 104€ each!
The fuel – there was no wind in that weekend so we sailed always and exclusively by motorboat, a thing that usually doesn’t happen – cost 20€ each and with other 20€ each for the storeroom we ate and drank abundantly with many fancy things!
Our weekend by sailing boat exclusively from Friday afternoon at 6pm to Sunday, more or less at the same hour, cost 144€ each all inclusive!
It’s not absolutely an incredible price, the options we found were many and more or less all at the same price. Here it is how we did for our low cost boat renting!
If you follow me on this blog you know very well how I love boat in all its declinations, all sorts of kind and at every latitude. I was sent an email advertising holidays by boat: we haven’t them for a bit and two clicks on internet made me immediately want to leave.
Websites are really many, but we know well that usually the holidays by boat are not cheap, above all if I search during the weekend and in mid-August, the worst of the year.
It’s not absolutely an incredible price, the option we found were many and more or less all at the same price. The low cost boat renting can be a reality!
The holidays by boat booking websites are numerous, in this list I gathered those ones with the widest offer and more updated, with more research filters and with the automatic visualisation of the prices.
There are also many other minor websites, maybe with very good proposals and fares, but unfortunately they have the disadvantage to be not updated during the summer period when there’s major request, and they need a call or an email. For this reason I preferred not to include them. But if you have time, reckon them and try to contact them for your low cost boat renting.
Sailsquare: a very good website, well made, at the first places in the browsers. It allows to find sailing boat holidays worldwide and it allows to search through several filters (location, duration, budget, number of people, topology of holiday…)
another very famous website where to find every type of renting boat. There are many opportunities for a bit unusual proposals: aperitifs on boat, couple romantic daily excursions (with fuel included), the chance to sleep on the boat on the sea at definitely low cost prices. Sometimes their cruise coupons for the low cost boat renting can be found on Groupon at very low prices.
an Italian website where to look for one’s own boat; from rubber dinghy as far as luxury yachts and many other searching options according to the place, the seats’ number, selections proposed by the website and possibility to lay out with or without skipper.
Globesailor: cruises all over Europe and all over the world. There are no many offers, but some proposals are really interesting, like the cruise by catamaran to the Maldives all inclusive!
Antlos: a well made website connecting private people who want to rent one’s own boat to reduce the amounts and who want to go on holiday by boat curbing prices. Practical and quick, with the chance to look for on the map,too. Very good for the low cost boat renting.
Samboat: a French website similar to the previous one, translated into Italian (sometimes by a perfunctory way) where you can find many offers for low cost boats. We highlight the very good telephone customer care and the help in searching for the best solution. Certainly it is recommended for who is a novice and has a lot of questions and some fear.
Airbnb and Booking: everyone knows and uses these booking websites, but not all know that the researches can be improved selecting “boat” in the research typology. By this way you will be able to find accommodations on dream boats to spend the night in the most beautiful places in the world. In this case, usually navigation is not included, but often you can reach an agreement with the owner to plan cruises and excursions.
As they say, at last but not least, don’t forget the tip of the geolocalization, that one I explain through a whole dedicated chapter in the Low Cost Travel Guide.
The websites I recommend to you until now worth well both for Italy and Europe, but if you are looking for a low cost boat renting in the world (for example in the Caribbean or in the USA, but also in particular destinations in Asia or in Australia) my tip is to use the geo localization to snatch prices even more low cost compared to the ones you would be able to find in Italy.
We did it for our holidays. The low cost boat renting at the Maldives was a dream!
Another useful tip I often used together with the geo localization is to contact the local Tourist Office.
Certainly you’ll have already a destination in your mind, but also the leaving harbour have to be analyzed, above all if you have few days in your hands or if you will want to plan many locations and beaches to visit.
Always keep in mind the speed of the sailing boat. Both sailing boat and motorboat’s the cover distance is not the car’s one.
If you are booking for only one weekend, make sure about the distance you’ll want to cover, about what there’s in the outskirts, what are the most beautiful places to sleep in a roadstead (it means to anchor the boat in the sea and not at the harbour).
The nights spent in a roadstead are the most beautiful, according to me, possibly with very few other boats – maybe no one! – in the outskirts. In the good season there’s nothing better than waking up at dawn and admire colours and peace of the sea from the boat’s deck in the middle of nothing.
Personally I always ask in advance the skipper for the possibility to sleep outside. A sheet bag or a sleeping bag a bit heavier according to the season and latitude. I love the night breeze on my face rocked by the sea’s swashing against the hull.
Above all if you are selecting a sailing boat – but it worth a bit for all typologies of boats, my tip is to analyze well some aspects.
Skipper/Captain: ability, experience, curriculum, knowledge of the destinations you’ll go…they are all aspects not to underestimate above all in some destinations and with determined weather conditions, but it worth a bit for all the low cost boat renting. Probably there will be small inconveniences to set and only the skill of who has the boat’s responsibility will make you have peaceful sleeps.
Cruise typology and not race: as regards the sailing boat, always choose a cruise typology. The sailing race have smaller relax spaces, have many “gadgets”, mechanisms, rings and gangways which is very easy to put the foot on and get hurt.
Year of construction: and/or eventual restoration. Realize the effective state of the boat’s preservation will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises. Keep in mind that the bad weather can occur. In this case small internal spaces will have to be shared for hours with the other occupants.
Cabins: size, shape, number of occupants, spaces available. If you have found a boat inspiring you, before the confirmation look at the several forums – there are thousands of them – to find merits and faults.
Photos: make you send updated photos of the insides and outsides to reckon well the spaces and the level of general preservation
Boat use: at equal price, but also with a lightly major price, always opt for a private boat where the skipper is the owner of the boat, too, to be safe. Then if he is one of those who doesn’t rent without skipper even better! Private boats are averagely kept much better in comparison with the ones usually used for the renting, above all if we talk about low cost price brackets.
Boat equipment: the tender is essential. Never rent a boat without it. Practically you won’t be able to go ashore. The external shower is very convenient, so analyze the back of the boat. The internal shower is very narrow, if your holiday is short it would be enough a quick rinsing with sweet water just after the bath in the sea. I recommend you always to choose a boat typology which has the back with the little ladder to go up and down into the water by an easy way. This works above all if there are some children.
Fishing: often it is given with the equipment, according to your destination and if you are lovers, but also of you simply want to measure yourselves, it can be an interesting activity. There’s nothing better than fishing and cooking directly the fish caught. On the contrary, if your patience isn’t so elevated, the markets always exist!
Accessories: the sun curtains and the outside table are essential. The power, the fridge’s size and the cook top’s one will allow to reckon at the best how to plan the storeroom.
Some accessories like the barbecue (it can be attached at the outside of the boat) can be practical and functional for longer holidays or to cook the fish caught. Analyze well also the accessories for fee: sometimes they don’t make the difference, other times saving something can be not a real save.
Fuel: usually it is not included. Whatever is the typology of the boat you’ll rent, inquire before about the average consumptions and the amount per litre of the fuel which will be applied. Also while sailing it will happen certainly to sail by motorboat and entire days without wind could occur. It’s better to know before the amounts you’ll run into to avoid problems.
A special reference needs to be made to the storeroom. If the boat is shared with other people you have to adapt to everyone’s needs and decide all together what to do.
On the contrary, if your low cost boat renting is exclusively, my tip is to get prepared before. At the voice “picnic” you find many recipes online. Prepare before and take with you savoury pies, cold pasta and rice and mixed salads for the first days; steaks and sauced vegetables, various and salmon sandwiches which preserve a bit more and jars and bags for the following days allow to alternate a bit without spending too much time under to cook.
It’s never too much beautiful for anyone working on holiday! Then obviously, sometimes, you can also cook on the boat, as well to go ashore to enjoy some evening at the most peculiar restaurants.
Don’t forget drinks, cocktails, titbits and chips for aperitifs in the middle of the sea (you can buy ice in every harbour or marina). Going ashore choose to buy some local products to taste peacefully on board.
A good organization before will allow the best yield with the minimum effort.
It’s difficult to give tips about this.
Every story and every child is by itself and far be it from me to want to draw up a vade-mecum in this sense. I can only report shortly my experience.
As you know we have always taken Valeria everywhere since she was born. Her first cruise was the Hurtigruten in Norway, the fjords postal, when she was 8/9 months old. I didn’t have any contraindications, but obviously this typology of cruise is a quite different thing compared to the low cost boat renting one.
Generally, children under 2 are not allowed on board low cost sailing and motor boats. Keep in mind that follow a 2-4 years old child on the boat can be more tiring in comparison with the Paris-Dakar on foot and your low cost boat renting could reveal a real nightmare.
It’s difficult to explain the dangers to a too little child and the balance loss can be dangerous.
On the contrary over 6-8, according to the child, I found the low cost boat holiday perfect, at extreme latitudes, too. Valeria on board Weller was more or less that age the first time and she enjoyed herself really much despite the terrible weather between cold and rain some days.
Work on board, catch huge fishes, explore the coast, sail among the fjords by a small rowing boat…all are experiences that educate and form the little ones – besides fun – creating their store they’ll take with themselves all life.
From this age on, parents only have to enjoy the best that the cruise and the low cost boat renting have to offer!
This is a section thought for who is a novice. Certainly if you have already sailed by boat more times all over the world, or if you have even the nautical licence, it’s useless you go ahead reading.
I try to answer to who never went by boat, to who would do it, but haven’t dared it yet and to who doesn’t know how it works and looks for answers for one’s low cost boat renting.
Luggage: absolutely soft travelling bags and not trolleys or hard suitcases, better a rucksack to use also going ashore. Absolutely few cloths, travel light even really light. Swimsuit and pareu, something to go ashore by day and night, something heavier for the night when the breeze increases (and after the day spent under the sun you feel even more the sudden change in temperature). You will need nothing more. Remember that on the boat you walk barefoot and you wear the swimsuit all day!
Towels: big and soft to use sunbathing and microfiber towels drying quickly for a frequent use. An inflatable pillow to use also by day to sunbath will be perfect for the greatest comfort.
Solar creams and after sun lotion: abundant and high protection. The sun on the boat, with the reverberation of the sea and all over the day can be heavy. Don’t underestimate it and don’t ruin yourselves the holiday already on the first day due to a bad burn.
Shoes: are banished on the boat, above all those ones with the black rubberized sole leaving signs. But if you cannot do without them (but…why??!) you have to get those properly for boat.
Sheet bag: and/or sleeping bag according to the destination. It’s perfect for not making the bed every morning (who knows why on boat more you laze about more you would do it!) and to sleep outside on the deck, the thing I prefer by far! But, if you are tied to the sheets, inquire before about single/double beds you’ll occupy to not mistake sheets! Ask also if the bed linen is included.
Snorkelling equipment: many renting solutions include it. Personally I always prefer to take my flippers and my underwater mask to be sure about their conditions and enjoy the activity at the best, above all if we are talking about renting a boat at the Maldives, one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Bracelets against the sea-sickness: always take with you a couple of them, those with the little ball pressing. It can happen that also who is used to boat and doesn’t have any particular problems can get sick or have an annoying feel of sickness. I never get sick, but I ran into people that with bracelets solved the problem. Make sure to wear them correctly before to say they don’t work!
Then remember that, if possible, diving into the water and swim is always the best and quickest way to make the sea-sickness stop! First try and then trust!
Books to read: a lot, many, really many. On the boat the password is relax. They are essential for the low cost boat renting!
Gopro: the action camera is perfect for the holiday by boat. Into and out of the water for wonderful shoots and videos as a memory of your holiday. Always within reach, absolutely not to forget at home.
Speaker: if you love music, a Bluetooth speaker to have within reach your favourite soundtracks. Personally, I prefer the silence of nature and sea, but used with the right moderation and according to the other passengers, they can create unforgettable atmospheres. Also in this case, I use two sizes: a little pocket speaker useful in any occasion and a bigger speaker with a definitely higher sound from a qualitative point of view.
Power bank: several size, shape and duration to never remain without endurance. I use mainly three shapes:
according to what I need. I have been taking them with me in all shapes for years, from extreme hot to the extreme cold. And they always worked and had long duration.
Long small cables for Iphone/Ipad:I use the 3meters Apple small cable for Iphone. Yes, I know that I am always exaggerated, but I really cannot stand to be uncomfortable and twisted to arrive as far as the closest socket. I experienced many of them and of all prices before to find the right length one – my dearest 3meters! – and above all the one which didn’t stop to work after the first/second Ios update. Today, after almost two years, I am really proud of my samll flexible and resistant 3meters cable, but they are available of several lengths. In combination I use the Apple 1.8meters small cable!
Waterproof cases: for who loves reading on the Iphone/Ipad and not on paper – like me – the waterproof cases are absolutely essential. Remember that the saltiness ruins everything even when you think it isn’t there.
Power strip: inquire before about the typology and the available number of sockets, power, voltage and all the rest. A power strip is always convenient: who knows why we always have to recharge everything at the same moment!
Recharge small panel: I’ve been taking it with me while travelling for some years. I’ve burnt a lot of them, exploded under the sun or they stopped working with cold or simply they come off and opened by themselves. This one resisted all climates, it’s light, practical and quick. It has 2USB charging ports for all devices and with an internal small pocket allowing to keep at the shadow the recharging device (unless you haven’t my 3meters small cable!). On the boat it’s very convenient, we always leave it there opened for everyone. I usually use the 15W solar panel: now it’s available also the new 21W solar panel model. I recommend you to opt for the last one.
Led portable solar lamp: useful in the evening, at nights in a roadstead. to move without disturbing the others…here, too, there are many types: some of few Euros which last a bit and other ones more expensive but with a certainly more elevated quality and efficiency.
A tested friends group and with the same interests renting the boat exclusively it’s certainly the best solution, even if it’s not always feasible.
If you are opting for a low cost boat holiday with the charter formula, inquire about the people who will be on board with you.
Put together a group of boys and girls who want to enjoy the night movida and take on board cocktails, families with children, it won’t be certainly the best solution considering the different needs.
The narrow spaces and the duration can try sorely even the most patient people, too. A proper range and a good deal of versatility and ability to adapt will be certainly the winning recipe for your low cost boat renting.
All these tips to travel low cost, besides many other practical and cheap suggestions, are gathered in our Low Cost Travel Guide.
Because travelling low cost is possible. Travelling isn’t free but it can cost much less than what you always thought.
In the Low Cost Travel Guide you’ll find useful tips and cues to travel with your own family spending less than what you always though. Explicative screenshots and explanations step by step to start immediately travelling without spending a fortune.
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