For people who aspire a bareboat holiday – This is what you need to charter a boat



Explore the best anchorages with a bareboat yacht

Freedom of sailing

If you are looking for freedom to decide where to sail to, renting a bareboat is the way to go. It will let you explore those great anchorages and marinasAnd will give you the possibility to choose yourself where to moor or drop anchor. I have booked bareboats myself in a number of different countries and regionsAnd I had to dig into the rules and regulations around renting a boat. The tricky part is that the requirements in terms of skipper-classifications differ per country. They can even differ per charter-company. To give you guidance I have created an overview that will help you to understand what is needed for a safe and wonderful holiday. 

The principle

It is quite simple: What qualifications you need to charter a yacht, comes from the individual operator or owner of the yacht. He or she always makes the final decision. This means that in practice these owners will base their decision on the requirements of their insurance company. And they will ask for proof of your sailing skills and capabilities.

It is no surprise that a formal skipper’s qualification  will make it easier for the yacht owner to decide to rent you the yacht. For example the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or a license from the American Sailing Association (ASA) are usually internationally accepted qualifications. However I found that common sense is used amongst most charters. Even without this license there is no reason why you can not rent a yacht. Of course I don’t see why anyone would want to rent a yacht without having the right experience and the confidence to drive it safely. In some rare occasions, the charter will request you to show your boat handling skills on the day of arrival. By taking the yacht out of the marina by yourself and show your
manoeuvring and handling capabilities.

The two documents that will help you get a bareboat, are:

  1. Sailing CV
  2. Skippers qualification

Sailing CV

As said earlier, in almost all countries any formal qualification is not necessary to charter a yacht. But it will help you massively if you can provide the charter with evidence of your sailing experience. A so-called sailing CV with details on your experience will do the job. And it is also fun to make one as well, as it brings back some good old memories. For creating a CV you want to include the following information: Own yacht if applicable/Days-weeks as skipper/Days-weeks as crew/Type of yachts/Coastal, inland or open water/Specific experience in mooring, navigation, engine control.

A useful website to check where you can rent a yacht with your qualifications is that of The Moorings 


International Certificate of Competence – ICC: This certificate is becoming the accepted standardized qualification in many European countries. In certain European Countries, it is mandatory to hold this certificate if you want to bareboat charter a yacht. Some countries may accept the ICC as an alternative to their national qualification, your charter company can confirm this for you. I found that the website of the Royal Yachting Association gives you detailed information on the ICC. In case you have a local qualification, you can have this transfered to an ICC in most cases by a local ICC organisation.

American Sailing Association- ASA: This is a national framework for sailing qualifications. For many cruising destinations in the USA and Caribbean this qualification is sufficient, although you can expect charter companies to ask for additional details about your sailing experience. For reference you can check the website

When you have booked your boat it is time to look for the best places to visit. It makes a lot of sense to ask your charter for the best routes as they have detailed local knowledge about the best anchorages and marinas to go to. If you are looking for reviews from fellow sailors that sailed the area before, you can download the Moorspots app. Our sailing community is adding new spots and reviews every day. Join us and also share your experiences in the Moorspots app, once you have set sail on your bareboat.

Wishing you lots of safe and happy sailing holidays.


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