Article written by Eldin Basic (BA Hons)

Yachting is an exhilarating experience.  
Imagine arriving in style, on a yacht of your choice to a new location you never visited before. That in itself is a truly amazing experience.  Then squeezing into a hidden bay with a fabulous beach inaccessible to many, after taking all your clothes off and after grabbing a bite, simply jumping into crystal clear waters, snorkelling your way up to the corner of the bay or next to a rock and exploring the bottom of the sea.  It's simply fabulous and you either know it and by reading this you wish to do it again or if you don't and wish to do so. Either way, you can read on for more ideas or immediately send me an email specifying your preferences in terms of type and size of the boat, preferred location and suggested period.

For the less experienced ones, I can easily say they often get yachting to be either expensive, inaccessible or outright dangerous.  They are scared of the sea and cannot imagine swimming longer then 2 minutes, let alone cruising across the open sea. If you think the same way, I can categorically state: ''You are completely wrong!''.
Sailing (excluding expensive motor yachts) is probably one of the most affordable type of holiday nowadays.  Given a right size of the group, accessible location and provided you are a little bit adventurous, you can sail for as little as £100 per week (excluding flights, transfers, provisions, mooring fees).  In simple terms, you can visit www.brummiesailing.co.uk for some ideas while in more realistic situations, getting a few friends to join you, one of which may have a skipper licence would enable you to charter your own yacht for as little as £500,00 per week (last minute offer during April or October in the Mediterranean for example).  If you wish to have a safe and secure family holiday or just want to take your girlfriend or boyfriend out on a new type of experience, the costs are likely to be higher, but can still be less then in a luxury hotel.  When sailing, you can spread the costs between family and friends, save on car rental and enjoy fresh fish in a new al fresco surrounding every day.  What more of a luxury do you expect ?

Learn To sail:
There are many options you can choose when starting to sail.  The best advice I can offer is to take it easy and with a beginner sailing course at first, or by joining a group of friends on a casual coastal cruise over the weekend.  One of the best experiences can also be by simply taking any opportunity that comes along. I once took a friend of mine, a total novice, to an advance racing programme.  On a force 10 wind with regular 40mph gusts you can bet he both got sick and considered me his worst enemy, rather then a best friend.  Add to that around £400,00 unplanned expenses in terms of sailing equipment needed at this bad weather, no wonder I had to pay for all our drinks and food that weekend.  And while on a second day he felt rather better and learned a few things, it was not until the third day when he fell in love with sailing. The weather was jolly and simply made for sailing, he learned the ropes by then and was given a firm position next to the helmsman. As we then won our race, as a result he wanted to stay another 2 days afterwards.

Skippered charter
If you are a lazy holiday maker like myself and love to relax rather then work during your holidays, you are likely to want to take the skipper. We can agree that we still believe sheets are part of bed linen and heads are flip side of tails and frankly  we don't care!!  During holiday we want to relax, take charge only when and as we please and not worry about minor things, which can easily become major ones, such as securing the boat, finding a berth or ensuring it is safe overnight.  For that reason, we would hire a local, experienced or knowledgeable skipper, unless we have a friend who is a qualified sea wolf and able to sail with us.  To read more about skippered charter, visit the following page by clicking here.  If we wish to sail, then going on a sailing course or participating in an advance racing programme or indeed an international regatta, that is when we will take charge or dig out our oilskins, which to that point we understood to be latest sun cream with a 100pf factor or so.

Bareboat Charter
If you have experience or indeed wish to spice up your trip with additional adventure, bareboat charter is the best way forward. In that case you can either sail yourself or have a friend who will do it for you. While I seriously doubt you need any general input about yacht charter from a sailor like myself, I can point you to the fact an extensive list of sailing itineraries will be provided to you and we can also advise on weather and wind conditions as well as the best time of year to go to a particular destination.  In most destinations you will need a skipper licence. Day Skipper issued by Royal Yachting Association or by many sailing schools across the med is the best to have

Crewed Charter
Similar to skippered charter, crewed charter offers care free holiday in the best place on this planet. Namely, I firmly believe you can only relax 100% when on a yacht and at sea.  In this type of yacht charter you have an additional crew member.  This is usually the hostess and she would prepare and serve breakfast, do general cleaning of the boat as well as cook or prepare simple lunch.  In this case you are still advised to prepare for luxury meals in restaurants along the sailing route, rather then request a 3 course meal on board, despite the fact that hostess or in some cases skipper can cook delicious food.  This type of meal should be reserved to skippers or hostess's discretion as most of them will be glad to make a surprise dinner or a barbeque when you do not expect it. 

Fully Crewed Yacht Charter
In simple terms, this is a 5 or a 6* holiday at its best.  You don't need to lift a finger, everything is arranged and sorted out for you. In terms of prices, such a charter can cost from as low as £1000,00 per day ie. on some gullets in Turkey or Croatia and up to several hundreds of thousands for charters on luxury mega yachts such as MALTESE FALCON, LADY MICHELLE or fabulous TIARA.