Ed Hamilton & Co.

Plan Your Charter

Imagine waking up each morning in a different harbor, with a new island to explore, exciting sites to see a new coral reef to snorkel or dive on, or a secluded beach to cultivate that gorgeous tan.

At night, dance on the beach to the exotic rhythms of a steel band, dine on delectable tropical cuisine or simply fall asleep to the sounds of the sea in a quiet, peaceful cove only to awaken the next morning…. and do it all over again.

If this is your idea of a dream vacation then you are not alone. Over the last 30 years, thousands of vacationers just like you have let us help them enjoy their own Dream Vacation.

The 12 steps shown below will help you achieve your Perfect Vacation. You can choose to tackle this yourself or for true peace of mind, let our experienced charter experts do it all for you… at no extra charge.

12 Steps to A Perfect Vacation

1. Determine when you want to go.
Knowing when you plan to travel helps determine the cruising grounds you should be considering. Prices, availability and particularly weather, can all vary depending on the time of year and can play an important part in choosing a charter destination.

2. Determine what type of vacation.
Is this a family holiday, quiet romantic getaway, a couple’s or singles trip, etc.? This will determine what type of boat and crew would be suitable, and what islands to visit or activities to plan for.

3. Determine where you want to go.
Yacht charters are available around the globe with The Caribbean being the most popular. We are acknowledged to be the premier Caribbean specialists and have over 1000 yachts which we are familiar with.

4. Determine your budget.
Price plays a part in most people’s vacations. Our staff will help you maximize your budget and may in fact help you get more yacht than you thought possible. When price is not an issue, we represent some of the most luxurious yachts available in the world.

5. Determine what style of charter fits your dream vacation.

  • Crewed Charter:
    Your yacht comes with a permanent captain and cook. Price includes all meals and often house wines and open bar. Meals are prepared to your taste (to a very high standard) from individual preferences given to the cook before the charter. You choose the day’s activities and the itinerary, on a day to day basis. Yachts tend to be more luxurious and have more ‘toys’ (kayaks, waterskis, A/C, entertainment centers, etc) than a bareboat. The cost per person can be close to or less than the cost on a crowded cruise ship. Matching your party to a suitable crew is an important part of our service.
  • Bareboat Charter:
    Sail the boat yourself. The principal charterer needs to have skippering experience on a yacht close to the size you are chartering. Equipment standards and reliability can vary considerably, even within a company. It is a mistake to choose a boat purely by price and the cheapest boat is not always the best value.

    You can also charter through a bareboat company and add a captain (and cook), although unless the aim is to bareboat the next time, a private crewed yacht can be comparably priced and can sometimes offer better value.
  • Megayacht Charter:
    Also known as superyachts, these sail and power yachts over 90′ are equipped with a highly professional captain and crew who will tend to your every need and coordinate the most amazing adventures exclusively for you and your guests. Typically, a plus-expenses charter, Megayachts are perfect for corporate retreats or celebrating momentous life events with family and friends.

All charters are available on motor yachts or sailboats.

Now that you’ve decided the above, the fun really begins. There are so many yachts for you to choose from. Which one is right for you? Our staff knows each and every one of them, and once we know your desires for a dream vacation, we will handle Step 6 for you…

6. Research & narrow your choices.

Bareboat Charters – After emailing you a summary of all bareboats and companies in the area you are considering, a bareboat broker will make suggestions and help you narrow down your choices, based on your requirements and our personal knowledge of each boat,bareboat company and cruising ground.

Crewed Charters and Megayachts – Using your comments and answers to questions 1 – 5, a crewed broker will personally select 5 to 10 yachts from our database of more than several hundred yachts and send you this initial selection by email complete with brochures (or links) and our own candid descriptions of both boat and crew, written by our staff from personal inspections and interviews. After discussing what you like in this selection, the broker will send you more examples of similar boats and help you narrow down your choices.

7. Interview the prospective crews and recent charterers.
For a crewed charter, we feel the selection of the crew is actually more important than the boat. A good crew can make up for a mediocre boat but the opposite is not true. We maintain relationships with all yachts and closely monitor feedback from our recent charterers, so we are in an excellent position to find the perfect match for you and your guests.

For bareboat charters, the condition of the boat and the backup services provided by the company are the most important.

8. Once you’ve decided, inspect the current condition of the yacht.
Any boat and /or crew can look good in a brochure or website. Some are immaculate and some are maintenance nightmares. 3 years of bareboat chartering can cause the same wear as 10-15 years of private use, but with a crewed yacht, maintenance is more important than age. In most cases, we will have seen the boat you are chartering and can describe its current condition.

9. Book your yacht but be careful.
It is important to know who is holding your money. For a crewed charter, ensure your deposit is held in a true escrow account until just before departure (we use a trust account for maximum security). We caution against sending money directly to a boat. This does not imply that boats are dishonest, but even with the best of intentions, things can go wrong and it is often very difficult to get your money back after the fact, particularly if the boat is outside the US. Our staff, if you choose, will handle all of this for you, again at no charge to you.

10. Assist with the other details.
You’ll need hotel reservations, provisioning options, customs and passport requirements, itineraries, airline tickets, etc… We can make recommendations for all these items based on our experience and feedback from previous charterers.

11. Be sure to have a safety net.
Let’s face it, stuff happens. If something does go wrong, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone in your corner? We literally book thousands of charters and because of this volume, we can normally reach a satisfactory solution more easily than you can as an individual. While we hope you won’t need it, this additional security can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.

12. And finally… step onboard.
Put on your sunglasses, take off your sandals, relax, unwind and enjoy….

You’ll be remembering this vacation for a lifetime. For real peace of mind, let us do it for you.

From the initial boat selection, presentation of all paperwork and cost summary before confirmation and payments, to detailed discussions of the menu, beverages and activity preferences for each guest, as well as hotel and flight recommendations – we make the booking process simple and personal. Our services are always free, yet our unbiased, independent advice and over 50 years of combined charter industry experience can make all the difference to your vacation. We look forward to working with you.

The best part about memories…is making them