Although most of the charter agencies are using more or less the same yachts, the prices they offer can vary, sometimes considerably, for the same model. Should you choose the cheapest one ?
I think not. Of course the price you pay is important, but you should look at the overall picture before you make a final decision. Not only is the price important but take a look at any discounts offered. Most important are:
A long charter (in excess of two weeks) discount. Does the discount apply to the whole period of say four weeks, or only the third and fourth weeks, for example. This could make a big difference.
Are the discounts offered cumulative, or is there a ceiling, which will put a cap on the total discounts offered ?
What is included in the asking price? Transfers, outboard motors, end-cleaning fee, GPS, windsurfer, spinnaker, etc can all add to the final cost.
Let's assume now that you are a group of 6 persons and for your chosen 36 feet vessel, company A is asking €1.500 and company B asks €1.350 (all other parameters and discounts equal). Seemingly the company B is €150 (10%) cheaper, but l will analyze for you your holiday cost:
€ 1.500 : the yacht
€ 1.800 : the flight (6 persons x €300 per person)
€ 1.680 : provisions and restaurants (€40 pp per day x 6 persons x 7 days)
€ 300 : yacht's running costs (diesel, water and harbour/marina fees)
€ 300 : other expenses (taxies, transfers and unexpected costs)
€ 5.580 total cost
What looked like a 10% higher cost is, in reality, only 2.6% of your total holiday cost. Choosing company B -based on the 10% cheaper yacht charter cost only- will not really affect your total costs to any large degree, and it is consideration of the whole range of costs that should be your deciding factor. The first thing that crosses my mind, when offered a cheap price is -"how the hell do they cope with all their expenses, and what sort of maintenance do they give to their vessels?". If I am asked to pay 2% more in order to have peace of mind for my one week's holiday, then the extra cost is not a big deal.
Please do not misunderstand me, as I am not suggesting that you should choose the most expensive option as a guarantee for trouble-free holidays. I am only saying that your final decision should not revolve solely around the basic weekly charter price. There are other issues which should play a major role. Word of mouth recommendation is a very good one, for example.
I understand that when you are called to decide from 100's of offers - all claiming to be the best - it can be confusing and difficult. There are a number of details which will help you, and I will present these to you in the September Newsletter