Charter is the most common type of yachting trips in the world. More and more people prefer it instead of going the traditional and expensive way — actually buying a boat. The Europe’s charter fleet has more than fifteen thousand hulls of different types, sizes and manufacturers. Weekly during the high season in Europe, about eight thousand yachts are rented, and the total turnover of charter funds exceeds 14 billion dollars.
Most charter boats are sailing yachts. It is the sail that gives maximum freedom that is so much beloved by yachtsmen. Your fuel is always with you — it’s a wind that does not depend on entering the marina or your travel budget, it either is, or it’s not. You absolutely have no interest in knowing the price per barrel and you have heard nothing about the 1973 oil embargo — only the weather forecast you care about, only hardcore.
Of course, you will need some fuel, but not as much as those who like to burn a couple of hundred litres of it on the way to the neighbouring island. And finally, the sail is ideal for environmentalists. Perhaps, it’s not that obvious, but we both know that sailing the whole week around the Italian islands on a twenty-meter motor yacht is just as chopping a couple of hundred-year-old Sequoias. But, let’s get back to the track.
Anyone who is going to book a yacht, ideally, faces a choice of hundreds of different options, for example, here at Sailica.com. In the end, the one narrows down to a few yachts meeting all the desired criteria. There are lots of criteria, but we will consider only the most common ones and those which we think are important. According to statistics, the absolute majority of trips in the Mediterranean Sea during the high season, is done by families or the companies of close friends. Most of them prefer monohull boats instead of catamarans, and newer yachts instead of the old ones. At the same time, both are popular having the four- and five-cabin configuration.
So, the Sailica team has selected for you the top 5 yachts, which are ideal for a family trip over the warm coastal waters of southern Italy, Greece, France and any other southern European region.
1. Hanse 588 — 2017
The Hanse shipyard is one of the oldest yacht building companies existing nowadays and serves as a perfect example of the well-known "German quality". The manufacturer positions itself as an innovator and it has the ground for it. It was due to Hanse that the technology, such as the mainsail, curled straight into the boom, quickly found its place in the industry.
Hanse 588 is the biggest monohull boat in our top list and we think of it as the most suitable one for a family holiday. The yacht was built according to all the trends and innovations in the industry: a smooth 55-foot deck, all the ropes are held under the teak cover, all the winches are electric, the mainsail is twisted into a boom. Besides that, it is equipped with a hardtop — a kind of flybridge, a very comfortable and hard bimini, that we are used to have on catamarans.
2. Oceanis 48 — 2017
The famous Oceanis models of the Beneteau shipyard are the boats of category A, designed to go through any conditions. They are equally well suited for the beloved Blue water cruising (thanks to a free deck and a folding platform in the stern), as well as for crossing the Atlantic Ocean (thanks to its practicality, durability and huge tanks for water and fuel).
The boat is equipped with a stern galley with a grill and a large genoa, so you won’t have to deal with a mainsail (unless you want to), and huge portholes which allow you to enjoy the views even when you are in the cabin.
3. Sun Odyssey 440 — 2018
Being the "smallest" yacht in our top list, though, it is an indisputable proof that, unlike the car industry, the shipbuilding is France’s strong spot. Forty-four feet of the vessel can contain everything you may demand from a yacht, even a larger size than Sun Odyssey 440.
At your disposal are the electric winches, a maneuvering thruster and a huge, for a boat of this size, stern and a master cabin. And if you want — you will get a four-cabin version, which is no less comfortable, due to the incredible Jeanneau ergonomic design. In fact, the Sun Odyssey 440 is an excellent example of a stable development of the model, which has not been failing the shipyard fans around the world for years now.
4. Lagoon 620 — 2018
Did you think that we forgot about you, a fan of catamarans? Finally, we reached the point why you started reading this article in the first place. Undoubtedly, Lagoon 620 is the flagship of the French manufacturer and our top list. Renting this baby will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s worth it, isn’t it?
The catamaran is really huge. You’ll see it right away if you’ve ever sailed one. The average size of these "floating villas" is 40−45 feet, which contain all the possible goodies fans of hedonism love. The size of this beauty is a staggering 62 feet, which is quite common for the shipyard boats.
As part of the charter package, you will be offered a six-cabin version. All the cabins are huge, have private bathrooms and personal outlets to the deck. And, of course, it has a giant cockpit and a mess deck with a large galley and a large vertical two-chamber refrigerator. What else can one dream of?
Yet, some more things. The mainsail is curled into a boom. Besides the nets and cushions, there is a small cockpit with a refrigerator and a bar in the bow. There is also a giant flybridge with two control posts, which the manufacturer itself calls a "second deck". And finally, our favorite feature — the bottom lighting around the boat, to watch fish, just like on the superyachts.
5. Bali 4.0 — 2017
This is the medium one, however, only in terms of size. Bali can be referred to as Mersedess-Benz in the world of catamarans. This very model is some sort of the S-Class. Lagoon is, rather, Citroen. Nothing personal.
The main feature of Bali may be its attachment of the mess deck to the cockpit, which gives space, incredible for the catamaran of this size. The boat is very ergonomic and aesthetic. It is a real treasure for the lovers of exquisite design combined with practicality and comfort.
You will most likely get a four-cabin version, but the cabins are really spacious, the portholes are huge, and the mess deck attached to the cockpit, makes you feel like you are on a much larger yacht. The flybridge with cushions for sunbathing is more like a landing strip of the average airfield in the developing countries.
Summing up, we can surely say that nowadays the charter fleet can meet the needs of any, even the most demanding clients, but still continues to grow by days. Who knows, maybe someday soon, one will be able to customize an ideal boat just before the taking trip. Let’s wait and witness the future of charter yachts together.