Pre-season planning for yacht charters

As the 2024 summer season fast approaches, it’s time to make sure you have all your preseason planning underway ensuring another successful season onboard your vessel, and most importantly for your clients.

The Edmiston Yacht Management team have put together their list of non-negotiables to support you and your crew with planning for this upcoming season.

Maintenance & repair

On any vessel, maintenance and repair work is essential for extending the life of the boat and reducing the speed of which it depreciates. Therefore, it’s critical you maintain the planned maintenance system and detect early signs of equipment and system malfunction. If there are open defects or concerns, get these investigated immediately and repaired promptly to prevent escalation and minimize downtime.

Review the planned maintenance system and running hours and cross check maintenance intervals for all main and auxiliary engines/systems onboard. Consider bringing forward overhauls and replacements to avoid down time mid-season.

As for parts, start the season with a sensible number of spares – critical spare parts are an essential. It’s also important to think of the bigger picture and anticipate what else may go wrong by having everything you need in order to resolve potential issues. Keeping the charter guest happy is of paramount importance, and any disruptions onboard can have a negative impact on their charter experience.

Yacht surveys & certifications

Having all certification and surveys ‘in sync’ is nice to have, but sadly this is not the case for most.  And on top of that, everyone wants surveys and inspections to be outside of the primary charter periods, so careful consideration for the planning of surveys and inspections prior to busy periods is key. Not only does this avoid down time in the season, but it gives time to rectify any issues that are discovered during surveys. There’s nothing better than entering the season with all certifications valid.

Crewing – The dos and don’ts

Crew come and go, whether that’s through organic movements during the down time periods, onto other yachts or to different industries all together. In any case, it’s of the utmost importance to ensure we maintain a regular and happy crew. We have found that planning is one of the greatest ways to ensure this occurs.

For new joiners, preparation is essential. Involving them in training and ensuring they’re aware of their responsibilities at the start will increase their confidence and make them much more valuable right from the outset. Edmiston is currently working on a new initiative to enhance crew training which we will be implementing soon, so keep an eye out.

Fatigue is something that we all deal with, and safety is always number one priority. Everyone onboard must be working in line within the requirements of MLC and if these are infringed, appropriate compensatory rest must be given. Inventory planning must take crew rest into consideration. With rotational crew, it’s easy to plan ahead, however many work non rotational and we should always ensure that there are agreed leave plans in place well in advance of the season starting.

All crew employed for the season must hold the correct documents and where certificate limitations are held, they satisfy the intended cruising grounds of the season. It’s better to renew certification ahead of schedule than last minute. On many occasions we see crew with expiring documents and no opportunity to renew due to geographical location, so plan ahead accordingly. And remember, Eng1 Medical certification is not up for extension.

Itinerary planning

Itineraries can make or break a charter experience. Research cruising destinations and create tailored itineraries based on client preferences, seasonal weather patterns and the capability of the yacht. Utilise the charter team and local experts to optimise route planning and maximise guest satisfaction.

It’s important you make sure you have full chart coverage and nautical publications for the intended cruising areas. Also ensure that the yacht has the right type of registration document and charter licenses to operate in the countries you’re visiting, this includes cross checking that all guests and crew have rights to enter the country.

We recommend reaching out in advance to local agents and authorities to establish local byelaws that for example can impact navigation, special requirements in anchorages, use of PWC and local emission control.

Provisions and stores

For true global cruising capabilities and long-haul stays, no one does it better than Feadship. With large fuel tanks, powerful engines, advanced stabilisation technology, and first-class level of construction, Feadships are incredibly reliable vessels. Because of their pedigree, comfort onboard is kept at a premium, with their interior and exterior spaces crafted to the highest degree, ensuring every moment onboard is a joy.

Once you have the necessary itinerary information, reach out to local suppliers and plan your locations for provisioning, while implementing efficient inventory management systems to track provisioning levels and minimise waste.

We also recommend researching and checking requirements for landing points ashore for each anchorage you intend to use along with pre-planning the best locations for bunkering and guest and or crew transfers.


Conduct thorough research on each cruising area you intend to enter by identifying potential logistical challenges, whether that’s customs clearance procedures, fuel availability, handling of freight, port facility infrastructure and importantly cost. In addition, you need to develop contingency plans to address potential logistical disruptions, such as adverse weather conditions or port closures which may affect your charter.

For more information on pre-season planning, please reach out to Edmiston’s Yacht Management team for support for this upcoming season.


23 May 2024

Written by:

Jack Hartley