Ready to Charter a Yacht in Los Cabos? Here’s What To Research

It’s time to sail through the soothing sapphire waters of the Sea of Cortez. When you charter a yacht in Los Cabos, you can explore the southern tip of Baja, with an extended stay in the area’s recently developed East Cape. Sitting just 30 minutes from Cabo’s bustling border, East Cape is as calm and serene as the waters you’ll sail. Dock your boat at the Marina Village and get ready to explore all the area has to offer. Before you pack your bags, there’s some research to do.

If you plan to charter a yacht in Los Cabos, here’s what to consider:

  • Types of chartered yachts

    There are two types of chartered yachts: bareboat and skippered. A bareboat charter, as the name suggests, comes with just a bareboat; no crew. In other words, you are responsible for plotting the course and serving as the boat’s captain.

    The other option is to rent a skippered boat, which at a minimum, includes a captain. The captain will plot your journey and sail the boat. In some cases, a skippered boat can also come with a cook, but you’ll need to discuss this with the charter company. For larger parties, you’ll likely have a fully-crewed charter.

  • Route

    If you rent a bareboat, you’ll need to plan your route. Charters are equipped with GPS navigation, which many captains rely on, but it requires experience to read the system and understand things like how to avoid hazards or shipping lanes.

    The route should include fuel stops too. Fueling stations are sparse in some areas, so it’s important to know where and when you’ll stop.

  • Party size

    How many people will go on the trip? The size of your party will likely dictate the size of the boat. Megayachts are set up for groups of 12 whereas a catamaran could be great for a family of five. You can also charter boats in tandem, so if you have a really large group, you could rent several boats together that follow the same course.

  • Yacht accommodations

    As with any trip, you need to book your accommodations. In this case, it’s not a hotel, it’s a dock slip or mooring field. Dock slips are usually more expensive than mooring fields. With a mooring field, you tie up to an anchor in the water and let the boat move with the tide and currents.

    Usually, the price for a slip or moor includes the use of marina amenities, like storage for your dinghy, potable water, and waste pump-outs.

  • Sailing seasons

    Every region has a sailing season that provides the calmest waters and ideal temperatures. Sailing seasons will alter your trip. If you’re headed to Los Cabos, for example, the stormy season hits at the end of the summer, so you shouldn’t plan a trip then.

    The best time to sail around the Sea of Cortez is November through April, but January through March is peak tourist season.

  • What to pack

    If it’s your first yachting experience, you’ll need some help with a packing list. You won’t have the ability to pick up essentials like you would on a road trip. Depending on your route and destination, stops may be few and far between.

    If you plan to charter a yacht in Los Cabos, pack in soft-sided luggage that’s easier to mold to storage spaces on the boat.

    Bring your passport and other pieces of identification. Plan to layer clothing. On the water, it gets windy, so adding thin layers is ideal. High-heeled shoes wreak havoc on a yacht’s floor, so it might be best to leave them at home. Sunblock, a visor, a raincoat, sunglasses, prescriptions, first aid kit, and safety equipment should go into your bag too.

    Bring some Ziploc bags or a waterproof duffel bag for an added layer of water protection.

  • Yacht maintenance

    Charter companies are responsible for yacht maintenance, but if you rent a bareboat, you should do your own checks before you leave the dock. Your checks should include going over how to use the Chartplotter, utilizing the water tanks and stove, activating the anchor, switching the generator on and off, and testing the VHS radio.

    If your charter includes a crew, talk about how maintenance is handled while on your trip. If a problem occurs, which crew member will be able to manage the issue? For peace of mind, you should also inquire about the boat’s regular maintenance and ask if they’d had problems in the past.

  • Foods to take

    If your chartered yacht includes a cook, you won’t have to worry about what kind of food to bring. You’ll likely be asked to fill out a few forms to help the chef prepare meals to your liking and purchase snacks you enjoy.

    If you plan to manage your own meals, you should research boat-friendly foods. Things like sliced bread, for example, don’t fare well in the humid conditions of a boat.

    You might consider vacuum-sealing foods too, to help preserve them longer. Bringing a crockpot on board and pre-assembled ingredients is a good idea too.

    Bring extra food, especially staples like beans, rice, and canned foods, like vegetables and soup. These pantry staples have a long shelf life and can be helpful in emergency situations.

  • Wifi

    Most people don’t want to unplug, even if they’re sailing through open waters. Chartered yachts usually have wifi available, although it may be a separate charge. The signal strength in and around Los Cabos is fairly stable, but it will depend on several factors like where you’re located on the boat and how many devices you have connected to the signal, for example.

    Inquire about the wifi before booking and plan ahead.

Chartering a yacht is a luxurious way to explore exotic destinations like Cabo and East Cape, but booking a trip does take some work. To make your trip the best it can be, it’s important to conduct research, make reservations, and plan ahead. Be sure to explore Marina Village as your top port of call.

Where elemental luxury meets a sea of dreams

Set at the edge of the Sea of Cortéz, Costa Palmas is a dramatic landscape…and a home. Costa Palmas is a unique invitation to elemental luxury and spirited adventure on a calm blue sea of dreams. Resort amenities include:

  • A world-class Beach & Yacht Club
  • Marina and Marina Village
  • Robert Trent Jones II designed world-class 18-hole Golf Course, and a Golf Practice Facility
  • Organic farms, orchards and an estuary
  • Aventura Adventure Planning and Guides
  • Bespoke Shopping
  • Sports Park

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