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Wondering what makes a private yacht different from a boat rental? There are many factors, but the main difference is the overall experience. 

A private yacht charter typically includes a full crew, an executive chef, a large vessel and luxurious amenities. A boat rental can range from small flats boats to luxury pontoons, but they’re often not crewed meaning someone in your party will be the captain for the day.

If you’re deciding between the two, let’s break down the differences, starting with cost.


Private Yacht vs. Boat Rental: Cost Differences

The cost to rent a luxury pontoon for 6 hours is – approximately – $800 and you should factor in another hundred or so in gas. It’s customary to tip the dockside staff, and you’ll need to stock your cooler with food and drink, so it’s safe to estimate $1500 for the day.

Your boat rental likely includes the assistance of a wonderful dockside staff to help you launch and return to the dock. You just need to bring the cooler, sunscreen and your smile!

Boat rentals are great for casual days zipping around the waterways. Pontoons hold up to 12, and center consoles usually hold around 6 people. You don’t need to be an experienced captain to rent boats; usually you just need a driver’s license and the ability to follow GPS.

On the other side of the spectrum, a private yacht charter typically costs about $4,500 for the same six hours on the water. So, why is it so much more costly? 

The same 12 people can enjoy the yacht, but rather than a single deck, the guests enjoy three+ levels of spacious and luxurious vessel accommodations.

A private charter includes the cost of gas, drinks and cuisine. (The only additional cost is the gratuity.) 

A yacht rental provides a more upscale and comfortable experience, thanks to the private Captain and Stewardess, catering to your every need.

Additionally, the full-time Chef prepares a custom meal based on your requests, having learned your preferences well before you board.  cooking meals to sailing to your chosen destination. 

Finally, yachts also include water toys and tow sports behind a second, smaller boat called a tender. So, you really get two vessels!


Private Yacht vs. Boat Rental: Cruise Options

One of the significant advantages of private yachts is their range. Due to their large size, they can travel long distances and access remote areas, such as secluded bays and even remote islands. This is perfect for those who want to explore less-touristy locations and get a real sense of adventure.

Boats, on the other hand, are better suited for exploring coastal areas, rivers, and lakes. They can also access small islands and bays but have a smaller range than yachts.

Another significant advantage of renting a private yacht is that you don’t have to think about maintenance. Everything, including repairs, cleaning, and upkeep, is taken care of by the crew on a daily basis. This ensures a hassle-free and stress-free vacation for you and your guests.

Renting a boat will require a bit more effort on your part. You’ll need to make sure that the vessel is in good working condition and operate it safely yourself. If you’re not comfortable or familiar with boating, you must learn from their staff and utilize training videos to have enough knowledge to handle the boat without a crew.



Whether you choose a private yacht or a boat rental comes down to your personal preference and budget. If you’re looking for a casual and cool day on the water, a boat rental is an awesome way to spend the day! If you’re seeking a luxurious, stress-free, and upscale treat, a private yacht rental will tick all the boxes. 

Whatever you choose, there is no doubt that renting a vessel will give you a unique way to experience the beauty of nature while enjoying the company of your loved ones.

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