Trina Howes, CharterWorld.com
The best way to get a great deal on a charter is to find a broker who is a good negotiator and stick with them. It is not a good idea to shop with multiple brokers, as often they will be dealing with the same yachts and the owners will not take the offer seriously if they get it from numerous sources.
Ask your broker to send you a selection of yachts that meet your specifications. Your broker may have done some pre-checking and may know which yachts are more likely to discount, and will advise you accordingly. Choose a small selection of yachts that you are willing to charter, and have your broker make a genuine offer to the owners, which, if an owner accepts, you would be willing to go to contract. Start with your favorite boat and work down your preferences until you get the deal you are seeking.
If you are looking for a super good deal, then charter outside of peak times when the owners are more likely to be negotiable on the price. Peak weeks such as New Year’s Eve in the Caribbean are selling well and are unlikely to be discounted.
Sandy Carney, Sanderson Yachting LLC
I’m getting a lot of practice on “getting the best deal” these days, with so many yacht owners being willing to negotiate during these tough economic times. In the end, though, the quality of the deal is in the eye of the client. As long as my client is happy, I consider it the best deal.
I propose a yacht to my client knowing that prices today are negotiable. If the client turns a yacht down because of price, I ask him or her to make an offer. The offer can come in the form of extra days or a discounted price or a change from exclusive to inclusive pricing. It all depends on the situation of the charter.
I usually counsel the client on which way to go with his or her offer (money days, terms, etc.) based on my knowledge of the yachts and their owners. More often than not, the offer is accepted and we have a happy charter client.
Rebecca Riley, Paradise Yacht Charters
The best charter rates have been found when booking either very early or at the last minute.
For early bookings, the first step is to have my clients identify two or three yachts that they like that are available when and where they want. We then check to see who has the least number of bookings and ask their managers what special incentives they may offer for a confirmed booking. The fewer number of bookings, the more easily it seems to be to get an incentive.
For last-minute bookings, the selection of yachts will be more limited, but the boats that are available for a charter in the next week or two know that they will probably not have other inquiries and may also be willing to offer special incentives to secure the charter.
The most common incentives include low-season rates during high season; nine days for the price of seven; or perhaps free delivery where delivery fees are applicable. With a little flexibility in terms of dates and yacht selection, the odds of being offered an incentive to book are increased. I explore all options when trying to negotiate the best rate for my clients.