Bareboat charter: things to know

There is still a bit of confusion about what documents or certificates you may need for the bareboat charter. First of all you’ll need to have a good sailing practice. None of the best documents and certificates will help you if anything happens in the open water. Apart of this, there is always a chance that during check-in procedure a base manager will ask you to take short practical test and if you don’t pass it then, you’ll have to spent the whole vacation in a harbor or hire professional skipper at extra cost.

For the charters in most of the regions, like the Caribbean, South-East Asia, Oceania, no special sailing documents are needed for the bareboat charter. The only thing you need is to send your sailing resume to the company, so that the base manager can see if you qualified enough for the size and type of boat you plan to rent. Once you get approval, you are good to go.

But bareboat charter in the Mediterranean Europe (Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey) may be a little bit tricky. Most of the charter companies in these countries require valid sailing certificates. And these requirement originate from port authorities and insurance companies, so even if you are super qualified skipper you will not be allowed to sail without valid sailing or boating license.

So, let’s check what are the requirements for the bareboat charter in Europe. To rent a boat in Europe you’ll have to obtain the following documents:

  • VHF certificate
  • Valid Sailing license


The following Licenses are accepted by European charter companies:

  • IYT Bareboat Charter certificate or higher qualification
  • RYA Day Skipper certificate
  • ASA IPC (International Proficiency Certificate)




In recent years some countries, like Greece and Italy require also ICC certificate, or qualification higher than the Day Skipper.

Please note:

  • ICC alone is not sufficient to rent a boat
  • ASA 104 Certificate (Bareboat Cruising) alone is not sufficient for the bareboat charter

How to get ICC or IPC


Other documents that charter companies may request before handing over the boat are the following:

  • VHF certificate – this documents certifies that you know basic radio procedures
  • Log book or sailing resume – apart of the certificates most companies would like to know your real sailing experience, thus it would be great if you can provide some proof that you had some similar charter experience before.

We strongly recommend to check with company you are making booking with all documents beforehand.

You can always get in touch with our office in Maryland for more information or check boats available for charter in Europe or other countries: