How to save your Damage Deposit? Check list at the end of the charter, things to know!

Check out procedure at the end of the charter is as important as boat inspection in the beginning of your sailing vacation. Basically check-in/out these are two parts of one procedure. Returning boat back to the charter base always signals the end of the sailing vacation and many crews rush the process and can be hit with the sizable credit card charge.

Turnaround day is always a headache for the base managers and their team as they are under pressure to get boat ready for the next charter.

Below are some tips to help you to complete this procedure smoothly:


  • Leave the boat relatively clean.
    Even though final cleaning fee is part of the contract for most of the charters it covers laundry and cleaning of the boat exterior and interior. Thus clean your dishes, take out garbage and all extra food from lockers and fridges.

  • Refuel the boat in advance.
    Refuel the boat evening before the check-out to avoid huge lines in the morning when everybody rushes to the fuel station. This is very relevant for the Mediterranean charters with check-in/out on Saturdays.

  • Keep log of technical issues
    If charter company haven’t provided you with maintenance list for use during the charter, then keep your own log of problems that you uncounted during the charter. Doing so will help the base manager to fix the problems before the next charter.

  • Promptly notify the base of any technical issues
    Apart of your log, notify charter company technical support team of any issues you encountered with the boat the same day. Doing so will absolve you in the future from charges for the things that weren’t your fault.

  • Check out of sight gear
    Sails, windlass, outboard engine – show to your check-out team that everything is in the same condition as it was during the check-in.

  • Sign check-out list at base
    Once you are done with check-out procedure, ask base manager for a signed copy of the check-out list with statement that the boat was returned without damages. This may come in handy if boat was damaged after your charter, once you left it, otherwise this damage may be attributed to you.

Claims and complaints.
Even though technical crews and base managers always do their best to prepare boats for the flawless sailing vacations, some things may still go wrong. If you are not satisfied with technical condition of the boat pls file complaint with the base manager and keep a copy with you. In most cases either base manager or company representative will be able to offer you solution on spot.

Well, it may sound as a lot, but all these things are part of the skippers’ responsibilities. The more charters you do the easier it will be. Take time to document everything with photos, hull deck, sails and make sure your damage deposit was released at the end of the charter and that you get a receipt with complete cost of the charter.

Fair winds and calm seas!