Your guide to small boat rental on the French Riviera. It can be overwhelming when you decide to rent a small boat overseas, so our team has outlined all you need to know to make the process more relaxing and enjoyable.

What you need to know to rent a small boat on the French Riviera

Please note the details below are for small boat rentals for a day charter, and do not include details for luxury yacht charters. View boats for charter on the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera) Sub headings:

-What is considered a ‘small boat’?
-What is required when renting a boat for a day?
-What budget is required for a day boat charter on the French Riviera?
-Is it less expensive to rent a boat for a half day?
-What is a bareboat charter?
-Do I need a licence to rent a boat for a day on the French Riviera?
-What is a ‘bateau sans permis’?
-How many people can go on the day rental boat?
-What time is the day boat rental?
-Where can I find a small boat to charter?
-What are the extra costs in renting a boat for the day?
-How long in advance do I need to book a day boat rental?
-How do I reserve a boat?
-Where are the best places to rent a boat for a day?
-Other things to be aware of?

Our team has outlined all you need to know to make the process of boat rental on the Riviera more relaxing and enjoyable.


What is considered a ‘small boat’?
For a day boat rental a small boat is normally considered to be between 4 and 10 metres in length.

What is required when renting a boat for a day?
Depending on the type of boat you wish to rent for a day, the answer to this question varies. In general you need a boat licence to drive the boat yourself or you must hire a skipper. The type of licence depends on the size of the boat and the location of where you are chartering; different countries, different rules.

What budget is required for a day boat charter on the French Riviera?
The least expensive boats available for day rental ( cheap day boat rental ) are generally in the €300 plus range per day. A boat for this price will usually be a rib or power boat, suitable for aprox 4 – 6 people, although some can carry more comfortably. For this price you will unlikely have a cabin or toilet. The prices for renting a boat for a day can increase into the €1000’s, however this includes luxury motor yachts.  Small boat rentals are generally between €300 – €1000 per day. The budget really depends on you, what you want and how much you wish to pay.

Is it less expensive to rent a boat for a half day on the Riviera?
No. You would imagine that a half day rental would cost exactly half the price of a full day rental, however this is not the case. Normally a half day rental costs from 70 – 100% of the full day price and varies between boat charter operators.

What is a bareboat charter?
Bareboat charter is simply a boat rented without a skipper or crew. A bareboat charter means you will need to skipper and navigate the boat yourself. Depending on your experience a bareboat charter is a big responsibility – you are responsible for the safety of everyone on board. Depending on the locations of your bareboat charter you will need to show evidence of some type of certification and/or previous boating experience.

Do I need a licence to rent a boat for a day on the French Riviera?
Not if you hire a skipper, but yes, if you want to rent the boat bareboat then you will need a licence. Check well in advance with the boat charter company that your licence will be accepted. It is possible to rent a ‘bateau sans permis’ without a licence.

What is a ‘bateau sans permis’?
A ‘bateau sans permis ‘translates from French to English, to mean ‘ a boat with no licence’. This means you can rent a boat which does not require you to have a licence to hire the boat and you can drive it yourself.  Boats that have an engine with a horsepower of less than 9h/p qualify as “bateaux sans permis”. On the French Riviera there are only a handful of companies providing the rental of this type of boat. They are small boats, slow compared to other boats on the water, limited in terms of the distance you can travel, and normally cost less than €200 per day. 212 Yachts can organise the rental of a bateau sans permis on your behalf, from Antibes or Frejus.

How many people can go on the day rental boat?

This depends on the size of the boat, the maximum number is normally 12. Be sure to check with the boat rental operator, as often it is insured for a fixed number of people, but that does not necessarily mean it is suitable for that number of guests. For example, a boat may be advertised as ‘up to 12 people’, however in reality squeezing 12 fully grown adults onto a 5metre rib for a full day may not be the most suitable day boat charter, depending on the group.

What time is the day boat rental?
The start and finish time of a day boat rental with 212 Yachts is normally 9am / 9.30am – 5pm / 5.30pm. Depending on your needs and budget 212 Yachts can organise hours to suit you.

Where can I find a small boat to charter?

212 Yachts has access to over 300 small boats to rent on the French Riviera. Our most popular ports of boat rental departure include; renting a boat in Antibes, boat rental from Saint Tropez, boat hire Villefranche sur Mer, boat charter Cannes and boat rental in Monaco. Contact 212 Yachts with your boat rental request.

What are the extra costs when renting a boat for a day?
For small motor boats (see 212 Yachts day boat rental), the main additional cost to the charter fee will be fuel. Petrol prices are unfortunately increasing, but the general rule of thumb is that it will cost about €1.20 per litre (depending on location and rates on the day) of fuel. So a boat that burns 40 litres per hour will generally cost €48 per hour to run, or approximately €150 per day.  The cost of fuel depends greatly on fuel costs; your itinerary, distance travelled, currents and weather will play a part in consuming fuel and vary. Other costs to consider on a day boat rental include possible berthing fees, which vary from port to port and seasonally. Normally on a day boat rental you can avoid these berth fees, unless you wish to moor somewhere during the day. Depending on the boat a skipper may not be included in the price, the cost of a skipper varies depending on the size of the boat, often between €160 – €300 per day yacht charter.

How long in advance do I need to book a day boat rental?
Those who leave it until the last minute in the height of summer are all too often disappointed. It may seem that there are thousands of boats on the French coastline, but the majority are privately owned, they are not all available to rent. In the high season of July and August small boats can be booked up a full month in advance. Locals especially know to reserve in advance and weekends and public holidays can be booked months in advance. 212 Yachts advises you to reserve your preferred boat in advance, this way you get a better choice (to suit your groups size and boating experience) and better value.

How do I reserve a small boat for charter?
Once you decide on your preferred boat and confirm it is available on your requested dates, ask to ‘reserve it’. You will be required to provide your credit card details and pay a deposit  in order to block the boat on your behalf. For small boat rentals on the Riviera, normally (depending on the operator) you will pay the final amount on the day of the charter before departing. Some boats, especially larger yachts require full payment in advance.

Where are the best places to rent a small boat for a day on the Cote d’Azur?
This is a difficult question to answer, as much of the French Riviera coastline is great to visit, especially on a boat charter. If you are renting a boat for a day’s rental, the top places we believe to start your charter include the ports of Monaco, Villefranche sur Mer, Antibes, Golfe Juan, Cannes, Frejus or Saint Tropez.  From each of these ports your skipper can bring you to a number of different spots for snorkelling, cruising and great scenery. Other things to be aware of? If the boat you want to rent for a day is based in Antibes, for example, but you want it to pick you up and start the charter in Monaco and drop you back to Monaco, then you will have to pay the costs of fuel for the transfer. More questions? Please do not hesitate to contact 212 Yachts. day boat rental Cote d’Azur day boat rental Monaco / Cap d’Ail day boat rental Beaulieu sur Mer / Villefranche sur Mer day boat rental Antibes / Juan Les Pins  day boat rental Golfe Juan Yachts day boat rental Cannes 212 Yachts day boat rental Saint Tropez

Jenny Caird

Written by Jenny Caird

Dublin born Jenny Caird is the founder of 212 Yachts, applying her passion for customer service to create an ambitious and innovative brand. Over 7 years of experience in the yacht charter industry have made her an expert in her field. Whatever your query is, Jenny offers the perfect solution with a smile. With her motivation and dedication, Jenny and her team add the extra degree in yachting.


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