Which Type of Yacht Charter Should you Choose?

Deciding on the best type of yacht (sailing, modern, classic, catamaran or motor) to charter is often a challenging task, with opinionated articles and questionable facts serving only to confuse you. To help you choose the best type of yacht to charter to suit your needs, we have formulated a subjective list of the notable pros and cons of each type of yacht.

A relaxing holiday on-board a luxurious and spacious vessel

Motor Yachts – pros & cons


  • Space: multi-deck design results in motor yachts boasting greater deck space than sailing yachts of the same L.O.A. Expect larger cabins and salons on motor yachts.
  • Speed: packing powerful diesel engines, motor yacht guarantee fast cruising speeds. If you really lust for power, opt for a performance motor yacht.
  • Shallow draft: a shallow draft allows the yacht to cruise in shallower waters, opening up swimming spots and anchorages that may otherwise be restricted.
  • Choice: the French Riviera is the heart of the world’s super yacht culture. Annually the world’s biggest and best super yachts flock to the region, resulting in an enormous and diverse choice of motor yachts available to charter.
  • Modern: motor yachts tend to be ultra modern, with designer interiors, an array of mod cons and great connectivity.


  • Fuel costs: diesel engines are thirsty, and fuel isn’t free. If you have a lengthy itinerary planned, make sure to budget in fuel costs.
  • Environmental challenges: despite on-going efforts and commendable progress, motor yachts still have notable carbon footprints due to their diesel engines.
  • Not ‘sailing’: motor yachts offer relaxation, however they do not offer the authenticity of true sailing yachts. You won’t be learning about rigging and sails on-board (an advantage for many people)

Summary: if you desire a relaxing holiday on-board a luxurious and spacious vessel, then a motor yacht is probably the best type of yacht to charter for you. Don’t forget to budget for fuel (and all the extra costs of a yacht charter – berth fees, electricity, food, drinks…).

If the journey is as important as the destination, opt for the allure of the classic sailing yacht

Classic Sailing Yachts – pros & cons


  • Experience: sailing yachts carry an air of romanticism, where adventurers can learn the ancient craft of sailing.
  • Green: sailing yachts are environmentally friendly, using just the wind as a power source (unless it is a motor sailing yacht, which doesn’t raise the sails too often).
  • Low to no fuel costs: fuel costs are non-applicable here (assuming always sailing and not using the motor), allowing your budget to stretch to a larger vessel, or giving you more cash to spend in your chosen destinations.


  • Weather dependent: relying on the wind as a power source leaves you at the mercy of Mother Nature. Patience is a valuable trait on-board sailing yachts.
  • Less space: less deck space makes for a more compact living environment.
  • Heel: sailing yachts heel, meaning at sea here will be noticeable movement on-board. Don’t forget the seasickness tablets.
  • Less modern: due to space constraints, sailing yachts tend to value functionality over extravagance. If you desire ample mod cons, seek a recently refitted vessel.

Summary: if you seek romance and adventure, and want to go green, then a sailing yacht is the best type of yacht to charter. Great for team building and action packed family holidays. If the journey is as important as the destination, opt for the allure of the classic sailing yacht.

Modern Sailing Yachts – pros and cons


  • Lower fuel costs: when the wind is on your side, cut the engines and save on fuel costs as your rigging and sails propel you to your destination.
  • Flexibility: back-up engines grant you control, allowing you to start the engine if the wind fails to cooperate.
  • Experience: relish in the exciting and alluring experience of sailing, learning about this ancient craft.
  • Green: use of the sails diminishes the vessel’s carbon footprint.
  • Luxury: modern sailing yachts often rival motor yachts in their luxurious interiors and array of lavish mod cons.


  • Heel: intelligent placement of engines can aid the reduction of heel, however you must still face some heel.
  • Deeper draft: you may be forced to anchor further to sea than your smug motor yacht toting acquaintances.
  • Less space: Motor yachts of comparable L.O.A. will boast much greater deck space. Expect more compact cabins and living quarters.

Summary: if you lust for an authentic sailing experience, but crave ultra modern conveniences, the modern sailing yacht will be the best type of yacht to charter to satisfy your needs. Put simply, the best of both the sailing and motor yacht worlds.

Catamarans are the best type of yacht to charter for entertaining large groups of guests

Catamarans – pros & cons


  • Space: double-hull design leads to enormous beam size, allowing the deck to host more guests for entertaining.
  • Stability: extremely stable and experiencing almost no heel, there is no need to worry about spilled drinks.
  • Netting: catamarans normally feature a net that stretches from each side of the vessel, ideal for sunbathing and relaxing close to the water’s surface. Popular with kids and adults alike.


  • Docking space: with wide beams, you may struggle to find accommodating berths.
  • Difficult to anchor: notoriously difficult to anchor. This will not be a problem to worry about with professional crew aboard, but if you are considering chartering a catamaran to drive yourself check out this handy guide for anchoring a catamaran.
  • Maneuverability: Catamarans are not built for breathtaking performance, with their large size inhibiting their control responsiveness.

Summary: Catamarans are the best type of yacht to charter for entertaining large groups of guests, with its wide beam and popular net sun-loungers. However don’t expect speed and maneuverability.

Conclusion – The best type of yacht to charter

There are a number of considerations when selecting the style of vessel for your sailing or yacht charter holiday. Once you determine the best type of yacht to charter, its then key to compare further variables. A specialised yacht broker is suitably experienced to advise you well. 212 Yachts would be delighted to join you on your yachting journey, and guide you through selecting, based on your style and requirements, the best type of yacht to charter.

Written by

Jenny Caird, originally from Ireland, is the founder and CEO of 212 Yachts (and charter expert), applying her passion for customer service, with incredible client satisfaction, to create an ambitious, highly reputable and respected business. Whatever your query is, Jenny offers solutions with a smile. With her motivation and dedication to ensuring the yacht owners and clients 212 Yachts work with are 'wowed', Jenny and her team add the extra degree in yachting.

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