Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reserve the Yacht and what are the payment terms?

Sanctuary is available for booking through Charter Brokers or directly with the Yacht.  When chartering through a broker, the broker will explain the procedures and payment requirements.  When booking directly with Sanctuary Charteryacht, a 35% deposit is required to reserve the yacht, and is due at the time of signing the contract.  Final payment is due in full no later than two weeks prior to boarding.

What’s included/not included in the Charter Fee?

All Inclusive Charters:
Sanctuary’s all-inclusive charters are her Day Sail charters (half day or full day).  The Charter Fee includes the use of the yacht and its equipment, crew wages, fuel, and all food and beverages described in the charter package of your choosing.   For our Day Sail charters, food, sodas, juice, bottled water, and a reasonable quantity of beer and wine are made available to the guests at no extra charge.  Beverages made available by the yacht, but not consumed on board during the charter, may not be carried off the yacht at the end of the charter.

Not included are charges incurred for marina berthing (other than the Yacht’s home port) as requested by the charterer, crew gratuities, hire costs of special equipment and activities (such as scuba diving), Florida 7% sales tax, vintage wines, specialty beers and beverages, champagne (unless your selected charter specifically states), and liquor.

“Plus Expenses” Charters/Advance Provisioning Allowance (APA):
Advance Provisioning Allowance (“APA”) is an escrow fund set aside by the charterer from which the captain can pay expenses of the charter along the way as the costs are incurred.  For overnight charters (“Term Charters”) where the provisions, fuel, dockage, etc. are not included in the Charter Fee, in addition to the Charter Fee, you will also be asked to pay an APA of approximately 25% to 35% of the charter fee.   If you will be requesting dockage at fancy marinas or yacht clubs, or requesting expensive vintage wines/champagnes, or the like, the amount of the APA may be adjusted once we learn what your expectations are and can estimate a cost therefor.  The APA is given to the yacht in cash prior to your charter to allow the captain to purchase fuel and provision the yacht as per your demands.  At the end of the charter, the captain will produce a full accounting of all expenditures, including receipts.  You will either be refunded any money not used or asked to pay any additional costs not covered by the APA.  There is no mark up on the cost of expenses – they simply are what they are.  If the APA fund begins to run low during the charter, you may be asked to replenish the fund so that your charter expenses can continue to be paid along the way.

How do I figure costs and expenses?

Rates will be quoted either as “all-inclusive” or “plus expenses.” A guideline often used for estimating “plus expenses” yachts is to factor in an additional 25% to 35% of the base charter rate. Taxes are not included in base charter rates, nor are Bahamian entry fees for charters going to the Bahamas.

When you charter on a “plus expenses” basis, the captain will provide you with an accounting, including copies of receipts, for your food and beverage expenses. Fuel is based upon actual refueling costs. Sanctuary’s main engines consume approximately 14 gallons per hour at 10 knots. Her generator consumes approximately 1.5 gallons per hour.  We use these figures to assist in estimating costs.  All fuel costs will be determined based upon actual refueling costs.  The Yacht will begin the charter with full tanks, and she will be refueled to “full” at the end of the charter.

Dockage requested by the charterer is based upon the marina’s prevailing rates. Dockage varies depending on destinations and marinas (anywhere between $100 a night to $400 a night). Options will be discussed prior to your charter depending on what you want to do and where you want to stop. In most places, you also have the option of anchoring out.

Shore side services, including tours, taxis, car rental, meals taken on shore, and other activities are paid by the guests directly as they incur them.  These kinds of expenses are not paid out of the APA.

It is customary for the charter party to leave the entire gratuity, usually 10% to 20% percent of the charter fee, with the captain.

What are your cancellation terms?

If YOU need to cancel your charter, we will make every effort to reschedule your charter for a more convenient date, pending availability.  If the Yacht has already incurred expenses associated with provisioning or preparing for your charter (as is likely the case with a late or last-minute cancellation), those expenses will not be refundable or transferable to the rescheduled date.  If you are unable to reschedule the charter with us, then all monies paid will be forfeited.  If we are able to re-book the Yacht during the period of time for which you cancelled, we will refund that portion of the rebooking to you.

If WE need to cancel your charter due to reasons beyond our control (such as weather or mechanical issues), we will either reschedule your charter to a date of your choosing, subject to availability, or we will refund the monies you have paid to us.  We are not responsible for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket expenses attributable to the charter, such airfare to/from Miami, hotel, taxi, etc., and we urge you to purchase travel/trip cancellation insurance for that purpose.

In consideration of your safety, and that of the crew, if a Named or Numbered Storm is forecast to threaten the location of Sanctuary within 72 hours before, or during your planned charter, we reserve the right to deny boarding or terminate the charter early.

Please note that due to the nature of South Florida weather, rain, thunderstorms, and/or overcast skies do not constitute severe weather.  Full terms and conditions can be found in our charter agreement contract.

What time of year is best to travel to South Florida?

We think any time of the year is fantastic in South Florida.  Mid-December to mid-April is the “high season” in South Florida as travelers flee cold northern climates to bask in the tropical sunshine; however, on occasion a cold front will move through South Florida making the temperatures, particularly at night, call for a light jacket or sweater.  We thin-blooded locals think the water is too cold to swim during the winter months, but our guests from northern climates will jump right in and enjoy the water.  For the peak periods of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, as well as the entire month of February, charter yachts should be reserved well in advance.

December through May is considered the dry season while June through November is generally the more humid season. However, in our experience, rain or clear skies can occur at any time during the year. Rainstorms often pass quickly, and there is sunshine on most days during the year.

Hurricanes may occur any time from June through November and, historically, the most likely time is during September.

Do I need insurance?

Insurance of the yacht for marine risk and third party claims is included in the charter fee for charters consisting of not more than six passengers.

How can I be reached in an emergency?

Sanctuary has VHF radios, as well as an SSB radio, and many areas have marine telephone operators that can contact you through our VHF. We are usually within cell phone and internet range, as well.

Is scuba diving equipment and air included in the charter fee?

Scuba diving is available only by rendezvous diving (where a dive boat is arranged to meet the yacht at a specified site).  We are not equipped to carry tanks, so unfortunately, you cannot bring tanks with you.

Should we bring the kids?

If your kids are age 10 or older, bring them! Unfortunately, Sanctuary is not equipped for younger children.  Please understand that the crew is employed to maximize the enjoyment and safety of your vacation, but they cannot be expected to take responsibility for over-seeing your children.

Are there any pets aboard, and can we bring our pets?

Unfortunately, you’ll have to leave Fluffy at home during your vacation. You should also be aware, in the event anyone in your party has allergies, that there is a cat aboard Sanctuary.  He is elderly and is confined to the crew’s quarters during the charter. He has never been permitted to enter the guests’ staterooms, even during non-charter periods.  If you have any allergies to cats, please be aware of the cat’s presence. Most  who have chartered with us in the past and do have allergies have never been affected; however, if you have a severe allergic reactions to cats, you may be affected.

What should we bring?

Sunscreen… Under these sun conditions you will need to reapply every two hours regardless of what the directions on the bottle says. The best protection is 25 SPF or higher.  Do bring lip balm with sunscreen.  For added protection, we recommend white tee shirts (short sleeve or long sleeve) for cover-ups on deck and while swimming and wide brimmed hats (with retainers so they do not blow off your head and go overboard).  Please do not bring OIL or AEROSOL SPRAY sunscreen unless you plan to use it on the beach – never on the boat, anywhere. These products make our decks slippery which could lead to injury to you or us. Please check to be sure that your sunscreen is a paba-free product. Oil and products containing paba stain the decks and cushions.

Music … Sanctuary has a large variety of music available on her iPod, ranging from Pitbull to Glen Miller.  If you have an iPod of your own, feel free to bring it.  Simply lay it in the cradle, and you can have your own tunes playing throughout the boat in no time.  There is a CD player in the flybridge’s stereo system.

Specialty Beverages … You may bring with you any specialty beverages you desire.  The Yacht provides a reasonable quantity of beer and wine, but you are welcome to bring additional quantities or vintage wines and champagne that are not already provided by the Yacht.  You may not take home with you at the end of the charter any unconsumed beverages made available to you by the yacht which you did not bring with you or which was not purchased on your behalf out of APA funds.  In other words, if you brought it with you or bought it in port during the charter, you may take it home with you.

Crocs/Sandals … Most folks are comfortable simply going barefoot about the boat.  Unless you already have a fancy pair of boat shoes, it is not necessary to go buy a pair for your charter.  You probably won’t use them, and if they’re new, they’ll only hurt your feet.  You do need a pair of shoes for walking ashore and in the water if you plan to go ashore or walk on the sandbar.  We recommend rugged water sandals, like Tevas (with the Velcro straps across the ankles and toes) or Crocs.  These shoes can be left in the dinghy and will quickly dry out.  The old style “flip-flops” just aren’t tough enough or stable enough for what you will be doing.  If you chose to wear shoes on the outside decks, they need to be non-marring deck shoes, and under no circumstances should they have a dark sole.

What should we NOT bring?

Towels … Sanctuary will provide towels for use on the yacht in connection with swimming.  However, if you have a favorite oversized beach towel you like to use, feel free to bring it.

Hard-soled shoes and high heels … You don’t need them, and they mess up our decks and wood floors.  Only soft-soled shoes are permitted to be worn on the boat.

Does the Yacht have any rules on what we can/cannot do?

The yacht beneath you is no toy. In fact, she is a combination of very complex systems. Respect that, and Sanctuary will carry you safely along your way. Our rules are few and simple….

Rule #1 – Restricted Areas … Crew Quarters are located all the way forward. This, as well as the Galley and Engine Rooms, are the only areas of the yacht that are off limits to passengers.

Rule #2 – What Happens on the Boat Stays on the Boat … You are here to enjoy paradise… Have a good time!

Rule #3 – Respect Others … We are living in close proximity, all we ask is you respect the rights and privacy of others.

Rule #4 – If it is Legal … You may enjoy your stay anyway you wish! You may not, however, do anything that is illegal.  You may not do or bring DRUGS aboard the yacht… No illegal drug use is tolerated. Violate this rule and you will be put ashore promptly at the nearest location.  Along these same lines, you may NOT bring your own baked goods on board with you.  Unfortunately, inconsiderate actions by previous guests cause us to implement a policy such as this.  If you have a special occasion that requires a specialty cake from a bakery, a birthday or wedding cake for example, we will allow these kinds of items to be delivered to the boat in advance of your departure.

Rule #5 – Smoking … No smoking inside the yacht, nor on the aft deck. You may smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes on the bow, on the flybridge, on the swim platform, or on the dock.  Please use an ashtray rather than throwing your butts overboard.

Rule #6 – Pictures … Please take as many pictures as you wish, but because topless sunbathing is permitted, you are asked not to take photos of any person in an awkward or embarrassing situation without their permission.  Another Rule #3 thing.

Rule #7 – Excessive Inebriation/Intoxication … Although you are here to have a great time, extreme drunkenness cannot be tolerated.  It is a safety issue for us, and for you, not to mention a liability issue.  If anyone in your party drinks to excess so as to become impaired in his/her ability to walk around the boat or go up and down the stairs/ladders, the charter will be terminated.  Past experience has shown us that this is the point where an inebriated guest tends to become disrespectful of the yacht’s equipment and things get broken.   We don’t mind a booze cruise, but when things get out of hand, the captain will terminate the charter, so please keep an eye on the members of your party in case one of them tends to overindulge.  We understand – it happens to all of us every now and then – but when a guest is “cut off”, we mean it.

Rule #8 – If You Do Not Understand … Please ask if you do not understand how to operate any of the equipment, marine toilets, etc. Things do break and that is OK, but if it breaks because of your negligence or abuse, you will be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.


The Chef’s Rule … Please do not remove anything from the galley refrigerator or the wine cooler without first asking the Chef – what you may be taking for a snack could be a key ingredient for one of your meals or something that was obtained for someone else’s charter.  A large cooler full of beverages will be provided for you from which you may help yourself.

Who do I contact if I can’t find the answer to my question?

If we have not addressed any of your questions, please contact us via email or telephone (786-314-9314), and we will be happy to help you further.