Useful Information

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Tips for Chartering a Boat

Firstly decide on what your party will require from the charter, the types of fishing, facilities etc.


Chose the most suitable port by recommendation or by checking out reports in angling magazines, web sites etc. Do some background work and select the top skippers in the port you want to fish from. Note the names of the boats that continually make the good headlines. Word of mouth from other anglers is an invaluable source of information.


Don't just book the first skipper you contact. Contact as many as you want, giving each one as much information as you can on what you will be wanting from them, the type of fishing, if hot/cold drinks will be provided? Will there be facilities to heat up basic food such as pies etc? Will tackle be available for hire if any of your party needs hire tackle? Advise the skipper if any of your party has a physical disability, state this to the skipper at the time of booking.


Always ask the skipper at the start, the ideal number of anglers for his boat, don't exceed that number, for safety and comfort. Your party should be the only ones fishing from that boat that day! You've paid for the exclusive use of the boat and crew. Don't allow an unscrupulous skipper to tag another person onto your party.


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Check that the boat is properly licensed. There are still unlicensed boats working from some ports. More and more good skippers are working under contracts. This safeguards the skipper but more importantly you the customer. But you must read and understand any contract before signing it.


Even in this economical climate some of the good skippers are booked a year or some even two years in advance especially for certain exact "right tides" for a specific species or when wreck fishing.


Make sure that any contract states the total price to you in it. If you don't have a contract, get a fixed price confirmed in writing. If a deposit is required make sure you clarify the terms of the deposit, again in writing, if there isn't a proper contract on offer.


Failure to complete your part of the contract for whatever reason will usually give the skipper the right to retain your deposit. Failure to notify the skipper, in writing by a pre-agreed date will make you liable to pay the skipper the full amount as agreed.


Failure by the skipper to fulfil the charter for any reason, including bad weather, should make the skipper liable to return your deposit in full, unless you agree an alternative.


Swap contact numbers with the skipper including a contact number for emergencies.


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Schedule your party to arrive a little earlier than the agreed time with the skipper. Don't allow any of your party to board the vessel until the skipper gives his permission. Stress to your party the rules of the boat which they must abide at all times. Make a conscious effort to keep the boat as clean as possible.


If you've enjoyed your day your skipper will appreciate a thank you from all your party. A good tip will also be appreciated and might help the next time you want to hire him!


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