Private skipper charters or bareboating in the Whitsundays Islands? Discover which option is better value for money.

There are two main types of private sailing trips in the Whitsundays Islands: bareboat charters and private skippered charters. What does this mean? A bareboat charter comes without crew and with all the essentials for sailing in the Whitsundays, while a private skippered charter goes together with an experienced crew and are all-inclusive. Everything is included, from delicious meals to water sports equipment.

The number of boat options and variety of offers in Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays Islands can be a little bit overwhelming sometimes, especially if it is your first time planning a sailing vacation in the Whitsundays.

If you are reading this post it is probably because you are after a private and exclusive way of discovering the Whitsundays Islands, and this is something that both, skippered charters and bareboats charters will give you.

Skippered charters and bareboats charters

Unlike shared and scheduled tours that depart from Airlie Beach to the Whitsundays Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, when you rent a private charter or a bareboat charter you will share your holidays only with your loved ones and explore the natural wonders of the 74 islands at your own pace.

To sum up, the advantages of bareboats charters and skippered charters in the Whitsundays Islands are privacy, tailored itineraries, avoiding crowds and of course, the pleasure of cruising around one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Pros and cons of bareboats charters and skippered charters in the Whitsundays.



  • Even more privacy and intimacy. As a bareboat charter comes without crew you will literally have all the privacy you and your group wants.
  • Adventure. You don’t need a licence to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays Islands, so if you are an adventurous traveller, bareboating is your alley.
  • Choose the vessel that suits you best. Bareboat charters companies in Airlie Beach have a diverse fleet, from big sailing catamarans to smaller powerboats.


  • You will need to gain knowledge very quickly. Although you will get a boat with all the essentials to sail, knowledge is not included in the package. There are so many factors to take into account, from tides and weather conditions to anchorages. More stress knowing that you have the responsibility for the boat's safety.
  • Make all the arrangements. You will be in charge of calculating what will be needed during the trip, purchasing your food and stocking the boat prior to departure.
  • Work during your holidays. For many people cooking is a hobby, but for others preparing meals and cleaning during holidays count as work.
  • Times. Bareboat charters are not allowed to navigate after 4 pm.
  • Calculate costs. At the end of the day, you will need to add additional costs to the initial price for hiring a bareboat charter, such as fuel, extra fees, food, beverages, water and in many cases water sports equipment.
  • Insurance. As any damage that may occur to the vessel will be your responsibility, it is recommended to get insurance first.
  • Capacity. 12 is the maximum of people that can sleep in a bareboat vessel in the Whitsundays.


Private skippered charters


  • Experienced crew. An experienced skipper with local knowledge can really make a difference and add value to your holidays or special celebration. Is a fact, locals know better. Enter into full relaxation mode and focus only on enjoying yourself.
  • Privacy. A minimum crew of 2 or 3 members is required for a private charter of 20 people. A friendly host will just make your life easier without the need to sacrifice privacy.
  • All-inclusive. Everything is included in the price of a private skippered charter. Forget about calculating costs and split the bill with your friends from the beginning, too easy!
  • Fresh meals. Wake up to the smell of coffee and toasts and start the day with a great smile and watch a beautiful sunset while your dinner is being prepared. It can’t get better than this.
  • Equipment. Wings Sailing Charters Whitsundays provides all the equipment needed for water sports and fun activities, from snorkel gear to kayaks and SUP boards.


  • Price. The value of an all-inclusive holiday where a professional crew takes care of everything while you explore the wonders of the Whitsundays Islands is reflected in the price.

If sailing is your cup of tea, bareboating can be your best choice! But if your goal is to have a break from work and busy schedules and can’t wait for a well-deserved vacation, private skippered and all-inclusive charters will give you the best value for money.