How to Choose the Right Yacht for Your Holiday?

One of the most frequently asked questions is, ‘What sort of boat should I charter’?

Peter Harrison-Hill, founder of HELM says: “Choosing a charter yacht can feel like a minefield, with thousands of different options available, and it’s a highly personal thing.”

“We always suggest an initial consultation with your broker to discuss exactly what you want to get out of your holiday, and we then work back from there to find the ideal yacht to suit your group’s size, plans, and budget”

Here are four to consider – sailing boat, catamaran, motor boat, and gulet.

Each is as spectacular as the last, and it is a personal option suitable for your planned holiday.


These twin-hulled boats are perfect for a holiday emphasising comfort, luxury and convenience rather than a challenging sailing experience. Our only note of caution is due to their large size, and they will cost more than a single hull to berth. Due to their two hull designs, catamarans do not heel over more than 5 degrees. Just right for the new or inexperienced sailors or those prone to sea sickness.

Furthermore, their shallow draft allows you to sail in much more shallow waters than a yacht, which means you can anchor close to the shore – handy for the beach or if you want to go snorkelling in caves and grottos. And catamarans have speed when you need it too. Downwind, catamarans can go remarkably fast, plus they have the advantage of twin engines when required.


You can’t beat a monohull for the full sailing experience. If you’re going for the bareboat option and want to stretch your sailing skills, we recommend it.

Alternatively, let the crew take the strain and enjoy the ride. Modern charter sailing boats will seem snugger than a catamaran but are well designed to create maximum living and storage space inside. Another plus is that sailing boats generally cost less than catamarans to charter.

Motor yacht

A motorboat can’t be beaten for glamour, speed and luxury. This would be the perfect option for a family or group of friends who are not looking to undertake long passages of open water but have a boat which can zip around a destination, dropping anchor in a secluded bay for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing. Bear in mind the fuel costs though if you are on a budget.


These traditional two- or three-masted sailing vessels make a magnificent base for a special holiday with friends or family. Powered mainly by the engine, they also have good sailing capability – and will always be piloted by a professional crew. Drawing admiring glances wherever you go, a gulet is the ultimate timeless sailing experience.