What is a Transit Log? (The definitive guide to yacht charter extras)

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Yacht charter extras explained

Ever wondered what a 'transit log' and those odd extra charges ‘to be paid locally’ are?

Based on an old customs office system used for checking yachts in and out of Turkish waters, the transit log is now something of a catch-all term for the extra payments bareboat yachtsmen make at the charter base. As yacht charter agents, we are well versed in the ins and outs of the extras that local charter companies charge, and it's our job to guide you through the confused seas of the compulsory and optional extras.

We strive to offer you complete clarity on pricing, from the boat price to skipper fees and any extras you need to pay, either in advance or at the base.

Some companies now allow you to pay for these extras in advance, which means what looks like a more expensive price may end up costing you less overall than a cheaper yacht price with larger extras.

Welcome to our jargon-busting guide to the more obscure parts of chartering a yacht in Europe, the Caribbean, and beyond.

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Transit log

Often referred to as a 'charter pack' or 'comfort package', a transit log is the obligatory service payment you make locally on check-in at the base. A transit log usually covers all of the minor incidentals, from cleaning fees to the outboard engine, toilet paper and washing up equipment. It also covers your share of the unseen but vital maintenance costs, for both labour and parts of wear and tear.

It’s all derived from the old transit log system, still in use in Turkey, which is an official form that covers immigration, customs and papers checks. This was a form given to the harbour master or customs authority when navigating between Turkish territorial waters and Greek waters in the Aegean Sea.

What is and isn't included in the transit log or charter pack can vary enormously depending on the country, charter company, yacht owner and even the yacht you choose to charter. Below is a breakdown of various constituent parts that may be included or charged separately as optional extras.

Here are some of the most common items included in transit logs/charter packs, and their approximate costs:

  • Final cleaning: can range from €80 to €350
  • Outboard engine: €80-120 per week
  • Bed sheets: roughly €15 per set
  • Towels: roughly €5 per person
  • 10GB Wifi: roughly €30 per week

Dinghy and outboard engine

Most charter companies now include the dinghy and oars in the charter fee, while the outboard engine is often part of the charter pack or charged separately at roughly €80

Gas

Useful if you want to do any cooking onboard, the gas fee covers the use of any propane gas (used to fire the oven and hob onboard).

Towels/Bedding

Often included in the charter price or the transit log, but just as likely to be charged separately. Makes things much easier as you don’t have to bring your own linen or towels from home!

National Parks fees

These fees allow you to enter and to moor up (usually with a permit) in a national park, often among the most beautiful parts of a sailing area. In some places, you will pay as part of the package, while in other places you’ll pay on arrival, or the morning after, when the port police or harbour authority come around to collect dues. In Sardinia, for example, you can settle these on arrival at the base, while in the British Virgin Islands, you will need to pay the National Parks fees in advance.

Tourist taxes / BVI Cruising taxes

These are taxes levied on all tourists in certain countries. In Croatia, this is €1.40 per person per day. In the BVI, this is 6 USD per person per day

Water toys

Optional extras offered as a way to get more fun out of your time on the water when not sailing (especially the daily lunch and swim stops), water toys are great for the young and young at heart alike. Example prices are:

  • Stand up paddleboard (SUP) €150 per week
  • Kayak €200 per week

Advanced provisioning allowance (APA)

Applied to crewed yacht charters, the APA covers provisioning (food and drink), mooring fees and other incidental costs incurred on your holiday. It is a refundable amount due at the same time as the final charter balance and is usually between 20-35% of the charter cost. Anything not spent, you'll get back at the end of your charter.

Read more about provisioning options

Other fees

Fuel

Your yacht will usually start the week with a full tank of fuel, which you simply need to top up at the end of the week. Fuel costs vary, so if you’d like an estimate for how much this will cost, please ask your broker.

WiFi

Often added as an optional extra, Wifi dongles are generally available with data limits of 1-10GB, and can cost from €30 to €200. In the Med though, you’re often better off just using data roaming on your phone, or better yet, putting devices down and going ‘off grid’ to really enjoy your holiday.

Feeling inspired?

So, now you’re in the know about the dark arts of hidden extras, you can book your next yacht charter holiday with total confidence.

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