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Captain's Corner...

When you Submit Your Charter Review here, you're enhancing Charter Sailor online research and helping our brothers and sisters afloat avoid disastrous charter experiences that put us all at risk. For most of us, when we advance some or all of the charter cost to the Charter Pros we also put at risk travel costs, vacation and decompression time, and the safety and security of our friends and family.

With your help, we're building a Charter Value Scorecard on every active Charter Yacht and Charter Pro (Brokers, Companies and Sailing Schools, Charter Base Marinas, Captains, Sailing Instructors and Charter Chefs). Unfortunately, it's become necessary to independently track the performance of Charter Yachts and Pros.

Each Charter Review comes from A Charter Sailor (like us) and is verified as authentic by the YCA staff with final approval by me,

Stephen R. Austin
Charter Sailor
&
YCA Founder


Unlike blogs, forums, company testamonials and consumer review sites influenced by the industry (sharks watching the baitshop!), if a YCA Charter Review cannot be verified it's never posted on the site. The YCA staff are experts in sniffing out 'fake reviews' and use technology and tenacity to protect our Charter Sailor knowledgebase.

By&For Charter Sailors - YCA is a critical part of your pre-charter research and post-charter responsibility to pass the word about your experience. When you combine the YCA tools with sound advice, contracts, insurance, direct references (and a strong plan-B!)
we've created an elegant solution to assuring your charter expectations are set and met, offering peace of mind before and during your charter.

Submit your Charter Review online or via phone, skype or email. Your online and offline privacy are assured, we ask for and jealously guard a minimum of personal information to verify the authenticity of your Charter Review. If you prefer, we'll create a pseudo (ghost) account over the phone so your personal information is 'never' placed online. We lothe spam and other unsolicited contact and respect your choice to 'opt-in' or 'opt-out' of any YCA communications (email, newsletter, etc).

You can't blame the weather. While we fully expect Charter Pros to properly set expectations we prevent negative impact to their Charter Scorecard from circumstances which are out of their control. This is done by focusing your Charter Rating on Charter Yacht Condition (cleanliness, condition, operation and safety) and Charter Pro Service Quality (reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy).


I hope you find YCA to be a POWERFUL RESOURCE that COMPELS CHARTER PROS to deliver on their promises - or else!

Best regards,

Stephen R. Austin
Charter Sailor &
YCA Founder



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Friends of YCA...


"...You are AWESOME!!  Got the package today!  Thanks very much!   I did not realize that you took the time to call Ed Hamilton....thats amazing. Thank you!! It would be great if they would respond...but oh well.  I posted a thread on TTOL encouraging members to visit the sight and post reviews as well.  These people have chartered numerous times.  I think it is a great service to the sailing community. Thank you!
- Ann (USA)

 

***

 

"...I think the site is a very good idea. The information that it will gather with time will be very useful to many sailors, first hand experience is invaluable, and beats any colour brochure."
- Victor (Spain)

 

***

 

"...More reviews will follow from Baltic Sea. I looked, that you are missing information about chartering in Europe. So with pleasure I will invite also my sailing friends to participate and share the knowledge."
- Andris (Baltic region)

 

***

 

"...I will certainly invite others to come to your site and rate their various experiences with other boats and charter companies, which have been quite positive.  I think it is really important to have a resource like your site, where you can get input about various boats and charter companies, so that a person can make an informed choice!"
- Ann (Colorado)

 

***

 

"...Thanks Steve!  I�m looking forward to participating.  My husband and I along with our skipper friend in San Francisco are chartering 2 boats next month in the BVI�s..."
- Michelle (USA)

 

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"...Thanks for creating a site that I believe to be of great value. I look forward to reviewing my upcoming BVI trip this July."
- Randy (USA)

 

***

RATE YOUR EXPERIENCE
Quickly, with a short scientific Rating scale, rich text Review, Privacy and Confidence!


Any non-professional member of the Charter Party 14 and older may Rate Their Experience using the proprietary "Rate Your Experience" Survey System on the YCA web site. The first step is to visit the Charter Survey Gateway and check if your Charter Survey is already in our system. If it is, you're on your way. If not, Create your custom Charter Survey for you and your Charter Party then Rate Your Experience. 

The Ratings and Reviews consist of
3 Rating Response Types and
(up to) 7 Charter Pro Parts:

The 3 Rating Response Types:
  1. Yacht Condition
    1. Charter Yacht - Cleanliness, Condition, Operation/Safety
  2. Sail Base (Marina) Environment
    1. Charter Marina - Comforts, Culture, Facilities, Security
  3. Charter Pro Service Quality - Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy
The 7 Charter Pro Products and Services:
  1. Charter Yachts - Power, Sail, Bareboat, Crewed
  2. Charter Companies - Managing multiple yachts in 1 or more locations
  3. Boating Handling Schools - Power, Sail
  4. Charter Brokers
  5. Charter Captains
  6. Boating Instructors
  7. Charter Chefs

Rating Your Charter Experience can be

Quick and Easy or
Slow and Steady
  1. Quick and Easy - The Rabbit - Be finished in 5 minutes by Rating your Yacht Condition and the Service Quality of one (1) Charter Pro. Ready-Set-Go!
  2. Slow and Steady - The Turtle - Get a cuppa joe, take your time and save as you go. Charter Sailors and Charter Pros want your best work and YCA lets you paint the whole picture. You can Rate the Yacht Condition and Service Quality of ALL Charter Pros you came in contact with. Then complete the optional Reviews with Text, Photos and Videos. Save your work anytime to complete your Review another day after reminiscing with your Charter Party. Slluurrpp.
Your Rating and Review Experience:

Registering and Logging on to the YCA web site
Locating Your Charter Arrangements Your Charter Pro may have entered them - cool!
Adding Your Charter Arrangements Yourself - it's easy!
Rating Your Experience
Rating and Review Privacy
Fraudulent Activity
Exceptions to the Rating and Review Guidelines
Email notifications
Rating and Review Architecture

Registering and Logging on to the YCA web site:

YCA site registration asks for only minimal information to verify your email address. When the YCA email is received click on the embedded link, login, and you will be taken to your YCA Member Account page. Here, if you wish to participate in the YCA Ratings and Reviews, you must complete the required fields on your Account page.

Locating Your Charter Arrangements: The Charter Survey ID - is generated when someone from a Charter Party adds the Charter Arrangements to the database. The ID is visible on the Charter Verification page and emailed to the Creator of the Charter Arrangements with an embedded link that will return you to the verification page. The creator is asked to forward this email to the remaining Charter Party and invite them to Rate Their Experience as well.

Searching for your Charter Arrangements is recommended prior to adding new Charter Arrangements. This will save time and frustration by easily locating your Charter if your arrangements have been added for you but you did not yet receive the Charter ID.

An automatic check for duplicate charter arrangements is performed when you add new Charter Arrangements. This functionality is intended to protect the YCA database and not for searching for open surveys.

Adding Your Charter Arrangements:

  • Departure and Return Date - Day, month and year
Number of Guests - How many adults were aboard the charter including yourself.
  • Charter Type - Crewed or Bareboat
  • Global Region - pick a world region from the list
  • Sailing Region - pick a localized region from within the Global Region

Next - Identify your Yacht, Marina and Charter Providers used on your Charter. Use the auto-search fields by typing the first 3 letters of the yacht name, wait for a moment, then check the list. If there are too many choices you may continue typing and the list will narrow automatically. If you don't find the name in the list you may ADD A NEW NAME to the YCA  database.

  • Charter Yacht Name
    Charter Marina Name
  • Charter Broker Name
  • Company/School Name
  • Charter Captain Name
  • Boating Instructor Name
  • Charter Chef Name

Rating Your Experience:

The 'Spirit' of Rating Your Experience is to provide the Charter Community with enough factual information on your charter experience to be able to make an informed decision when planning their next charter. YCA hopes that each Rationg and Review will include; firm but fair ratings, text reviews that acknowledge accomplishments and encourage improvements, and plenty of photos!

The Rate Your Experience context is based on your actual charter experience; exceptional, good, bad or ugly. In some cases the entire Charter Party will share a similar experience like a yacht malfunction and subsequest recovery of the issue, with or without the assistance of a Charter Provider. It's your personal perception of the experience that is important to the Charter Community. If the yacht malfunction was caused by the engine and you were topside sipping a drink, your experience would be significantly different than another member of your Charter Party who participated in the repair. Don't try to anticipate the responses of other Charter Guests, while they may have had a different experience, its for them to say.

The Sum of All Ratings and Reviews in the YCA Knowledgebase can be added up hundreds of different ways. For example, the Research Filters can be used to see only the experiences of women between the ages of 33 and 46 with little to no charter experience. YCA is a very powerful tool for planning your next charter!

Verify the Charter Arrangements and Charter Providers to confirm the information is accurate. If there is a question about the charter arrangements please contact the person who submitted the Charter Arrangements to make any necessary changes.

Give Your Experience a Short Title like "great location, great yacht, simply the best", or "Fantastic yacht, unforseen lousy weather!".

Rating Your Experience is a fun and easy step-by-step process. For each Survey Part simply complete the Ratings and optional Review with photo/video upload then submit for approval.

Submit Your Experience, a very important step! The YCA staff will review your Ratings and Review for appropriate language and photos/videos.

Survey Anonymity: YCA takes reasonable measures to keep the surveys anonymous however YOU are the principle participant in your own anonymity. You may choose for your Rating and Review to be Public or Private. If you choose, the text and photo data can be submitted in such a way so as not to make you easily identifiable. For example keep the text review generic and diplomatic, do not make reference to specific events and do not submit photos of folks in your party. For more information see the YCA FAQ.

Fraudulent Rating and Review Activities: In the unlikely event our delousing protocols turn up a bogus survey we remove the record from the database, place it in quarantine and notify the parties involved. The member and conspirators may be permanently removed from the site - not worth it. Charter Providers and Professional Crew implicated in a bogus survey scandal may be highlighted as Pirates on the YCA Search page! For more information see the YCA FAQ.

Exceptions to the Rate Your Experience Guidelines: There are always exceptions. The YCA staff is here to make judgement calls on exception conditions. We anticipate that there will be requests to modify a Rating, Review or photo upload.

Email Notifications: Those involved with the Ratings and Reviews can expect to receive the following email notifications from the YCA email server:

  1. New member sign up verification
  2. New Member welcome letter
  3. Newsletter signup (optional)
  4. Charter Arrangements Submitted
  5. Rating and Review submitted 
  6. Rating and Review  approved
  7. Rating and Review closed - after all members have completed Rating Their Experience

Rating and Review Architecture: Each Charter has between 3 and 7 parts depending on your Charter Arrangements. The Parts are delivered in the same order each time and provide up to 3 ways to convey your experience. Only two parts are necessary to complete and one part must be the Yacht. If you begin and need to step away the system will log you out after 60 minutes and remember where you were - no worries! The 7 Survey Parts are divided into Goods (2 parts) and Services (5 parts):

Goods - The Charter Products Services - The Charter Providers
The Marina and the Yacht Broker, Company, Captain, Instructor and Chef



The Rating Scale:

Scale:

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

Meaning:

Poor

Fair

Average

Good

Exceptional



The 'Slider Bar':

The slider bar is a YCA unique approach for YCA surveyors to choose a variable rating from a common scale to express their Rating. We know that people prefer different approaches to survey responses so we created a method that caters to 3 groups;

  1. The 'language' group - For those who prefer to rate their experiences with words like good, fair and poor
  2. The 'numeric' group - For those who prefer to rate their experiences through numerics such as 1 through 5 (an industry standard)
  3. The 'in-between' group - For those who believe their experience falls in between the common rating scale

There are 3 types of Rating Questions:

Charter Provider Questions - For the Captain, Instructor, Chef, Company and Broker you will be asked to rate and (optionally) review your experience and satisfaction with the Charter Provider in these areas:

  • Reliability - Performed the promised service dependably and accurately
  • Responsiveness - Willingly helped our party and provided prompt service
  • Assurance - Employees were knowledgeable and courteous and conveyed trust and confidence
  • Empathy - Provided care and individualized attention to our party


Charter Marina Questions - For the Marina and nearby area you will be asked to rate and (optionally) review your overall experience with:

  • Comforts & Environment - Was the marina and surrounding area comfortable, clean and pleasant to visit? Consider the accessibility by normal transportation; were there spa and resort like facilities as expected? Were there beaches and clean water that was safe enjoy?
  • Culture & Economy - Was the marina and surrounding area culturally interesting and economically stable? Consider the local people; were they colorful, helpful and friendly? Was the area commercially balanced and not impoverished? Were there opportunities to discover local art, culture and wildlife? Was the local culture and economy in harmony with charter sailing?
  • Facilities & Services - Were the marina facilities and services adequate for charter sailing? Consider the sanitary conditions of the shower, heads and laundry. Was drinking water plentiful, safe and clean? Were there enough nearby shops and services and restaurants to make for an enjoyable stay?
  • Safety & Security - Did the marina feel safe and secure? Consider if the facilities were adequately managed. Were the areas around the marina safe and secure as well? Was safety and security of the charter clients obvious and a top priority?

Power or Sail Yacht questions - are focused on the condition and operation of the yacht.

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YCA Quick Poll

Are your Charter Expectations set by the Charter web site or Charter sales brochure?

YES, these are my charter expectations and I will hold them to it.
Somewhat, it gives me an idea of what to expect
NO, the charter contract sets the minimum expectation
NO Way, past performance sets my expectation and a promise to Rate My Experience online gets results

Why Charter Reviews?


YCA Charter Reviews are designed to capture the perceptions of Charter Yacht Condition and Charter Pro Service Quality from *EACH* Guest aboard the Charter; 1 Charter, 5 Guests, 5 different perceptions of the charter experience. First time charter? Your perception is the most sought after of all!


Your Charter Review captures your perception of the most important parts of the charter including the Charter Yacht Condition (cleanliness, condition, operation & safety) and Charter Pro Service Quality (reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy) including Brokers, Companies, Sailing Schools, Marinas, Captains, Sailing Instructors and Chefs.


YCA independently tracks the performance of each part of the Charter. Before you book, Know your Charter Yacht's history (maintainence issues, safety problems, etc) regardless, of where she goes or who manages her. Did your Charter Company just rename their business or boat name (like Chandler Yacht Charters in Greece)? What's the new name and why did they change it - you really need to know this. See the performance of your Sailing Instructor no matter what Sailing School or Yacht he/she teaches on. This information is priceless!


Sadly, I've read dozens of cruising/sailing site forum posts like this one...


"...Prior to booking our trip, I searched very hard to find non-biased reviews of this yacht and business, but could find only the vendor controlled testimonials on the company site and the 'reviews' on broker�s sites selling their trips (all the reviews were glowing, of course.) I�m sure I�m not the first person to have this sort of experience on this boat, so this review is for the next person like me. If the last unhappy guy or gal had posted this, it would have saved me a lot of aggravation, disappointment, and money." - Rich (Colorado)


Now it's up to you, if you've chartered before, Rate Your Experience! Good, bad or indifferent, we want to hear from each member of the Charter Party (14yrs+). YCA enables you to Search for Charter Yachts and Pros and Compare their performance based on reviews from Sailors Like You!


When researching a Sailing School select reviews to compare submitted by Review Period (past 1-3 years), Service Quality (1-poor to 5-excellent) and Affiliation (American Sailing Association (ASA), Royal Yachting Association (RYA), etc).


When researching Charter Yachts select reviews to compare submitted by Yacht Type (power, sail, mono-hull, catamaran), Charter Type (crewed, bareboat), Manufacturer (Beneteau, Jenneau, Bayliner, etc), length, Number of Cabins and Number of Heads. For all your searches, compare reviews submitted by gender, age, country and experience level.


YCA allows you to search across all brokers and companies for the yacht you're looking for, don't settle on any Charter Captain or Chef by availability, pick the one you want and make them a condition of your booking. YCA makes Yacht Charter "A La Carte"!


We hope you find YCA to be a FREE and powerful resource for Charter Sailors and a compelling reason for Charter Pros to deliver on their promises!


Your YCA Crew!

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