Why is boat hire so expensive?

binaryfinary

Active Member
Used to go to a little Greek island with family when I was a kid, pretty much every year from 92 to 02. Went again in 09.

We used to hire a little motor boat with an outboard, in early years it was almost a knackered old rowing boat with a tiny 5hp engine, last time theyd evolved to full fibreglass hulled speedboats with a full control console and engines kicking out up to 50hp, a lot for a boat. Cost was less than 100 euros for the full day, early morning until evening, and included fuel.

But I can find nothing like that on Ibiza. We're talking at least 10 times the cost with time restrictions.

Is this simply the Ibiza premium (the Greek island wasn't exactly known for being cheap in its own right) or is there another reason?

I notice most places say "captain included" - do you need to have a licenced captain in Ibiza as opposed to being allowed to pilot the boat yourself? That would explain the price hike, but surely not everyone who has a boat on Ibiza has to hire a captain?
 

stivi

Super Moderator
Staff member
you don't have to hire a captain if you do have the correct license... there are only few companies that rent out the small boats for which you don't need a captain's license.

boat charter isn't cheap here though, I'll give you that.
 

binaryfinary

Active Member
What sort of licence are we talking?

In Greece the boat hire guy would vaguely point to a few controls, tell you what a steering wheel did, then let you loose. All fun and games when you can do 70mph on a sea as flat as glass in the early morning, but not so much when the wind kicks up in the afternoon and you're literally having to fly the boat home over 10ft crests!
 

stivi

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm no specialist, but for the proper boats, just as you need a driver's license for cars, you need the equivalent for boats.
 
I would highly reccomendation star boat hire. There not the fastest but enough to get about and see some ibiza beautiful beach, been to ibiza around 10 tomes and hiring the boat last yeat was one of the best things in done out there 160 euro from 4pm till sun set €160 u can fit 5 on board. We just to have 2 person per boat. Such a laugh comes with a large cool box so take plenty of booze and ice. Every one meets up outside mambo the sunset.
 

jay_aitch

Member
Another 'like' for Star boats.. the limit without a skippers license (in Ibiza anyway) is 15 horse power, and that's what those boats are. We hired one when we were there last month, great fun and so good to see the cliffs, caves and beaches of the west coast whilst having your own party boat :cool: we paid €160 for the afternoon which included everything and was from 4pm til 9.30pm.
 

binaryfinary

Active Member
Thanks for the recommendation of Star Boats, will certainly check them out next time I'm on the island. €160 for a few hours is still a lot, but that's Ibiza I guess!

Kind of makes sense on needing a captain/licence to pilot your own boat, so seems odd that a company exists that doesn't require one. Surely it's either a rule or it isn't?

I realise too that the waters around Ibiza are busy, but it's not exactly a motorway and while I'm no pro, I'm pretty confident with handling boats.

While the Greek island in question wasn't as busy, we were told not to head north one day as an exclusion zone was in place. We weren't sure why until mid afternoon when the USS Nimitz crept into view, complete with fighter jets on patrol! This was during the Kosovo war mind.
 

TimmiT

Active Member
Star Boats cost about 260€ for the day last time I was rented one I think, given they fit 5 (4 comfortably) that's less than 70€ each for the day - I don't think that's that expensive TBH.
 

jay_aitch

Member
Thanks for the recommendation of Star Boats, will certainly check them out next time I'm on the island. €160 for a few hours is still a lot, but that's Ibiza I guess!

Kind of makes sense on needing a captain/licence to pilot your own boat, so seems odd that a company exists that doesn't require one. Surely it's either a rule or it isn't?

I realise too that the waters around Ibiza are busy, but it's not exactly a motorway and while I'm no pro, I'm pretty confident with handling boats.

While the Greek island in question wasn't as busy, we were told not to head north one day as an exclusion zone was in place. We weren't sure why until mid afternoon when the USS Nimitz crept into view, complete with fighter jets on patrol! This was during the Kosovo war mind.
There are a few companies on Ibiza that offer self-drive boats, however those available to non-license holders are limited to a maximum of 15hp. When we were out in our Star boat, we saw at least another two companies' boats and they were of similar size and power.
 

binaryfinary

Active Member
Ah that makes sense. I suppose it's a bit like being able to ride a moped under a certain power on L plates.

TimmiT - When you say €260 for the day, is that from morning until evening?

Edit - nvm, looked at their website. 280 from 11am until sunset. That does include fuel though.
 

TimmiT

Active Member
TimmiT - When you say €260 for the day, is that from morning until evening?

Edit - nvm, looked at their website. 280 from 11am until sunset. That does include fuel though.
Ah, it's gone up a bit, but still value for money I think. Load up with beer, wine and tapas and you'll have a great time, you even get to spoil everyone's view of the sunset over by Cafe del Mar. One tip though, if the weather is looking dodgy they'll offer you a limited route which doesn't include going towards Es Vedra which isn't worth doing.
 

binaryfinary

Active Member
Ended up going with Star Boats. Fantastic value for what it was, and comparing it to other prices we saw around the island.

Monday and Tuesday when we landed were very windy. Ended up wandering down on the Tuesday as we'd booked for Wednesday and needed to change the day due to being invited to Armin's thing at the Ushuaia rooftop bar. No one there due to the wind cancelling their service for the day, and no answer from the numbers. They rang back though and were very helpful - ended up swapping to Thursday no problem, no extra charges or anything.

Route allowed you to go no further than Cala Conta to the west, Cap Negret to the east (I think that's what the huge cliff is called north of Cala Salada). They said this was down to phone signal in case of any issues. The boat was sluggish at best - not a complaint, it's to be expected at 15hp which I assume it the limit for an unlicenced captain. Meant you couldn't build a bow-wave to ride on though, so it was a bit rocky at times. Went along the bay, over to the cove near Cala Bassa, and had a swim off the boat, which was excellent. Then headed over to the rocky islands where the lighthouse is right out from San An. Amazing as I've never seen that close up before, though some drama as we got the anchor caught on a rock! Nothing much to see there though so we kept following the recommended route, this leg being a straight gun over the bay towards Cala Salada. Took nearly an hour with the waves behind us, which got unpleasant at times, but fun. Anchored out of Cala Salada and had another swim. Then ventured over towards Cala Gracio for another swim.

By this point we realised we were about 10 minutes from the sunset strip, with about 2 1/2 hours left. But then we heard the thumping of music out in the bay and realised it was the Cream boat party. A little further out than we thought, but the sea was very calm by this point. Kept considering turning back, but by this point we were closer to it than the land. Got within about 50ft and the captain of the boat moved off quicker than us. Not sure if that's something he's required to do in case we were pirates, or if he just didn't want us getting free tunes, but nevermind.

Gunned(ish) it back to the sunset strip for sunset, then headed over the harbour back to the base.

Best Ibiza experience ever outside of a club (and better than many clubbing experiences I've had too!) and I'd highly recommend it. Will certainly be re-acquainting ourselves with Dave (that's what we named the boat) next time we're there!
 
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