If you are looking to throw some baller style party on a yacht like a rap god or some NFL player then it’s doable in Panama. Obviously, talk is cheap and money walks so the bigger the budget the better the boat. Remember that bigger does not always equal better because you could get a mega yacht that’s 30 years old but priced the same as some 40ft Beneteau. What’s the difference? Quality!
If you’re planning on or still just considering to organize a yacht party out of Panama City, Panama then there are 3 factors you should consider: (1) budget, (2) destination, (3) food, drink, and entertainment. Do not get stuck on some old fishing trawler with no booze and entertainment. Scan through this to make an informed decision for a memorable experience.
Whatever you already have set as the budget, go ahead and increase it. This is a unique experience, so if you’re going to do it you should do it right. There are three things you need to consider when you’re budgeting for the yacht party:
1. Base rate on the charter. Every charter boat in Panama comes with captain, crew, and fuel costs built into the price. What isn’t built into the price of the boat are dock fees (sometimes they’re included and sometimes not), crew tips, and loading fees if applicable. Guys on a budget tend to try and cut out everything else I’m going to write about to get the price of the charter as low as possible, but regardless you will end up spending money on everything else one way or another – it just depends on how much extra time, effort, and potentially more money do you want to spend.
2. Logistics. Think about it – you’ll need to get yourself from your hotel/villa to the marina and back (ka-ching $), you’ll need to buy food, drinks, maybe extra ice (ka-ching $), if you’re inviting some guests along for the ride you’ll need to cover their expenses (ka-ching $). All the logistics details add up quick, so plan accordingly, or let the charter broker take care of it all.
3. Entertainment. Do you want to have a DJ, dancers, bartenders, servers, or something else?
Not only will you need to consider these additional costs, you’ll have to factor them into your logistics costs and your capacity numbers on the boat. So realistically if you have a group of 8 guys and you want a bartender, DJ, and to invite some guests you will need a boat with capacity for 20.
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For a day charter out of Panama City you have 2 options for full day:
1. Isla Taboga. This is the primary destination since it is only 45 min from the downtown marinas. Because of the proximity it is the cheaper destination and allows for the budget to be allocated more towards logistics and entertainment. Isla Taboga is great, with a beach you pull up to, lots of other boats anchored and partying, and normally calm waters. You pull into the cove, drop anchor, and party all day.
2. Las Perlas. The Pearl islands is an archipelago approximately 50 nautical miles from Panama City. This is the equivalent of going from Miami to the Bahamas for the day, so I’m sure you can imagine that the base rate cost of the yacht is going to much higher. Not only will the base rate be higher, but you need to factor in travel time. Not every boat can do Pearl Islands as a day charter. Because of this the Pearls only really works for smaller vessels with bigger faster engines. It is absolutely gorgeous with turquoise waters and some deserted islands. If you have a group of 20 and want to do the Pearls, then I recommend breaking up that group into two smaller groups. For budgeting purposes, a boat base rate will run you $400 + more than an Isla Taboga charter.
Food, Drink, Extras
So yeah, you need to get food and drinks for the party. It would be a boring party without it. When it comes to food, you’ll need to either let someone else do it like the charter broker or figure out what your capabilities are on the vessel. Not every boat has a grill or full kitchen set up so keep it easy. Unless you’re arranging a BBQ, you’ll want to keep it to cold cuts and pre-packaged food. Budgeting for around $10 per person is a good bet for food.
Let’s move on to drinks, which is usually the more important aspect. Do not try to arrange your bar the day of the charter. I would think this would be a duh, but it usually is not. Get all the goods arranged and set up the day before so on the morning of your charter, you get up, and go. If you’re going to arrange your own bar, then take into consideration that you’ll need to go to a few places if you’re looking for particular bottles or brands. You will want to go to Felipe Motta, Global Brands, or a regular supermarket. A typical yacht party to Isla Taboga is 6 hours long so you’ll need to factor for 3 drinks an hour per person (and don’t forget about your guests when calculating). Use this to set your budget.
Extras – you want a DJ? Typically, will run you $300 extra. You want dancers? That will cost. You want staff to serve or cook? Think about these and figure the pricing into your final budget.
Ok, so my recommendation is if you want to play it safe with the budget while having the best experience possible take the base rate of the boat, divide it by the amount of guys you have in your group and add $100 per person. This typically will factor in everything on top of the base rate. Take a look at all the yacht options available for charter to either Taboga or the Pearl Islands; click here.
If you don’t want the headache of arranging the food, drink, logistics, or anything else then reach out to the YC Yachts team. Have a look at the all-inclusive yacht party packages.