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Cruising Options

Bareboat (Self-drive)

We do not require any "license" for you to charter however we must ensure that your skipper has sufficient previous experience on a vessel of at least the same size. Our online booking form includes a "skippers experience" section which must be completed before your charter can be confirmed. This includes details of the type and size of vessel, location and duration, plus the skippers age and occupation. We will also take in to account the previous boating experience of your crew. If in doubt call us to discuss which vessel would be best suited to you.


Having a skipper aboard allows you to relax and leave all the boating decisions to a professional. Our skippers have the local knowledge to ensure you see as much or as little of the Marlborough Sounds as suits your group and they know all the best spots to tuck in to ensuring a quiet calm night.

When booking a vessel for a skippered charter we endeavour to ensure the comfort of everyone aboard by reserving a separate cabin for the skipper and we would not recommend sleeping additional people in the saloon. The skipper will join the charter party for all meals aboard excluding meals eaten ashore at any of the Resorts. We can organize provisioning to suit any of your dietary needs and individual tastes, and if required can arrange a chef to pre-plan menus and accompany you.


A bit rusty in the nautical department? Not enough experience? Or getting used to a larger yacht or launch? Then this is the option for you. One of our skippers will spend time with you going over the basics at the start of your charter. You'll get experience in manoeuvring and coming along side a jetty, picking up and securing a mooring, rules of the road etc. The tuition can vary from one hour to several days depending on your needs. We meet all of our vessels returning in to the marina at the fuel wharf (just inside the marina entrance).

Onboard Accommodation

We encourage onboard accommodation as it gives you time to more fully digest the briefing and get familiar with the location of everything onboard. Arrive the afternoon prior to your charter and pay just $30.00/person ($15/pp for under 16's). We'll get your briefing underway (depending on staff) and then leave you to unpack. Then the next morning you receive a full "Safety & Systems briefing starting no later than 0900hrs (usually 0830hrs) - we need your "1st
Mate" present for this full briefing as well. Your charter begins at 1000 hrs. 


If you are a bit short on time and would like to cover a large area, it is possible to leave the vessel at a different location after finishing your charter. This will have to be arranged prior to commencing your charter. This option is not always possible depending on the booking schedule and workload of the Compass Crew. We can relocate vessels from most locations depending on infrastructure and facilities. Popular places are: The Portage in Kenepuru Sound, Havelock and Nelson.


We have 6 runabouts in our fleet.  They are a great way to see the Sounds independently. Their Survey Limit is 'Enclosed water limits'. Please let us know where you will be using and keeping the boat.
We have a minimum 3 day booking all year except during PEAK when we have 5 days minimum booking however single day bookings may be available in any gaps between confirmed bookings. These can only be booked at the last minute.
Not all are available on a road registered trailer so if you will be towing the vessel to your destination please specify when booking.
All runabouts must be secured on a registered mooring or lifted and secured back onto the trailer overnight. None of the runabouts are suitable to be "beached" at any time.

Boat and Bach

When finding accommodation in the Sounds we recommend you book through Kathie at Kulak Rent a House. She has years of local knowledge and she coordinates the bookings for over 80 Sounds Baches. She can ensure you have a suitable mooring and the means to get ashore when you arrive (the runabouts do not have a dinghy). All runabouts must be secured on a registered mooring overnight. None of the runabouts are suitable to be "beached" at any time.

Restrictions (See Full Terms and Conditions)

Compass Charters has the right to put a limit to your yacht, runabout or launch for your cruising area. The reasons for this can be the length of your charter, your vessel or your level of experience. Of course we will notify you about this before the start of your charter. Also the weather can limit the area you originally set out to discover.

  • The vessel must remain in the designated survey area at all times.
  • The maximum number of passengers allowed aboard at any time is specified in the survey certificate and applies at all times.
  • A minimum 7 day charter is required to exit Queen Charlotte Sound.
  • The vessel must be secured for the day by 6pm or 2 hours before sunset (refer to the NZ Almanac) whichever is earlier.
  • No smoking is allowed aboard.
  • No Pets are allowed onboard.
  • No Firearms or Fireworks are allowed onboard.


Click below to see all our Boat Rates, Additional Services info and Rates, Season dates and Discount structure. As well as additional info about Bonds, Onboard accommodation etc. If you need a quote, further help or information please contact us.


Quick Quote

Simply give us a few details about your proposed charter and we will send you an obligation free quote back for consideration. It's QUICK and EASY,  just click below to take the first step towards your floating holiday.


Compass Fleet

Compass Charters' diverse fleet consists of fully equipped and well-maintained yachts, launches and runabouts. If you need help choosing which vessel to charter, just contact our crew and we will be happy to help you. 


Compass Fleet



Here's what our clients have been saying about us.

"Thanks to you and the Compass Charter team for the great day we had in the amazing beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Would love to come back within 12 months although not sure if I will be able to manage that. For sure I will connect again when ever I will be in New Zealand." - Chartered Orion

"Thank you very much, we really enjoyed our trip and are telling our friends and family that Compass Charters are a good company to deal with and offer great holiday opportunities." - Chartered Okoromai

Contact us now - spaces are filling up fast for the 2019/20 season!

Special Offers

The longer you charter the more you save! Our MULTIDAY DISCOUNT has proved very popular so we are continuing the offer for the 2021/22 season.

Now is a great time to get your crew organised, book 6 months or more in advance and get an additional 5% off your daily rate with our "EARLY BOOKERS" discount - make the most of this offer before the opportunity passes.

To view our latest Special Offers click here.

"Multiday" AND "Early bookers" discounts can be used together during eligible periods.


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