San Diego Boat Rental – The best companies

by Paul Joseph  |  Published October 31, 2019

Situated on the Pacific coast of California and renowned for its sandy beaches, public parks, art galleries and idyllic climate, San Diego has long been a hugely popular destination for discerning yacht charters and owners keen to explore the area’s waters as well as its land-based attractions.

Boats docked in a San Diego harbour (Photo: Paul Sableman via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

There are several boat rental companies to be found in and around San Diego. If you’re planning to rent a yacht here, we’ve looked into the available options and selected three of the best charter companies, based on several factors including range of fleet, company policies and customer testimonials.

Sailo have acquired a strong reputation since arriving on the yacht charter landscape several years ago, and were even billed by travel magazine Conde Naste Traveller as “The Airbnb of boats and yachts”. The website presents live availability across 30,000 bareboat and crewed yachts that can be rented for as little time as a couple of hours through to several weeks. Users can select their preferred location, party size, boat type, price range and other criteria, and once they’ve found their preferred option they can contact the boat operator directly though the website. When we searched for San Diego charters, we found 37 vessels, including 17 sailboats and 3 catamarans, and in total 5 bareboat options were available, most offered with a captain for between 2 and 8 hours. The most affordable yacht available was a 28-foot cruiser starting at $250 per day.
Established 7 seven years ago, South Florida-based Boatsetter connects charters and owners with licensed captains across the globe. The website boats of being the world’s biggest online yacht marketplace with more than 17,000 boats of every type, from speed boats to sail boats to catamarans, across hundreds of destinations. Users can either make a booking request through the site, or message a boat owner directly. Boatsetter is effectively a middle man, meaning they’ve had to make several policy guarantees to protect users, including a $500 security deposit being required for all rentals. When we searched for boats available in San Diego, we found 446 options, including 30 sailing boats and 16 vessels available bareboat.

Sail San Diego

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Founded in 1988, Sail San Diego has more than three decades of experience sailing on the beautiful waters of San Diego Bay & Pacific Ocean. The company has grown into a major player on San Diego’s yachting scene, boasting a charter fleet that includes a number of impressive vessels including 3 Catalina 400s and a Vision 42 by Bavaria Yachts, all helmed by highly experienced and often award-winning captains. The company offers a wide range of charter experiences, including 2-hour summer specials, 3-hour sunset sails, and small-group private sails, ensuring there’s something to suit every taste and preference. Sail San Diego’s marina is also very close to the Pacific, giving guests the option of sailing either in the bay, or out in open water.