Fairwind Charters booking and hire conditions


Reservations: On making a booking you will be sent an invoice for the deposit and final payments. We require require a deposit payment of 30% of the charter total to be paid within 7 days to confirm your booking. The remainder of the charter payment is required 30 days prior to the charter start. For charters starting within 30 days of booking date, full payment is required to confirm your booking. A copy of the Charter Contract wording (see below) is sent to you at the time of booking. 

Competency: At the time of booking you will be required to fill out a sailing resume. Your booking will be accepted (or declined) on the basis of this resume but, if at the time of charter, we consider that you lack the skills to safely handle the boat then we reserve the right to put a skipper on board at your expense. If a skipper is not available then you must wait for one at your cost. The onus is on you to be sure that you have the skills to do the job. 

Note that we have never had to enforce above requirement to have a skipper.

Change of dates or boat: We are happy to change your booking dates or the type of boat you have chosen at any time, as long as this change does not affect the boat's booking schedule or ability to earn revenue. This means that you can't change your dates without penalty if that change would leave a gap between charters that we cannot then sell. 

Cancellation by Fairwind: If we cancel your charter (for any reason) prior to the start date we will provide a full refund of any charter monies paid, but Fairwind is not liable for any other costs incurred by you. 

Cancellation due to Covid: If you are resident in New Zealand and are prevented from taking up your charter due to temporary travel restrictions within NZ (a local or nationwide lockdown), then we will issue you a credit to take up your charter at a later date. This right to credit only applies to travellers and residents within NZ at the time of a lockdown and does not apply to any restrictions on international travel. If you are booking from overseas you must do so knowing the risks and understand that only the cancellation policy below applies.

Cancellation by the client: For cancellations made more than 90 days prior to the charter start Fairwind will refund your deposit less a $250 cancellation fee. For cancellations within 90 days of the charter start we will only give a refund if we can rebook the boat. We recommend you purchase suitable travel insurance to protect you in case you need to cancel your holiday. 

Cancellation or curtailment due to weather: Fairwind reserves the right to cancel or curtail charter the if the conditions are such that it is dangerous to proceed, in which case a monetary refund will be made for the period lost. This cancellation with right to refund is at the sole discretion of Fairwind Charters. This type of cancellation is a rare occurrence, as the anchorages in this area offer safe havens in all but extreme weather. 

Fairwind does not give refunds for cancellation by the charterer due to inclement weather (sorry) but we are happy to amend the charter dates prior to the charter start (if bookings allow) if you think the weather is better at another date.


Below is the wording of the contract which our charterers are required to sign prior to the commencement of the hire. It is intended to be simple to understand, but an explanation of the items in bold is at the bottom.


1. DELIVERY AND ACCEPTANCE OF VESSEL. FairWind shall present the vessel to the Charterer at the place and time specified above. The vessel shall be clean and in full commission. The Charterer shall inspect the vessel on delivery, and acceptance of the vessel at this time constitutes full commission. 

At the expiration of the Hire Term the Charterer shall deliver the vessel up at the place and time specified above. Failure by the Charterer to return the vessel at the stipulated time and place may result in the Charterer being charged pro rata the charter fee for use of the vessel, plus any consequential and incidental losses suffered by FairWind caused by the delay.

The Charterer shall return the vessel in a standard of cleanliness acceptable to FairWind and failure to do so may result in a cleaning surcharge of $60 NZ.

2. INSURANCE. The Charterer shall deposit with FairWind a Bond of the amount stipulated above. The Charterers liability for loss or damage to the Vessel and its equipment is limited to the amount of the Bond, except in the case of: 

1. Gross or wilful negligence.

2. Operation of the Vessel whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

3. Failure by the Charterer to comply with the laws of New Zealand (such as, but not limited to, the Recreational Fishing Regulations, NZ Customs Regulations and Harbour Regulations). 

4. Failure by the Charterer to adequately safeguard the vessels dinghy or outboard against accidental loss or theft.

5. Breach of any of the conditions of Clause 3 (Restrictions of Use).

If during the Hire Term the Vessel is involved in any incident or accident resulting in damage, the Charterer shall notify FairWind as soon as possible of the full circumstances of the incident. The Charterer shall be solely responsible for any repairs to the Vessel executed without the express authority of FairWind.

3. RESTRICTIONS OF USE. The Charterer shall not: 

1. Sub-let or hire the Vessel to any other person or party.

2. Take the Vessel outside of the Charter Limits for that particular vessel.

3. Operate the Vessel during the hours of darkness (unless required to preserve the safety of the Vessel or crew or express permission is granted by FairWind).

4. Leave the Vessel unattended at anchor for more than four hours during the hours of darkness.

5. Operate the Vessel in areas designated Hazardous by FairWind.

6. Allow the operation of the Vessel with more than the permitted number of passengers on board.

4. RECALL OR CANCELLATION. FairWind reserves the right of immediate termination the Hire and repossession of the Vessel upon default by the Charterer of any of the terms and conditions herein. 

FairWind reserves the right to cancel the Hire and provide full refund of Charter Fee at any time prior to the commencement of hire.

FairWind reserves the right to recall the Vessel at any time during the Hire Term should FairWind (at its sole discretion) consider the weather conditions prevent safe navigation or endanger the safety of the Vessel or passengers.

FairWind is not liable to the Charterer for any refund of charter fees or other costs, including travel expenses, should the Charterer cancel the Hire for any reason.

5. RUNNING COSTS. The Charterer shall be responsible for any running costs not included in the Charter Fee including, but not limited to, marina berthage, fuel and consumables not supplied by FairWind. 

6. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. The obligations of FairWind to the operation of the Vessel are limited to those imposed by the Maritime New Zealand and FairWind will not be responsible for personal injury or property damage caused by any defect or fault with the Vessel that the said Authority does not bind FairWind. This exclusion is subject to any rights or remedies you may have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993. 

FairWind cannot be held responsible for loss, damage or theft of personal possessions.

7. COMPETENCY. By signing this agreement the Charterer certifies that they have sufficient practical knowledge of seamanship, piloting and the Rules of the Road and are competent to safely operate the Vessel. The Charterer shall not delegate any duties to persons not similarly qualified. 


Clause 2, Insurance: All our boats are fully insured, but clients are required to leave a bond to cover the insurance excess (deductible). This excess is $5000 NZD unless you have elected to purchase the bond waiver insurance, in which case the bond is $500.

2.4 Loss of dinghy: This means that if don't tie the dinghy up properly and it was to drift away then the insurance company would likely impose a higher excess (more than $500 but not more than $5000). 

3.2: The charter limits for all our boats lie between Cape Karikari (60 miles north of Bay of Islands) and Cape Collville (south of Auckland) and up to 12 miles offshore. 

3.3: Night sailing is not permitted by law for bareboat charters. 

3.5 Hazardous Areas: We don't allow you to tie up to the busy commercial wharves at Paihia and Russell as they are not suited for yachts. We don't allow you to go up the Kerikeri River, as this is narrow, winding and tidal and requires local knowledge. 

Fairwind New Zealand Yacht Charters. Main Wharf, Opua, Bay of Islands. Tel +64 9 402 7821  Mob +64 27 478 9994