Yacht chandlers are people who sell goods to yacht owners or operators. These people may run businesses that operate at ports or other areas close to docks so they can cater to boats that are in port for a quick turnaround. The primary business practices of yacht chandlers has changed over the years, but they generally involve stocking yachts, or recreational boats, with equipment, food, fuel, and other items that prepare the ship for a trip of any duration. Some chandlers may even be responsible for garbage disposal from ships in port.
Yachts are recreational vessels that can vary in size, shape, and function. Some yachts, for example, are sail-powered, while others are motorized. Very large yachts can be permanent living dwellings, and they may be large enough to accommodate several deckhands, a chef, a captain, and so on. Other yachts may be so small that only one or two people can be present on board at one time. Yacht chandlers will cater to all types of yachters, and the supplies he or she will carry will often be varied enough to accommodate these yachters on short order. Some yachters will make arrangements ahead of time with chandlers to ensure the necessary items are present when the yacht pulls into port.
Sailing yachts may require repairs to sails or to the equipment that controls the sails. Yacht chandlers will carry repair supplies, and in many cases, the chandlers will even carry replacement sails and rigging. Accommodating boats of various sizes can be difficult, so the yacht chandlers will often have a significant amount of stock on hand; special order items can take some time to procure, which means a boat may be stuck in port for a longer duration. Most chandlers pride themselves on a quick turnaround, however, so they can get repeat business from regular yachters.
In many cases, yacht chandlers will stock food as well. This is convenient for yachters who are in port for a short period of time and need to stock a kitchen on board. Sometimes the yachts may have full-time chefs on board, and these chefs can call in orders ahead of time if possible. Refueling services may be handled by the chandlers as well, especially if a particular port or marina hires an on-site chandler to handle all orders. This is convenient for boaters because they can get all their equipment and fuel in one stop.