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Old 04-04-2015, 01:38   #1
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Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

G'day

I've convinced a few of my friends to charter a boat over Christmas and NYE and we're looking at something either out of Phuket or Langkawi ... I'm at the 'looking at options' stage and we're pretty open to ideas so I thought I'd throw it to the cruiser community.

There's likely to be 7 or 8 of us. I have my ICC/Day Skipper but the rest are enthusiastic but inexperienced. I'm keen to do some diving but it won't be the focus of the trip. We're all foodies so there'll be eating, drinking and snorkelling in addition to the sailing and exploring.

So ... any recommendations for companies to charter from? Deals I should be looking for? Any gotchas? etc etc ...

Ta muchly
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:18   #2
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Bueller? Bueller?
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:59   #3
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Wow, not a cracker!

No one with any experience in this area, chartering?
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:19   #4
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Look up either Yacht Pro, Elite, or Dream Yacht Charter sailing out of Yacht Haven Marina on Phuket. They represent the bulk of the charter boats sailing out of Phuket, and all can be recommended for quality of their boats, service, and cost.

My personal experience is with Yacht Pro and I highly recommend them.

You aren't going to get any sorts of deals when chartering that time of year. It's high season in Thailand, and ideal sailing conditions prevail. Lots of people heading there for various rallies and regattas, with boats being in very high demand. Better start working to book something now.

As for gotcha's... you'll get a complete run-down when you arrive... but from what I hear the major complaints from the charter companies (regarding things they wish customers would avoid) include:

1) Do not anchor on top of a reef. Seems obvious, but I hear of boats on reefs when the tide goes out, at least once per month.

2) Do not pick up mooring buoys, unless you have to in order to avoid anchoring on top of a reef. Only pick up the large orange-ball type, which are installed by the local government. Dive on it to ensure its condition and depth below keel, swing distance, etc. Don't grab local buoys as they are meant for use by speed boats (are in shallow water and are a part of someone's business).

3) Do not trust what you see on the GPS for navigation near to islands, reefs, etc. Weekly stories of charter boats hitting sand bars, reefs, and other avoidable obstacles because they rely on the GPS when they should be keeping eyes on the depth meter and surroundings.

For diving... I highly recommend Koh Racha. You can rent equipment on the island. Check out Aqua Raya, run by a guy named Singh. They are nice people, have good equipment, and can show you around the local waters. There are some beautiful reefs, nice wrecks, and lots of wildlife in the area.

PS: Check out my blog (link below) for details on anchorages I've used, routes around the area, etc.

Have fun!
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:25   #5
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Thanks very much, I'll check them out and see what I come up with. I'll check out Singh too, good to have some local knowledge.

Cheers mate
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Old 12-04-2015, 04:06   #6
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

I did a bare boat course with yacht pro and would recommend them. Professional and personal service.They do charters also.

Years ago I chartered a boat with captain from Sailing Thailand Yacht Charter, Sailing Courses - Island Cruises Co,. Ltd. ? Sailing Thailand - Island Cruises Yacht Charter and was very happy. Alf manages a few boats both captained and bare boats. He has been on this forum before.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:18   #7
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

I would suggest the best option will be to find a skippered charter. Quite often this will be a westerner as skipper on his own boat with his partner as hostess and crew.

They will know all the best places to go and at the best times to avoid tourist hordes. You will usually get great food on board and plenty to wash it down! All the toys you need will be on board and quite a few offer diving as well.

You'll have lots of sailing experience, hands on, or not, if you prefer to just laze around. Most skippers will be happy to teach you a bit and some can even run RYA accredited courses.

This kind of thing is exactly what I did for 15 years and I know you will all love it. Although I'm not doing this anymore, I may be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:58   #8
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Thanks Sangsom but we definitely want a bareboat. I'm not sure a skipper could handle my friends. ... we might break him and then I'd lose my deposit...

I'm open to any tips you have though
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Old 16-04-2015, 12:03   #9
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Quote:
Originally Posted by tp12 View Post
Thanks Sangsom but we definitely want a bareboat. I'm not sure a skipper could handle my friends. ... we might break him and then I'd lose my deposit...

I'm open to any tips you have though
The bareboat scene was dominated by Sunsail, (with boats in Langkawi and Phuket and 1 way rentals possible,) Yacht Pro, Maks' Wharrems, and others also, but I've been gone for three years and I'm sure things haver moved on. Google is your friend. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 16-04-2015, 14:05   #10
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

My family chartered 40' cat from Sunsail out of Phuket. We enjoyed the experience, food was definitely a big part of it. We preferred secluded islands to more touristy places and had some of them to ourselves. A lot to see, explore and taste. Phang Nga bay was interested above water as it was silted. Because of low visibility, my daughter stepped on a small ray and got stung in her foot with 4" barb (still has the scar and barb as a souvenir). The water became clearer further south. Next time I would consider one way charter between Phuket and Langkawi (or the other way). Can't give you any concrete advice as I do not know your preferences, but +1 what american said. Especially, do not trust your charts. There was a big rock, not shown on our charts (neither plotter nor paper chart), just below surface, barely visible during low tide, right on our rumb line between islands. Tide was luckily low enough for us to see the seas washing over it and we kept good watch. An hour earlier or with flat seas we would'be hit it. During high tide we would sail over it without any issue. I was surprised to find omission like that in such heavily sailed area.
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Old 17-04-2015, 02:34   #11
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Re: Advice requested - Charter in Thailand or Malaysia

Thank you guys, much appreciated.

A bit concerned about unchartered nav hazards!
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