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Old 07-02-2011, 10:47   #1
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Bareboat Charter Company Recommendations Wanted

We are planning a family bareboat vacation in or around Grenadines for Christmas 2011. We'll probably have seven people, so it will either be a cat or a 47-50' monohull, but being traditionalists and conscious of the cost differential, leaning toward the mono. We have previously chartered in BVI and Antigua, we have our own boat in the US, and I have twice raced to Bermuda, so the sailing itself is no worry.

But what about the many bareboat charter companies? We used Sunsail before, but are now considering:

Barefoot
Horizon
TMM
VI Sailing

What experience do you have to share about any of these? Any strong recommendations, either positive or things to avoid?
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Old 08-02-2011, 20:29   #2
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So Much to See - So Little Time

cm:
How many days are You planning? What island did You want to start from?
Horizon usually rates high marks based out of Grenada but advertised Union Island starts in the past

Did Sunsail out of St. Vincent in '08 - it was a "budget" trip and we went with smaller older boat & "paid the price" several issues. But it was a great trip overall.

Sunsail & Moorings have opened new bases in Grenada - so there are more than a few choices to make including flights.

You might want to do some searching over at TTOL where a bunch of sailors have tried all those companies.
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Old 13-02-2011, 11:47   #3
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Originally Posted by caseymichael View Post
We are planning a family bareboat vacation in or around Grenadines for Christmas 2011. We'll probably have seven people, so it will either be a cat or a 47-50' monohull, but being traditionalists and conscious of the cost differential, leaning toward the mono. We have previously chartered in BVI and Antigua, we have our own boat in the US, and I have twice raced to Bermuda, so the sailing itself is no worry.

But what about the many bareboat charter companies? We used Sunsail before, but are now considering:

Barefoot
Horizon
TMM
VI Sailing

What experience do you have to share about any of these? Any strong recommendations, either positive or things to avoid?
I would avoid Horizon at all costs, we had a terrible experience with them, which is explained fully on other threads in this forum. Others may have had positive experiences with them, and I wish we were one of them! Never will they get another penny of our money. Our vacation was a dream come true...we enjoyed the BVI so much and it was the vacation of a lifetime and we will never allow all the negative issues we faced with Horizon and their boat, Moonshine, a Bavaria 33, to take away our precious memories.

I have looked at TMM and have heard very good things, I like their website because you can see availability of the boats and its easier to plan that way. Talked with a guy from TMM and he was friendly and quite helpful.

just my 2 or 3 cents!

enjoy your trip...I for one am VERY jealous!!!
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Old 13-02-2011, 12:02   #4
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We've used TMM several times - most recently this January. They are very easy to work with and extremely accomodating. As is the case with mose charter companies the boats sometimes have hicups but nothing terrible and they have been very quick to help if something comes up that gets in the way of the fun.

I'd recommend them
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Old 19-02-2011, 08:10   #5
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I have chartered a Bavaria 42 from Horizon out of True Blue Bay on the south end of Grenada. That was good but there is a long jaunt from St. George up to the North to get to Carricou before you can enter into St. Vincent and the Grenadines at Union Island. The boat and company were great, True Blue Bay is beautiful. St. George was good for us, too. We had three couples.

If going again, I would charter a catamaran out of Canuan in the Grenadines. Moorings has a base there and you can fly in there from San Juan. Tabago Cay is the main attraction and is very close. The cat can slink right up behind the reef. That was my all time favorite place to sail to. Saltwhistle Bay on Mareau just west of Tabago is also very nice. get in early and take a ride with the man at the end of the road, go over the island to the little convenience store on the other side. Stop at the top at the little church and enjoy the view. He gives a little tour that was fun and not out of your way.

Union Island is also interesting, busier by far. There is a gallery on the left side of the road leading off to the left from the main harbor that has a little overlook up the hill where you can enjoy a drink while looking out over the harbor. We were there in the summer in an off season so the harbor was not busy but I understand it can get busy and have a few shady characters. Anchor behind their reef to the east side of the harbor, again, the cat lets you do that better.

There are other Islands we did not get to like Bequia, the ritzy private island, (don't remember the name right off), but I would go back to the Grenadines and do it in a cat from Canuan. I would go to Tobago Cay, stay a while, explore the others and stop off again at Tobago before going home.

If you start off in the Genadines and sail their islands, you don't have to mess with customs by boat. Coming from Grenada we had to checkout at Carricou, check in at Union Island, check out at Union Island and check back into Grenada back in the bay east of True Blue. It wasn't bad but you had to plan for it, find the customs office and it took an hour to two to get done.
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Old 19-02-2011, 12:04   #6
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I would suggest going to a broker. We have charted through Ed Hamilton on a few occasions and were very happy with their suggestions and service. (now own our own boat...) there are others, but we have no experience with them.
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Old 22-02-2011, 19:21   #7
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Re: Bareboat Charter Company Recommendations Wanted

Horizon - I read someone reporting a bad experience from the BVI but it's a different administration in Grenada. I've chartered many times, and all too often are the boats not maintained properly. You can expect a shipshape vessel from Horizon in Grenada. Also Grenada is in itself a great island to visit if you can spare a few days before or after your cruise. That alone justifies chartering out of Grenada.
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Old 22-02-2011, 19:39   #8
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Re: Bareboat Charter Company Recommendations Wanted

I've gone through Ed Hamilton too, had charters with Sunsail and Barefoot. I would consider them comparable. I had one with Moorings, during a discount special, and would not pay more for their club line than for a Sunsail/Barefoot charter, although the service was marginally better.
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Old 23-02-2011, 10:06   #9
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Re: Bareboat Charter Company Recommendations Wanted

We chartered with the Moorings out of Canuan in 06 on a Mono and had a great time. Canuan is very centrally located which makes for easy acess to all the islands in the Grenadines. Highly recommend partial provisioning if you start in Canuan as the availability of anything on the island is very limited. We found plenty to finish off our provisions in Union Island and Bequia. Can't wait to go again.
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Old 26-02-2011, 12:04   #10
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Re: Bareboat Charter Company Recommendations Wanted

I suggest TMM as I have had 8 years' experience with them as owner of 2 boats in their charter fleets in both Belize and BVI. I speak from experience when I say their attention to detail and maintenance of the fleet is not surpassed. You won't be disappointed.
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