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Old 15-04-2014, 12:36   #1
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Bareboat charter suggestions please

We are experienced sailors but have never done a bareboat charter, nor do we have experience in the Caribbean.

We (husband and I, 2 sons, DILs) want to do bareboat charter in Caribbean and all agree that crowded anchorages, bars, restaurants (OK, a few but not every night) resorts and shopping are not our idea of fun. One son is diver, the rest of us snorkel. Looking at early Aug, yes we know that is hurricane season so we need location where shelter will be handy.

What do you suggest for destination? We will be flying in from AK, PA, CA.

Thanks
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Old 15-04-2014, 12:54   #2
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

Two suggestions:

1) British Virgin Islands - Not crowded in August (but wind can be iffy then). Easy to get to from the U.S. Short sails, lots of variety, lots of moorings, everything is easy. Suggest BVI Yacht Charters, though there are many bareboat operations in the BVI. Good place to get started.

2) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Longer sails, less developed, more difficult to get to, less crowded, more interesting. Suggest Barefoot Yacht Charters in Blue Lagoon.
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Old 15-04-2014, 12:56   #3
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I would recommend SVG or Grenada. I love and miss it down there. Check with Horizon Yacht Charters. James Pascal runs a GREaT operation
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Old 15-04-2014, 13:32   #4
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

Try DSL Yachting in Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia. We chartered with them for total 23 days in the last 2 years and they have a variety of boats. Ulrich and Samantha will take good care of you.

You can sail around St. Lucia or head south or north to take in some other islands.
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Old 15-04-2014, 15:45   #5
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

I think that the BVI will be easiest to get to from the USA and comparatively empty in August. The charter companies have well-organized storm and hurricane plans in place as well. Another option might be Antigua for secluded anchorages and English Harbour is the best hurricane hole in the Caribbean in case you need to use it (the Sunsail base is also in English, so if you charter from them you'll have a guaranteed place in there.
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Old 15-04-2014, 16:01   #6
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I say go to the Bahamas specifically the abacos and I think as a whole your family will have a lot more fun.
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Old 15-04-2014, 16:33   #7
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I think that the BVI will be easiest to get to from the USA and comparatively empty in August. The charter companies have well-organized storm and hurricane plans in place as well. Another option might be Antigua for secluded anchorages and English Harbour is the best hurricane hole in the Caribbean in case you need to use it (the Sunsail base is also in English, so if you charter from them you'll have a guaranteed place in there.
I'd agree with this one as well. There are a lot of bays & beaches on Antigua. Jolly Harbour is very protected in the event of bad weather and there are a few charter companies that operate out of there. We we at JH in January and it is very nice.

BVI's would be relatively quiet also as mentioned.
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Old 15-04-2014, 17:37   #8
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

OK, you have a family and a goal.

Back before the internet webbie tubie thing, I actually (gasp!) used books to find out where we wanted to go. That and the sailing magazines that were available back then, who had yearly (usually March or April) issues dedicated to chartering.

We've done the BVIs three times and Marsh Harbor Abacos once. I was unable to join a friend on his invitiation to Antigua.

It seems that folks can't really read your minds, and given your proliferation of family members, and given your expressed interests, it would seem that you could do well to find out more about the possible destinations to suit YOUR desires, rather than OUR experiences, other than specific rental outfits that may be preferred, all of which have been raised in various forums (i.e., which charter outfit is the "best"?, and in boating, there is no best, it's all a compromise: price vs. features, etc.)

Wherever you go, you pretty much can't miss. They are ALL great destinations.

Regardless of what WE say, all of YOU are going to have to make up YOUR minds. We can only offer the options, all of which are available "out there."

Have a great trip.
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Old 16-04-2014, 21:50   #9
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

I'll give another vote to the BVI. Your son could do rendezvous dives with any number of local dive shops and there's plenty of great snorkel sites. August is not crowded at all and I think most places are still open. Sailing is easy. Great place to start your first charter. Depending on how long you go for, you can also visit St. John as well which will be even quieter.
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Old 16-04-2014, 22:46   #10
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

We've chartered from TMM in the BVI, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and most recently Belize for the past 6 years . We've never gone in August (no reason to leave Alaska in August). TMM has always been good to us. The prices have been good and the boats sufficient. If you have some sailing experience St Vincent is a good bet, but I agree that the BVI are easy and fun. It can be crowded in the winter, but in August it's probably a different deal.
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Old 18-04-2014, 17:41   #11
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

I used to own a boat in the Moorings and sailed the BVIs several summer's. Its a very easy place to charter for the first time.

While many people choose to stay at crowded anchorages and pick up a Mooring Ball, there are more secluded options. Some of my favorite less touristy spots include

Key Bay on Peter,
Savannah Bay on Virgin Gorda (Good staging for The Baths),
Bails's Ground on Great Camone (rarely ever anyone else there),
Sandy Spit: Many come for the day, but most leave at night.
Cane Garden Bay: Popular, but low key. I anchor behind everyone so sitting in my cockpit, I can watch the sunset with no other boats in my vision.

The Indians and Caves are popular snorkeling locations as are the boulder along The Baths. I like the reef off the Sandy Spit and the cave at the point on Great Camanoe blows away anything at "the caves".
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Old 19-04-2014, 04:49   #12
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

greats suggestions. Adding to what nautical62 said, skip sailing to the baths. Spend two nights at leverick bay. First night arrive by 3 or 4, rent a car (its a 24hr rental) and drive to coco Maya for dinner. Next morning drive to the baths for breakfast and then explore all you want. Stop at the coppermine, savannah bay and hog heaven (can't be missed!) as well as any number of other places.

Unfortunately levericks BBQ isn't happening in August, but you can still have dinner there or call the Saba rock shuttle and head there.

if you register at Traveltalkonline, you can even get a very good deal on the slip at leverick. We visited the baths by boat the first few times and it just doesn't compare to doing it this way.

Another less frequent stop is fallen Jerusalem. Very similar to the baths, but from a snorkel perspective, better!
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:35   #13
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

I would suggest the BVIs heres some more info Yacht Charter British Virgin Islands | Sailing Holidays British Virgin Islands

but I would be suggested by grenadines but will be less shelter if any bad wether comes your way SAILBEAT - Yacht Listings

Feel free to private message me if you have any questions
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Old 12-11-2014, 17:26   #14
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

Thanks so much. We actually wound up doing a bareboat charter in Belize with our sons, DIL and DIL-elect (we hope!). Great fun although I wasn't impressed with SunSail customer service because we had a terrible time extracting vital information from them. Fortunately, a friend who knew the area helped out.
One problem was the freezer that didn't freeze very well, with the result that improperly wrapped fish and meat thawed and the juices smelled awful. There were other issues, too. This was our first bareboat experience, so we don't know if this is the norm or not. If we do it again, I'll assume the worst and come better prepared, including a better stock of zip-lock plastic bags, decent knives (somebody will have to check a bag), a couple of decent pot-holders, maybe a few other necessities.
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Old 12-11-2014, 17:31   #15
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Re: Bareboat charter suggestions please

How well the freezer works really depends on the boat. Although all the Cats we've been on have worked great and we own a Moorings 43.3 and used ours as well as a couple of others and it worked great on that too.

Haven't had any issues with Sunsail customer service, although we've also never chartered out of Belize. What vital information was so hard to get from them?
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