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Old 18-02-2010, 11:17   #1
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Bareboat Charters in Belize

Hello!

Was wondering if anyone could provide information on outfits in Belize that do Bare Boat Charters. We are planning on going in mid August. I have looked at "Moorings", but they seem a little expensive...any other alternatives out there?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 19-02-2010, 08:13   #2
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TMM - but personally, I would go with the Moorings. Just curious, any particular reason Belize? We have been chartering 10 or 12 times, and Belize would not be on any return list of ours.
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Old 19-02-2010, 08:28   #3
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Hi Bill,

Do you have a recommendation for a good Bare Boat Charter area?

I saw that Moorings in Belize has a "sailing area" inside the Barrier reef, and apparently, you cant go outside of this reef...this is a bummer, I was looking forward to some open ocean sailing for a couple of days. Do you have a recommendation on a destination that isnt so "contained" ?

Thanks!

John
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Old 19-02-2010, 10:02   #4
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Hello,

My wife and I owned a boat with Moorings in Placencia. The longest we ever stayed there continuously was 4 weeks. We spent the whole time inside the reef and had a great time. The Moorings base is in Southern Belize and the reef there is some 20 miles off shore (upwind). The "sailing area" extends North to Ambergris Cay and South to Guatemala. There is plenty of water, it's windy and flat. "Contained" is not the right description. If your looking for a remote charter experience, where you may only see a handful of friendly people for your entire stay, then I highly recommend it.

Much has shifted over the years since the best hand made chart was drawn. Depending on where you choose to go, it can be a minefield of coral heads, nothing is marked including the passes through the reef out into the open ocean. Getting out is easy enough. Getting back in is downwind, with the swell, surf breaking all around, into an unmarked passage, without reliable charts, and the kicker is that Belize has ENORMOUS fines for even touching the coral with your keel. (Speaking as a charter boat owner) It really would be insanity to allow charterers to attempt it. Like you say it's "a bummer", but not a very big one.

The Eastern Carib has a nice mix of sheltered anchorages and open water. St. Martin/St Barts/Saba is certaily more open than the BVI. Consider also a one-way "down island" charter. For example: Charter a boat with Moorings in St Lucia and drop it off in Canouan.

For true open ocean sailing from a charter base, I'd recommend Tahiti. Big ocean and calm anchorages. sweet !

Dave

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Old 19-02-2010, 10:07   #5
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We encounter a few TMM boats while we cruised Belize and if it were me I would give them a pass. Moorings does have a substantial fleet of well kept boats in Placencia. WG
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Old 19-02-2010, 11:35   #6
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Thanks for the info!

Can any of you all comment on Cruising Belize in August with a boat with no AC?
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Old 19-02-2010, 12:11   #7
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I can comment on cruising in June and July. We never had air conditioning and never felt it was too hot or uncomfortable UNLESS we were in Cucumber Beach Marina, the only marina in Belize. There is always trade winds blowing and you spend a lot of time in the water. WG
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Old 19-02-2010, 12:27   #8
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We chartered from TMM in June 2003 when they still had offices in Placencia and San Pedro. They now have only one office in San Pedro. TMM was very good to us. They even waived one-way delivery fee because our agenda was disrupted by an approaching hurricane and we couldn't make it back to San Pedro. We had such a great time we took our own boat there twice in the past two years.

I like sailing inside the reef because there are almost always tradewinds without the wave action normally associated with them. If you like cruising populated areas, visit the cays in the northern part of the country (Ambergris, Caulker, Coco Plum, etc) . If you like less populated places where you may not see another boat for days, visit the southern cays. TMM now has only one base in San Pedro and Moorings has a base in Placencia. Thus your choice of cruising style will determine which company you charter through, assuming you are still set on visiting Belize.

If you want more info on cruising Belize, search this forum or PM me.
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Old 19-02-2010, 12:40   #9
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The outer cays along the reef are all very exposed to the Easterlies. No AC required. The "inside" islands are a mix of cays and mangroves. If you choose to hold up in the mangroves you will be hot. We left there in late August 06.

Queen Cay 16 33 40.56 N 88 03 11.00 W
Ranguana Cay 16 20 00.00 N 88 10 00.00 W

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Old 20-02-2010, 08:08   #10
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Thanks for all the good info ! The folks on this forum are awesome!

I think we are going with TMM out of San Pedro (Ambergris Cay I believe its called). I am really looking forward to doing a lot of actual Sailing (im not one of these people that charters a sailboat and never raises the sails). Anyone recommend a good cruising itenerary that would allow us to Sail most of the way ? Im guessing heading south is the best way ?
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Old 20-02-2010, 08:18   #11
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If you haven't already booked then check out
Belize Sailing Charters offers Catamaran or Monohull, Crewed or Bareboat Sailing plus land and sea trips.
I sailed with Curtis Collins between Tortola and Chesapeake Bay and we chartered twice in the BVI and Guadeloupe. He is thorough and knowledgeable.
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Old 22-02-2010, 16:20   #12
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We chartered in June. Thankfully, we had A/C - it was a VERY hot June that year. We had temps in the upper 90s - UGH - and only down to 80 at night.

That beings said, MOST folks do fine without A/C. But, summer IS summer...

As noted above, if you are looking to escape, Belize is great for that. No, it is against the law for charter boats to go outside the reef. That's why they won't let you. However, once you leave Cay Caulker going south, or Placentia going north, there is virtually nothing/no one.

We much prefer the BVIs if we are taking non-sailors, and the Grenadines, if we want to SAIL.
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