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Old 25-08-2009, 08:49   #1
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Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

I'm thinking of chartering a boat/cat in Saint Martin next winter. Is it a good charter destination? Any suggestions? What charter companies are there?

Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 25-08-2009, 11:31   #2
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Is it good? Is it good ??? ...

Man - the trade winds, the blue water, the islands!

Beer can be good. Caribbean is .... argh .... cream!

Hire where you get the best boat / deal. If you do not like a particular island you go on to another.

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Old 25-08-2009, 11:40   #3
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We plan on spending Xmas there, the French side is nicer with better food than the Dutch side. Good place to charter. The sailing is better than the British Virgins, more places to visit and more often on a reach.

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Old 25-08-2009, 11:52   #4
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Captain's Oliver Marina on the french side.All the major charter companies are located there.Several islands within one day sailing.
JC.
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Old 25-08-2009, 12:01   #5
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How about customs? Do you have to clear them if you go from one side of the island to the other?
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Old 25-08-2009, 12:14   #6
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You go freely from Deutch side to the french side.no customs.
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Old 25-08-2009, 12:25   #7
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You can go freely from one side to the other by car, by dinghy, or on foot, but if you go from one side to the other in your sailboat, you're supposed to clear out and then clear in. I'm sure many don't go to the trouble, but if you're caught, you might get a fine.
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Old 25-08-2009, 14:58   #8
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Fotoman:
Yes, very good charter destination......depending on preferences. Easy to get to with frequent non-stop jet service from many places with almost new airport.
Sunsail & Moorings = in Oyster Pond (french Side)
Horizon & Dream Yacht = Simpson Bay
others too

Check out the various charter company sites for itineraries. SXM has a couple of places for overnight. St. Barths is approx 15nm away + Anguilla(road bay) is about the same going the other way..........Between the 3 islands it will keep you occupied, fed & quenched for some time.
Sailing - you have some open water to contend with & the Oyster Pond entrance can be tricky in rough conditions..........follow charter co instructions.
Cruising Guide - Doyle's Leeward Islands will give you all the specifics

Customs = Anguilla - yes, St. Barths - Yes, SXM not really......if you charter from Sunsail / Moorings - you are on the french side & almost all the best places to stop are on the french side......technically coming back from another island/country you should check in.........your call depending on where you stop back on SXM........also think the authorities might give a little slack to charter boats especially ones based in SXM......what do tourists know? Your charter co can guide you.
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Old 25-08-2009, 18:39   #9
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On a Tuesday go to a bay called Grand Case on the French side of St Martin because this village is just one huge restaurant. ON Tuesday nights they have a street parade and you just hang out eating, drinking and loving it.
Prices vary from eating at excellent 'lo-lo's' for less than $10 to the most expensive restaurants imaginable.

Its great fun

By the way, I don't think charter boats would be expeced to clear in and out each side of St Martin... but better check
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Old 25-08-2009, 19:16   #10
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I've chartered out of St. Martin 3 times now for 5 weeks and also did a bareboat charter course there years before.

St. Barths and Anguilla are also easy to include on any charter there. What I loved was the French culture and the French wines which are very affordably priced. On the negative side, I felt there were not as many anchoring options as in the BVIs and the Moorings (which I used) has placed additional restrictions on anchorages and moorings which I did not care for.

For good or bad, the sailing is a bit more exposed than the Virgin Islands and the entrance to oyster pond can get quite bouncy.

Compared to the Virgin Islands I like it more as a cultural experience, but less as a general cruising ground.

My favorite anchorages were Grand Case, Marigot, Friars Bay and Orient Bay on St. Martin; Crocus Bay and the Prickely Pear Cays on Anguilla and Columbier on St. Barths. I loved Ile Fourche and Titimarre even more but the Moorings put them off limits as over night anchorages the last time I was there.
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Old 26-08-2009, 08:51   #11
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What nautical62 said is very much what we experienced.

We also went to St. Barts, and St. Eustatius on our trip - and loved Statia. I mean, probably the nicest people we've ever met.
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Old 26-08-2009, 08:54   #12
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Originally Posted by jean1146 View Post
You go freely from Deutch side to the french side.no customs.
Sort of wrong. You can dinghy or drive with no formalities, but if you drop anchor with your boat you need to check out of the one side and check into the other. I have had to do this - even though just going through Marigot the mobile patrol made me. I had to dinghy all the way to the Dutch customs office, clear out my boat, then back to the French side to check in - even though I told them I was going to head back to the Dutch side of Oyster Pond. This was a couple of months ago.
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Old 26-08-2009, 12:04   #13
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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Sort of wrong. You can dinghy or drive with no formalities, but if you drop anchor with your boat you need to check out of the one side and check into the other. I have had to do this - even though just going through Marigot the mobile patrol made me. I had to dinghy all the way to the Dutch customs office, clear out my boat, then back to the French side to check in - even though I told them I was going to head back to the Dutch side of Oyster Pond. This was a couple of months ago.
This could be annoying when you charter only for a week no?
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Old 26-08-2009, 13:07   #14
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I actually prefer renting a room in St Martin more then chartering there. We like Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case and Esmarelda in Orient Bay.

Chartering, I prefer the BVI's even with the crowds or the Spanish Virgins if you want fewer people.

My $.02
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Old 26-08-2009, 17:34   #15
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This could be annoying when you charter only for a week no?
I really don't think they expect charter boats to clear in and out of each side of St Martin.

I doubt wether the fellow in the office would like a queue of 20 people all day every day... its bad enough with normal cruisers...
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