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Old 25-10-2009, 22:33   #1
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Whitsundays Bareboat Hire

Hi there,
I'm new to this website so please forgive me if some of my questions might sound stupid.
I am keen to hire a sailing yacht and sail around the Whitsundays next year. We will probably be a group of about 5 people (all around 23ish) with very little sailing experience, yet still want to do the trip on our own and not just hop on one of those tour boats and let someone else do all the work for us.
Now, here are my questions:
First of all, do you think that Jan-Feb time would be enjoyable on the Whitsundays or would you recommend waiting for later on next year when it's not Stinger season?
I looked at a few bareboat hire websites and it seems that 400-500$/night is average for a basic yacht that could accommodate 4-6 people. Now, is there a chance that there might be smaller local companies that are much cheaper but hard to find out about on the Internet?
Next question, flights from Perth to Hamilton Island seem to be quite reasonable. Is Hamilton Island a good place to depart and arrive from? How many days would you recommend for the trip?
Now this could sound a bit stupid, but I'm going to ask anyways. When you are sailing, you sleep on board, right? But do you just sleep out on sea or do you have to go to a marina, and if you do, how much would you usually have to pay for that?

So yeah, I realise that I have many questions, but basically what I want to know is how much money should we expect to pay, how much time should we expect to book off work, etc.

Thank you all very much for your help.

inga
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Old 26-10-2009, 01:38   #2
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Sleep on board on little things called beds. They are down in a hole under the deck.

OK well I thought I was funny!

Yes the boats are usually at anchor in one of the bays. You must be anchored by about 4pm each day. You can take the boat to Hamilton Island Marina and eat at a restaurant there (bloody expensive!).

January or Feb is nice as the trade winds don't blow too hard and the water is clear. Stingers dont really affect the area. but everyone is expected to wear a stinger suit in the water. It is the main part of the Cyclone Season so can you insure your holiday?

A good idea is to buy your booze in Perth and bring it with you. HamiltonIsland is hideously expensive. You could take a sail over to AirleBeach but by the time you do, anchor, get to the supermarket etc you've blown the whole day.

With 5 people I would seriously have only your carry on luggage being clothes and the rest of your suitcases full of food and drinks. Meat, cheese etc especially.

Mark

PS Don't look at the brochure photos and expect Whitehaven beach to look like that!!!!!! Its a nice beach but some geek makes millons with Photoshop!
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Old 26-10-2009, 01:59   #3
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Originally Posted by inga2212 View Post
First of all, do you think that Jan-Feb time would be enjoyable on the Whitsundays or would you recommend waiting for later on next year when it's not Stinger season?
I would recommend between April and October - less chance of cyclonic weather and much more pleasant in terms of temperature. Jan?Feb is way to hot.

Quote:
I looked at a few bareboat hire websites and it seems that 400-500$/night is average for a basic yacht that could accommodate 4-6 people. Now, is there a chance that there might be smaller local companies that are much cheaper but hard to find out about on the Internet?
The competition is strong so all the boats will be similar price in their size etc.

Quote:
Next question, flights from Perth to Hamilton Island seem to be quite reasonable. Is Hamilton Island a good place to depart and arrive from? How many days would you recommend for the trip?
Personally I always used to fly into Mackay and do my shopping their and hire a car and drive up to Airlie or fly into proserpine and shop there or at cannonvale.. Hammo is okay to fly into but most of the charter companies are on the mainland at shute or airlie.


Quote:
Now this could sound a bit stupid, but I'm going to ask anyways. When you are sailing, you sleep on board, right? But do you just sleep out on sea or do you have to go to a marina, and if you do, how much would you usually have to pay for that?

No sleep on board at anchor and stay away from marinas, they are hot/smelly and cost money.

Quote:
So yeah, I realise that I have many questions, but basically what I want to know is how much money should we expect to pay, how much time should we expect to book off work, etc.
For your first trip I would recommend a 5 day charter with a couple of days either end to look around and provision etc.

Now - picking a boat is the next thing - of course it will be a multi - Correct? Seriously - whatever you pick - it absolutely must have excellent sun protection in the cockpit to make the trip bearable.
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Old 26-10-2009, 02:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inga2212 View Post
Hi there,
I'm new to this website so please forgive me if some of my questions might sound stupid.
I am keen to hire a sailing yacht and sail around the Whitsundays next year. We will probably be a group of about 5 people (all around 23ish) with very little sailing experience, yet still want to do the trip on our own and not just hop on one of those tour boats and let someone else do all the work for us.
Now, here are my questions:
First of all, do you think that Jan-Feb time would be enjoyable on the Whitsundays or would you recommend waiting for later on next year when it's not Stinger season?
I looked at a few bareboat hire websites and it seems that 400-500$/night is average for a basic yacht that could accommodate 4-6 people. Now, is there a chance that there might be smaller local companies that are much cheaper but hard to find out about on the Internet?
Next question, flights from Perth to Hamilton Island seem to be quite reasonable. Is Hamilton Island a good place to depart and arrive from? How many days would you recommend for the trip?
Now this could sound a bit stupid, but I'm going to ask anyways. When you are sailing, you sleep on board, right? But do you just sleep out on sea or do you have to go to a marina, and if you do, how much would you usually have to pay for that?

So yeah, I realise that I have many questions, but basically what I want to know is how much money should we expect to pay, how much time should we expect to book off work, etc.

Thank you all very much for your help.

inga
Dear Inga
I used to spend a month a year sailing Whitsunday islands, so I no the area well.
A few points.
Hamilton Island food is expensive, but given the relatively small extra cost of provisions over a week, personally I would fly into Hamilon island, get the charter company to provision the basics and buy some personal favorite food and drink at the supermarkets on Hamilton.
This is the most expensive way, (maybe $10 per person per day more ) but is a much more enjoyable way to start a holiday.
The best charter company is Sunsail, based on Hamilton.
Jan-Feb is a terrible time, Around September is the best
There are very few marinas, you will need to be self sufficient.
It is not an easy area to sail, navigational errors are particularly punished. If you hit coral you will do major damage and there is typically no warning from the depthsounder. Almost every year I have sailed the area there was a mayday from a charter boat. I admire your attitude, but wonder if you have enough sailing experience. The charter companies will send a skipper out with you to check you can handle the yacht.
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