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Old 01-01-2008, 23:51   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Tonga Sailing - Circumnavigation on a Cat

Hi everyone,

We are a family of 5, living in Wellington, NZ : I’m French, my wife is Israeli and British, and we have 3 multicultural girls: the eldest is 7 (was born in France), the second is 4 (was born in the US), and the third was born 16 months ago in New Zealand. We dream of sailing a 38-45 ft catamaran in about two-three years’ time, first in the Mediterranéee and / or West Indies, and why not around the world. If money were not an issue, we would probably go for a new Orana 44. We have some sailing experience, on 29-38 ft Bénéteau monohulls (French riviera, Corsica, Martinique - Grenadines, Bahamas)

We plan to fly to Tonga (Vava’u) between June and August, 2008 for about 10 days’ sailing, ideally on a catamaran. Instead of chartering through Moorings, we would much prefer be “paying guests” on board a 38-48 circumnavigating cat. We are not looking for a 5-star cruise, not even a 3-star onebut look forward to be included in the daily routine of another family or couple living now what we want to live in a few years. I’m posting this for two reasons:
- obviously, in the hope that members of this forum knew of a circumnavigating cat that would be in the South Pacific around that time, and could possibly take us on board to sail around Vava’u. We are prepared to delay or advance our holiday slightly to rendez-vous with a cat. Alternatively, we could be interested in doing this in New Zealand as well (Bay of Islands ?), but from what I’ve read Vava’u sounds like a much better proposition, especially during the austral winter.
- get feedback from members of Cruisers Forum who have experience with this, either as “paying guests” or as owners. In particular, I’m wondering why I’ve never read about such arrangements. Could there be insurrance issues, or taxes issues ? (can circumnavigators be allowed to offer cruises in the countries where they sail ? I guess “paying guests” would officially be “friends” to avoid problems - hopefully before actually becoming friends)
- get feedback from circumnavigators. Does it sound crazy to envisage sailing away with kids under the age of 10 ?


PS: We’ll be very happy to have you over for dinner, when your circumnavigation brings you to Wellington !
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:44   #2
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I’m wondering why I’ve never read about such arrangements. Could there be insurance issues, or taxes issues ?
Insurance would be a clear cut problem. There would be none for any recreational boat. You need commercial insurance if you accept money. If something went wrong this fact would be exposed. This becomes a charter for hire arrangement. Conducting a charter business in another country is an issue too but probably off the radar as far as effecting your actual trip. It's more of a paper problem for them than the insurance is.

Ok, lets assume you accept the risk of no insurance (they may not want to). You are 2 adults and 3 children. The fact you all have experience sailing makes the idea even thinkable but it's still a handful of people. A circumnavigating boat is going to be loaded up with supplies (that's what cruisers do that is common to all - lots of stuff!). Fitting you all with your stuff might be a problem.

There are charter organizations that are set up for having hosted charters on private boats. Personally, I think it's the best way to do a crewed charter. It means that they have hosted before and are actually good at it. I found a site for Caribbean boats. There may be something like that for the areas you might choose too. Having a list might be better since I think many would have a problem with 3 children.

It's easier to be a single person and jump aboard a boat needing help for a passage.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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circumnavigation, Tonga

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