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Old 27-08-2011, 04:59   #1
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Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

We have baredboat out of the BVI, now looking elswere. We have an oportunity to go to Thailand and would like to sail Phuket. Looking for some idea of what to exspect, compared to the BVI

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Old 27-08-2011, 05:46   #2
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Re: Planing to bearboat out of Phuket, looking for info.

Don't feed the bears.

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Old 27-08-2011, 06:07   #3
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Re: Planing to bearboat out of Phuket, looking for info.

Phuket can be great or can be a disaster if you hate invasive tourism on steriods...

This is the famous beach where Th Beach was filmed. The bay is Phi Phi Le.
You will notice just 2 boats on the beach: 'Lil Dink and an atmospheric looking Long Tail.

This photo was taken at about 7am. Within an hour the first tourist Long Tails have arrived and by 11 am the whole beach is covered with them, 2 to 3 deep.
So to do this place you must arrive late, grab a mooring (free) and get the hell out fairly early the next day. But that gives you this magnificent bay for a few hours just to yourselves.

Plan to use a lot of diesel as theres not much wind and the cruising area is pretty vast. Up the bay to James Bond Island is truly fascinating. That island istelf has grown out so doesn't look much at all, the water up there is murkey but you can swim in it, however the limestone islands you pass are unique.

To make the best of a short charter you must do your research and plan a route before you get there, theres no real cruisers curcuit, people just wonder.
We did the Similan Islands but on a charter you can't afford the time and they are 'normal' islands you can see anywhere.

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 27-08-2011, 18:39   #4
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

When are you going?

It’s generally hot all year round.

A lot of the good beaches can be very busy with tourists.

Lovely people and food.

Keep an eye on the tides and currents.

Dec-Feb: Northeast monsoon season. The wind drops in the middle of the day, and blows at night. Perfect wind direction for exploring the west coast of Phuket where the bays are beautiful this time of year.

Jun-Aug: Westerly’s – Rain squalls common which pack some wind. The west coast is totally exposed when the westerly’s are blowing.
I've sent in my application to the Real World. So I'm hoping to hear back from that....
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Old 27-08-2011, 18:56   #5
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

Mate, go in the NE monsoon time, December to February. Start from one of the marinas sail for James Bond island, great scuba diving around Phi Phi Don, where the water is clear. Explore the hongs, underwater tunnels go into the centre of the big collapsed limestone islands, you swim in at low tide. The blue light in the tunnels is out of this world, beats the Isle of Capri, Blue Grotto, any day.

Lots of amazing limestone islands, Kho Lantra has nice beaches, Kho roc, etc, beautiful anchorages. All within a few hours of day sailing apart, so can make good overnight anchorages. The sea is calm most of the time, even glassy for days at a time! Of course, go to Phi Phi don as a base for the east coast cruising.

Anchor at Patong beach or one of the beaches further South towards the cape and take in the amazing nightlife and cuisine of the flesh pits there. The Similan Islands are a wonderland for scuba diving and undeveloped, offshore from the west coast.

Get your teeth fixed for very cheap prices, excellent dentists at Patong.

Some of the best cruising in the world to be had around there, another deserted tropical, palm fringed island just around every corner???
Fair winds from Keith.
Keith, "But I was born very young and grew up knowing little of the world!"
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Old 23-10-2011, 11:05   #6
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

Personally, we stayed away from James Bond on our charter. We elected to go there with a local motor boat charter... We explored some of the smaller islands and spent a day hanging out with a local fisherman eating some of his catch... He was very friendly, didn't speak much English but it was a hell of a good time. We had good wind pretty much every day. We did an amazing night sail where the wind was constant at about ~8-10 knots.

Otherwise, I'd echo everything Burls said.
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Old 25-10-2011, 23:40   #7
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

I have a boat in Phuket so I will chime in here.
Here is a summary of the sailing weather:

NE monsoon(Dec-Mar)-usually drier and the monsoonal wind opposes the sea breeze so you will have often strong(15-20 knot) winds overnight and in the morning that die out by 2 in the afternoon. It is then either stagnant or light winds until dusk. As there is less rain during this period the snorkelling is generally better. However, this season has one downside, tourists and lots of them. Most, if not all of the anchorages, beaches and hongs will be inundated with longtails, speed boats, etc. from 1000-1600 it is downright miserable and dangerous at some of the spots at this time as the local Thai skippers have no regard for the safety and well being of anybody or anything. I am not exagerating!! The one saving grace is that the yacht charter business is not (yet) overdeveloped in Thailand so you generally do not have a problem finding overnight anchoring space after the tourist minions leave.

If I go sailing during this time of year, I will make a point to be sailing during the middle of the day to avoid the tourist crowds. After breakfast we sail/motor somewhere and time our arrival between 1500-1600 to avoid the crowds! If you have distance to cover at a good sailing angle, it is best to leave at first light to make use of the wind. The converse is true if you are headed to windward; leave so you will make your anchorage by sunset for minimum wind/sea to beat into

Monsoon switch takes place between March and the middle of May. I do not go sailing at this time of year unless I am on a boat with genset and aircon, it is often hot, humid, and still. My worst days on a boat have been at anchor here when it is 35C in the middle of the night counting the hours till morning!!

SW monsoon(June-Oct): This is the "wet" season, although it is worth noting that the rain is usually more prevalant towards the end of the season than the beginning and usually occurs in spurts. The days between the rain storms are IMHO the nicest of the year! If you are prepared for the occasional severe squall(I have seen 50 knot gusts here) June-Aug is the best time of the year for a sailing trip. The rain is not constant, the wind is generally more reliable(at the very least you will get a 8-10 knot westerly seabreeze pretty much every afternoon) and most of the places are utterly deserted. You can pull into the best spots(with one exception see below) at any time of the day and be assured of a space and usually solitude.

There are two main items of interest in sailing around Phuket:

1. The hongs(sea caves/hidden lagoons) and interesting scenery of the islands containing them

2. Snorkeling/diving

Unfortunately, the best of these two items are at opposite ends of the cruising area so with a 1 week charter you will either have to choose or cover a lot of distance.

In the northeast season you can sample a bit of both by first heading north to Phang Nga and do the hongs and then head south to Krabi, Phi Phi, (Lanta and surrounding if you have time), Koh Racha, and back. Skipping Lanta this can easily be done on a one week charter. In the SW season, simply reverse the circle.

Additional comments:

Phi Phi- Phi Phi don is always busy and the anchorage at Ton Sai Bay is deep, crowded and very rough during the day due to boat traffic. If you want to experience Phi Phi I suggest arriving at sunset and leaving at first light to minimize your exposure to the boat traffic. The sights on Phi Phi le, Maya Bay, Hong Pileh and the bay at the south end are some of the most beautiful sights in the area but you must be in and out before 1000 am. To quote a friend of mine about Maya Bay, "It went from The Beach to Titanic in a matter of minutes." I usually only go to Phi Phi as a nightstop on the way to or from points south. If I do, I am up at first light on the way out and we go have breakfast outside Hong Pileh or in Maya Bay before the crowds show up. it is then a manageable trip to my favorite spot after that.

Koh Rok Nok: One of my favorite places on the planet. Two little islands out in the middle of nowhere, excellent snorkeling and with the exception of other yachts and a few adventurous tour boats, nobody else. I try and stay 2 nights here on every trip.

Hope this helps

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Old 27-04-2012, 13:48   #8
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

Hi guys,

Great to get more solid perspective on sailing around Thailand and the best possible times depending on your inclination. I sold my boat back in Oz and admittedly now partially fall into the tourist category as I just plan to bareboat around for about ten days in July. Nevertheless, it is good to know that crowds exist and seek out way to avoid them. However, it would appear from what druknsailor says it wont be an issue during July so much.

I need to hire a boat but it would appear that most of the charter companies are charging both an arm and eyeball for yachts and catamarans. If there a private market where prices are more reasonable?

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Old 05-05-2012, 19:49   #9
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

Hey Lyndon,
Try I believe they deal with private charter owners as well, any way they seam to have some pretty good prices on charters.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:18   #10
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Re: Planning to Bareboat Out of Phuket - Looking for Info

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Lyndon, and Nalu.

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