Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-03-2021, 13:13   #1
Registered User
 
Tmacmi's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: South Haven Michigan
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 302
First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

I am working through class time and building a sailing resume to do a bareboat charter. Right now I'm thinking winter 2023

I'd plan on a 10 day trip with a captain on board during the days for the first couple of days.

I'm trying to thread the same needle as everyone else; not to overrun, but places with good anchorages and guides that a first timer can benefit from.

Caribbean is the first choice. Any specific locations/itinerary and companies you recommend?
Tmacmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2021, 14:38   #2
Registered User
 
Vasco's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore"
Posts: 7,546
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Hard to say who'll be in business in 2023.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
Vasco is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2021, 17:21   #3
Registered User

Join Date: May 2017
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 311
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Pretty easy decision. BVI isn’t the most common selection for nothing. It’s basically like sailing in a lake, everything is line of site NAV, the boats are all generally well set up for bare boat charters with many options, lots of places to spend the night (bays and marinas), enough room to try out different maneuvers if you want, plenty of places for provisioning, diving, snorkeling, swimming, site seeing, and there are tons of options for charter companies, all of which understand the worries and questions of a first time charterer. We’ve chartered there four or five times and you’ll find people that only charter there even after 15+years. I could go on, but you get the point of my opinion.

I own nothing in the BVIs, so I have no vested interest in my answer.

We decided to use Virgin Island sailing out of Florida as a charter broker each time. They are patience with our dumb questions, can book through many different charter companies (but not all) and generally know everything there is to know. Again, I have no vested interested in them, but it doesn’t cost you anything. The charter companies pay them (and no they won’t come off their published price list if you go direct with them - think of a car dealership). Each time we have chosen a different charter company based on our schedule and they’re boat availability.

One mistake we made was to try to go cheap on the first trip. Our theory was that we would use the trip to “see if we liked sailing” for our 10 day vacations. Going cheap almost ended any future trips because the boat had a few too many problems. My wife and our guests took several weeks before they would even discuss a second trip. Last trip we (four of us) booked a large cat. It’s wasn’t cheap, but basically your staying at a four star resort. Now (assuming back to normal after covid) we do one year at a four star resort and the next year sailing. Gives a good balance.
leboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 00:57   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: USVI
Boat: Hanse 445 44’
Posts: 38
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

BVI. Horizon Yacht Charters.
stulk75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 02:30   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 39
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stulk75 View Post
BVI. Horizon Yacht Charters.

Agree with the BVIs it is surrounded by islands so waves are small. Go to www.latesail.com they have 700 charter companies on their books and they are discounted. It is a buyer's market make an offer on price but not more than 20%
parachute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 06:02   #6
Registered User

Join Date: May 2017
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 311
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stulk75 View Post
BVI. Horizon Yacht Charters.
We've used HYC (through VISailing) and they were very good. We've also used others that were very good. DYC when they were at Scrub Island was really great. We haven't used them since they moved to St. Thomas but might next year (it'll depend on what VIS finds for us).

(and again, I have no financial ties to VIS. I'm only a very happy customer.)
leboyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 06:16   #7
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,810
Images: 6
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Agree that the BVI is an excellent first choice. I can only hope that by 2023 they will be fully opened up. Right now you can go, but you must remain on your boat for the first four days, and then test negative for COVID, before you can land anywhere.

HYC is good, and always gets a lot of recommendations. I have also used Sunsail, and they have a nice setup, with excellent shoreside facilities at their marina.

Good luck!
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 06:27   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Oz
Posts: 1,040
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

One of the easiest places to charter with no open ocean exposure at all is Abacos in the Bahamas, around March - May. Dream Yacht and Moorings.
Marsh Harbour is an easy short, cheap flight from USA. Great place for first timer. It is not far to anywhere and plenty of islands to visit. It is not as exotic as BVI, but then not nearly as crowded with plenty of safe places to anchor if moorings are all taken. You probably don't even need a captain.
Bean Counter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 06:42   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 52
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

This is a no brainer.
BVI is where you should go. I am one of those folks who still go there after 20 yrs of bareboat chartering. It is just that easy.
I would also recommend the Mooring or Sunsail. They are basically the same. They have a fantastic base facility and make the whole process easy. I used to only use them. (I know rent a distant friends boat out of loyalty).
I am willing to bet a nickel that by winter of 2023 all will be back to normal.
dhenline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 08:39   #10
Registered User
 
Tmacmi's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: South Haven Michigan
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 302
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Thanks to all. Is there a "go to" cruising guide and chart package you would recommend?
Tmacmi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 08:41   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
Boat: Beneteau 343
Posts: 441
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

My recommendation is CYOA in St. Thomas. They are just a few minutes from an airport with many flights from US and they have great staff and management. As others have said, the VI are a great place (read easy) to learn about bareboating.
EmeraldCoastSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 08:53   #12
Registered User
 
Mark0808's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Boat: TBD: In search of 40-45 ft, Bluewater capable. Found her! Now under contract, pending survey!
Posts: 60
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

I also agree with everyone who suggested BVI. We did exactly what you're considering on our first charter ... we chose BVI and also hired a captain for first few days to learn and gain confidence.
I wouldn't change anything. BVI is safe, forgiving, with great destinations for a sailing and island hopping itinerary. As pointed out, everything is line of sight, so navigation is easy. The Trade Winds make for great sailing, in relatively calm waters. Most of the anchorages utilize a Mooring Ball system, which is great for newbies, since you don't have to anchor.
We used Ed Hamilton & Assoc as our charter broker, and TMM Yachts for our charter. The top tier charter companies are The Moorings and Sunsail, with TMM and Horizon close behind. Ask around and read reviews... Dream Yacht Charters doesn't have the best of reputations when it comes to customer service and resolving problems, but do your homework, YMMV.
We've since chartered elsewhere, but that first charter was special. It was one of the best vacations we've ever had.
For a first time charter destination, you just can't go wrong with BVI.
Mark0808 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 09:17   #13
Registered User
 
Mark0808's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Boat: TBD: In search of 40-45 ft, Bluewater capable. Found her! Now under contract, pending survey!
Posts: 60
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

I also agree with everyone who suggested BVI. We did exactly what you're considering on our first charter ... we chose BVI and also hired a captain for first few days to learn and gain confidence.
I wouldn't change anything. BVI is safe, forgiving, with great destinations for a sailing and island hopping itinerary. As pointed out, everything is line of sight, so navigation is easy. The Trade Winds make for great sailing, in relatively calm waters. Most of the anchorages utilize a Mooring Ball system, which is great for newbies, since you don't have to anchor.
We used Ed Hamilton & Assoc as our charter broker, and TMM Yachts for our charter. The top tier charter companies are The Moorings and Sunsail, with TMM and Horizon close behind. Ask around and read reviews... Dream Yacht Charters doesn't have the best of reputations when it comes to customer service and resolving problems, but do your homework, YMMV.
We've since chartered elsewhere, but that first charter was special. It was one of the best vacations we've ever had.
For a first time charter destination, you just can't go wrong with BVI.
Mark0808 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 09:27   #14
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 217
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Ditto on BVI. It was the local of my first bareboat charter in 1999 and I have been going back for over 20 years. Since then I have also done bareboat charters in Greece Turkey, Croatia, the Abacos, Exumas, St Lucia, Grenada, and Belize. All of those locations have great cruising and something unique to offer (ie world heritage sites) but none have the warm Caribbean waters and the easy trade winds to take you from island to island like the BVI. Tthere are over 50 islands to sail to in the BVI (most of which are uninhabited) and many have secluded anchorages where you can get away from the crowds that inevitably go to this stunning cruising capital of the world.
You can't go wrong with Sunsail/Moorings as they have the most boats to choose from in the BVI and arguably the best maintained. If something does happen to go wrong with your boat they will have a mechanic on board to fix it within the hour. They also have a surplus of skilled captains that know the islands and can give you the confidence you will need to take over when ready. I strongly recommend you take ASA classes up to and including their bareboat class before going. You will be ready to take over from the skipper you hire sooner than you'd think. I'd also recommend spending a bit more for a cat if you have a full crew of friends and family. It will be more stable both at sea and at anchor and provide your crew more comfort. Most of the cats in the 40 - 45' range will have four cabins (and some with a crew cabin up front), so if you are inviting friends to join you in the experience and expense, you can divide up the $10,000 to $12,000 cost four ways with the four cabins. It really will be like a four star hotel on the water where you get to choose a new secluded anchorage of your choice every night.
jim King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2021, 09:53   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Sausalito, CA
Boat: Alerion Express 28
Posts: 159
Re: First Time Bareboat Charter. Where would you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmeraldCoastSailor View Post
My recommendation is CYOA in St. Thomas. They are just a few minutes from an airport with many flights from US and they have great staff and management. As others have said, the VI are a great place (read easy) to learn about bareboating.

If you decide to sail the BVI, don't charter in St. Thomas because you will have to clear in and out to do BVI. Time consuming and a p.i.a. Sunsail and the Moorings are good choices.
DEAN2140 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bareboat, boat, charter, men

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What boat would you recommend for our cruising BeachbumKW Monohull Sailboats 38 06-12-2015 02:52
What controller would you recommend for a single 75watt panel? pickpaul Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 02-12-2015 07:56
What ISP would you recommend? Roy M Liveaboard's Forum 4 01-02-2015 09:49
first time bareboat charter in Caribbean w/ little kids? nbourbaki General Sailing Forum 5 07-04-2014 07:31
Which anchor would you recommend ? fabrik Anchoring & Mooring 12 23-07-2013 23:28

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:14.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.