Expert Advice

Chartering on a crewed boat can be great fun, but taking charge of a bareboat in an exotic location leads to a whole new level of enjoyment. Unfortunately, many otherwise competent sailors are nervous that they don’t have the skills to skipper a large monohull or catamaran in a charter environment. If you’ve been waiting to take the leap to bareboating, here is your perfect springboard: Fair Wind
As adventure-seekers, we take our sailing trips seriously. We want to unfurl our sails, explore far-off locations and leave the daily grind behind. But when the pennies start to pinch, vacations tend to be the first luxury to go.This doesn’t have to be the case. With a few adjustments you can still enjoy the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank. Stay closer to

Some like it hot

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 19, 2009
According to received wisdom, there’s no point in going to the Caribbean in the summer. “Too hot,” the naysayers grumble. “And if it’s not too hot, it’s too wet. You’d have to be pretty dumb to go down there in hurricane season.” All of which is true, and also not true.Yes, it can be hot, yes, it rains more than in winter and yes, there is the chance a marauding

Wind shifts

by Charles Scott, Posted May 19, 2009
I had signed on as crew aboard a yacht sailing down to the South Pacific from the Galapagos. A young woman also came aboard for the same leg and she and I were assigned watches together. She was a difficult shipmate, with a fickle personality that veered unpredictably from chatty and social to argumentative and sullen as suddenly as a summer squall.One day, after we’d been underway for a

Economic interlude

by Jan Hein, Posted May 19, 2009
It was January in the BVI. From our anchorage in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, we watched a parade of bareboats and crewed yachts come and go, twenty to thirty every day. Business, to our eye, seemed normally robust. Why, I wondered, were people still willing to charter while the sails of the economy were losing their wind?Curiosity and my rowboat took me to seek answers that I figured
With daily news about the increasing awfulness of the economy, this seems the wrong time to be planning an exotic charter vacation in a far-away place. But it’s not the wrong time to think about it in a recreational sort of way. I like to think about particularly successful or unusual charters of the past, hoping that at some happier moment they will turn into charters of the future. Meanwhile,

Split the difference

by Peter Nielsen, Posted February 11, 2009
Here’s a bit of jet-setting one-upmanship for you: Last March I had breakfast in Boston, flew to the Caribbean, and had lunch in Holland and dinner in France. Well, it’s kind of true. St. Martin/Sint Maarten, all 37 square miles of it, is two-thirds French and one-third Dutch, and it’s in the Caribbean. The Dutch section is part of the Netherlands Antilles, and the French is a collectivit of

Caribbean Race Charters

by Sail Staff, Posted January 20, 2009
You needn’t be a local or sail your own boat down to the islands to race in the typically warm and steady - well, yeah, sometimes blustery - trade winds of a Caribbean regatta and chill out further at the always maxi parties. Three big annual events in March and April - the St. Martin Heineken Regatta, the BVI Spring Regatta, and Stanford Antigua Sailing Week - have nonspinnaker charter divisions
I was in St. Thomas the last week of March on a press trip organized around the annual International Rolex Regatta. The welcome party at the St. Thomas Yacht Club welcomed not only the racers, but gusty winds accompanied by rainsqualls. By the next day, when we press people were out on a spectator boat watching the downwind start of the first race, it was threatening to blow the hair off the

Charter Cats

by Amy Ullrich, Posted August 20, 2008
Thanks to the unusual nature of my job—I give thanks frequently—I’ve sailed on a lot of charterboats with (often) people I’d never met before in (sometimes) unusual weather patterns. It’s not unusual, however, that many of these boats have been catamarans, given the proliferation of cats in charter fleets worldwide. So I can claim a certain authority in saying that, in many circumstances in
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