Expert Advice

Better Than Google

by Meredith Laitos, Posted June 9, 2010
Thanks to sites like craigslist, ebay and amazon, we are better equipped than ever to make informed decisions when it comes to what we buy. Rather than blindly purchasing items and services promoted in catchy ad campaigns, we can now make our purchases after studying reviews and information posted by those who know the products first-hand.Nowhere is this more true than in the world of

Insider Tips from the BVI

by John Glynn, Posted June 2, 2010
After fairly busy Winter and Spring seasons in the BVI, things have slowed down a bit lately. In the wake of months like February, March, and April, when anchorages are full of families on school holidays, May and June are a time for couples to get together (often with like-minded couples) and charter a boat or go on a sailing vacation at a fraction of the peak-season cost.While May and

Caribbean for Newbies

by Sail Staff, Posted January 7, 2010
The question came up every year: “Whadya think about chartering in the Caribbean?” And every year the answer was the same: “Nah.”My wife, Jennifer, and I sail our Caliber 38, Catamount, in the northern latitudes, on the fresh waters of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The idea of chartering in the Caribbean raised many different questions: Isn’t everything so close you don’t really
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
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