New Boats To Try

One of the pleasant aspects of chartering is the opportunity to give new and different boats and/or gear an extended test-sail. If you’re a lifelong monohull sailor, you can give a catamaran a week’s workout to see if sailing on two hulls is a good fit for your future sailing plans; if you wonder how the very latest modern conveniences might enhance your lifestyle afloat, give them a try before you buy. We asked the bareboat-charter companies in the Caribbean and Bahamas to let us know about recent additions to their fleets and changes/improvements to their bases. Check company Web sites for additional information. Here’s a summary.

Barefoot Yacht Charters (Grenada) has added a PADI dive shop, a water-sports center, and a new restaurant and bar to its base in Blue Lagoon.
BVI Yacht Charters has moved to Port Purcell, near downtown Road Town, Tortola.
Conch Charters now has showers at its base at Fort Burt Marina, Road Town, Tortola.
CYOA Yacht Charters has added a 2006 model FP Lavezzi 40 catamaran to its fleet at Frenchtown, St. Thomas. www.cyoa
Florida Yacht Charters, with bases in Miami Beach, Key West, and the Abacos, has new Jeanneaus—42DS, 49 (tri-cabin) layout, and 49DS—in its fleet.
Footloose Sailing Charters has a new base in St. Vincent at Lagoon Marina and has added the spacious Footloose 4700 catamaran to its Tortola fleet.
Horizon Yacht Charters has new big cats in its Tortola fleet: a Lagoon 420 (electric engine), available in January; a Lagoon 440 (four cabins); a Lagoon 500 (four cabins/five heads); and a Bahia 46, (sleeps up to 12).
Island Yacht Charters owner Skip King kept busy this past summer adding solar panels to his fleet of Island Packets at Red Hook Marina, St. Thomas. That’s an interesting idea to test on a charter.
The Moorings brought the new, speedy Moorings 4600 cat, designed by Morelli & Melvin, to the Annapolis boat show. Its helm station is located in the hard top roof (no bimini needed on this boat). Try it in Tortola, St. Lucia, Canouan, Belize, or the Bahamas. There’s also a new Moorings 51.5 monohull, designed by Berret-Racoupeau (four cabins, ensuite heads), available at Caribbean bases.
North South Yacht Vacations has moved from Nanny Cay to a convenient location at Inner Harbor Marina, near the ferry dock in Road Town, Tortola.
Sunsail is introducing new Robertson and Caine–designed cats in 40-, 43-, and 46-foot versions; they’ll be at Caribbean bases in December. If you’re looking for a somewhat smaller boat, try one of the new Beneteaus (39 and 43 feet) or, for a couple, the Oceanis 323, available in Tortola.
TMM Yacht Charters has a number of new boats entering its fleets this year. Among them: the new Nautitech 47 catamaran (four cabins, four heads, air conditioning), two Mahe 36s (a “small” cat with two cabins, two heads), a Jeanneau 42DS, and a Beneteau Cyclades 50.4 (four-cabin, four-head air-conditioned monohull) in Tortola; and a Lagoon 380S2 (three cabins, two heads) in Belize.
VIP Yacht Charters, at Compass Point Marina, St. Thomas, has some new monohulls entering its fleet: Jeanneau 49s (four cabins, four heads, air conditioning) and Hylas 54 (three cabins, two heads).
Voyage Charters has three brand-new catamarans at its base in Soper’s Hole, Tortola: the Voyage 440 and the 500 (electric heads, powered winches).

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