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Chartering Again for the First Time

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It’s been a rocky road of late for the charter industry, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. First came hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean followed by Dorian in the Bahamas. There has also, of course, been the coronavirus, which burst into global prominence smack-dab in the middle of the late-winter charter season this year. As is the case with sailors everywhere, though, the mariners running the charter trade are made of pretty stern stuff. They also love what they do and aren’t about to give up on their dreams as a result of these or any other setbacks. Then, of course, there are the chartering grounds themselves. Granted, travel may be a challenge in this era of Covid-19, and places like the Bahamas and BVI continue to make repairs as a result of the storms they’ve experienced. The sailing itself, though, is as great as ever—better even, due to the relatively empty anchorages to found most places. The many companies comprising the charter industry are also doing everything they can to pull out all the stops and make sailing with them as safe and attractive as possible, offering things like discounts and increasingly flexible reservation policies to accommodate the widespread uncertainty that still exists in the world. (See SAIL magazine’s regularly updated online charter directory at sailmagazine.com/charter/bareboat-charter-resource-directory for the latest.) Bottom line: if you’ve never gone chartering before, there’s never been a better time to start. Similarly, if you’re a veteran charterer with a yen for paying another visit to paradise, it might just be time to hop on a plane and make those dreams a reality. For some great tips for when you do decide to go chartering again, check out: Charter Advice for First-Timers and Your First Day on Charter.

October 2020

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