PxPixel
Have a Question About Chartering Hawaii? - Sail Magazine

Have a Question About Chartering Hawaii?

ASK SAIL'S EXPERTS By Amy UllrichA reader wonders"I have been trying to find either a crewed or bareboat charter in Hawaii and have been unable to find a charter of the type I've experienced in the Caribbean. Does Hawaii prohibit or limit sailing charters?"It isn't the political entity of Hawaii that limits sailing charters and discourages
Author:
Publish date:

ASK SAIL'S EXPERTS

By Amy Ullrich

A reader wonders

"I have been trying to find either a crewed or bareboat charter in Hawaii and have been unable to find a charter of the type I've experienced in the Caribbean. Does Hawaii prohibit or limit sailing charters?"

It isn't the political entity of Hawaii that limits sailing charters and discourages owners from putting their boats into bareboat charter, but the sailing conditions. As Carolyn and Bob Mehaffy say at the beginning of their Cruising Guide to the Hawaiian Islands, "Sailing the Hawaiian waters presents boaters with unique challenges. The trade winds that cool Hawaii require a high degree of readiness on the part of both the boaters and their boats. And because of the variable conditions of the channels between the islands, those who cruise Hawaii must be skilled boaters and navigators."

I did an extensive Web search, probably duplicating yours, and came up with some possibilities for crewed-boat charters. Here are some companies to consider:

Ocean Voyages, www.oceanvoyages.com

Honolulu Sailing Co, www.honsail.com

Pacific Yacht Management, www.pacyacht.com

If you do find a charter in Hawaii, please let us know about it. We'd like to share your information with other readers of this newsletter.

We have received two responses from readers about chartering in Hawaii:

James L. Baker writes from Maui: "I have chartered from Honolulu Sailing Co. and have found Mike and his crew helpful, experienced, friendly, and with good, well-maintained equipment." I checked with the company, which does have two bareboats in their fleet. They do require "more than BVI" experience.

Tom Champney, who describes himself as a "loyal SAIL readers for over 20 years," shared this:

My wife and I chartered a skippered 50-footer Hunter out of Honolulu in the late 1990s with Honolulu Sailing Company. I gained my ASA ocean-sailing certification on the charter.

I agree with Ms Ullrich that the conditions in Hawaii can be difficult, with strong easterly trade winds and rough waters in the channels. In addition, the area is not so cruiser friendly; there are few moorings or protected anchorages. (I lived in Grenada for four years and find that the Caribbean is much more cruiser friendly.

Nevertheless, the cruise in Hawaii was a great experience. We left Honolulu and cruised up the coast of Oahu to Kaneohe Bay (a rough ride with a slog to windward in messy waves). We spent a day in Kaneohe Bay—a beautiful location— and the following day sailed across the Molokai Channel to the southern side of Molokai. Halfway across the channel, the wheel steering failed (the steering cable broke), so we used the emergency tiller for the next three days until it was fixed in Maui. (An exciting time - getting the emergency tiller fitted in rough water.)

We spent the night at a small anchorage on the southwest end of Molokai (an old harbor used for gravel/sand quarrying). It was quiet with no other boats—and no services, of course. The next day we sailed along the southern coast of Molokai and crossed to the west side of Lanai—a great sail in the lee of the islands. We spent a few hours in the harbor at Manele Bay so that I could sail into Lahaina, Maui, after dark (a requirement for the ASA certification). We anchored there for the evening and spent the next day exploring Lahaina.

Crossing the channel from Lanai to Maui, we saw our first Humpback whales. We cruised in the spring, when they gather in the waters around Hawaii. It was absolutely fabulous to sail the same waters with those magnificent animals. At night, in the cockpit of the Hunter, I could hear whales spouting nearby—a sound I will remember the rest of my life.

After a day in Lahaina, we had a leisurely half-day sail up the Maui coast to Kapalua Bay. The following day, we crossed over to the northeast corner of Molokai and had a really nice downwind sail along the north coast of Molokai. We stopped for lunch at Kalaupapa Bay and saw the old leper colony there. fter lunch, we had another good downwind sail to the southeast end of Molokai where we anchored for the night in Kepuhi Bay. he next day we sailed downwind, again a really nice sail, across the Molokai channel to Honolulu.

So overall, I really enjoyed the Hawaii charter. A different experience than sailing in the Caribbean, the Chesapeake, or Long Island Sound, but in how many places do you have to tack to prevent getting too close to whales? We did that a number of times.

MORE CHARTER QUESTIONS

Collectively, SAIL editors have many charter miles under their belts, and if we don't know the answer, we know who does. Ask anything—but don't ask for an evaluation of the companies you're considering; that's outside our area of expertise.

E-mail us at sailmail@sailmagazine.com; please write "charter question" in the subject line. We'll post your question and our answer in the next newsletter as well as on sailmagazine.com (click on Charter Cruising).

Posted May 19, 2008

Related

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more

Navy-Sand-Dune_1080

Tucket Footwear’s Giller Shoes

Just for KicksMove over Crocs, there’s a new plastic shoe in town. Unlike the aforementioned fashion crimes, Tucket Footwear’s Giller shoes are made for boating. Water will get in, yes, but it will also run straight out again via rows of “scuppers” in the uppers and a dozen drain ...read more

01-m3113_git170829-294

France’s Maxi-tri Ultime class

It’s hard to believe how far foiling has come since the Moth class figured out how to reliably take to the air in the early 2000s.Was it really only in 2013 that the America’s Cup was dragged kicking and screaming into the foiling world by Emirates Team New Zealand back in San ...read more

GGTobagoCays

Cruising: Guadeloupe to Grenada

Our Dream Yacht Charter delivery started as a “wouldn’t it be fun if” idea. Those are usually misguided, if not downright stupid. But a Bali 4.3 named Jumelles (French for “twins,” appropriately) needed to leave Guadeloupe to do heavier charter work in Grenada, and as soon as I ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comWhen I bought my boat it had 18 through-hull fittings. To reduce the number of holes in the hull (I ultimately cut them by half), I first re-plumbed the drain hoses from my sinks, scuppers, bilge pumps and ...read more

rokk

Scanstrut: ROKK Charge+

It RokksWith the increasing use of smartphones and tablets for in-cockpit navigation comes the issue of keeping these devices charged, since running nav software will drain those batteries in no time. Scanstrut has come to the rescue with the ROKK Charge+, the first-ever ...read more

GreenCove2-2048

Liveaboard Voting Rights Threatened in Florida

Bucking decades of precedent, a Florida elections officer is refusing to allow customers of a popular mail forwarding service to register to vote in his county. Since 1988, St. Brendan’s Isle of Green Cove Springs in Clay County has provided transient Americans with mail ...read more