Skip to main content

New Boats & Bases for the Caribbean Charter Trade

Antigua is one destination that was largely untouched by the 2017 hurricanes

Antigua is one destination that was largely untouched by the 2017 hurricanes

There’s no doubt last year’s hurricanes caused a major upheaval within the Caribbean charter industry. Nor is there any doubt that it has rebounded well. The biggest and most obvious obstacle—after rebuilding bases and other infrastructure—was boat availability. But a year down the road many fleets have already been largely rebuilt.

And it’s not just the heavy hitters, like Sunsail, the Moorings, Dream Yacht Charter and Horizon Yacht Charters—which lost hundreds of boats between them—that are replenishing their fleets.

CYOA Yacht Charters in Frenchtown, St. Thomas, for instance, recently took delivery of 10 new cats and monos, with more in the pipeline. (In fact, CYOA’s fleet largely survived Irma’s blasts, although the USVI’s infrastructure was hard hit.) Meanwhile, Sail Caribe, whose Puerto Rico-based boats miraculously survived Hurricane Maria, has opened a base in Red Hook.

On Tortola, Conch Charters’ 50-strong fleet was virtually wiped out, but the company is happy to enter the winter season with 19 boats at the time of writing. Similarly, Horizon saw its entire BVI fleet destroyed, but had already managed to replace 35 of its boats by the end of October. Finally, Navigare Yachting goes into the winter season with 29 boats, while the BVI Yacht charters fleet is up to over 50 monohulls and catamarans.

With the immediate crisis over, many companies are also now turning their attention to new destinations and opportunities. Navigare, for example, has announced a new base in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, to take advantage of some of New England’s beautiful cruising grounds and is also now partnering with Navy Point Yacht Sales in Ontario, Canada.

Similarly, Dream Yacht has a new Croatian location, in Pula on the Istrian Peninsula, close by a national park that typifies the beauty of this coastline, along with new bases in Belize and St. Lucia. It has also developed the first-ever fractional program for charter boats.

At Sunsail, the brand’s newest base in Palma, Majorca, has been a big hit with American sailors, and the recent announcement of by-the-cabin charters in Sunsail flotillas in the BVI and Mediterranean has opened up a whole new kind of customer base.

Finally, the Moorings opened a new base in the Exumas this year, one of the first companies to start operations in this part of the Bahamas. They also have a new base in Antigua, which was left unscathed by the last year’s hurricanes, though sister island Barbuda was not so lucky.

Bottom line: the choice of bareboat and crewed charter destinations has never been greater. The question now, what remains to be discovered? 

BVI Yacht Charters 

Conch Charters 

CYOA Yacht Charters 

Dream Yacht Charter 

Horizon Yacht Charters 

Navigare Yachting 

Sail Caribe 

Sunsail 

The Moorings 

December 2018

Related

00LEAD-Thomas-on-%22Melody%22-2004

The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Thomas Thor Tangvald

The first boat Thomas Tangvald ever owned was just 22 feet long. She was an odd craft, a narrow plywood scow with a flat bottom, leeboards on either side, and square ends—little more than a daysailer with a rotting deck and tiny cabinhouse tacked on. Thomas paid just $200 for ...read more

VIPCAshowbynight

USVI Charter Yacht Show Showcases a Flourishing Industry

As the U.S. Virgin Islands continues to attract sailors seeking to charter and explore the pristine territory on their own, the immense growth and expanded options for a crewed yacht or term charters have exploded here over the past five years. Last week, the USVI Charter ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-11-21-at-9.48.33-AM

Personal Locator Beacon Wins Top Design Award

The Ocean Signal RescueME PLB3 AIS Personal Locator took top honors at the 2022 DAME Design Awards, while Aceleron Essential, a cobalt-free lithium-iron phosphate battery with replaceable and upgradeable parts, won the first DAME Environmental Design Award. Announced each year ...read more

tracker

EPIRB in the Golden Globe Race

Tapio Lehtinen’s boat sank early this morning southeast of South Africa while racing the Golden Globe Race, a faithfully low-tech reproduction of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. The boat went down quickly and stern-first according to the skipper’s emergency transmissions. ...read more

99640-victoire-de-charles-caudrelier-a-bord-du-maxi-edmond-de-rothschild-r-1200-900

Victory, Tragedy in the Route du Rhum

The 2022 Route du Rhum was a highly anticipated event in the ocean racing calendar, but few could have predicted exactly how challenging, dramatic, and tragic it would ultimately prove. French yachtsman Charles Caudrelier took home gold aboard the Ultim maxi trimaran Maxi Edmond ...read more

DSC_1879

Boat Review: Lyman-Morse LM46

Lyman-Morse has been building fine yachts in Thomaston, Maine, ever since Cabot Lyman first joined forces with Roger Morse back in 1978. With experience creating and modifying boats built of various materials, backed by its own in-house fabrication facility, the firm has ...read more

01-LEAD-SPICA-Forest_3

Know-how: All-new Battery Tech

Until very recently, the batteries in sailboats used some form of lead-acid chemistry to store energy. Different manufacturers used different techniques and materials, but in the end, the chemistry and the process by which the batteries charge and discharge electricity remained ...read more

01-LEAD-Bill-Sailing2

At the Helm: When Things Go Sideways

I don’t like sea stories. My number one goal on every passage is to get the crew back in one piece. My number two goal is to get the boat back in one piece as well. If I can’t do both, I’ll take the former. Do this long enough, though, and things are going to happen, no matter ...read more