New Boats & Bases for the Caribbean Charter Trade

Author:
Publish date:
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

qr_main

Antal: QR Clutch

Get a Grip Italian deck gear maker Antal’s two new QR clutches not only have high holding power—up to 3,500lb for the QR10 and 4,800lb for the QR12—they can be opened and released under maximum load, so there’s no longer any need to take up the strain on a winch before freeing a ...read more

leadpicBoxes

DIY: Easy Drawers and Boxes

During the extensive refit of my Pearson 40, I needed to create a significant number of custom-sized plywood drawers and stowage bins, or boxes. These included 10 under-floor storage bins, under-sink organizers, boxes for tools and stores, and even a specially fitted cat ...read more

ARC2018Flags

Tips on Gaining Experience Passagemaking

Whether you want to build a sailing resume or just gain practical experience, getting more miles under your keel is key. You can sail a lifetime of summer afternoons and never quite get the hang of cruising—where creativity and offshore savvy result in self-sufficiency and ...read more

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more