Sail Away - August 2006

Stormy WeatherIf you choose to sail in the Caribbean in the summer, especially in the month of August, you could—not inevitably, to be sure—find yourself somewhere along the track of a hurricane. Then what? I talked with Tim Johnson of TMM and Sylvia Driver of Horizon Yacht Charters to find out. PERSONAL SAFETY You won’t be “caught” by a sudden hurricane; hurricanes
Author:
Publish date:

Stormy Weather

If you choose to sail in the Caribbean in the summer, especially in the month of August, you could—not inevitably, to be sure—find yourself somewhere along the track of a hurricane. Then what? I talked with Tim Johnson of TMM and Sylvia Driver of Horizon Yacht Charters to find out.

PERSONAL SAFETY You won’t be “caught” by a sudden hurricane; hurricanes don’t arrive suddenly. On any cruise, anywhere, you should be monitoring weather forecasts regularly. Moreover, with cell phones on most charterboats in the Caribbean these days, you can expect a call from the company to alert you by phone or VHF that a hurricane watch has been declared. You’ll be called back to the base if the watch is raised to a warning. The exact protocol is related to the geographical extent of the cruising ground.
The company will help you find a place to stay on the island to wait it out, or to fly out. Not all hurricanes, of course, are multi-day events with serious outcomes; you can often continue your cruise when the storm passes.

Charterers are rarely responsible for making sure the boat is prepared and safe, though this sometimes happens. It’s more likely that you and the boat will have returned to the base before the storm hits. For safety reasons you won’t be allowed to stay on the boat at a dock.

REFUNDS You are unlikely to get a refund for days lost; it’s more usual to be able to extend your current charter for these days (if the boat is available) or to receive a credit for a future charter. Some strings will probably be attached to this credit.
Contractual arrangements Some charter companies spell out their policies in their contracts (Horizon does); others, like TMM, don’t have a written policy. If this is on your mind when you’re making arrangements for the charter, by all means ask what the company’s policy is. Amy Ullrich

Sail Away Archive

Charter a Passage (July 2006)

Less is More (June 2006)

Summer in the Islands (May 2006)

Caribbean Notes (April 2006)

Where to Go Now (March 2006)

Wedding Bells (February 2006)

Charter Cats (January 2006)

Related

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more

05-TRANSPAC_71417_SG_055268

The Transpac Prepares for No. 50

Because modern yachting is in many ways an invention of the early to mid 20th century, in recent years sailors have been celebrating any number of milestone anniversaries. Now it’s the biennial Transpac’s turn, as it prepares for its 50th race from Southern California (following ...read more