Sail Away - July 2006

Charter a PassageI think it’s fair to say that a significant difference between finding a passagemaking opportunity through a course or membership group (see page 60) and going the crewed-charter route is the wealth of options offered by the worldwide fleet of crewed boats. These have to do primarily with the size of the boat (from around 40 feet on up, and up some
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Charter a Passage

I think it’s fair to say that a significant difference between finding a passagemaking opportunity through a course or membership group (see page 60) and going the crewed-charter route is the wealth of options offered by the worldwide fleet of crewed boats. These have to do primarily with the size of the boat (from around 40 feet on up, and up some more), the length of the passage (from a week on up), and the variety of the routes these boats sail.

At any given time there are any number of circumnavigating boats out there somewhere that are available for charters en route. Of these, some are operated by their owners, who feed the cruising kitty by taking on paying guests. Others have owners who join the boat from time to time and offer charters
in between.

There are crewed boats that base themselves in a particular area—say, the South Pacific, or the high latitudes. It’s easier than you might think to find a sailing charter at the bottom of South America, where the options include the Chilean glaciers, Cape Horn, and Antarctica. It’s not easy sailing, to be sure, but these boats are purpose-built and the crews have a wealth of experience. In addition, some of these Cape Horn boats do passages into the Pacific or Atlantic during their off-season.
One such boat is the 70-foot ketch Fernande, which is now on an extended family cruise in the Atlantic after 10 years in southern South America. The owners encourage active participation in all aspects of passagemaking, and you should get all the hands-on experience you want on a boat of this type (to get an idea of what’s involved, go to www.fernandexp.com).

Soren Larsen, a 145-foot brigantine based in New Zealand, is one of a number of tall ships that offer sail training on extended passages. The itineraries of these boats vary from year to year; in 2006 Soren Larsen’s itinerary included New Zealand to Easter Island (34 days) and then on to Tahiti via Pitcairn Island, the Marquesas, and the Tuamotos (49 days).
My go-to person for chartering exotica like this is Mary Crowley, who is herself a passagemaker and erstwhile delivery skipper.

Her company, Ocean Voyages (www.oceanvoyages.com), acts as a clearinghouse for many bluewater boats. Before you talk to her, or to any other charter broker, have your requirements sorted out: the kind of experience you’re looking for (and the kind of experience you have), where you’d like to sail and for how long, and when you’d like to go.

If you have a specific stretch of ocean in mind, you’re best off staying flexible; it may take considerable time to find a boat in the desired area. Be very specific about how much you want to participate in running the boat; on many boats you’ll be passage crew and expected to pitch in. Expect to pay $100 to $200/day (a ballpark figure); this could well be less than it would cost to fly the route in these days of high airfares. And the meals will be much better. —Amy Ullrich

Sail Away Archive

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

bobFisher

Eight Bells: Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher passed away at age 85 on Monday, according to a social media post from his daughter. “He lived his whole life to the fullest and shall leave the fondest of memories not only as a husband and father, [and] as a friend to all the sailing community in the UK, but to the ...read more

Randall

Reeves Awarded CCA’s Highest Honor

The Cruising Club of America awarded Randall Reeves the 2020 Blue Water Medal for his solo Figure-8 voyage. The Figure-8 comprises a loop around the American continents and a loop around the Antarctic, keeping the Americas to port and Antarctica to starboard. The voyage was ...read more

BOOK-REVIEW-Ocean-Sailing-Cover---Bloomsbury-promo

Book Review: Cruising Club of America, Great Lakes Station

Reviewed by Amanda Balasubramanian As we were preparing for our first significant offshore passage in 2013, I read every book on ocean sailing I could find. However, while there were a number of helpful books full of technical information, I also longed for the personal stories ...read more

Henri-Lloyd

Gear: Henri Llloyd Fremantle Gear

Henri Lloyd looked to the past for inspiration when designing its newest line of racing gear—specifically the kit worn by Dennis Conner’s Stars and Stripes campaign (also designed by Henri Lloyd) during the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle, Australia. The new collection, with its ...read more

Suggested Crop

Ask Sail: When to Use a Vang Sheet

TO VANG OR NOT TO VANG Q: Last year, I bought a new, fully-battened Dacron main for my 36-footer. Unlike the old one, the new main is loose-footed. I have a mid-boom sheet arrangement and a traditional (non-rigid) vang. Is the vang really doing anything? It seems to me that ...read more

PradaCup-2048x

Video: INEOS UK Advances to the Prada Cup Finals

On Saturday, in what was surely the most exciting race of the series, INEOS Team UK beat Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli to earn a spot in the Prada Cup finals. The race was extraordinarily close, seeing shifty breezes, nine lead changes in just under 30 minutes and boatspeeds topping ...read more

BoatTalk-2048

VIDEO: Sailing Not just for Millionaires

Sailing and boating can come with a hefty price tag, but there are plenty of ways to get on the water without breaking the bank. In this episode of Boat Talk, SAIL's managing editor Lydia Mullan and Power & Motor Yacht's executive editor Charlie Levine share tips on getting out ...read more

Cornell-2048x

Elcano Challenge Resurrected

In late 2020, sailing legend Jimmy Cornell set off on his Elcano Challenge, a green-powered circumnavigation aboard the custom Outremer Aventura Zero. Unfortunately, shortly after setting out, the boat encountered major power-generation issues. "I took the decision to turn ...read more