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:
Publish date:
Updated on
0706sa

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

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more

shutterstock_1016585167

Cruising: Memories Made by People You Meet

Steve greeted my boyfriend, Phillip, and me as soon as we tied Plaintiff’s Rest, our 1985 Niagara 35, up to his dock on one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. He was tall, cheerful and clad in a hodge-podge of clothes one might wear to paint a house: oversized, grungy and old. ...read more

_98A7540

Cruising: Dogs Afloat

We dog owners understand the general expectations of ourselves in public places, like picking up after Fido and keeping him on a leash. There are, however, certain places where additional unspoken rules or expectations may apply—as in harbors or marinas. If you sail with your ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Log the glass  A week ago I set out after breakfast on a 50-mile passage. The day’s forecast via the internet was for 14-18 knots. It never happened, and I spent the entire trip adjusting my genoa ...read more