Shopping List

If you’re in the thinking-about stage of planning a charter vacation, you’re probably in the process of collecting information about the cruising ground(s) on your must-do-sometime list. How do you find out about the weather, the sailing conditions, the best itineraries? Tourist guides won’t be much help, and your local library probably doesn’t stock cruising guides. For me, step one is
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
HR0807.charteredit

If you’re in the thinking-about stage of planning a charter vacation, you’re probably in the process of collecting information about the cruising ground(s) on your must-do-sometime list. How do you find out about the weather, the sailing conditions, the best itineraries? Tourist guides won’t be much help, and your local library probably doesn’t stock cruising guides.

For me, step one is visiting the Web sites of companies that have boats in areas I’m interested in; most post the kind of information I’m looking for. Check all the companies in that area; there’s plenty of info on Caribbean and U.S./Canada destinations. Save time by using the links on the lists of charter companies on sailmagazine.com. If you’re looking farther afield, try The Moorings and Sunsail for destinations worldwide, Voyage (Spain), and TMM (Belize).

Here are some other useful sites I’ve found in my cruises on the Web:

• sailonline.com has a wealth of information on all things relating to chartering, mostly bareboating: advice for first-time charterers, cruising logs from around the world, difficulty ratings for charter areas—whatever.
• I’ve mentioned sailing-adviser.com in this column before. Check here for information about bare and crewed boats, booking tips, destinations, sailing licenses (if you’re thinking about Europe), and more.
• charterwave.com is the Web site of Kim Kavin, an experienced journalist who is currently the charter/cruising editor of Power & Motoryacht. Not surprisingly, she focuses more on crewed charters and powerboats, but she still has useful information on bareboats in various destinations around the world. The site is well organized, the blog is interesting, and she’s not afraid to express her opinions.
• Ed Hamilton is an experienced charter broker who books both bareboats and crewed boats around the world. Try his Web site, ed-hamilton.com, for basic information on both types of chartering (including costs) and on charter areas worldwide.

While I was getting ready for a charter in Greece, I started by studying the suggested itineraries on the company’s Web site. A Google search turned up sailingissues.com, which has almost everything you need to know to cruise Greek and Turkish waters, starting with figuring out which of the numerous cruising grounds is the best for you. Once I narrowed down the choices to the Ionian Sea, I supplemented my information by reading blogs on Ionian cruises (moderately helpful) and Lonely Planet’s Greek Islands volume to help me decide which islands to visit and what to do when I get there. There will, of course, be a chart briefing before we take off, so I expect there will be further refining based on unbeatable local knowledge.

I think it’s best to come to a chart briefing with your homework done and some questions in mind. Unless you’re chartering for more than a week (and even if you are), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see it all, and the distances you’re considering as a day’s sail may be something else entirely.

If you’ve come up with other Web sites you’ve found helpful in planning a charter vacation, please share them with other SAIL readers. Send your ideas to sailmail@sailmagazine.com, and I’ll pass them along.

Related

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

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