Your New Best Friend

Over my years as SAIL’s charter editor, I’ve worked with many bareboat-charter companies both as a charterer and as an editor. Truth is, the people you interact with in setting up a charter vacation and dealing with the details are almost invariably as helpful and knowledgeable as you could wish.When a friend who was planning a first-time charter came to me with questions, I seized the
Author:
Updated:
Original:
HR1-080700-SAway

Over my years as SAIL’s charter editor, I’ve worked with many bareboat-charter companies both as a charterer and as an editor. Truth is, the people you interact with in setting up a charter vacation and dealing with the details are almost invariably as helpful and knowledgeable as you could wish.

When a friend who was planning a first-time charter came to me with questions, I seized the opportunity to find out how you find out—in addition, of course, to using company Web sites and your good friend Google. I talked with Van Perry, of The Moorings (a representative large company), and Barney Crook, of TMM Yacht Charters (a representative smaller company), and learned this: Whichever company you’re dealing with, you’ll be put in touch with knowledgeable people who can answer your questions and help to solve your problems. Here are some of the things first-time charterers are likely to ask about.

Planning your charter. Your charter company will work with you in coordinating air arrangements and boat availability.

If you’re chartering in the Caribbean, you’ll receive a copy of the appropriate cruising guide once your charter is confirmed. Read through it carefully, and generate a list of questions about the route you’re thinking about. If you’re considering doing a one-way charter, discuss the possibility sooner rather than later.

If your itinerary involves stops in more than one territory—this is likely in parts of the Caribbean—or if you’re sailing in Europe and need a sailing license, discuss this with the company in advance and get any required paperwork done ahead of time.

Provisioning. Most charter companies have provisioning information and order forms on their Web sites. If you’re unable to download the forms, you can ask to have them sent to you. The option of self-provisioning is viable in most locations; this is something you’ll want to confirm. You should make your provisioning requests as far in advance as possible.

Arrival and checkout. If you’re arriving late in the day, you may be able to arrange an “evening start” or “prior-night sleepaboard”; whatever it’s called, it means you can spend the night onboard at a reasonable cost and be ready to sail off in the morning. If necessary, the company can help you find a hotel room for the night. You may (or may not) be able to do the boat and chart checkouts late in the day; it pays to ask.

Also ask the company if they can arrange for you to be picked up (and dropped off) at the airport. Most work with a number of cab drivers.

Special interests. If you want to dive, go fishing, or find a guide for hiking/climbing, you can set up some of this in advance—say, get a fishing license, make arrangements with a recommended guide, or sign up for a rendezvous dive ahead of time (recommended if you’re chartering at heavy-tourism times like school vacation weeks).

You can wait for the chart checkout to get other kinds of information—for example, in which anchorages or marinas you can leave the boat unattended while you go off for the day; where you can restock provisions or simply find local specialties; where you can find the best snorkeling or the easiest, if you’re sailing with kids or novices.

The Moorings, www.moorings.com; TMM Yacht Charters, www.sailtmm.com

Related

01-GMR19FP45_1194

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

With new catamaran brands springing up like mushrooms, France’s Fountaine Pajot is something of an oak tree in the market, with a story that goes back to its founding in 1976. It is also one of the largest cat builders out there, sending some 600 boats down the ways in 2018. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no Chances This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

062110BTSN-5870-2048

Exotic Charters

If anyone tells you that they plan to sail into the sunset and live on $5 a day because they’ll be “world cruising,” you may want to remind them that in most places today, you can’t even get a $5 margarita. The world has grown smaller since adventurous couples like Hal and ...read more

Lead01-190709_1138-(1)

Racing: 12-Metre Worlds

In July, 22 12-Metres from six countries gathered in Newport, Rhode Island, for the quadrennial the 12-Metre World Championship—the second-largest 12-Metre gathering ever, only topped by the America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes, England, in 2001. The famed class is best known as the ...read more

01-LEAD-082212PINE-6741

Naval Architect Philippe Briand

It’s not often that a Frenchman urges Americans to take more chances. With its 35-hour workweek and comprehensive social security net, France can make America look like the land of hazard and reward. To celebrated French naval architect Philippe Briand, though, who has seen more ...read more

shutterstock_208692541-2048x

Chartering in the Virgin Islands

If you like the thought of easy sailing, affordable travel costs and a low hassle factor, you can’t beat the Virgin Islands for a wondrous winter charter. Whether you’re headed to the Spanish, British or U.S. Virgins, here are some tips on chartering in a tropical paradise ...read more

c57-ex-02-hi-res

Boat Review: Bavaria C57

There is much new going on at Bavaria Yachts. Only a few months under new ownership and the German builder has already launched a new flagship—the C57, which presumably will be the template for future models, including possibly an even larger boat than this one. We sailed the ...read more