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Long Term Economical Bareboat Charter - BVI/Leewards/Windwards
This post will be interesting to folks who want to cruise the Caribbean this winter, but don’t have a way to get their own boat there. Or maybe you’re thinking about long term cruising in the future, but you want to test out the lifestyle and further develop your skills before buying the ‘go south’ boat and selling the house.
We are chartering out our boat Bojangles this winter for longer term (1 month or more) charters in the BVI (and potentially beyond) as we don't have enough time to sail her ourselves this winter. The boat, a fully outfitted Gulfstar 50 Ketch, was chartered out for 2 long term charters last winter and by all accounts, it went well. The charterers said things like:
“Can't believe we only have 3 weeks left. Bojangles really has become home” – 3.5 month charterer
“We wanted to thank you once more for the wonderful opportunity to live aboard and sail Bojangles. We’ve had a fantastic time and achieved a long time dream too!” – 1 month charterer
THE BOAT – BOJANGLES IV
As background, we’ve had the boat since 2006 and have completely refitted it for bluewater sailing and liveaboard cruising. The boat has been well maintained since then and I have also added a new Raymarine Type 2 (BIG!) Autopilot in 2011. She is an old boat (1980) but almost all her systems are modern and she’s had lots of recent bluewater testing.
The Gulfstar 50 ketch is a big heavy boat that loves tradewind sailing. 7 knots is a pretty average speed under sail. Slightly slower if you’re motoring into chop. At anchor, she’s a 3 cabin, 3 head layout with a master cabin to die for and a really nice saloon and galley. There is tons of ventilation with 4 big hatches and 12 opening ports so you never get too hot while on the hook. Message me for recent photos of the interior and a photo montage of the boat sailing down the Grenada coast. (Or Youtube "Bojangles IV Under Sail")
We lived aboard with our family in 2009/10 and sailed from Toronto to the BVI’s, then down island to Grenada, then back to the BVI’s, then Bermuda, then New England and Maine. Along the way, we also sailed the Caribbean 1500 from Chesapeake to the BVI’s and placed first in fleet (of 54 boats). Not bad for a 30 year old boat with 3 young children on board.
Since then, we’ve sailed the boat back to Bermuda and then back to the BVI, down island to Grenada and back to the BVI where she is now. (A montage of our Caribbean travels for those who need to have their appetites whetted is on Youtube. Search for "Bojangles IV Caribbean Adventure")
I’m looking for $3,500 per month on a bareboat basis. I’ll drop down to $3,000 per month for charters of 3 months or more. If you want 6 months or more, let’s discuss offline. Unfortunately, it is not economical for me to do charters less than one month.
At this price point - which is less than a typical 1 week BVI charter – I expect the charterer to treat the boat with the same care they would treat their own boat (ie: don’t trash it; other than wear and tear, leave it in the condition you found it; and, don’t call me if you need to change a fuel filter at some point as there are spares on board.)
You’ll do basic maintenance and repair. I pay for supplies but not your labor. I also pick up the tab if something major happens or if some piece of equipment simply fails due to no fault of yours. I also take a damage deposit which I refund when you return the boat in one piece.
The boat is fully outfitted, insured, and ready to cruise the islands. Really all someone needs to do is show up with a bag of clothes, add some food and drink, and start sailing.
If you’re interested, let me know via PM (or email crew at sailbojangles dot ca) and we can discuss potential itineraries.