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post #1 of 13 Old 08-18-2010 Thread Starter
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Advice on a charter?

Hello Sailnet! I'm not sure if this is in the correct forum; let me know if it needs to be moved!

A group of friends and myself would like to look into chartering a bareboat for perhaps a week; we're hoping to relieve winder doldrums with a trip to a warmer climate. I found so much information on the internet that I'm a bit flooded! I was hoping I could lean on the experiences of the great people here for some advice on where we should consider going.

We're a 30-something crowd; we're looking for a nice mix between civilizations and isolation, but it would be nice for some sightseeing. We're thinking somewhere in the Gulf/Carribean area, and a few of us speak some Spanish, so that might be nice too. We'd most of all like to find a fun area where prices aren't too bad (both for the boat and for food/amenities). The more we can cut costs (example: bypassing passports a la USVI) the more likely we can make this happen, but it's important for me to avoid any bad businesses.

Can you all weigh in on where you'd think we'd like to go?

-Dave
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-18-2010
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Depending on your budget and your definition of what "prices that aren't too bad" means, there are a few charter companies based in St Thomas that could work. I think airline tickets may fluctuate more than the cost of a passport however and can be quite a variable. Of course you would need to have persons on board that can show some experience on there sailing resume. If you self-provision and eat aboard you could save a lot of money and then hang around St John/St Thomas.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-18-2010
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I did a charter last year between christmas and new year. I found that the boats are just about the same price no matter where you go. My first choice was Belize. I would really like to go there. Then I looked at BVI and USVI. Because I was paying for 5 people, air fare was a real issue for me. We settled on flying to fort lauderdale and sailing to bimini. I saved a little more than 400 a head on air fare. You will need a passport, but that's still way less than the airfare difference.

We went to the grocery store and stocked the refrigerators and cabinets for the week. We did eat out one time, and bought some lobster from the locals, but those were the only times we spent any money (other than booze and trinkets) until we got back to florida. As you run south from north bimini, there really isn't anyone to give money to, so it gets pretty cheap. You could run to freeport if you want a little more civilization, but we had a blast without it.


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post #4 of 13 Old 08-18-2010
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We settled on flying to fort lauderdale and sailing to bimini. I saved a little more than 400 a head on air fare.
Where did you charter your sailboat in Fort Lauderdale?


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post #5 of 13 Old 08-18-2010
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For a first time charter and a wide choice of destinations I'd suggest the British Virgin Islands. You can have your choice of seclulsion or civilization (bars?) with the distances between destinations not to great allowing for lunch stops at different locations. It's an easy sailing area also.
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post #6 of 13 Old 08-18-2010
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Where did you charter your sailboat in Fort Lauderdale?
I went through Fun In The Sun Yachts and Charters, New and Pre-owned Yacht Charters and Sales The only reason I knew about them was from taking sailing lessons from Blue Water Sailing School. BWSS charters boats out of fun in the sun.

I had a positive experience with fun in the sun. Scott is the manager (perhaps owner?) and gets a little nervous about who he lets charter his boats. We had to hire a captain to go across the gulf stream with us the first time, but the captain hopped a flight home as soon as we checked in at Bimini.

I'm going back to Bimini in October on a fun in the sun boat, and I'm trying to organize a flotilla of boats (maybe 3 cats) with a group from our yacht club.


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post #7 of 13 Old 08-19-2010
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Hey John,
Sounds like a good trip. Contemplating a similar one this winter. Could you give me an estimate on what it cost per person? I am looking to get some ASA ratings next month commensurate with my sailing experience. Then I am hoping to charter something this winter or summer to take advantage of my "newfound" skills. Unfortunately me and my group are of moderate means and need to figure out what to budget..

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post #8 of 13 Old 08-19-2010
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Hey John,
Sounds like a good trip. Contemplating a similar one this winter. Could you give me an estimate on what it cost per person? I am looking to get some ASA ratings next month commensurate with my sailing experience. Then I am hoping to charter something this winter or summer to take advantage of my "newfound" skills. Unfortunately me and my group are of moderate means and need to figure out what to budget..
I'm with you on the moderate means. That's how I ended up doing this trip in the first place. On the trip I have coming up we have it down to 900 per person with 8 going. This includes the boat, groceries, fuel, and the bahamas cruising tax. It does not include airfare, dive gear rental, and mad money. If you go to fun in the sun, figure on hiring a captain for at least part of the trip. That was 400 plus we had to buy him a plane ticket home.

Since I am a return customer I got a 10% discount, and we're going at the end of low season. We also won't have to hire a captain. I would expect your first trip to come out to 1100 or a little more plus airfare.


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post #9 of 13 Old 08-29-2010
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We chartered from the Moorings in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas this summer. 42" catamaran for 6 people was perfect. Great cruising grounds in the Abacos if you have never been there. Have also chartered from the Moorings in BVI. The boats were a little nicer and newer in BVI, but also a little more expensive.

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post #10 of 13 Old 08-29-2010
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