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  #1  
Old 01-22-2011
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charter expectations

My wife and I plus 2 or 3 other couples are interested in a sailing charter in June of 2011. Our ideal itinerary would include lots of sun, swimming, snorkeling, beach walking with some occasional shopping and antiquing thrown in. Eating in a few good restaurants would round things out nicely. We live in Florida and are considering the Abacos or the Virgin Islands. We are all mid 50's so we are not looking for Spring Break at Willie T's. What would your suggestions be regarding; Abacos vs. Virgin Islands, best charter company, best value for $$ with charter and approximate budget per couple (and does the budget include provisions) plus anything else that we should consider as first time charter prospects. (our sailing experience is limited so we will likely need a skipper)
Thanks for your input!!
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Old 01-23-2011
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For a first time charter do the BVI...More reliable winds, not as hot and lovely anchorages, beaches and bars.

Moorings Charter are very reliable.

Phil, who has spent many months in both locations.
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Old 01-24-2011
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I have used the Moorings and Sunsail (I now own a boat in Sunsail). I've found both to be top notch and the boats to be well maintained. There are issues (each trip has had at least one) but they resolve them quickly.

We've been the past 2 years in October and I think its a great time of year to go. We had A/C on the Cat we were on so sleeping was comfortable and the temps were great during the day (hot most days) and the water temp was awesome. I was also there just over a week ago and while it was a great time, temps were cooler, both air and water. Water was fine once you got used to it, but it did feel almost cold with the wind.

So between those to months, I'd choose October. I'm sure there are many other months that offer similiar weather to October as well. Another very nice thing about it though is that it is quiet but not so quiet that we found many places closed.

Best way to get a deal with Moorings or Sunsail is to search for owners time or keep an eye out for their specials. Owners time is almost always the better deal, but there are some differences between going direct and buying from an owner. I'd be happy to give you more info, just send me a PM. My boats a 39' Monohull so it would not be suitable for your group plus captain. I think the Sunsail 384 or 464 or Moorings 4600 would be a great boat for your group, or if A/C is a non issue the Moorings 4300 or Sunsail 43' Cat (434 I think?) would work.

There are other options with other companies as well, but I can't speak to them having not used them.
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Old 01-24-2011
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Thank you both for the helpful info. I did find site that is a clearing house for boat owners who want to sell their time. Is their a disadvantage to buying from an owner vs. buying from Sunsail or the Moorings? Again, thanks for the help! (I can't send a PM because I don't yet have enough posts)
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Old 01-24-2011
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There is a disadvantage and its not a big deal depending on the time of year. If you buy through an owner, you do not get any time refunds if there are issues. So if you went during hurricane season and there was a storm and you missed a day or two, there is no credit for it.

Other than that, it's basically the same. Prior to owning, I bought time from an owner and it saved us a bundle. The savings is very much dependent upon how expensive the overall charter is and savings can be anywhere from 25% to 50% off the charter fee. You can typicall just look up a rate on sunsail.com or moorings.com and figure that much of the boat price. The regular fees..etc still apply.

You also can't get time through an owner between Dec 15th and April 15th.
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Old 01-25-2011
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for 'shared expenses' ie ice fresh bread etc, my dockmate told me how he does it and i thought it was clever. rather than taking turns saying 'i got this' or keeping some ledger, when they get there they just put x amount of dollars in a jar.... everytime a shared need comes up it comes out of the kitty, then at the end they divy it up.... or put more in as need be
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Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
for 'shared expenses' ie ice fresh bread etc, my dockmate told me how he does it and i thought it was clever. rather than taking turns saying 'i got this' or keeping some ledger, when they get there they just put x amount of dollars in a jar.... everytime a shared need comes up it comes out of the kitty, then at the end they divy it up.... or put more in as need be
That's a decent option.

We've always just had everyone write their name on any receipts and put it in a binder. At the end of the trip I've tallied it all up.

This option definetely sounds like less work.
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Old 01-25-2011
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great option

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maytrix View Post
That's a decent option.

We've always just had everyone write their name on any receipts and put it in a binder. At the end of the trip I've tallied it all up.

This option definetely sounds like less work.


I like the $ $$ in the jar idea, creates less pressure and constant questions about "whose turn is it?" When the initial $$ in the jar run out it gives you some indication where you are in relation to budget. Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2011
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We've charted both in the BVIs (twice) and the Abacos (once), and I concur with the earlier posting to do the BVIs first. There's no better place on the planet for your first charter. There's lots of things to do, whether you like quiet anchorages or a mooring field near a beach bar.

The Abacos are great, too, and have their own charm. But you have to deal with shallow water and moderate tides there, which might be more stressful for a first timer. OTOH, if you get a skipper, then that will matter less--although we still found that our schedule in the Abacos was tide-driven, while our schedule in the BVIs was much more driven by our own preferences.
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Old 03-04-2011
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Is this thread too old for someone to direct me to the link to hook up with owners selling their boat time?
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