Questions for potential first time charter (Safety and Boat Size)
Some friends and I are looking at chartering a 40 foot cat for the first time. Most of us have very limited sailing experience so we would be obtaining a captain and host for our trip. My questions are as follows
1. There would be 8 people on the boat (6 guests and captain and host). The boat is a 40 foot Moorings 4000 I believe (I apologize for my lack of boat knowledge). It says it can sleep 8 adults and 2 children and there are 4 small rooms and 2 bathrooms. My question is, can people be somewhat comfortable on a boat this size? Ideally I think I would like one a bit bigger, but price might be prohibitive. We are a fairly laid back group and can roll with it so I donít think we all need a ton of space, but I do want to make sure we wont be totally cramped and uncomfortable if we spend a week on this boat. We will be spending a good chunk of our days snorkeling, in beach bars, or exploring islands so the majority of our time on the boat we will be either sailing, during meal time, or sleeping.
2. We have never done a charter boat before, so a few of the ladies of the group are a bit nervous just from hearing stories of property or violet crime against small boat goers in different parts of the world. I have not heard of any particular problems in the B.V.I. and U.S.V.I., but if anyone has any input on safety issues in the area, or issues I should be aware of before we book this charter, I would be appreciative.
Thanks in advance for any help with either of my questions.
You didn't say where you are chartering...I'll assume by your last sentence that BVI and USVI are considerations. My Vote would be for BVI, for it's safety both on water and land. Sailing is relatively easy, line of sight and in pretty protected waters ( Drake Channel). I'd stay in the BVI and not deal with going and coming through customs more than once.
Regarding size...I've chartered the moorings 47 ft cat..with 4 cabins and 4 heads.
with 6 a few times.. We found it very comfortable..we use the extra cabin for luggage etc.
The 4 heads are great. You will probably be comfortable on the 40.. as well..
The 47 had a generator and AC....which was nice to have for a few hours each day..
getting dressed for dinner..and having cocktails..;-)
With 8...you might have to make a few trips in the dinghy to shore.?
The salon table probably won't sit 8...around the table. ( but the captain and the host? can eat on deck..? ) Probably the only time that would matter is if you made dinner on board..
Breakfast and lunch are usually very casual...we head to shore for dinner most nights..I think maybe we had 1 or two dinners onboard.
What's the function of the Host? Is that person preparing meals, snacks coctails etc?
I wouldn't worry too much...it's paradise...like you say..you just roll with it.
Sunning on the trampoline..was the favorite activity of ..the admirals...on our boat..
I always take the number of berths with a grain of salt. Sleeping in the salon is not always a great idea.
The deck space on a cat is huge.
Tempest is correct about getting that any around the salon table. Another concern is being able to cook for that many people. The stoves can be small and the BBQ will likely have to be used in shifts.
Safety in the BVIs is not an issue. The sailing is some of the easiest in the world.
Enjoy and have a painkiller for me.
Jack and Tempest, thank you for the great info. Yes, as of now, we are planning on doing the BVI. If you have any special spots you would recommend visiting, I would gladly take any suggestions gladly.
I appreciate the info on the cat size. It does sound like a bit bigger boat would be ideal, but that a 40 foot cat would work (just be a bit tight during mealtime)
Can either of you tell me if sleeping on a cat tied that is tied off in a bay for the night is fairly smooth or rather rocky (we are looking in February in March if that makes any difference in water conditions)? We have a couple in our group who have had minor bouts of motion sickness in the past. We are not so much worried about while we are sailing and out in the open air, its more of the rocking motion while trying to sleep in a potentially stuffy cabin in the cat that concerns a few of our group.
Jack, I will be sure to have 2 Painkillers in your honor!
Sleeping is pretty comfortable. Each cabin usually has opening ports. In January, when I've chartered the evenings can get cool..with a nice breeze. I always like the bow berth for a couple of reasons..better air...you tend to hear the hulls slapping more at the stern...and then there's the dinghy slapping around.
Make sure you use the bridle when you pick up the mooring, it will let the boat sit properly etc. The Captain should know how to rig it. grab the mooring lines 1st and get them attached..then you can take your time and rig the bridle and snubber.
I have fallen asleep topside on the trampoline on a warm night..it's very comfortable..but more often than not, it gets pretty cool in the evenings. I'll wake up and jump through the hatch..to the berth..
Motion-eze tends to help folks that get queezy on my boat..after we leave..it's ginger oil. small bottle..
As far as routes...there's lots of threads here on suggested routes...
We normally go counter clockwise...
1st day...the baths..for lunch, then on to the Bitter End and Gorda Sound for the night.
Anagada..could be a 2nd day,
Cane Garden Bay
Jost Van Dyke,
Sophers Hole for lunch, water, fuel.. then Norman island...the Caves...or the indians...then into the mooring field..
I think we've added Cooper island..
Lots of ways to do this...these are some of the must sees for the 1st time..imo.
( Cane Garden Bay can be rolly..in a swell) the captain will know.
Have an awesome trip...!
km, you remind me of the fellow who went to a camping store and asked how many people could fit in that sleeping bag. "One big Irish cop, or two skinny hippies" the salesman said.
If you want privacy for couples and sex, you'll need a much bigger boat. If you plan to cruise and sail and just need a place to sleep at night...plenty of room. If the six of you can share a Winnebago, you'll be OK. If you really want privacy, check out hotels.
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