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post #1 of 12 Old 08-15-2016 Thread Starter
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Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

Hey folks,

Hope everyone is having a good monday. I am trying to come up with a float plan for a charter in December, and our guests want to go around the French Isles- St. Martin, St. Barthes, Guadeloupe, Martinique-

My question is, do we have to check in at everyone of those islands for customs, or is there a main point of entry and then we can sail around freely?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-15-2016
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

If you go between only French islands you may not be required to check in and out, but if you stop at a non-French island in between, you must clear out of the French island, into the other island, out of that island and into the next French island.
However, checking into or out of the French island is done on a computer (BEWARE the FRENCH keyboard) in a institution like a cafe or harbor master's office, and you never see an official and THEY never check your paperwork. The cost can vary from free to 5 Euros. If I were you I would ALWAYS clear out of any island I was departing from as you might have to enter an unplanned island in an emergency and the fines for not having an outbound clearance can be quite hefty.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-15-2016
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

You have to clear in and out of each. But it only takes 5 minutes, captain only required, computer terminals in some marinas, even chandlers in St Martin and Martinique, a bar in Guadaloupe... Its so easy its not a problem at all.

The BS reason why you have to clear in,out of each French island is the are different French Departments...

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-16-2016
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

Do not be tempted to skip the check in process in the French islands. They have a working computerised check in system and the French coasties do patrol the anchorages with lists.

They have fined skippers who failed to check in thousands of Euros AND deported them by air.

Yes it is a bit of a hassle but the computers are usually located in a place by the dock sometimes a bar or cafe and one page does customs and immigration for a few Euros. They are also pretty laidback about boats arriving at mid day and not checking in to the following day. Also crew going ashore to eat before the check in process is complete. Do not do this in Antigua, skipper only can go ashore until the clearance is complete. They seem to be particularly alert for this in Jolly Harbor, several captains have been fined.
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

Yes, Jolly Harbour (Antigua) and the BVIs prove what bliss any French island is.

Don't piss off the Froggies or they may institute the Three Doors of Hell of Un-Jolly.
You never know behind which door the ***** is. They shuffle the pack each day... You just know its gunna be one...



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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

Hey Mark,

Where do you suggest one look to charter a bareboat in that region? I'm assuming that StM is the easiest to fly to. Giving some thought to a StM, Bart's, Anguilla cruise, rather than our bi-annual BVI trip.


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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Hey Mark,

Where do you suggest one look to charter a bareboat in that region? I'm assuming that StM is the easiest to fly to. Giving some thought to a StM, Bart's, Anguilla cruise, rather than our bi-annual BVI trip.
Yes, St Martin is the only one of those three with a proper airport. It has direct flights from NYC, Miami, europe.

I think its a great charter after the BVIs. Its not charter hell and really is a bit upmarket with all the superyachts rolling around. I enjoy them adding a little pizzaz... Nothing like sharing a beach with a billionaire and a few starlets.

Mark

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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Yes, St Martin is the only one of those three with a proper airport. It has direct flights from NYC, Miami, europe.

I think its a great charter after the BVIs. Its not charter hell and really is a bit upmarket with all the superyachts rolling around. I enjoy them adding a little pizzaz... Nothing like sharing a beach with a billionaire and a few starlets.

Mark
Thanks. Any input on which operator to use? I see there is a ubiquitous Moorings. Feel free to PM, if you prefer.

I'm not much of a beach guy, but I'll make an exception for a starlet.


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post #9 of 12 Old 08-17-2016
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

I'd use Moorings/Sunsail from Oyster Pond

Because of filghts/times/lenghts/distance from airport i would seriously consider having a night before and after in Simpson Bay at Mary's Boon. Its $100 per night, beach front. At that price its NOT TOP LINE RESORT! But it is in the cruising hub and you can walk to the Yacht Club and see the boats go through the bridge, see the supermegahugybigyachts at Isle de Sol (you can go for a drink there leaving id at the gate), say hi to 'real' cruisers etc.

Then next morning refreshed (hung over) taxi to Oyster Pond and be the first people in line for their boat.
Same with the last charter day. Its so manic its nice to have a relax night in Simpson bay.

Best time to go December throu March. Thats peak season. Its exciting.

Other times of the year its much quieter, all the mega yachts are back in the Med, most of the cruisers are down south.

I get off on the excitement of the Season. Sharing a bay with a 200 foot boat whose tender is bigger than my boat, window shopping in St Barts where you ask the price just to go 'wowwwwwwww' pretending you can afford it.
The sailing is good. Its grown up sailing... Not 5 miles mooring ball to mooring ball but 15 miles in full tradewinds where you have to navigate, have to double headlands, have to use tactics, have to anchor, have to clear in and out.

Marys Boon. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...St_Martin.html
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Re: Questions about customs in the French Isles (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

$89.00 fares from New York to Guadeloupe - Pointe-ŕ-Pitre are very tempting. I had a great time chartering out of their with Sunsail eight years ago. Sunsail no longer operates out of Guadeloupe.
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