Caribbean Yacht Charters
If your idea of the perfect Caribbean vacation is sailing through turquoise waters, you can make that dream a reality by chartering a yacht.
By Lisa Mullins Bishop, Caribbean Edge Staff Writer
You can set your own itinerary, going where you want to go when you want go. You decide what the day's activities will be: a picnic lunch on the beach of a secluded cove, an afternoon of watersports, a stop at an out-of-the-way island or islands.
You can charter a variety of yachts from power to sailing to multihull sailing (catamaran and trimarans) as well as bareboat or crewed boat. With a bareboat charter, you rent a fully equipped boat only. You are the captain and must recruit your own crew. This type of charter is usually best for experienced sailors who are familiar with the craft they are chartering.
A crewed boat has a captain and a crew, which includes a chef. These professionals sail the boat and prepare all meals. Beginning sailors or those who want the experience of sailing the Caribbean typically prefer this type of charter. Although you are not responsible for sailing the craft, you still choose the itinerary and day's activities.
You can also charter a bareboat with only a captain. However, this type of charter can cost as much as a crewed boat and you must find a crew to sail the craft. There are also special charters available for those who want to learn how to sail or how to scuba dive.
A typical charter runs from ten to fourteen days. A charter is usually comparable to what you would pay for a resort vacation or for a stay on a cruise ship. The charter includes the boat, all onboard meals, a fully stocked bar, fishing and water sport equipment, and other activities that take place on board the craft. Yachts range in size from 50 feet to 100 feet, but the most common charter is a 50-foot yacht, which can accommodate 4 to 12 passengers.
You usually charter a yacht through a yacht broker, who has inspected the craft they represent. When selecting a yacht broker, ask for recommendations. Before meeting with a broker, you should decide what type of craft you want, the length of your voyage, how many people will be onboard, when you want to go, what type of crew you will need, and your budget. Keep in mind that the best sailing is typically from January to March and that hurricane season is July through November. The Virgin Islands and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are known for their excellent sailing.
Try to meet with the crew and to inspect the boat before your journey. You want to make sure the boat has been well maintained.
And finally, enjoy your leisurely sail though crystal blue Caribbean waters--an experience you won't soon forget.
Yachting by Island: