Q: How do I know if I qualify to charter a boat without a skipper?
A: Most of our locations are suitable for those with minimal ocean experience. However, you should have experience in mooring, docking, anchoring, navigation, charting, GPS, and radio protocol. If you’ve previously owned a yacht or have spent at least a week on one helping as crew, you likely have much of this experience. We are flexible in our criteria depending on location. Some locations may not be suitable for your level of experience and we will not offer boats at those if that is the case. A brief phone conversation with us is all that it takes to gauge your level. None of the locations we sail from require formal certifications. If you don’t qualify, you can hire an independent skipper as part of your group and we will speak with him or her along with you during the phone call.
Q: What food do we bring?
A: You can choose to fully stock your galley and cook aboard or plan a trip around mooring at locations that have wonderful restaurants ashore. If you prefer to cook aboard, simply take into consideration the grocery options available on the island you’re planning to depart from. Some of our locations have much less variety than others. So much so, that it may be a good idea to do your meal planning after visiting the market on the island of your departure and seeing what kind of produce and ingredients can be had. Other than that, just keep in mind the size of the fridge in the galley of your boat. Most are not as large as the fridge in your home holding maybe 50% the capacity but should well able to accommodate you for a week’s excursion. If you require cooking ware of any kind, we’ll help you with that as part of the charter.
Q: What clothing should I bring?
A: All of our departure locations are Caribbean. So – shorts, bathing suits, t-shirt, and boat shoes! Definitely wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen of course.
Q: How long is the charter week?
A: Our minimum charter is 7 full days of 24 hours from 11am to 11am. You may continue your trip extra days at a set daily rate only with permission from our office pending no other clients have reserved the boat immediately after you.
Q: How do we communicate with land?
A: A U.S. cell phone will work in many areas including USVI and parts of BVI and Puerto Rico. You should check the location you’re planning to depart from to see what non-us carriers operate there and plan to either purchase a phone locally or come with an unlocked cell phone that can accept a sim card which you can buy locally. Cell signal will fall off quickly off shore no matter which location you depart from. Communication at sea is limited to radio or satellite phone. Sat phones are note provided.
Q: How should we pack?
A: Do not encumber your trip with a lot of luggage. You’ll find it an annoyance in your cabin. Realistically, you should not need more than a carryon sized bag per passenger. After all, you’ll be in shorts or a bathing suit most of the time won’t you? Also remember, our yachts are equipped with Bluetooth stereo or auxiliary cable connectable sound systems so bring your own device with music. Since there is often no data-carrying cell signal off shore or in many parts of the Caribbean, you should plan ahead and download your music to your device.
Q: Where do we get snorkel gear or scuba equipment?
A: Snorkel gear is included in the charter. We’ll equip the boat with a set for each passenger that desires it. We’ll check sizes during on-boarding process. For scuba gear, we can coordinate with dive outfits ahead of time on your behalf and have equipment ready and on board in time for your departure. You will have to send us verification of dive certifications a head of time so that we can comply with dive outfit terms. Alternatively, there are several diving operations which we can arrange for rendezvous dive tours.
Q: What electrical devices can I use aboard?
A: All of our boats have a generator and electrical system with standard North American outlets in cabins, common areas, and galleys. The electrical system can handle most common household plug-in devices.
Q: Do we need passports?
A: Yes. You’ll need to show your passport upon entry to most islands.
Q: How far from base can we go?
A: For safety reasons and so that we can be available for rescue or repairs, you are not permitted to venture more than 30 nautical miles from any of our multiple locations. We do track the vessel with GPS and breaching this term may be cause for loss of deposit.
Q: What if the boat breaks down or has issues?
A: We will supply you with phone numbers and radio channels to contact us in the event something goes wrong with the vessel. If needed, we can deploy a chase boat to come to the rescue.
Q: How do I cancel reservations?
Reservations can be cancelled by phone up to 48 hours prior to your departure time. We strictly abide by this policy and enforce no refund of deposit if this time frame is missed.