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Old 02-02-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
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I'm new to the site so I'm hoping I put this in the right place My husband and I will be looking to move onto a cat in several years. In the meantime, we'd like to get as many practical experiences as possible. I'd especially like to try out a monohull this summer.

Are any of you familiar with reputable bareboat charter companies? We are thinking of trying out the Chesapeake Bay for a week this summer. He has experience sailing (lived aboard and sailed his own sailboat for a couple of years and helped others with their sailing trips - last one was a 74 Hinkley); I do not. Unless you count hobiecats!
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:20 AM   #2
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This is what I would do :-

Bare boat charter for a week - go with another couple who have a similar mix of experience as yourselves, that way you will absorb a lot more with the additional interaction and experience. And, of course sharing the cost is a plus.

Don't discount your own Hobiecat experience - mastering a Hobie can be very useful in understanding how to tack, how to sail to windward, how to enjoy just skimming along.

Here is a nice boat well fitted out :- HAVEN CHARTERS Jag_36__Cockpit.jpg

Whatever you do, ask the Charter company for the names and contact information of charterers, so that you can discuss their experience with the Company and the boat they hired.

Richard
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:23 AM   #3
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Assuming you've not already "Been There - Done That" I suggest you consider doing a bb charter in the Virgin Islands. It doesn't get much better and there are a bunch of charter companies offering competitive rates.

Enjoy!

Kirk
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. We are looking at a company now called http://www.humeseeds.com/xmasccts.htm too.

I'll never tire of the Virgin Islands!! Good suggestion.

Feeling excited...
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:04 AM   #5
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I don't think that is the link you intended. It seems to be about Christmas Cactus.

I was just in the BVIs, returning Jan 10th, on a 43' cat. We were not happy with the charter company. The boat really needed a lot of work. We found that everything was very expensive particularly restaurant meals. I strongly suggest that you plan to eat on-board maybe only enjoying some cocktails at the famous watering holes. These were too cheap. (Beware of "Wreak on the Rocks" at Foxy's.)

Also the anchorages were very busy but of course New Years is the busiest time of the year in the Virgin Islands.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:39 AM   #6
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Thanks for the reply Nautical Nancy. Sorry for the wonky link. That's what I get for looking at so many things at once. Here is the actual link: http://www.havencharters.com/

We are definitely a "bring our own food" kind of couple. Read: Cheap!

I wish there was some way to bring our dog aboard with us but I'm just doubting it is feasible
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:02 AM   #7
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May I play reminisce? It is (somewhat) pertinent.

When Peter and I were cruising in the Caribbean, we spent the high tourist season in St. Martin and socialized with family and friends who came down. By the end of March we needed a "vacation" from all the vacationers, so we would sail over to the Virgins to "dry out" and look for crusiing friends over there. On our annual sail over, we stopped in the USVIs first. After a few days, I went to the store to get some fresh groceries. Prices were slightly higher than St. Maarten, but not alarmingly so. A week later we were in the BVIs, and I again bought some groceries. This time, the price of the small bag of groceries was very high. I didn't mean to be rude, but the price seemed impossibly higher than the provisions I had bought the week before. The poor checkout clerk then took everything out of the bag and rechecked everything. Price was still the same. I was a bit embarrassed to have put her through the extra effort and I wasted little time paying the bill and repacking the bag and getting out of there.

I know that charter prices in the Caribbean are cheaper during hurricane season, and you certainly should be able to get the pick of the charter fleet in July. The winds aren't usually as strong as in the winter, and it can be quite hot, though the water will be wonderfully right and while on the boat you won't suffer the way you would on land.

When we left Boston to go cruising, we almost got stalled in the Chesapeake. We must have spent two months there, chased out by the start of cool Fall weather and still very far from warm winter climates. What we were warned about was running aground, and we did, but it's mostly mud and easy to get off (but we had a fin keel, doesn't go as hard aground as full keel boats do.) We had a wonderful time.

I'm afraid I don't have any information on charter companies, but you should be able to get references.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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I agree, the grocery stores were also very high. I spent way more than I had budgeted for. The guy from the charter company told me that the prices had gone crazy in the last few years and they are very busy from November through July. He said that July is second only to the 2 weeks around Christmas for the busiest time. I'm not sure that is completely true because he seemed to be a bit of a B.S.er.

Several folks have said check references. I strongly agree. I don't believe that our friend that did the arrangements did this. I think he picked the company based on price, the web-site and speaking to the U.S. office.

As for being cheap- well that's a given. We are sailors.

I have a sailing friend in my yacht club that used to own a marina. He told us there is a saying in the marine industry, Sailors think the wind is free so everything else should be.

Nancy
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nauticalnancy View Post
As for being cheap- well that's a given. We are sailors.

I have a sailing friend in my yacht club that used to own a marina. He told us there is a saying in the marine industry, Sailors think the wind is free so everything else should be.

Nancy
Got to admit I've always been cheap; maybe that's why I wanted to sail in the first place. Your friend's comment is more true than I want to admit. I got pounded severely when I commented on this board about the Bahamas' new cruising fees, saying that it would keep out the riff raff. Wow! I wasn't saying that about cruising sailors, but it seems to have struck a chord in a few. Oh, well.

Maybe July is busy in the Carib, first month of school vacation, a lot of people in the States think that hurricane season is September. True, less chance of a hurricane in July, but they have happened.
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