Caribbean Charters – Bareboat versus Skipperd
Are you thinking of going down the Caribbean charters route for your Caribbean sailing holiday? In this article we shall be looking at the key differences between choosing a bareboat or a private skippered yacht for your Caribbean charters holiday. We shall look at the cost involved and the pros and cons of each route. You might be surprised by the results, we were. Read below and see which is the best for your caribbean charters holiday.
Caribbean Charters – Bareboat Charter
Most people choose the bareboat option for their Caribbean charters. There are usually several companies in each sailing area offering this service. You are basically hiring a yacht of your choice for the week and setting off as your own captain exploring the area on your own. Before you set off you will have to find the local supermarket and buy your food and beverages for the week or you will have already spent hours poring over a provisioning list trying to decide what you might want. You will hopefully have to attend a chart briefing and boat orientation which should take about 3 hours. You will usually have to leave a credit card deposit for any damages that might occur and pay for any extras. You will then have to store your provisions check that everything is Ok with your yacht and that it has all the essential safety gear in place. For most people who arrive on an evening flight the whole next day is taken up with all of this. The following day, weather permitting, you will set off and start enjoying your Caribbean charters.
Caribbean Charters – Private Skippered Charter
Private skippered Caribbean charters is a relatively small part of the Caribbean charters market. It is often overlooked and mistakenly perceived as expensive. You will have all the tedious aspects of bareboat charter done for you, leaving you with total autonomy but nothing else to do but enjoy yourself. Private skippered Caribbean charters are often more suitable for smaller groups of 4 people or less, either 2 couples or a family with children or friends. Ideal for a couple wanting a romantic stress free week’s sailing. You will have a choice of yachts available with either just a captain or a captain and hostess depending on your needs. The option of a hostess is normally no more expensive than just having a captain. When you arrive the yacht should be fully ready to go with all the necessary food and beverages. Any special preferences should also be on board providing that you’ve liaised with your team before hand. Your sailing adventure can start straight away with you looking forward to days of relaxed luxury with none of those apprehensive feelings about managing the yacht or anchoring. A good company will encourage you to participate in the sailing or kick back and relax depending upon your preferences.
Caribbean Charters – Key advantages of each
Private Skippered Charter :
Absolutely no responsibility of running a yacht
No time spent poring over cruising guides
No worrying about anchoring
A captain to fend off the sometimes pushy boat boys
You get a break from food preparation and washing up
No shopping in the supermarket after a long flight
None of the bareboat charter stigma
More days on the water sailing
No wasting times in customs
A well maintained yacht with a lot of extras
You will go to all those special secret places
Benefit from your teams wealth of experience
Bareboat Charter :
A bigger choice of yachts
More suitable for groups of 6 people or more
You have the whole yacht to yourself
Caribbean Charters – Price comparisons
It is well worth working out exactly what each type of Caribbean charters will cost before you make your choice. Below, we have itemised some rough costings based on a 45 foot yacht in mid season with 4 people. The costs are in $US. The estimated costs for food and beverages for the bareboat charter are based on moderate provisions shopped for locally when you arrive. If the charter company do your provisioning, the costs are substantially higher.
Private Skippered costs
Caribbean Yachting Holidays – Dufour 45
Cost of the yacht for 1 week – $5,390
Cost of a Captain – included
Cost of food – included
Cost of beverages – included
Cost of Customs – included
Cost for mooring – marine park fees – included
Cost of fuel – included
Cleaning costs – included
Total Cost – $5,390
Bareboat Charter cost
Bareboat mid season Beneteau 43.3
Cost of the yacht for 1 week – $5,872
Cost of a Captain – $700
Cost of food – $550
Cost of beverages – $140
Cost of Customs – $400
Cost for mooring – marine park fees – $70
Cost of fuel – included
Cleaning costs – $100
Total Cost – $7,832
As you can see the cost of an all inclusive fully crewed Caribbean charters is actually less expensive than the bareboat option. The private skippered yacht charter is a great way to go on your first trip to the Caribbean. Once you have picked up a few tips and seen how to do it in style, you might go for a bare boat option the following year. So if you think this might be an option for you then get informed about what to look out for before you book. There are boat owners now starting to provide skippered yacht charters with no qualifications, insurance, experience and unsuitable yachts with poor safety equipment. Certainly check the flags, does the ensign match the company’s origin? All OK till things go wrong.
Things to check before you charter
Captain – Always check that your captain holds a valid commercial sailing licence, this is a commercial enterprise if you are paying This is very important as any insurance, including your own travel insurance may be void if the Captain is not commercially qualified. How long has the captain sailed around these waters, at least 3 years is a minimum. Is anyone first aid trained?
The Yacht – Check out the age of the yacht. What sort of yacht is it, modern performance cruiser or old ex charter yacht. Ex charter yachts might have already had 6 years of heavy abuse and are really past their best. Yachts with in mast furling are convenient for the captain but do not give the same sailing experience. Swim platforms with showers are essential items out here. Yachts with twin wheels avoid climbing around to swim or get of the yacht. Check that it has all the relevant safety equipment for the trip – Life raft, life jackets etc.
Terms & Conditions – Make sure you are happy with the agreement you are making, payment dates, cancellation rights, etc
Extra Toys – Flippers and snorkelling equipment should be provided. Fishing rods are good fun.
What’s Included – Check very carefully what is included in the price. Boat fuel, customs clearance, mooring fees, harbour fees, marine park fees, insurance, any damages, cleaning.
What’s allowed – On a private, skippered yacht ask if you are allowed to bring or purchase your own alcoholic drinks and keep them on board. This should be encouraged to keep the price down.
Crew – Check that your Captain and hostess are pleasant and amenable people and ask them why they are sailing in the Caribbean. If they are experienced they will soon adapt to your needs. You might not want to get stuck drinking every night with your crew!
Agenda – Let the crew know exactly what you want out of your vacation. Tell them how much sailing you want to do, what type of places you want to visit. Let them know if you want to sit back and enjoy the view or get stuck in and help sail the yacht. Always question the recommended destinations and check they are not just convenient for the captain.
Caribbean Yachting Holidays – Caribbean Charters
So, if this article has encouraged you to try a skippered Caribbean charters then why not contact us for a chat about the type of sailing adventure you would like. At Caribbean Yachting Holidays both captain and hostess are well qualified and have many years experience sailing around Grenada, the Grenadines and beyond. We know the waters, the islands and their people and can help you get the most from your vacation.