We’re seeing an interesting shift in the amount of time sailors are looking to charter; especially coming through for next year (2013/2014 charter season). The trend we are seeing is for people to charter for 6 – 8 weeks at a time. Perhaps we are seeing this trend in Antigua because it is such a central island in the Caribbean for making the longer passages. With the wind direction from the North-North-East, it’s a perfect point of sailing. We had a charter captain who said to me that “tack is a swear word on their boat”! I love the fact that sailing is such a great sport that it attracts the out and out racers and the laid-back charter guests who really could not be bothered about the speed log.
|Long term chartering brings its own rewards.|
We are certainly seeing more people looking to explore “life aboard” and testing the cruising water (excuse the pun) before they make a life decision to buy a yacht in the Caribbean and cruise for several months each year. We had a couple recently who purchased their first yacht at a Boat Show and were so excited by this that they cancelled a free charter that they had won at a competition. All credit to them and we wish them many happy years of cruising aboard their very own yacht. There are more and more people who sail south from Antigua to explore Guadeloupe, Iles des Saintes and Dominica, and change their crew as they head south. I think this is because it can be liberating with just the two of you, at one with the ocean, leaning to live together on board and work together as a seamless team, but it is also fun to have friends fly in to perhaps share some of the running costs (and a case of beer or two).
|Dominica as part of your long term charter – magical.|
The people who charter bareboat with us long term tend to be the couples who are keen on fishing, cooking and even baking on board. We’ve recently provided a set of baking equipment to a charter guest who liked to bake her own bread, cookies and deserts for the crew ( we can vouch for her fatless pound cake – vegan-style).
|Seek out fishing competitions and the local guys to buy fresh fish for BBQ|