Enjoy The Luxury Of A Crewed Yacht Charter

Enjoy The Luxury Of A Crewed Yacht Charter

Explorer Best Deals

Enjoy The Luxury Of A Crewed Yacht Charter

 Imagine a vacation where you could really kick back and relax, without the worry of hordes of tourists making you feel like you are back in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. An increasingly popular way to travel and experience peace and tranquillity combined with excitement and adventure when you want it is to charter a yacht, where you can enjoy the luxury of relaxing and soaking up the sunshine as you cruise the waters combined with visiting some truly exciting destinations when you are ready for a little excitement. You can enjoy avoiding the often stressful experience of staying in an overcrowded hotel on your trip, and instead, you can really relax on your own vessel leaving the throngs of other tourists and visitors behind. When you charter a yacht you can opt for bareboat, where you have a totally unscrewed vessel, or you can select a partially or fully crewed yacht charter. When you go for a vessel with a crew, you can look forward to the ultimate in relaxation and luxury, as the trained and experienced crew ensure that your trip is everything you hoped it would be.
 
Enjoy a wide choice of destinations when you charter a crewed vessel
 
When you decide to hire a boat or yacht for your holiday the possibilities are limitless when it comes to your choice of destination. You can select from all sorts of fabulous areas, from Europe and the Mediterranean to the Bahamas, Miami, and the Caribbean. By opting to have a crew on board you can look forward to some real relaxation without having to worry about the vessel. You can simply lie back and soak up the sunshine in some far-flung destination whilst enjoying quality time with your loved ones. Whether you are on a family holiday or whether you have taken someone special away for a romantic experience you will find that having experienced and friendly staff on board can make all the difference when it comes to making the most of your time and your holiday. Wherever you decide to go when you rent a yacht you will be thrilled by the peace and tranquillity you experience whilst the beautiful waters lap around you and the golden sunshine beats down on your very own vessel.
 
Go for full or partial staffing on your yacht to make it the perfect holiday
 
You can tailor make your holiday when you oft for a staffed yacht simply be selecting how many and what type of staff member you want or need on board. You can pt for a fully or partially staffed vessel, which means that you can get the assistance where you need it without the need to feel as though the yacht will start to get a little overcrowded. Whether you simply want a captain aboard to get you around the areas you wish to visit or whether you want all the bells and whistles with cooks, maids, and other staff members, the choice is yours.

Sail the Florida Keys

Sail the Florida Keys

Explorer Best Deals

Sail the Florida Keys

At the south point of Florida, there is a chain of islands 170 miles long that is embedded in turquoise water. This is the Keys, bordered by the unique living coral reef in the United States. The subtropical climate and the extraordinary beauty of the Atlantic have made this ecological wonder one of the most prized destinations for sailors.

Sailboat Chartering With or Without a Captain

You can choose from four types of sailboat vacation:

Leasing the sailboat without a captain or “Bareboat Chartering” – The sea has no secrets for you or your crew and you are capable of bringing the sailboat back to port even if a hitch happens during your trip.

Chartering a sailboat with a captain – You prefer to have a captain on board to help you with the bowline knot.

Sailboat training – You want to learn to navigate or you wish to enhance your knowledge. Charter companies offer courses at every level, for groups, couples, for a weekend or for the whole week.

Cruising with a captain and cook – You watch them raise the sails and manipulate the sauce pans, while you take it easy.

Choosing a Sailboat

The marinas cannot always accommodate boats that are too big. Also, the draft of your boat should not exceed 4.5 to 5 feet and the beam 13.5 feet to 14 feet. We prefer monohulls from 40 to 43 feet long. They combine space and comfort and generally find a spot in the small marinas of the Keys. These boats are also better equipped than the smaller sailboats. Catamarans rarely find a dock large enough and must anchor outside.

The boats are rented for a day, a weekend or for a week.

Best Time for Sailing the Keys

The Keys benefit from a subtropical climate. You can sail all year long but, like everywhere else, there is this fantastic time of the year and less favorable periods.

The best periods are March, April, May, end of November and beginning of December.

The periods of tourism affluence are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year

Possible cold front periods: End of December, January, and February.

Hurricane, humidity and mosquitoes’ months are June to November, with a peak in August September, and October.

Books

Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, by Captain Frank Papy.
Good basic information about places to visit, marinas, underwater activity, etc. Excellent maps describing the entrances to ports and marinas, usually difficult in access because of shallow waters.

Diving and Snorkeling Guide to The Florida Keys, by Halas and Kincaid.
Excellent guide for skin diving and snorkeling. Description of coral reefs, exotic fish and sunken Spanish Galleons. The indication of the depth and the level of difficulty of the different sites.

Learning to sail the USA way

Learning to sail the USA way

Explorer Best Deals

Learning to sail the USA way

The syllabus can be readily divided into two parts. The Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is made up of seven stages while Small Boat Sailing Program contains a further two stages.

The Basic Small Boat Sailing Standard requires no previous experience or qualifications. It is the first course in the Small Boat Sailing Program. Students must demonstrate a theoretical knowledge of the names and functions of various parts of a boat together with common sailing terms, the sail and its ancillary components, the International Rules for Collision Prevention both at sea and on inland waters and hey should demonstrate a basic knowledge of safety procedures. On the practical side they must show they can tread water for 5 minutes and swim 100 meters, rig, launch and retrieve the boat, set and trim the sails, sail both upwind and downwind, tack and gybe, correctly apply the rules of the road, recover a man overboard, recover from a capsize, accept and pass a towline, tie four specified Knots within a given time. Upon completion, he or she will be able to sail a centerboard or multihull sailboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters.

The first course in the Keelboat Sailing Certification Program is known as Basic Keelboat. No experience or qualifications are necessary. To complete the course students will be required to demonstrate that they can put a name to and describe the workings of various parts of a boat including the hull, keel, deck bow and stern. The components of both the running and standing rigging. The different sails including the names of part of a sail – foot, leech, luff, head, tack and clew. The various spars, mast, and boom. They will be familiar with the sailing terminology used to describe various maneuvers such as gybing and coming about. Students will understand the points of sail to be it close hauled, reaching or running. They will understand the basics of collision avoidance including rules of the road. They will demonstrate they are familiar with regulations covering registration and identification, proper waste disposal, who to notify in the event of an accident and what safety equipment is required by law to be carried on a vessel and how it is used. They will be able to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage Participants will know how to anchor a boat and describe the choice of anchors and their attributes and failings. On the practical side, they must demonstrate sail handling skills, they will display competence at the helm including mooring, sailing both upwind and downwind together with a successful track and gybe. They will complete a successful man overboard recovery. They will show they know how to tie 6 different knots and understand their various uses. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to sail a boat of some 20 feet in length in moderate winds in familiar waters.

The second stage is called Basic Coastal Cruising and students must hold the Basic Keelboat Sailing Certificate prior to undertaking this course. The course looks at safety on board including equipment and procedures. An understanding of fire prevention and fighting is required. Students will be required to demonstrate a knowledge of first aid and the treatment of hypothermia. Basic meteorology is considered and students must demonstrate an understanding of shipping forecasts. An understanding of the relationship between the skipper and crew and the respective duties of each is required. Students must be able to undertake basic chartwork including depths; types of bottom, hazards, buoys, beacons, and lights. The practical side of this course looks at boat handling under power and sail, man overboard recovery, the various points of sail, reefing and heaving to, docking and mooring and some knotwork. When completed the sailor should be able to cruise safely in regional waters on a sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

Trailerable Multihull Standard, this course is the second in the Small Boat Sailing Program. It may be taught as part of or following the Basic Coastal Cruising course. Completion of the Basic Keelboat is a prerequisite prior to taking this course. On the theory side, students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three-point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsizing. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, bow anchor and bridle and single bow with a stern line to the shore. When completed sailors are able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary multihull sailboat of up to 30 feet in length, in moderate wind and sea conditions.

Bareboat Chartering is the next stage. Participants are expected to hold the Basic Coastal Cruising Certificate before doing this course. The theory side covers the preparation of both crew and boat for a one week cruise including the preparation of a passage plan. Meteorology is considered including a look at fog and onshore and offshore winds. Seamanship is looked at and students should know what action is required if the engine fails, they should know how to anchor the boat bow or stern to. On the practical side the student will be able to undertake daily and weekly maintenance tasks, maneuver the boat under power in a restricted space, pick up a mooring buoy, use the VHF radio. The following navigational skills are required, plotting a course and establishing the compass heading and calculating an estimated time of arrival. Establishing a fix using a visual bearing. Use a chart to pilot the boat into an unfamiliar harbor. Students must obtain and interpret a shipping forecast. When completed the individual can act as skipper of a boat up to 50 feet in length sailing by day in coastal waters.

The next stage is known as Coastal Navigation. This is a theory only course and no prior experience or knowledge is required. Students will be required to demonstrate knowledge of various State and Federal regulations pertaining to sailing. They must understand how the use of navigational instruments including both steering and hand bearing compasses, binoculars, depth sounder, log, parallel rule, and dividers. Participants must display an understanding of tide tables and their use when dealing with secondary ports. They should be able to convert bearings and compass courses between, compass, magnetic and true, plot a dead reckoning position, understand the effect of current and leeway when estimating a position and plot a position by two or more bearings, a running fix, and a bearing and distance. Finally, they will need to demonstrate a knowledge of buoyage and lights.

The Cruising Catamaran course deals exclusively with multihull sailing and concentrates on the differences a sailor finds as opposed to monohull sailing. Participants should have completed the Bareboat Chartering stage. On the theory side, students must be able to identify and name the various parts of a multihull that are not found on a monohull including the different wing decks, hulls, cross arms, three-point rig, bridle line, safety nets, seagull and dolphin strikers. They will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of multihulls including, performance, comfort safety and the danger of capsizing. On the practical side the sailor will demonstrate: how to cast of and leave the quay with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow and then return and berth alongside, pick up a mooring buoy, manoeuvre in a restricted space, reverse, recover a man overboard, the different points of sail, tacking and gybing, sail a compass course within 10 degrees. They will anchor in the following ways, two anchors of the bow or stern, bow anchor and bridle, single bow with a stern line to the shore and bow to a fixed mooring. Upon completion, the person can skipper a multihull sailboat of up to 50 foot in length by day in coastal waters.

Advanced Coastal Cruising follows and participants should have completed both the Bareboat Chartering and Coastal Navigation stages. Students will be required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the theory of sailing, an understanding of meteorology including the various cloud formations and the weather that can be expected with each. They will understand the needs of heavy weather sailing, the necessary sail changes and the use of the correct safety equipment and procedures. They will be able to describe: how to set a second anchor to reduce swinging, how to recover a fouled anchor, how to use a trip line and an anchor buoy and when and how to set an anchor watch. They will describe how to tow or be towed. They will have a knowledge of distress signals. Students will correctly describe the actions required in the following emergency situations: a dismasting, running aground on a lee shore and engine failure. Students will be able to carry out maintenance and repairs on the engine. On the water, students must: sail on all points of the wind and tack and gybe in a wind of at least 15 knots, sail a compass course to within 10 degrees, carry out a man overboard recovery in darkness. They will demonstrate their ability to set, sail with including a gybe, douse and pack a spinnaker. And finally, they will stand a navigation watch of 20 miles both at day and night. When completed a person can skipper a sailing vessel of up to 50 feet in length both during day and night in coastal waters regardless of weather and sea conditions.

The next stage is called Celestial Navigation. The course is theory based and requires no experience or prior qualifications. The student must be able to demonstrate the Celestial Navigation required to navigate a sailboat on an offshore passage. The successful student will have demonstrated their ability to: Convert longitude into time and standard time and zone time to GMT. They will be able to calculate: the zone time given longitude, the chronometer error given a previous error and the daily rate, the time of meridian passage of the sun and calculate the boat’s latitude from the observed meridian altitude of the sun, the times of sunrise, sunset and twilight, plot celestial lines of position on a Mercator projection or on a universal plotting sheet and the true bearing of a low altitude celestial body in order to determine the error and deviation of the compass. The student will be able to apply the corrections for index error, dip of the horizon, and total correction to convert sextant altitudes of the sun, stars, planets, and moon to true altitudes, determine the latitude at twilight by means of the Pole Star and the approximate azimuths and altitudes of the navigational stars and planets at twilight. In addition, they will be capable of solving the navigational triangle using a navigation table and advance the LOP obtained from a sun sight to another LOP obtained from the sun at a later time and find the boat’s position using a running fix (sun-run-sun).

This celestial theory can be put into practice during the Offshore Passage Making course. Entrants should be certified to the Advanced Coastal Cruising level. The student will plan a passage across either the Pacific or North Atlantic using Great Circle Plotting Charts and Climatic Charts. They must show an understanding of the essential factors to be considered when selecting a vessel for an offshore ocean passage of at least 1000 miles including hull construction and shape, keel, rig, and rudder type, fuel, and water capacity. They must provide a list of tools and spares required for such a voyage. They must victual the boat for four people on passage for seven days. They must list the items to be carried in the first aid kit and describe basic treatments for injuries and illnesses that may occur together with identifying a source of more advanced medical information while on passage. They will prepare a watchkeeping system and define the duties of crew members both on and off watch. They will design a maintenance plan to cover: Bilges, electronic equipment, fuel system, hatches, galley equipment, rigging, safety equipment sea cocks, steering, and the water system. They will describe the procedures to be undertaken in the following emergency situations: abandon ship, dismasting, fire onboard, lightning strike, man overboard. A comprehensive knowledge of the International Regulation for Preventing Collision at Sea must be demonstrated. When the course is completed is the sailor cans skipper a sailing vessel on offshore passages in any weather.

Boat Charters

Boat Charters

Explorer Best Deals

Boat Charters

Charter boats are an excellent way to get away from it all whilst on holiday. Whether you decide on a bareboat charter boat, where you don’t have a crew to assist or a crewed boat, there are many benefits of choosing a charter boat holiday.

A crewed boat is the better option if you are inexperienced, as it will allow you to enjoy the freedom of the seas without the worries of navigation and changes in the weather. Many of the crewed boats also supply a chef so you won’t even have to worry about your meals.

There are many destinations throughout the world where you can charter a boat. What could be more romantic than a holiday on the seas of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean?

The are various types of charter boats, from floating hotels to the more budget boats where you are getting just the bare necessities.

For long durations on the seas, it is essential to get a boat that has all the facilities to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for extended periods.

You would need a good kitchen with enough storage for all your food and cooking requirements.

This is where it might be wise to select a boat charter that has been organized by a recommended charter business that knows what will be required on the holiday and preferably supply an experienced crew.

It is especially important to get an experienced crew if you are boating in unfamiliar waters.

Any decision for a charter boat holiday needs careful planning to ensure that it will be a holiday that will be remembered for a lifetime.

A well-planned holiday will ensure you will be sailing on smooth seas whether the weather gets rough or not.

The location that you decide to take your vacation will also have a bearing on the type of boat you charter, as there are both motorized and non-motorised (sailboats) to choose from.