Chartering in the Caribbean - Suggestions?

bbg

Active member
Joined
2 May 2005
Messages
6,780
Visit site
We are planning to charter next year (some time in April to June, not sure yet) in the Caribbean. We will charter with Moorings, as we have a voucher.

Belize is off the list because the resorts are too expensive (we'd like to stay a few days before or after the charter), and we have already done the BVIs. That leaves:

Grenada
Martinique
St Lucia
St Martin
St Vincent

Any comments / thoughts? We will be two families - four adults and five kids aged 4-9 so we will get a cat. I am interested in knowing things like
- ease of travel from Europe (flights and transfers - remember the kids)
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions
- atmosphere / safety
- whether it would be a good place to stay for a few days before or after

All input gratefully received.
 

DickB

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2002
Messages
785
Location
Surrey, UK
Visit site
We are chartering two moorings yachts in a couple of weeks from St Lucia, going south down the Windward isles. This is supposed to be some of the best sailing around, but a little more challenging than BVIs, but also less spoilt. I think the BVI is very safe with very light winds, but constant. However it might be more suitable for little uns'...

We are getting monohulls but a cat sounds like fun!!!
 

bbg

Active member
Joined
2 May 2005
Messages
6,780
Visit site
How are you getting there?

I will be interested to hear how you get on, if you don't mind reporting back. St Lucia is actually our first choice, but I was slightly concerned about safety (have heard some stories about isolated incidents of crime).
 

Twister_Ken

Well-known member
Joined
31 May 2001
Messages
27,585
Location
'ang on a mo, I'll just take some bearings
Visit site
Haven't been to Martinque for along time, but really enjoyed it when we did. Flights direct from Paris. Strong French influence (it's actually a French department, like Haute Savoie -if you see what I mean) so speaking French helps. Good coast with plenty stopping places and easy 'blue water ' trips to St Lucia or Domenica if you fancy them.

Couldn't comment on costs ashore or safety, because I'm too out of date, but I do remember local cuisine being very affordable and good (French influence again) and international cuisine being OK and pricey. Probably got decent infrastructure, due to the EU grants!

Hope it helps.
 

wanderlust

New member
Joined
26 Feb 2007
Messages
101
Location
Peak Park
Visit site
If it is excellent and easy sailing you are after, the Grenadines takes some beating. The islands south of St Vincent are gorgous, numerous and relatively unspoilt. Bequia is a favourite of mine. Bequia is a good place to stay after you have finished sailing. 1 hour on the ferry from St Vincent if you needed to return a yacht to there.
 

Skents

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2005
Messages
253
Location
SW UK
www.theiguana.co.uk
I think Moorings have a base at Canouan which is an island south of St Vincent. Ideal for exploring Grenadines - fantastic base for a visit to the gorgeous Tobago Cays.... (even if you do have to pay some sort of cruising tax per person per night from this year)

BequiaTobagoCays028.jpg


Lots of beautiful places round there - including Mustique if you want to be swanky. Sure Moorings can arrange land accommodation in Canouan although I would imagine it wouldn't be cheap.

The only place we found crime was a problem was St Vincent where we had some cash stolen while we were actually on board!

Wouldn't worry about St Lucia...there is crime but plenty of cruising folk come and go with no problem at all.

French islands more sophisticated, cheaper food in supermarkets but (in my opinion) feel more like sunny Europe rather than real Caribbean.

The Windward islands can live up to their name but you can get around with short passages rather than long slogs (particularly important on the windward bits!)

By late May many cruising folk will have made tracks (or be considering it) so they can get clear of Hurricane zone for insurance reasons - so it might be quieter then too??
 

iangrant

New member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
3,272
Location
By the Sea
Visit site
St Lucia gives you more options as you can go north or south hard slog north with wind on the nose and big swell up to martinique (and you need to speak french) St Lucia is as safe as anywhere. and a "longer" lee shore than Antigua with less reefs.

Depends how long trips you want to do but staying around one island with young kids who really probably only want a beach then st lucia. Get down to bennies resteraunt and he will look after you, its the one just north of the pitons with the blue roof.

If you can get up to dominica then it's worth it but a bit rough in portsmouth but don't let thst put you off.
 

Rum_Pirate

Well-known member
Joined
23 Aug 2004
Messages
27,666
Location
A tiny Island, Caribbean
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
We are planning to charter next year (some time in April to June, not sure yet) in the Caribbean. We will charter with Moorings, as we have a voucher.

Belize is off the list because the resorts are too expensive (we'd like to stay a few days before or after the charter), and we have already done the BVIs. That leaves:

Grenada
Martinique
St Lucia
St Martin
St Vincent

Any comments / thoughts? We will be two families - four adults and five kids aged 4-9 so we will get a cat. I am interested in knowing things like
- ease of travel from Europe (flights and transfers - remember the kids)
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions
- atmosphere / safety
- whether it would be a good place to stay for a few days before or after

All input gratefully received.

[/ QUOTE ] St Maarten/St.Martin has direct flights from Paris (Air France) also KLM fly there (generally more expensive) There are a host of other airlines.
St.Maarten is duty free. In a rediused sailing range:
Sailing is Anguilla +/-7 miles.ease of travel from Europe (flights and transfers - remember the kids)
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Calm
- atmosphere : coral island fantastic beaches, expensive hotels
- safety : very good
St, Barts +/- 30-40 miles
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : coral island some good beaches, expensive hotels
- safety : very good
St. Kitts & Nevis +/- 45 miles.
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : volcanic island some good beaches, rain forest, Brimstone Hill Fortress medium priced hotels
- safety : very good
Antigua & Barbuda +/- 70 miles.
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : coral island good beaches, various priced hotels
- safety : good
Good direct flights BA Virgin KLM etc
Montserrat +/- 70 miles.
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : active volcanic island good beaches, various priced hotels (few)
- safety : excellent
St. Eustatus +/- 40 miles.
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : volcanic island beaches, various priced hotels
- safety : excellent
Saba +/- 45 miles.
- cruising grounds and sailing conditions :Can be rough
- atmosphere : volcanic island no beaches, difficult anchorage, various priced hotels
- safety : excellent

PM me if you want more infomation - I live on St.Kitts.
 

bbg

Active member
Joined
2 May 2005
Messages
6,780
Visit site
Thanks everyone for all the help - if anyone else has any input - we'll continue to look into the options and I may be back with more specific questions later!
 
Top