A sailing holiday in the Caribbean is a perfect vacation but why not add a few days ashore in a hotel afterwards for a "Sail and Stay" holiday.
Some of your crew may want to try their hand at watersports that are easier to arrange at a hotel rather than from your yacht, such as dinghy sailing, windsurfing or diving. Some of your crew may want time to just relax by the pool, on the beach or in the hotel spa. If you are flying to the BVI via Antigua you could stay a few days in Antigua on the way home to relax by the beach of a different island.
We sent Clive Loughlin of Sailing Today magazine on a Sail and Stay Holiday in the BVI combining a bareboat charter of a Beneteau 323 from Nanny Cay Marina and a land-based stay at the super Bitter End Yacht Club. Read his article here>>
"A very enjoyable and relaxing fortnight’s charter in the Abacos. A beautiful and tranquil archipelago of sand-fringed islands. Sailing was in the Sea of Abaco, a large lagoon, often with only 2m below our keels, so we were very glad that we had chosen a catamaran! We were very lucky in chartering Odin, a new Lagoon 42 Luxe. She was spacious and really well equipped, with several very useful mod cons such as air-con and a water-maker. A lovely catamaran! There were several picturesque and well sheltered harbours with a couple of restaurants, though we spent most nights in anchorages, often on our own. We only ate out 3 times, but those meals were good. The conch is the local speciality! On several of the Cays, golf buggies replaced cars and we had lots of offers of lifts from friendly residents. There were some good snorkelling spots and we had several close encounters with delightful turtles! All in all, a really good holiday! Thank you, Nautilus!"
To skipper a bareboat charter or flotilla yacht, you need to hold a practical sailing certificate equivalent to RYA Day Skipper Practical qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC). For charters in Greece, you must now have the ICC certificate. You must also be assisted by at least one competent crew member over the age of 18.
For charters in Croatia, Malta and the Canaries, at least one member of the crew or the skipper will also need a VHF licence.
RYA qualifications can be obtained by RYA sailing schools in the UK or alternatively choose from one of our overseas centres in Gibraltar, Greece or Turkey.
For Caribbean and Tropical charters, formal qualifications are not compulsory, however, you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew. A brief sailing resume should be provided to outline your experience.
If you don't hold the relevant qualifications then why not add a skipper?
Winds force 2-3 (4-11 Knots)combined with generally shorter distances. Good for beginner or intermediate sailors. Line-of-sight navigation but basic knowledge of charts and ability to plot your position required.
Winds force 3-5 (7-21 Knots) with approximately 15-20nm per day. Intermediate experience required. Predominately line of sight navigation but an understanding of how to sail in open water.
Winds force 4-6 (11-27 Knots) with mileage of approximately 20nm+ per day. Ideal for experienced skippers looking to venture out to new destinations. Day skipper standard but with experienced crew would be recommended.