Crewed Charter Guidelines & Tips
Here are some guidelines as to what to expect on a crewed charter, what to bring (and not to bring) and other guidelines and tips that help you prepare for your charter. The crew will contact you shortly before your charter to introduce themselves, set up a meeting point, discuss your preference sheet, menu and itinerary and answer any question you still might have. But we are also here to help, so if you have any questions regarding your charter, please give us a call or email: [email protected]
WHAT TO BRING
Please avoid over packing as storage space is very limited and you will also find that you do not need as many clothes as you may first think. Island life is very casual. Below are some important items not to forget while you are packing:
Since storage space on a sailing vessel is usually limited, do not bring hard-sided suitcases but rather use strong duffel bags. They can be folded up when not in use and the smaller duffel bags fits in the overhead bin of an airplane.
Make sure to bring your valid passports, charter contract, hotel/flight reservations and vital information of your charter, such as meeting points and all telephone numbers of crew, broker, other guests and emergency numbers.
Local shops, bars and restaurants accept credit cards, but bring some cash, as ATM’s are sporadic. The local currency is US $. For the gratuity bring a personal check, cash or traveler checks.
If you require any special medication please ensure that you bring it and bring a copy of your prescription with you. Also bring over the counter medicines like painkillers, itch relief and motion sickness medication
The weather is mostly sunny and humid. You will spend most of the time aboard in shorts or bathing suits with cover-ups. Shore visits do require to put more clothes on, but shorts and t-shirts are still fine. Casual dress and button shirt for going out at night.
You will go barefoot on board the boat so you will only need to bring a pair of sandals/flip-flops for going ashore. Please bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes / water sandals if you would like to explore the islands.
Bring beach accessories like: sun hat or cap, sunglasses, beach bag, swim suit / shorts and cover-ups. Rash Vests are handy for swimming in jellyfish season (July, August, September) or if you are sensitive to sun.
Please ensure that you bring plenty of reef-safe (made without oxybenzone or octinoxate) sunscreen and that it is oil free and not the aerosol type or self tanning type as this causes staining on the upholstery & linens and decks. Also bring after-sun and mosquito repellent with you.
DO NOT BRING TOWELS OR BEACH TOWELS AS THEY WILL BE PROVIDED ON BOARD!
- SNORKEL GEAR: Snorkel gear is available on board your crewed yacht, but if you prefer to use your own set or need a prescription mask, please bring it along.
- FISHING: If you would like to do some fishing on your charter, you need to purchase a fishing license. I can give you the application form or you can go to the Last Stop Sport’s web site https://www.laststopsports.com/Fishing_Cart.htm as they can arrange it for you.
- DIVING: If your yacht offers diving, we will ask you to fill in a dive sheet for your crew, so they know what to expect and make sure they have the right gear on board. Please check your health and travel insurance if diving is covered
- SAILING: Your crew will arrange all the sailing, mooring and docking of the yacht, but if you would like to help, they are more than happy to give you the helm or let you help with setting sail or trimming the sails. Your captain is an experience sailor and can teach you the basics of sailing, but do not expect him to give you a full sailing course, unless he is an sailing instructor and offers it as part of your charter.
- MENU: Before your charter, we will ask you to fill in a preference sheet on which you can let your crew know which foods you like and don’t like and what drinks you prefer. This is your special time, and the crew want to make sure everything is perfect for you. Please be as detailed as you can, fill out an extra sheet if you wish. Once the yacht has left the dock (often before picking you up), it is very difficult to buy fresh produce. So the Chef must have details on your likes and dislikes before you arrive, so she can prepare a menu just for your charter. A yacht’s galley is often not a spacious area, so please be aware that only one type of main meal can be prepared for the whole group, (excepting a vegetarian / vegan / gluten free option if that is requested), so base your likes and dislikes on the whole group. Most Chefs will prepare small children a different meal if requested, please be especially specific if your small children have special likes & dislikes, even brand names!
- ITINERARY: Your crew will discuss with you the daily itinerary that will suit your wishes, at the beginning of the charter and every morning according to the weather conditions and your party’s mood. Your itinerary is not set in stone and can be changed to your preferences. The itinerary is weather depending as the strength and direction of the wind and the swells can make a sailing route or an anchorage less preferable. For a sample itinerary click here
- ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: Unless a yacht is plugged into shore power, electricity for appliances is provided either by a generator or inverter. Certain outlets may not be able to handle high-voltage appliances like hair dryers and may be only for charging items like cameras and computer batteries. Your crew will explain which outlets can be used for what. DO NOT break this rule, or major damage to the ship’s systems could result.
- WATER AND SHOWERS: Most charter yachts carry plenty of fresh water for both cooking consumption and daily showers, plus rinse-offs on the stern after swimming. Most luxury yacht also have a water-maker on board. Your crew will explain how to use marine faucets and showers. Always use water conservatively by not letting the tap run continuously while you’re lathering up in the shower, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
- SAFETY: The crew will give a safety briefing on your first day. Pay close attention and remember what to do in case of an emergency. While sailing, make sure you either sit down or have always one hand on the yacht to prevent you from falling. Always follow the instructions of your crew and do not touch any lines or instruments without their permission. If you bring children on board, then you will be responsible for their safety. Instruct them to listen to the crew’s safety guidelines. Before your charter check if the yacht has the right size life-vests for your children.
- CHARTER WITH CHILDREN: Keep in mind that professional crews are not babysitters – they have many other daily jobs to do. How ever, most crews are kid-friendly, and may offer to entertain your children for a certain amount of time during the charter. Make sure your children behave themselves and show respect to the yacht and the crew. The crew will try to educate your children about the islands and about sailing, tell them stories and keep them busy with all the water sports, let them help with cooking, sailing or play games with them so they do not need TV, tablets, phones, computer games etc to entertain themselves.
- SMOKING: For safety reasons, smoking is permitted on deck or transom only. Some yachts do not allow any smoking on the yacht (see your contract). If the crew smokes, they will never do that inside (also not off-charter) and will make sure you will not notice it while on charter.
- DRUGS: The possession and use of illegal drugs constitutes a criminal offense punishable by law in the BVI and conviction on drug charges can lead to stiff fines and jail sentences not just for you but also for the crew. Your crew has the right to ban a guest from board or terminate the charter on the spot if you violate this rule.
- GRATUITY: It is customary to tip your crew at the end of your charter, something between 15-20% is suggested, according to the level of service you feel you have received. You can give the captain a US$ personal check, certainly cash or traveler checks. Tipping is at your discretion of course!