Six Unwritten Rules of a Sailboat Charter

Six Great Ideas for Chartering

  1. Sun Block is Your Best Friend. No matter how much you think you don’t need it, bring SPF 100 sunscreen. There are going to be some days you think applied enough or you think you can beat the sun. This is for the day after when you look like a lobster. 

    The author in the wide-brimmed hat protecting herself from the tropical rays.

    2. Avoid Playing Plumber. Do not flush anything but waste and TP down the head… even if your product is marked “decomposable.” This might be a no brainer for the seasoned boater, but probably not to your non-boating guests. We had some non-boaters flush decomposable wet wipes, and they spent the evening playing plumber. It was not pretty. 
    3. Music is Essential. You may not have WiFi on your charter boat, so you will have to plan ahead. Create three different playlists with 100-plus songs, and download them (if you use a music service such as Spotify or Apple music). I suggest a low key jazzy mix for dinner time, a late night dance party mix for after you’ve had a few cocktails, and a top hits mix with all your favorite songs to play during the day. Your charter will be long and boring without background music.
    4. Do Not Over Pack. This is a hard one. If you’re staying a week, you need five bathing suits, a cover up, a sun hat, a few sundresses/sun shirts, and flip flops for the times you go on land and the sand is too hot. That is it. Anything more you are just carrying extra weight.

    Watercolor by Lauren Mahoney--who brought her muse to paradise!

    5. Bring Your Muse. If you’re the creative type, bring your muse. I enjoy painting so I started each morning doing a quick watercolor sketch of each place we stayed. It was relaxing and a productive start to the day. Whether you are into music, yoga, or drawing, the islands are ideal for drumming up inspiration. Plus early mornings are the best. Yep, those are screaming goats not screaming children.
    6. Teach Non-Sailing Crew Something New. Half of the people we traveled with were powerboaters who had never sailed before. Throughout the trip we taught them about wind direction, how to adjust the sails, tacking, and how to tie essential knots. By the end of the trip they were hoisting the sails without us; it was pretty neat!

    ~By Lauren Mahoney