Chartering A Catamaran (AKA, Try Before You Buy!)

Chartering A Catamaran (AKA, Try Before You Buy!)

We’ve been feeling seasick but, in a homesick kind of way. Like a fish out of water, we start drying out and struggle to breathe if we’ve been away too long. So, to say this past year has left us parched would be an understatement.

Our boat is still a couple of months away from us being able to move aboard and sail away.  Patience has never been my virtue and it’s our 17th wedding anniversary celebration!  So, we decided to quench our thirst and do something we have never done before. Charter a boat.

Which is funny because the first thing we tell people when they ask us for advice on how to get into sailing is:  Look for a sailing club near you, take a sailing course and/or charter a boat.

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you already know we didn’t do any of this when we started.  We bought a boat, then learned how to sail and only joined in our first sailing club race last year.   We’ve also been known to roll boulders uphill, but we don’t advise it.  It’s our public service, we do things the hard way, so you don’t have to.

Typically, we don’t recommend anything we haven’t personally experienced.  Yet we’ve been encouraging people to charter a boat for years.  In theory it’s a good idea but what is the reality?  What is the cost?  Is it worth the cost?

We’re about to find out.  Join us in Phuket, Thailand as we set sail for a week on our first sailing charter.

More Thoughts On Chartering A Sailboat

As Jason mentioned in the video, there are a lot of different ways to charter a boat.  Before you go searching out a charter, list out what your goals are.  Then go searching for a charter that meets that list.

Because the sea of choices can be a bit overwhelming and the experience aboard each will no doubt be different.  And price isn’t always an indication of what you will get.  Because depending on what your goals are, the $1000 a week boat on a lake only a short road trip from your home could be a far better value than a $5000 charter an ocean away.

There are a ton of live aboard cruisers out there who will rent out their cabins.  We’ve met plenty of sailors along our journey who do this.  Some of it is legal, some not.  Some of them provide an incredible service and experience, some of them not.

So be cautious when searching online.  My advice is to make sure they are a legit operation (not just taking cash under the table) and have proper insurance for having paid guests onboard.  But don’t let that scare you.  Because if you are looking to be a liveaboard, it could be the most insightful and helpful trip of your life.

Then of course there are the big boys.  Sort of like the Marriot Hotels of the charter world.  Sunsail & Moorings are both huge companies with bases all over the world with a wide variety of services and boats.  Once we had tickets booked to Phuket and knew we wanted to get on a boat, seeing that Sunsail had a base here made the decision for us easy.  We were booking last minute and honestly didn’t want to have to do a bunch of research to vet a company or a boat.  We only had one goal, stress free time out on the water.  Sunsail had a couple of Leopard catamarans, a boat we are extremely familiar with.  So our search was done and we made the right choice for our goal.  The whole process was painfully easy, stress free and took out all the hard work.  So, thank you Sunsail…even easier than we expected.

  • Sunsail Thailand  They have a map with a suggested itinerary that includes some of our stops if you want to see where we were.




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