Is Size Important? Size is always important, but you can no longer judge the size of a cat by its length. Crewed catamaran charter design has significantly changed over the past decade, and the advent of the flybridge (or a second deck) adds a lot more space to a cat. A 50-footer with a flybridge is going to feel much larger than a 50-footer with a single deck. Plus newer designs have more interior volume than the older designs which means larger cabins and heads (bathrooms if you are a landlubber). Same thing. Sailors just have their own language.
So the 58’ Pelican is going to feel much smaller than the 58’ Port to Vino. Newness and space do add to the cost –Port to Vino is about $500 more per person per week so it all depends upon your budget. If you’ve never chartered with a flybridge before, you won’t miss it. Once you do, you’ll want one on your next crewed catamaran charter.
What Features Should You Consider When Choosing a Crewed Catamaran Charter?
Some things are obvious like checking what toys it has onboard, does it have internet, or what is the crew like? We’d like to talk about the less obvious things to consider – the few key comforts that you may not have even have thought about when reviewing crewed catamaran charter e-brochures. The few things that our first-time catamaran charter guests say, 'Oh, I did not quite understand about_____"
1. Stepping up to beds? We have beds that are chest high and you have to climb up into them; we have beds that are knee or thigh high and you get into them from the end or from one side, and we have walkarounds where each person gets in from his or her own side. You can usually look at the layout on the e-brochure and know which is which. Or you just ask us.
2. Wet heads and dry heads? Right about now, you are saying, what the heck are they talking about? A dry head means that there is a separate shower stall in the bathroom. A wet head means that the shower is in the same area as the sink and toilet (an old space-saving measure). It is all a matter of what you find convenient. A wet head requires a little more clean-up and juggling with your sundries to keep them dry.
3. Let's Talk Dinghies! The yacht’s tender (or dinghy) will be your car for the week, and we think it is one of the most important pieces of equipment on a crewed catamaran charter. Personally, we like sizeable tenders with good-sized engines – about 40 hp or more – enough to pull up adult skiers and fast enough to take you around to the next bay for a snorkel. Big enough to accommodate your whole group. If you are not into towed toys and don't need to get anywhere far or fast, then a smaller engine will suffice.
4. What is the Deckspace Like? Keep in mind that you will be spending most of your waking hours on deck. You've chosen a crewed catamaran charter vacation because you love the water and the out of doors. So take look at the decks. Are there places to spread out? What does the cat offer for shade? Where are the cushions located? Where are the awnings that provide shade? You won't be able to determine all of this by looking at the e-brochure. That's where our yacht inspections come in handy for you - just ask us for our insights.
5. Toys, toys, toys: You can count on all cats having snorkel gear and usually light fishing gear. Most have either kayaks or paddle boards. Do you want towed toys like waterskis, wakeboard, and tubes? Do you want some sun floats or a big floating island for lazing about in the bay? How about underwater scooters? Are you avid scuba divers? Keep in mind that cats are not large enough to carry jet skis or waverunners, but in many places, you can rent these. Special note: the BVI only allows jet skis in one location with very limited availability - their way to protect the anchorages and reduce noise pollution.
6. Cost: Crewed catamaran charter rates start at around $350 per person per day. Most people spend between $450-650 pp/day. Keep in mind that all meals, an open bar, and all of the watersports equipment are generally included in the rate so you know what you are paying before you even step off the plane. No hidden costs.
7. It's All About the Crew: Last, of all, the crewed catamaran charter crew is the paramount ingredient. That’s where your charter broker comes into the picture. You cannot tell what a crew is really like from reading about them online. The crew profile and charter reviews may give you a flavor of their personality and a sense of compatibility, but you need the expertise of a charter broker who has met them and done some due diligence to ensure that you choose the right crew for you.
Do you want a crew that is active and engaging? Do you prefer a crew that is more in the background? Are you foodies in search of an ultra-creative chef? Do you want an adrenaline junkie captain that can keep up with your energy level?
Ocean Getaways inspects its yachts and evaluates the crews at annual charter yacht shows - this is common practice for most reliable yacht charter brokers. Our added value is that we specialize in corporate groups and we are in the islands several times a year accompanying our groups. So we get to see the crews in action firsthand. We know which ones kept smiles on there faces day in and day out. If you are new to considering a crewed catamaran charter, these tips will get you started.
The next step is to use our expertise to help you choose the best cat and crew.
Call Us at 239-896-2398 or E-mail Us - we are available when you need us - nights and weekends, too.
Ocean Getaways has been in the business for 35 years and represents crewed catamaran charter yachts throughout the world - Virgin Islands, Caribbean, Bahamas, Greece, Croatia, France. Italy, Indonesia, South Pacific and more