Many people want to cast off on a Caribbean yacht charter in the summertime - that's when the kids are out of school or maybe that is the only time of year that you can get away. It's also a good time to find a yacht charter special. It is also hurricane season so here's some information and tips you should know before you book a Caribbean yacht charter during hurricane season.
When is hurricane season: Officially, it is June 1 - November 30. We say "officially", because the occurrence in June, July and November is rare. In fact, in the last 20 years in the BVI, there has been only one hurricane in July, one in late August, and one in November. The bulk of the activity is late August through early October.
Do yachts charter during hurricane season? Absolutely. Many are available through mid-August when they close their calendars and do annual maintenance and take a crew holiday, becoming available again in late October or early November. And there are a select number of yachts that will charter in September and October. After the 2017 hurricane season, which was unprecedented, we will not book charters anywhere in the Caribbean except the Grenadines in September and October.
Is there a Caribbean destination that does not get hurricanes? Never say never! St. Vincent and the Grenadines are "typically" below the hurricane corridor, and many yachts relocate there for the summer months.
What happens if I am on a yacht charter and a hurricane is coming? The good thing about hurricanes is that we typically have a lot of advance warning. Your captain will want to move the yacht to a secure location and will recommend that you terminate the charter.
What happens if the charter is canceled or interrupted due to a hurricane? We recommend two things: 1) Make sure that you clearly understand the cancellation terms, and 2) Purchase trip cancellation/interruption insurance. This costs about 3-5% of the charter fee and is well worth it for peace of mind.
Is it worth the risk? Only you can answer that. Here are the odds in the BVI - since 1944, a hurricane has hit the BVI once every eleven years. That changed in 2017 when they were hit by two category 5 hurricanes in September.
We do not feel that it is worth the risk to book a charter in the Virgins or Leewards in September and October. Other brokers may do this, but frankly, the worry and disruption that even a named storm in the area can cause are not worth it to us. We encourage people to charter in the Grenadines late August through mid-October.
Are summers hot? Surprise. It’s not that hot. The average maximum daytime temperature in the summer is about 89 degrees; in the winter it’s 84 degrees, and with the constant trade winds, you’d be hard-pressed to notice that five-degree variation. It does rain more in the off-season—the wettest months are September through November—but again, the difference is minimal and you’re talking about passing squalls, not impacted fronts. Believe me, it is much cooler there than the swelters of Florida, Texas, and the southern U.S. in the summer.
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