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Bareboat sailing in the Caribbean

Week of September 21-28, 1995

Great ski resorts you've never heard of
Trekking Peru's Inca Trail
Bareboat sailing in the Caribbean
Snowboarding Europe's mega-areas
The wild side of the Grand Canyon
Joshua Tree's panoramic views

Bareboat sailing in the Caribbean
Q: I want to sail the Caribbean with some friends, over a two-week period of time (May '96). What advice can you provide on choosing a quality company with good service, good boats, and resonable rates. It seems like everyone wants to be The Moorings, and The Moorings is a bit too expensive.
Kevin Doherty
San Jose, CA

A: It's a great idea to plan your trip for May, when charter prices are at their lowest. Keep in mind, though, that while there are definitely less expensive alternatives to The Moorings, The Moorings has earned the reputation as one of the most reliable charter services in the Caribbean. Just for comparison's sake, you can charter a 40-foot, six-passenger bareboat from The Moorings for $3,780 weekly or a 60-foot, six-passenger crewed boat, plus meals and snorkeling gear for $8,995. This said, here are a few other suggestions that may be worth checking out. Sun Yacht Charters, a Tortola-based company, can set you up with a 36- to 50-foot bareboat for anywhere from $2,849 to $5,985 per week. If you're looking for a crewed boat, it'll cost you an extra $150 per day for the skipper's and cook's wages plus their provisions; keep in mind that these are 1995 prices--next year's haven't been set yet. If you're looking for more of a yachting challenge, head out to the relatively open waters and strong trade winds off St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Swift Yacht Charters, based in St. Lucia and Union, offers 35- to 55-foot bareboats for $2,000 to $4,500 per week or crewed 40-foot yachts starting at $3,500, all-inclusive, per week. Another company to look into is Stardust Marine, with fleets in St. Martin, Tortola, Martinique, and the Grenadines. You'll pay anywhere between $2,100 and $3,100 for a 40- to 44-foot, six-person bareboat charter; a bareboat with a captain will cost you an extra $150 per day plus provisions (1995 rates). For more information, contact the charters listed above: The Moorings, 800-800-535-7289; Sun Yacht Charters, 207-236-9611; Swift Yacht Charters, 800-866-8340; Stardust Marine, 800-634-8822.

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