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Caneel Bay, St. John - Bareboat Charters in the US Virgin Islands

Experienced sailors often cherish the freedom of sailing. While some opt for the luxury of crewed yachts, others yearn for the unbridled adventure of bareboat charters. In the pristine waters of the US Virgin Islands, bareboat chartering allows you to set sail without a crew, embracing the open sea on your terms.

Set sail to your dream destination with a bareboat charter. With sailing experience and an adventurous spirit, explore the premier cruising grounds of the USVI. However, novices may find the lack of crew support challenging.

At CKIM, we make charter vacations easy for new sailors. Explore the available bareboat charter options.

  • Sailing Catamarans offer dual hulls, spacious saloons, outdoor lounges, and multiple cabins, ideal for families or groups.
  • Monohull Sailboats provide a classic, authentic sailing experience with a single hull, perfect for seasoned sailors.

The Joys of Bareboat Chartering in the US Virgin Islands

Imagine gliding across crystal-clear waters, with only the gentle lapping of waves against the hull. Bareboat yacht charters offer moments of solitude and serenity. Here’s why:

  • As captain of your voyage, enjoy total freedom. No crew or fixed schedules mean exploring hidden coves, secluded beaches, and turquoise bays at your own pace.
  • Bareboat charters also let you indulge in shoreside activities at your leisure. Enjoy local cuisines, cocktails at beachside bars, and immerse yourself in vibrant island culture.

Am I qualified to charter a bareboat yacht in the US Virgin Islands?

While bareboat charters offer an exhilarating escape, they’re not one-size-fits-all. Consider these factors to assess your readiness to navigate your chosen charter boat:

  • Boat Familiarity: Do you have prior experience with the type of boat you wish to charter?
  • Boating Experience: How often have you sailed a yacht?
  • Local Knowledge: Have you sailed in the US Virgin Islands before?
  • Training:Do you have formal training in yacht navigation?

In the US Virgin Islands, a Bareboat Certificate isn’t mandatory for chartering, but completing a Bareboat Certification course is highly recommended.

What options do I have if I don’t meet the qualifications for a bareboat charter in the USVI?

Even with limited sailing experience, charter companies offer ways to qualify for bareboat chartering in the US Virgin Islands. Let’s explore your options.

  • Skipper Services: Improve your sailing skills with a professional skipper on board, available for a day or longer until you’re ready to sail independently.
  • Flotilla Options: Novice sailors may opt to join a flotilla—a group of bareboat yachts following a set itinerary, led by a yacht with a professional crew. This guided sailing experience is available in the US Virgin Islands during off-season weeks.
  • Crewed Options: No boating experience? Choose a bareboat charter with a captain. Alternatively, opt for a crewed yacht with a captain and chef, all at an inclusive rate.

Why Choose a US Virgin Islands Bareboat Charter for Your Sailing Adventure?

The US Virgin Islands (St Thomas, St John, and St Croix) offer serene beaches, pristine cays, and renowned national parks. Sail in these calm and protected Caribbean waters, ideal for beginners; moreover, there are plenty of sailing schools in the USVI that cater to novice sailors.

Key highlights of the USVI:

  • Each island offers a unique and vibrant culture.
  • Engage with friendly locals across the islands.
  • Experience peaceful mornings and clear waters, ideal for escaping to secluded anchorages with a bareboat charter.

Best Time for Bareboat Chartering in the US Virgin Islands

Whether you seek vibrant festivities or a serene vacation, the US Virgin Islands cater to every sailor.

Here are the diverse sailing seasons in the USVI:

Busy Season (December to Mid-April)

  • Why it’s popular: This period marks the peak of tourism in both the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and US Virgin Islands (USVI). With warm, dry weather and the trade winds, it’s ideal for sailing, snorkeling, and island-hopping.
  • Holiday season: December features festive vibes, including Christmas and New Year’s.
  • Activities: Local regattas and flotillas infuse Caribbean flair, blending competition with community spirit.

Shoulder Season (May, June, July, and November)

  • Why it’s popular: These months offer a quieter, more relaxed experience with fewer tourists.
  • Affordable Rates: Enjoy reduced charter prices.
  • Activities: Explore local culture, discover hidden spots, and embrace the laid-back island lifestyle.

The US Virgin Islands usually have warm, sunny weather. However, before setting sail, always check the weather forecast to ensure there’s no chance of a hurricane affecting your vacation. It’s advisable to also consider travel insurance for extra security.

Cost and Budgeting for Your Bareboat Charter

Bareboat charters in the US Virgin Islands provide unparalleled freedom, but it’s essential to plan and budget wisely.

Initial costs encompass the charter fee, varying by type, boat size, and onboard amenities. Factor in provisioning expenses for food, drinks, and essentials. Depending on your itinerary, permits for national parks may also be necessary.

Factors Influencing Pricing:

Seasonal Variation

  • High Season: Charter rates peak due to high demand and ideal weather, making it a popular time for sailing. Booking in advance is advisable.
  • Summer Rates: Some charters offer reduced rates, but expect warmer weather and occasional rain.

Additional Expenses

  • Airfare: Factor in the cost of flights to and from the US Virgin Islands.
  • Customs Fees: International travelers should anticipate potential customs fees.

Safety Tips and Best Practices for Bareboat Sailing

While independent sailing is alluring and exciting, prioritize safety above all. Assess your skills and comfort level before embarking on a bareboat adventure. If new to sailing, consider hiring a skipper or taking a course to build confidence.

Booking a Bareboat Charter in the US Virgin Islands

When choosing your boat, first select the type that matches your experience: catamaran, or monohull. Then, consider the yacht size based on the number of guests.

Step-by-Step Guide to Bareboat Chartering:

  • Choose your charter dates.
  • Select your charter destination.
  • Find a yacht suitable for your budget and needs.
  • Discuss preferred activities and watertoys with your broker.
  • CKIM will prepare quotes for your review.
  • Check the yacht’s availability.
  • Confirm your decision for final booking.
  • Sign documents and make a down payment.
  • Review the charter summary.
  • Finalize charter details (menus and activities).
  • Participate in a pre-departure call 7-10 days before the charter.
  • Enjoy the US Virgin Islands.
  • Provide charter feedback.
  • Book your next charter with CKIM.

For bareboat charters, prior skippering experience is required.

Summary: Set Sail in Freedom and Discover Paradise

Bareboat charters in the US Virgin Islands offer a liberating escape—a chance to navigate sails, steer your course, and embrace the freedom of the open sea. Whether you’re an experienced sailor seeking solitude or a curious novice eager to learn, the US Virgin Islands await your exploration.

Do you prefer the serenity of independent sailing or the camaraderie of crewed trips? At CKIM, we arrange charter vacations perfectly tailored to your preferences.


Contact us at 1-321-777-1707 or complete this form to discuss your vacation plans.