Yacht Charter Martinique
Yacht Charter Martinique
Set sail on a Martinique yacht charter with Borrow a Boat! One of the most beautiful islands in the Windward Island archipelago, a sailing holiday can involve exploring the island itself or island-hopping to St Vincent and the Grenadines nearby. Wherever you go, your Martinique boat rental will be a memorable experience!
The most important island in the French Caribbean, Martinique's culture has been shaped over the centuries by different cultures and empires. Since 1974 the island has been administered as an Overseas Department of France, and you will find strong influences from the European country here - charcuterie, bakery and a strong cafe culture sit comfortably with Creole culture and makes for an atmosphere that many say is the coolest in the Caribbean!
Fort de France, Martinique's capital is a delicious blend of all the cultures that have made the island home over the centuries. Leaving the town you will get to places like Les Anses d'Arlet on the south coast with its primary coves Petite Anse d'Arlet and Grande Anse d'Arlet with its bigger and much busier beach.
For those with a taste for rum, Martinique has some of the best distilleries in the Caribbean. Perhaps asking someone else to drive you can follow La Route des Grands Rhums that links distilleries throughout the island. Also as with France, these rums have Appellation d'Origine Controlée status that protect their names and quality.
Two thirds of Martinique is given over to nature, and for those after a chance to hike up a dormant volcano (that last exploded in 1902) you can hike through lush rainforest up well marked trails of Mont Pelee - do remember some wet weather gear as that's the rainiest part of the island!
Even though you could spend a good week exploring the 425 square mile island, many choose to sail onward through the Windward Islands to Saint Lucia, Bequia, Dominica and Guadeloupe for example - all with line of sight sailing, and some of the best sailing on the planet!
Hiring A Yacht In Martinique
If you are on a crewed or skippered yacht charter you will turn up at the charter base, introduce yourself to the crew or boat owner and on finalising your bill for the holiday, off you go.
On a bareboat yacht charter you will need to present your sailing qualifications to the boat owner or charter company and after paying any remaining fees/damage deposits, you will inspect the boat and off you go!
The seas are well-charted and as long as you have ICC/ASA 104 Bareboat certification (or equivalent) you will be good to go.
Getting to Martinique
There are no direct flights from Europe to Martinique. You will normally change planes on the US mainland or Canada and fly in to the island from there. There are Caribbean regional airlines that you can use to get from elsewhere in the region too. From the airport you can take a taxi to the charter base.
Best Areas To Charter
On a shorter sailing holiday you may sail between Martinique and Saint Lucia - on a longer one you can explore the French Caribbean or Grenadines. Let's look at the two charter areas from north to south.
The main islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe are with Martinique the major islands of the French Caribbean. No more than half a day's line of sight sailing from one to the next, generally on a comfortable reach, you will be able to get a taste for how French culture has melded with Caribbean and slave cultures including the cuisine, rums and way of life. White sand beaches and coral reefs are an unforgettable part of it too.
Saint Lucia just to the south is within the reach of a seven day Martinique yacht charter. Resorts like Marigot Bay are world-class, while no visitor should ignore the Pitons rock formations that make the island so famous. Many suggest sailing past St Vincent itself and onto world famous Grenadine islands Bequia and Mustique to the south that are escapes for the uber cool and super rich. Mayreau to the south of these is so small you can explore it on foot!
Best Towns to Charter a Yacht in Martinique
Though Fort de France has a marina, the main charter base is in Le Marin on the SW of the island.
Fort de France
The capital of the island and a place you will certainly visit on a Martinique sailing trip, Fort de France has a marinaand is a charter base for many yachts.
In a cove on the SW of the island Marina Le Marin is the main boat charter base for charter companies on Martinique.
Types Of Yachts To Hire
There are three broad types of charter - bareboat charter, flotilla charters, and crewed yacht charter. Where it comes to the types of charter boat you can hire a motorboat charter, a monohull sailing yacht charter, catamaran charter, superyacht charter or luxury yacht charter and RIBs or day boats. Each have their benefits.
Coming in all shapes and sizes from 7 metres to 70+ metres, motor boats are as different as their uses. A seven metre RIB will be a great day boat and can be hired for as little as $110 a day for fishing trips or just blasting about the bay. The 15 metre plus size of motor yacht will have cabins and often en suite heads and cost upwards of $400 a day.
Starting at as 'little' as $10,000 a day a superyacht charter will come with skipper and crew as part of the package. On the crewed motor yacht or sailing boat you will be treated like kings and queens on your personal mini-cruise-ship that will often come with tenders and toys such as jet skis and even sailing yachts!
Luxury Yacht Charter
Coming with or without skipper and/or crew, a luxury charter yacht will cost upwards of $700 a day and will come fully fitted out with all the modern conveniences and comforts of the very best sailing craft afloat. Expect en suite heads and comfortable staterooms but also a lot of fun under sail!
Starting at $450 a day, catamarans are luxury yachts that offer lots of space, a fair lick of speed on a reach and a shallow draft for mooring close into shore. They have twin engines in the hulls so while large they are incredibly manoeuvrable when in marinas and so forth.
Monohull Sailing Boat
Ranging in size from 10 metres up to 20 or so, monohull sailing yachts form the backbone of the Martinique yacht charter industry. Very good to windward, you will find yourself chewing up the miles at all points of sail without relying on the engines. Costing as little as $120 a day you will enjoy comfort and fun for a good budget price.
Crewed Yacht charter or Bareboat?
Where it comes to a Martinique yacht charter you have two choices - bareboat or crewed yacht charter. Both have their own advantages.
No sailing qualifications or not confident enough to bareboat charter yourself? That's no problem when it comes to yacht chartering - you can take on a skipper and crew for the week or two touring Windward Island waters! With a crewed yacht charter you have someone aboard who knows the ropes and the best places to visit on your sailing holiday. They will know the best spots for what you want, be it hideaway restaurants or the best hiking and diving to be found! Costing as little as $100 a day (depending on the size and type of vessel) you will get the very best from your yacht charter holiday with one aboard. Don't forget the tip at the end of the week!
Bareboat yacht charter
A competent sailor? Have the qualifications required? Dreaming all year of casting off and exploring the Caribbeanislands with just you and your friends? A bareboat charter is just the thing for you. This is cheaper than a skippered yacht charter but you also get the privacy of being in your chosen group without a stranger in your midst. You get to choose your own adventure and go at your own pace - not a bad thing for a holiday to recharge your batteries ahead of rejoining the rat race...
Do you need a licence to charter in Martinique?
If you want to bareboat charter you will need an approved boating qualification, below is a list of relevant qualifications:
International Certificate of Competence (ICC): Standard European Qualification for bareboat sailing
ASA 104 Bareboat certificate: The American Sailing Association's skipper standard qualification for hiring bareboat yachts.
RYA: The Royal Yachting Association's qualifications (minimum Day Skipper level) is necessary for bareboat hire, it's also worthwhile seeing do you need to have done a VHF radio course as well as some boat owner and charter companies will require this.
There are also many other European national boating qualifications that are accepted here too, it's worthwhile checking these details before hiring.
If you want a skippered boat rental as a charter yacht then you don't need any sailing certification at all, you just turn up and off you go.
Best Times To Hire
The best time to enjoy a charter vacation in the Windward Islands is often a question of taste and time. Throughout the year the temperatures never really dip below the 20 degree C range and can get as high as 32 degrees in high summer. The rainy season coincides with the hurricane season between June and November.
That allows you to make a choice - do you like crowds and 'the buzz' or do you want an escape? To escape, do a Martinique yacht charter during school term. For the buzz, visit around Christmas or Easter.
The sailing season runs from December to June with the hurricane season hitting in June and ending in November. Winds are dominated by the NE Trade Winds and can sit at up to 20 knots, firm and steady all day.
Hurricanes have recently given the region a big kicking and are not to be underestimated. Generally speaking it is impossible to hire a yacht during this time.
How much does it cost for a Martinique Charter
There's almost a yacht for every budget when it comes to chartering. For US $120 a day - $840 a week - you can take a sailboat monohull out with five other adults. That is going to be cheaper than a week in a hotel for everyone.
Catamarans cost a lot more - expect to pay anything from $500 to $2,000 a day depending on the season.
Motor boats taken on a bareboat basis can cost as little as $500 a day if they have sleeping acommodation - much less if they are day boats.
RIBs can cost as little as €50 for an afternoon.
In each of the examples above you can take on a skipper starting at $150 a day depending on what the vessel is and their required qualifications to sail it.
Superyachts and luxury yachts are a different league - expect to pay $15,000 a day and up to $100,000 a day if your budget can manage it.
Explore Martinique By Renting A Yacht
Whether island hopping north to Guadeloupe and Dominica or south to the nearby island of Saint Lucia and the Grenadines beyond, or just hanging around this beautiful island itself, a Martinique yacht charter will be an unforgettable sailing trip. Rent a boat with Borrow a Boat today!
Is Yacht hire in Martinique Legal?
Martinique's yacht charter industry is an integral part of its tourism sector and perfectly legal.
What kind of Yachts can I hire in Martinique?
You can hire everything from a small motor boat to a large superyacht. Monohull sailing yachts are common, though catamarans are more comfortable and spacious metre for metre.
What should I consider when hiring a Yacht?
Your budget for the sailing holiday should come first. Travelling - both getting there and what destinations to explore. What do you enjoy on a yacht charter? Work out your itinerary from there. Who are you taking with you and what are your limitations as a sailor?
What are the best times to hire a Yacht in Martinique?
The sailing season runs from November to May, with the best time for a sailing yacht charter outside of school holidays thanks to the crowds.
Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Martinique?
There are two deposits to consider. Firstly you will normally have to pay a 50% deposit on booking. This secures your trip. On arrival you will have to pay a refundable security deposit for the trip on your credit card though you can get yacht charter insurance - though non-refundable this can be cheaper.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to/are on a mooring you will be able to phone a number given by the yacht charter company.
What should I think of before I hire a Yacht in Martinique?
Do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter you want to book? Where do you want to go? Though it will be warm, bring something for the rain thanks to the lush rainforest on the island. Do you just want to sail close to Martinique or do you want to sail further afield to places like Mustique and Bequia? That may take a bit longer so allow for a longer sailing trip.
Do I need a visa to visit Martinique?
Citizens of the US, UK, Canada, EU and EEA countries can normally stay on Martinique for up to three months with no visa. If you are from outside these countries, check with the French Consulate.