Bareboating in the British Virgin Islands

Bareboating in the British Virgin Islands

By Greg Allen

From the moment I shut off the diesel on our chartered 39 Beneteau Oceanis and watched the sails fill with the fresh Caribbean trade wind, I was hooked. Taking the helm as captain of a bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands was a dream come true.

My wife, Mary, and I had this trip on our to-do list for about 10 years when we finally teamed up with another couple (good friends of ours) to make the dream a reality. After months of careful planning, we sailed out of Road Town, Tortola, in the BVIs via Sunsail charters for a seven-day adventure in paradise.

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Boaters sail on historic SS Badger

Boaters sail on historic SS Badger

By Jana Smith

One summer, my dive buddy and I took a trip across Lake Michigan on the SS Badger, the last and only coal-fired steamer in North America.

We took this trip for several reasons: to avoid driving through Chicago, which is especially difficult towing a trailered boat; for fun because I’ve never been on a cruise before; and because it might be our last chance to ride aboard a coal-fired Great Lakes steamer.

The night before, we went down to the pier to watch the ship come in. That’s really the only way to get pictures of the whole ship.

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Boaters explore dog-friendly marinas

Boaters explore dog-friendly marinas

By Larry MacDonald & Fern Magnus-Brown

We don’t recommend sailing solo through the Broughtons. The numerous tidal currents, half-submerged logs, kelp beds and isolated rocks in this island-studded British Columbia wilderness require extra eyes. However, the area’s beautiful, rugged coastlines back-dropped with verdant snow-capped mountains beg to be shared with companions.

During our five-week sail, Solo, Fern’s Giant Schnauzer, gave us many opportunities to go ashore. We often had trouble finding suitable access and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance which marinas and anchorages are dog-friendly?” We decided to take notes so other boaters would know where their dogs could romp down a trail or check out an easily accessible beach.

We categorized marinas and anchorages as either “dog-friendly” or “not dog-friendly.” A dog-friendly marina required nearby shore access as well as a substantial beach, walking trail or logging road for dogs to stretch their legs. Most of the locations we rated are in the Broughtons, the area north of Desolation Sound between Vancouver Island and the mainland, but a few are on the fringes.

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Two boaters cruise West Virginia

Two boaters cruise West Virginia

By Linda Mangelsdorf

While looking at a map of Corps-maintained waterways in an Army Corps of Engineers office, Fred Mangelsdorf discovered a short black line representing the Monongahela River, running south from Pittsburgh into West Virginia. The year was 1994. “Someday, I’m going to go to West Virginia by boat,” he said. Someday arrived in 2012.
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From charter sailors to boat owners

From charter sailors to boat owners

By Larry MacDonald

My wife, Sandy, and I are both avid sailors, though for many years we didn’t actually own a boat. To get our sailing fix, we chartered yachts in a variety of destinations.

Typically, we followed routes suggested by the charter company, always returning to the home marina within a week or two. Quite often, especially on the last day, our course would be directly into the wind, requiring beating, motoring or both.

“Wouldn’t it be nice,” I had often suggested, “to have our very own boat so we could have the freedom to just sail with the wind?”

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Life's a Reach--a one way charter to Grenada

One-way charter to Grenada

By Steven Brickley

My wife, Shari, and I met at the Sarasota Christmas boat parade and spent our courtship sailing up and down the coast of Southwest Florida. When we married, we bought a house on the Manatee River at the south end of Tampa Bay. The house wasn’t on sailboat water, so we traded the sailboat for a Sundancer and joined the local cruising club. Having never lost our love of sailing, we decided to give chartering a try.

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