If you’re interested in low-key racing, the Bucket Regattas offer three days of regatta fun for owners and crew. Newport, RI and St. Barth’s each host an annual event during their seasons, and when owners can’t make it, they often charter to well-qualified clients. Yachts available for these regattas are typically the higher performance sailing yachts such as SOJANA, WINDROSE, and VIRAGO.
Make sure any charter yacht has a current rating certificate and insurance that covers racing charters (which will probably include special riders for sails and spars). You should also expect at least one dedicated suit of racing sails and a racing-oriented captain and crew. There will often be a surcharge above the usual charter fee, to cover the use of racing sails and additional insurance. You’ll also be responsible for all entry fees, dockage, and any other regatta expenses, just as an owner would, but these costs are usually spelled out in advance.
Chartering for a bluewater classic like the Transatlantic Race or the Bermuda Race can be a bit more complicated. “We have to organize safety inspections, haul-outs and crew safety training,” Sandy explains. Since her company is based in Newport, where both of these classic races originate, she is well-positioned to understand the challenges. And since boat owners won’t send their boats offshore in unqualified hands, often the biggest challenge is getting enough insurance to cover the charterer and crew. “Each of the crew needs a solid sailing resume, and it’s preferable if they have a history of sailing together.”
And Sandy adds one additional warning: “Keep in mind that you may also be responsible for the costs to re-position the yacht after the race.” A good thing to know before you step off the boat in a distant port.
Chartering a mothership is a great way to involve non-racing guests in an event. Motherships are like floating B&B’s, a way to house and feed sailors for an entire regatta. They also provide a moving platform for guests to follow a race to the next port at a dry and comfortable speed. “I once chartered the Nantucket Light Ship to a client as a mother ship for a New York Yacht Club cruise,” Sandy says. “That’s where the fun really begins!”
For more information or to book a regatta charter, visit Sanderson Yachting LLC.