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High-Seas Luxury: Charter Yachts

Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
maduro issue, Winter 93/94

(continued from page 2)

Of course, the beauty of yachting is that you don't have to go any of these places or do any of these things. You are entitled, for your $60,000, to retreat from society completely. If you find the perfect beach, you can stay in the bay as long as you like. You can read all day on the boat deck, take high tea at 4 P.M.. at the sun-deck bar, eat lobster with truffle butter at 8 P.M. in the dining room and closet yourself in the master suite by 10 P.M.

All the cooking and cleaning will be done for you, and the crew will refer to you as Lady and Lord Higgenbottom, if you wish. For an entire week you don't have to move the boat, or a finger for that matter.

But wouldn't it be a shame if not once during your $60,000 week at sea, the hull did not shudder, the bow did not rise and your heart did not quicken as the boat, under your command, points toward the next day's adventure. For $60,000, you have to say, just once: "Captain, make course for the Grenadines and don't spare the caviar."

Jeff Williams is a senior sportswriter for Newsday. How to Charter a Yacht

Yacht chartering is done through yacht brokers. Advertisements for brokers can be found in the back of any substantial yachting magazine such as Yachting, Power and Motoryacht and Showboats. Yachts can be chartered all over the world, with the Caribbean and Mediterranean being the hot spots. New England and the Pacific Northwest are also very desirable destinations north of the equator in the summer. Large yachts, 100 or more feet long, are the favorite of clients who want little or nothing to do with operating a yacht. Big sailboats, many more than 100 feet, are usually chartered by clients who love the feel of the sea and would like to participate in sailing the boat. Command Your Yacht

Not only do you determine your own destinations, you also determine how formal the charter will be. From your first conversation with the captain, usually a month before sailing, you set the tone. You will tell the captain, who will subsequently instruct the crew, just how you and your guests are to be addressed, from "Lord" and "Lady" to "Bob" and "Ethel." You will also discuss what sort of leisure activities you prefer or whether you would just as soon be left alone on the boat deck or a secluded beach. The crew generally meets the client at the airport and escorts the party to the boat.

The crew is there to satisfy your every whim. You can ask for Kahlùa at 3 o'clock in the morning or for a shirt to be pressed and delivered at 11 o'clock at night.

You will also talk to the chef well in advance of the voyage. Menus and seating can be very formal. You can request a wide range of wines or even a wine list if you like. If the crew provisions the cruise, expect to pay retail prices. You probably won't, but just like on cruise ships, you can choose to eat 24 hours a day. Any special dietary needs will be met. And be kind enough to inform the chef that you will be dining ashore on a day you had previously scheduled to eat aboard.

While the crew will do everything for you, it is important to learn about maintenance/safety procedures of the boat. And pay particular attention when the crew tells you how to operate a marine toilet to avoid clogging. What to Bring

Do not forget your passport. It is imperative for entering many countries, and you may be visiting many countries or different governmental authorities in a single week.

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