Yacht charter Grenada
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 10:00 Written by Wednesday, 25 January 2012 06:31
In 2008 we hired 2004 Bavaria 38 from Horizon Yacht Charters in Grenada for two weeks Caribbean charter exploring the islands. The following article covers both our experiences and recommendations. This is a work in progress.
Pilotage guide has to be Chis Doyles Sailors guide to the Windward islands
Yacht Check out
recommendation – take the express check out option with skipper out of Grenada
Horizon Yacht Charters offer what they call “Ease into the Grenadines” with their express checkout with one of their appointed skippers.. This particular skipper turned out to be both skipper and local taxi driver who we then used to get ourselves back to the airport at the end of the trip. It does cost $250 but not having to check out at the dock and do it underway means you can have an extra day outside of Grenada.
On our return and I guess most people’s you have to sail the day before back to Grenada (5/6 hour sail up her West coast) - most likely to Prickly Bay, just round the corner from the yacht base. So if you have headed north (and 99% would) to be able to return the vessel back mid morning you will have some time in Grenada as it is.
Another plus for taking the skipper is you find out about the yacht as your sail her not still tied up to the dock, you have an extra pair of hands for your first day and first attempt at anchoring, getting the tender going etc. Going through the on board equipment list is a chore, so you can also kill an hour of two while heading in the right direction. it’s worth noting that the sail up the west coast is probably the most arduous,, it’s the longest sail and can get a bit lumpy, so while it’s not a Biscay crossing I think its $250 well spent.
On arrival in Carriacou after anchoring we dropped the skipper off for his boat ride back home.
Provisioning in Grenada
recommendation - provision in Grenada
Provisioning is limited at the base, so I ‘d recommend a taxi to a supermarket (most likely one on the back of Grand Anse beach (where you can also get a good roti) about a 10 minute drive away – we did this as we spent a week in Grenada before the charter. We did though take advantage of the pre provisions for a case of beer, soft drinks and water which saves the back. While the starter kit is reasonable, and you could eat out pretty much everywhere the shopping is best on Grenada (though there are a couple of Western style specialist shops on the way and smaller local supermarkets).
Shopping isn’t cheap in the Caribbean but worse than that it’s a bit hit and miss, if you have a favourite you can’t live without drink it with you. Bottles of Pesto, quality pasta sauces etc are probably a good idea.
recommendation - bring luxury foods and condiments from home
Customs and Immigration
never much fun, but you have to check out in. Horizon do supply some prefilled paper work for you (crew lists etc)but you still have to go along, pay small fees and write your name and get passports stamped.
Carriacou, Hillsborough Bay (Grenada)
Fine and easy to do, there is loads of room to anchor by the jetty. To get ashore either tie up there (preferred as you are the right side of a chain fence) or you could dinghy onto the beach. We did end up going on a Sunday and had a cab ride round trying to find the customs guys, we didn’t find them (or the overtime we would have been charged) but had planned to anchor the night anyway. Customs by the harbour and the immigration was in the Police station a five minute walk down the road.
A small western deli is nearby the police station and there are a couple of medium sized (Caribbean medium) supermarkets.
Union Island (St.Vincent)
Anchoring is a bit tighter here than Carriacou but you’ll probably want to look around anyway, again there is a dingy dock with a sort of security guard. Customs/immigration is up at the airport which is a 10 minute walk, no problem just form filling and paper work. Not my favourite place. There is a small market with tourist prices and a small western deli which is worth a visit.
Prickly Bay (Grenada)
Easiest customs and immigration of the lot, right by the water and near the bar. No problem.
Chartering a Bavaria 38 from Horizon Yacht Charters
The company did give us a mobile phone, so we could call in with any problems. We got an airlock in one of water tanks so lost some pressure. Once we phoned them their engineer was able to sort that out over the phone.
The fuel tank gauge was faulty, always showed full. Bit a problem but when we took on extra water at Petit Martinique we also topped up the fuel (this is the easiest dock to do this at).
The life jackets supplied at the time were the bulky foam versions, so if your used to wearing your own jacket all the time, best to bring it along.
The Yacht (at the time) didn’t have a map function within the plotter. You are supplied with laminated charts but if you’re used to a plotter with map, best bring one or check if they have upgraded the onboard unit. I used my garmin 76map with charts and it does help. Clearly most of the Navigation is by eyeball and marks but if you’re used to it a plotter a handheld with be very handy.
All in the yacht was in good condition – the windlass worked well, the sails and rigging where in good order, a quality dingy and outboard were provided. We’d return.
you get to visit Grenada ! lovely island and great people. This isn’t always the case some charters operating from the north only allow you to stay in the waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Two weeks was plenty to do this, but if we only had a week, we’d probably rather start in St Vincent.
The Charter operation at Horizon isn’t huge in Grenada so it is more personal than some of the larger operators.
Travelling between Grenada and St. Vincent does mean you’ll have to check out with Grenadian customs and immigration, check in with St. Vincent and do the reverse on your return.
It is a reasonable sail up the West coast to head out to the islands and takes half to a full day.