10 tips for spotting a charter boat
In addition to the obvious clues, such as the company name and logo printed which would typically be painted obtrusively on the sailcover or hull, and the red roller furling which I wrote about before, the following is a tongue-in-cheek look at 10 other telltales that the vessel making their way along side you is a charter boat:
- They carry no fuel or water jerry cans on deck, which I’ve already written are the mark of a “real” cruiser.
- Their engines and/or generator are running almost nonstop while at anchor, like the boat beside us right now. Just how can they afford to pay for all that fuel?
- They have a lack of wind generator / solar panels, which obviously explains number 2 above.
- They have more lights on than an airport runway, also related to number 2.
- There are 5-6 people on the bow when anchoring, all staring in the water.
- Their anchoring procedure could best be described as “unpolished.”
- There will often be 3-4 couples on board. They no doubt had to split the cost to pay for all that fuel!
- The boat’s tender will often be brightly colored, orange, red or yellow. Similar in purpose to the red roller furling perhaps?
- The tender will typically have an underpowered outboard engine. Six people being ferried around on a dinghy with a little 4 HP engine looks a little funny to us.
- There might be a brightly colored kayak on deck (or 2 or 3).
Obviously no single one of the above items guarantees that a boat is on a week-long charter instead of cruising for months at a time. In fact, we know many people who cruise with small dinghy engines, or who carry a kayak on deck (hell, we’d love to have one ourselves). I’d say that if you see 3-4 of the items on the list though then it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re looking at a charter boat. And with that said, perhaps you should then go over and introduce yourselves to them because we all know how much those people on week-long vacations like to party!
English Harbor, Antigua. No doubt there were a couple of charter boats in this crowd!