Charter Review: Annapolis Bay Charters - Beneteau Oceanis 45 - Carpe Deim
Dates Reviewed: April 15 -19 2013
Charter Location: Annapolis, Maryland, USA
Yacht Chartered: 2013 Beneteau Oceanis 45
Locations: Annapolis Maryland (Worldwide locations though Dream Yacht Charters)
Charter Advisors Recommendation
Keep It Simple Stupid... Simply Luxurious!
If you find yourself, like me, having only chartered a catamaran, you might be a bit anxious about a pending monohull charter. Though I was going to have the help of a professional charter captain during this review, compared to the comfort and relative ease I found aboard a 60' catamaran, I imagined monohull sailing to be an unavoidably intensive and sporting endeavor. After all, even with a non-functioning autopilot, my first impression under sail aboard a 60 ft. catamaran on the smooth waters of the BVI was, "Is it really this easy?" (See VOAYAGE 600 charter review)
Nonetheless, excitement was the emotion that took hold as I set out for my first monohull sailing charter. I couldn't wait to find myself heeled over rushing from stern to bow as we tack and jibe, feeling for speed and cruising on adrenaline. It turns out there was both truth and fantasy to this assumption. At this point I should probably point out that this is my first assignment. Not my first review, my first solo review. Capt. Kev made me write a piece explaining my newness in Captain's Corner this month. You might want to read that first. Just saying. Anyway, back to the review!
Neglecting to mention onboard comfort would be a disservice to Annapolis Bay Charters, Beneteau, and you the reader. The reality is the new 2013 Beneteau Oceanis 45 is not a 20ft JBoat or Beach cat, built for recreation. The Oceanis 45 is a luxury cruiser, with space for 8, and amenities and fun for all. But her performance capability is not to be ignored. The first day out on the water, Capt. Bob (my Captain for this trip) and I headed into a moderately strong breeze and saw over 10 knots on the speedo. Yet, the yacht felt just as comfortable at this speed as she did cruising at 4.5 knots.
The joy of this particular cruiser is that she can offer an up-tempo experience and a shot of adrenaline, but she has the versatility to provide a comfortable, sustainable cruising experience with your family and friends. Unless of course, you left your family and friends behind, Mr. Bond... Which is to say the Oceanis 45 is equally suitable for seducing exotic she-spies, enjoying a family vacation, a bachelor or bachelorette's weekend, or a summer at sea.
In short, my preconceived notions about the differences between catamarans and monohulls were in many ways wrong. One needs only to watch a single America's Cup race to realize that the greatest sportsmen in the game are sailing catamarans these days. Your ability pick up a breeze, gain speed, and get comfy under sail transcends the hull count under your feet. No matter what you're aboard, no boat type trumps solid design, rigging, sails, and forethought. My charter Beneteau from Annapolis Bay Charters was a study in just this.
Charter Company Overview
With over 30 years of experience, Annapolis Bay Charters (ABC), a member of the Dream Yacht Group, offers bareboats and captained sailing charters throughout the Chesapeake Bay. ABC operates out of the Port Annapolis Marina.
The ABC fleet is comprised of monohulls ranging from 33' (10m) to 50' (15m) and a growing selection of 41' (12.5m) to 45' (14m) catamarans. Their monohull selection is anchored around a number of Beneteau, Jeanneau, and Hunter yachts. ABC's catamaran fleet is fairly diverse, including yachts by Fountain Pajot, Lagoon, and Leopard.
Annapolis Bay Charters is led by Scott Farquharson. Scott serves as the base manager for ABC as well as the North American Director for Dream Yacht Charters. Charter Advisors has worked with Scott on multiple occasions and each time he demonstrates his knowledge, helpfulness, and accommodating ways. Scott was, in fact, instrumental in convincing Charter Advisors to venture away from the comfortable waters of the BVIs and conduct its first review in the waters of the Continental U.S.
Annapolis Bay Charters (ABC) has been in business for roughly thirty years. In 2011 ABC merged with Dream Yacht Charters. We couldn't praise this marriage enough. The ABC team has an extensive reputation throughout the northeast, where they are known for the quality of both their vessels and service. In fact, it is precisely this reputation that earned the base the right to retain the Annapolis Bay Charters mantel after the merging with the global Dream Yacht Network. It is a testament to the integrity of the consistency of Annapolis Bay Charter's service that many Marylanders, less familiar with Dream Yacht Charters, have not realized that the merger has taken place.
Of course this breeze blows both ways. The merger brought with it a bevy of benefits to Annapolis. Dream Yacht Charters has peppered the base with resources previously unavailable. In addition to the base's intimate knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay area, the Dream Network offers the ability to help clients charter anywhere in the world.
What may be even more exciting for ABC's charters is the additional inventory available thanks to this merger. A number of vessels within the Dream Network travel from the Caribbean and Virgin Islands during their off season to play in the warm waters of the Chesapeake Bay during the spring and summer. The most notable of these seasonal additions is the influx of catamarans Dream has brought to the east cost of the U.S., which has traditionally been dominated by monohulls. Ultimately the Dream partnership has brought with it additional opportunities for charters; whether that opportunity is to try a new boat or location, or for those seeking the comfort and stability of a catamaran and the opportunity to explore the Chesapeake Bay.
What They Say About Themselves
The Chesapeake Bay is known for its outstanding sailboat cruising. Protected waters, great anchorages, gorgeous natural scenery, unique towns and villages, and a forgiving bottom make the Chesapeake an excellent choice for sailors, novice and expert alike. Historic Annapolis, the crown jewel of the Mid-Atlantic, is the best sailing destination on the East Coast, and is the perfect place for you to begin your exploration of the Chesapeake Bay.
At Annapolis Bay Charters, we combine an impressive fleet of well-maintained sailboats and powerboats, a service-oriented staff with over thirty years experience, and a yacht charter location that makes it easy to visit some of the Chesapeake Bay's hidden gems. Our friendly staff will help you select just the right boat for your next cruising vacation. To make your voyage as enjoyable as possible, we offer many extras such as itinerary planning, sailing instruction with our new NauticEd Sailing School, provisioning, captain and crew services, and even airport pick up.
We can get you on board a fast, fun wooden schooner, an elegant motor yacht, or an exciting fishing boat. These charter boats make great venues for corporate outings, family reunions, weddings, famous Maryland crab feasts, and many other special events.
Dream Yacht Charters operates 450 Yachts in 29 locations worldwide from the Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, The Pacific, The Indian Ocean and Asia. We specialize in Bareboat Yacht Charters, Fully Crewed Luxury Charters and By The Cabin Vacations. Each charter is unique and the demands of each charter party are varied. This is a world we know and understand from many years of experience and our expertise and personalized attention to detail will guarantee you a unique sailing vacation. Whether your desire is to charter a bareboat, skippered yacht or a luxury fully crewed vessel Dream Yacht Charter will ensure that you experience the ultimate yachting holiday.
The 2013 Beneteau Oceanis 45 is understandably the headliner of Annapolis Bay Charter's premium "Admirals Club" monohull line. The yacht is the newest in the fleet and won Sail Magazine's 2012 European Sailboat of the Year Award in the Family Cruiser category for good reason. Charter sailors may find themselves debating between this yacht and one of ABC's two equally priced Jeanneau 50 foot yachts. No matter which yacht you ultimately end up going with, the goodness of a brand new 2013 with all its polish and technology make the new Oceanis 45 Carpe Diem an easy choice.
At its heart, Carpe Diem is a cruising yacht designed for comfort and luxury. For the monohull enthusiast and those looking for a comfort with a few degrees of heel the Oceanis 45 is an outstanding option. It offers a welcome blend of convenience, comfort, and performance. On the water I found this yacht amenable to the entire spectrum of the yachting experience: relaxation, exhilaration, luxury, and most importantly, fun. With Carpe Diem as your charter yacht you can have an adventure as varied as the wind and whims of your crews dictate.
Recommended or Chosen Charter Yacht
I have to admit, I was excited to try out a big cruising monohull for the first time. It certainly didn't hurt that the yacht would be the newest in the fleet, equipped with every bell and whistle: from icemakers to multifunctional navitronics, to multimedia auxiliary hookups, and even a hydraulic swim platform. What can I say? When given a chance to test the best, I say yes!
For those accustomed to provisioning in the islands, you will find the experience stateside to be completely painless.
Though I did book a sleep aboard night into my charter, a nightmare travel experience with American Airlines put me in Annapolis six hours behind schedule. While traditionally this night would have been an excellent opportunity to sort out provisioning, I simply took a quick self guided, late night tour of the boat and crashed for the evening.
When my captain arrived politely ahead of schedule the next morning, he offered to give me a lift to the local market. We hopped in his truck and took a five-minute drive from Port Annapolis to the local "Giant" grocery. The entire ordeal was as simple as that. The supermarket is clean and well stocked. They even had a nifty check out as you go self-checking system that I plan on trying next time.
I probably should mention something here. If you do choose to have a charter captain aboard, you shouldn't rely on them to provide your transportation. As I was traveling alone, Captain (Bob) was happy to give me a lift but the favor was above and beyond his normal duty. If people judge you by the friends you keep, I think it's safe to judge a charter company by the captains they keep.
Depending on your local laws, you may not expect to find dry grocery stores. In Annapolis, supermarkets do not sell beer, wine, or liquor. Fortunately a clean and tidy liquor store is located within the same shopping center as the Giant. I was in and out of both stores in the span of thirty minutes.
I'm not much of a chef, but it is important to stock plenty of snacks and beverages (especially water) for the trip. As we say at Charter Advisors "Plans are nothing more than good intentions." Whether it's planned or not, you'll likely find yourself eating the occasional meal while still underway. It's good to have easy-to-make items for meals and plenty of snacks!
If you are new to yachts, and plan to do much cooking, you need to be aware that space and stowage aboard is limited. The refrigerator is roughly the size of a deepened mini-fridge. This provides adequate space for a few meats, dairy, and other perishables, but this is not your home refrigerator and charter sailors should plan accordingly. Luckily Carpe Diem is equipped with a freezer that is capable of storing additional meats and supplies. (Roughly 20 gallons.)
Depending on the size of your crew, eating onboard often may necessitate a restocking stop somewhere along the way should your journey last three days or longer. This of course is an easy thing to do on the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the mini-fridge and freezer, Carpe Diem is equipped with two dedicated cabinets for dry goods and a built in on-deck cooler.
As is often the experience of Charter Advisors and our readers, the biggest frustration of the entire charter was dealing with the airline.
I was scheduled to leave Dallas / Fort Worth at 11:20am to arrive at BWI at 3:10pm. I finally boarded my flight at 7:10pm. American Airlines experienced a nationwide system failure that left reservations, itinerary, baggage tracking, flights, ticketing and just about every other component of air travel offline.
The tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon on April 15th, 2013, the day before my flight, left the country shaken, grieving, and with a renewed sense of alert. A system wide shutdown of American Airlines one day later brought with it its own level of frustration and concern.
During my first day of charter, while under sail, I finally had a chance to relax. In this environment of peace and communion with nature, I had a moment to reflect on the events of the week. I was so excited to get my trip underway, that the ordeal at the airport was enough to inspire disgust and a desire to completely write off "The New American Airlines." It was easy to dismiss the millions upon millions of dollars the airline spent rebranding as a complete waste after the largely publicized national fiasco surely stalled any momentum the company may have built after their merger with U.S. Airways. (Surely that money could have been better spent making sure their computer system works, and remains working.)
Yet elsewhere in the country, three individuals had lost their lives and nearly two hundred more had been injured. For five hours I was stranded at an American Airlines ticketing counter, attempting to work, reading a history of the Dallas Cowboys, and sending snide texts to friends and family about American's failure. Only a day before Americans had spent just as long clueless to the well-being of friends and family. While I didn't know when I would finally get in the air to review a yacht, they didn't know if the people they loved were safe, well, and alive. With this stark perspective in mind, I quit my griping.
American was once the greatest airline in the USA, (or at least a contender for the title). Computer issues happen and the company employs thousands of employees nationwide. I don't wish them ill, I simply hope they get their you-know-what together. It's not a task I envy.
I arrived in Maryland at roughly 11:00pm... seven hours later than planned. I exited the airport, followed the signs for "taxi" and promptly found a cab ready to take me to Annapolis.
The cab ride took roughly thirty minutes from the airport to the Port Annapolis Marina where the Annapolis Bay Charters base is located. Be prepared to direct your cab driver. This is easily accomplished with cell phone GPS and included map apps these days, and doing so will reduce the likelihood of a wrong turn or missed exit.
Once you reach Bembe Road, closing in on the Port Annapolis Marina can be a bit hairy for later arrivals. Driving in the dark of night, I passed the Marina entrance twice. This is not quite as dramatic as it sounds. Bembe road is not terribly long, dead-ending into another marina. I called Chris at Annapolis Bay Charters and got quick helpful directions to the Marina. The iPhone GPS was predictably off by about a quarter mile. Chris was very pleasant, especially considering that I was calling his cell at 11:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night.
Depending on the length of your charter and comfort level driving in a foreign city, it may be logistically and economically wise to have your own set of wheels. Even traveling alone, I feel I would have been better off renting a car. You can expect to spend between $70.00 and $90.00 dollars each way for a cab from BWI to Annapolis Bay Charters depending on time of day and traffic. For $140 dollars you should be able to rent a car that will allow for trips to the grocery for provision, and a possible drive to the Navel Academy and Downtown Annapolis. Alternatively you could cruise downtown on your charter yacht and check out these attractions for the cost of a $20 (approx.) docking fee.
If you do opt to take a taxi, I cannot recommend the services of Clay H. highly enough. I hooked up with Clay when he drove me home from the Pussers in Annapolis after I spent a night checking out the downtown scene. A former Saturn Dealership Manager, Clay transitioned to his taxi service after the company shut down and drives one of the cleanest cabs I have ever traveled in. And having spent four years living in Manhattan, I've ridden in a fair amount of cabs. Clay offers what equates to Towncar service at yellow cab prices.
You can reach Clay at (301) 919-3281, where you can schedule your pick up and return from the airport.
Arrival at Base:
Having arrived at the charter base behind schedule, I was surprised how easy check-in went. The Charter Advisors staff had remained in close contact with ABC alerting them of my delayed arrival. As such the boat was left unlocked and waiting for me in the harbor, as the ABC crew had retired for the day many hours before.
When I spoke to Chris on the phone he gave careful instructions where to find the boat. Navigating through the docks with my luggage and duffle full of review gear was a bit tricky in the dark of night, but the boat was easy to find and more than welcoming.
Sleep Aboard Night:
The crew was even nice enough to leave the lights on for me. I couldn't be happier that they did. Walking up to Carpe Diem, in the dark of night at the end of a long pier, she was sight to behold. The first thing that captured my attention was the majesty of the yacht. As I've mentioned before I have only previously sailed on a catamaran. But even that big cat would have a hard time measuring up to the fine finish that Carpe Diem was outfitted with.
The full-length teak decks offered a warm greeting under the glow of the yacht's mast lights. As I boarded, I could see the light wood lined interior beckoning me from below. Through the tinted glass of the companion way entry, the light gave the wood finish a golden hue. After my day of traveling, the feeling below was as heartwarming as a crackling fire surrounded by a finely crafted hearth.
I left my luggage and gear on deck as I took a quick tour of the boat's interior. The boat was pristine, and well prepared for my arrival. All three cabins were prepped and ready. I of course chose the master cabin at bow. The large queen sized bed was covered with a plush comforter, and boasted a private head.
I snapped a few photos and brought my luggage downstairs and began to settle into my home for the next three days. I purposefully use the word home, because I could see with the boat's finish how this could provide a cozy and accommodating home for a small crew as they spent months covering a major body of water.
One of the first things I was struck with aboard the Oceanis 45 was the efficiency of their stowage compartments. Aboard the big VOYAGE 600 catamaran I had previously chartered, space was simply not an issue. There was more than enough at every turn, and as such - though well laid out in its own right - there simply was not the necessity for the ingenuity put into the Oceanis 45.
Finally I took out my laptop and headed topside. I mentioned the strong first impression the Oceanis made on me. I wanted to enjoy the view under the lights and the cool Annapolis night as I calmed down from my hectic day.
The cockpit of the Oceanis 45 is spacious. Its center console offers folding leaves that create a spacious dining table for eating or socializing. Embedded in the aft facing portion of this table is the large (14') chart plotter accessible from either of the twin helms that make up the rear of the boat.
I unfolded one of the leaves and spent about an hour checking and responding to emails and jotting down preliminary review notes. The weather was great for a light jacket, and this was an excellent way to wind down after a long day.
Day 2: Start slow, Recoup and Enjoy:
Morning Of the Charter - Charter Briefing and Check in:
I awoke early the next morning ready to officially get my charter started. I took advantage of the shower facilities at the charter complex and bought a quick breakfast at the privately owned diner across from the showers. The facility had just opened for the season and its patron made me a great BLT to start the day!
I returned to the boat and dressed for the day. I arrived at the charter base around 7:30 hoping to get a quick chat with the Annapolis Bay Charter Staff before I met with Captain Bob. As I mentioned earlier, to my pleasant surprise Capt. Bob was already waiting in the lobby when I arrived. As Chris had just stepped out to attend to the needs of one of ABC's yachts I led Bob back down to Carpe Diem.
My excitement to get out the boat only grew as I saw the impression on Bob's face as he checked her out. I got the impression that he felt he had just scored quite the gig. He and I would be sailing around the Chesapeake with no firm schedule, no plans to do much cooking, and nothing but our sense of adventure and exploration to guide us.
I headed back to the base to take care of a few matters while Bob used one of the wheel carts provided by the ABC base to move his stuff on to the yacht, where he took the aft-port side cabin, closest to what would be used as his own private head.
The ABC staff was more than friendly as we handled the light paperwork (insurance forms and such) that would prepare us for charter. I popped in to say hi to Scott the ABC base manager and President of U.S. operations for Dream Charters and great friend of the Charter Advisors publication. With that I was handed a nifty ABC koozie for my trip and was good to go paperwork wise.
The only thing that was left to do was the charter briefing with Chris. Turns out Chris was with another customer, so I headed back to the yacht.
On the boat I found that Bob had settled in nicely. When I let him know that we were good to go once we finished the charter briefing, he gave Chris a call and learning that he was still about 15 minutes from being ready, he offered to drive me up to the local grocery for provisioning. (More on this in the Provisioning Section.)
By the time we returned and loaded the boat, it was near lunchtime. Bob offered to give me a quick tour of Annapolis and the Naval Academy before we grabbed lunch. I heartily took him up.
I can't recommend touring The Annapolis Navel Academy, commonly known as simply "Annapolis," enough. Having visited West Point a number of times for water polo tournaments in college I was eager to see how the Navel Academy stacked up. West Point is stunning. It is a giant castle like fort in the middle of intermittently green and mountainous upstate New York. Annapolis holds its own in every respect. (Plus at NYU, we regularly beat West Point. I'm confident that at our best, we couldn't hold the Annapolis gym bag when it came to any water sport.)
Annapolis is also a historical fort, but it is located directly on the Chesapeake Bay. The wide grounds, beautiful gardens, and oodles of history could easily keep a tourist occupied for hours if not days. I kept the trip short, as I was of course anxious to get sailing.
Two stand outs I would be remiss not to mention are:
Bancroft Hall - This beautiful gymnasium is home to suspended air craft and boating vessels, need I say more.
The Crypt of John Paul Jones. - There is a reason why the tomb of one of the most notorious pirates who ever lived is protected by a twenty-four hour guard. Rumor has it the guard is ordered not to keep individuals out, but to keep John Paul Jones in.
I must note that you can visit Annapolis by land or sea. For a twenty dollar docking fee you are welcome to tie up at any number of restaurants just outside the Navel Academy. It's not difficult docking nor are you pulling up in a destroyer size ship at one of the Navy's most important navel bases, but that's what fish tales are for after all, aren't they.
Back at Base:
We returned from the tour around 12:00 p.m. and understandably Chris had moved on to another task after we returned to the boat and settled back in. Then we began preparing the boat for launch, removing all the bow and stern lines, but then we found out Chris was still going to be another half an hour or so away. We nearly retied the boat.
There was a brief moment in time where I was starting to get a little bit frustrated with the delays, even though I had not scheduled or requested a time for the briefings to happen. In reality, I hadn't really spent any time waiting for Chris, as we found other necessities to attend to when he was not available. However, working for a travel review publication, you get used to being taken care of very well... I may have been a bit spoiled sailing with Capt. Kev (everyone knows him!). Right about that time Capt. Bob looked to me and said "Well are you ready to go?"
I suppose he could see the confusion on my face. We had discussed our travel plans on our tour of Annapolis and decided to sail the harbor that afternoon, and return to the charter base for the night before heading out proper the following day. Bob informed me that since we would be coming right back and as long as we let Chris know, we could just head out.
This is the moment that it dawned on me what the true value of having a charter Captain was going to mean to me as a novice sailor, away from the comfort of the rest of the Charter Advisors crew for the first time. Chris hadn't been ignoring our needs, he was simply giving us the freedom to spend our day as we saw fit. I Wish I made that connection sooner!
Though different than what I am used to or expected, this was simply a different form of top tier customer service. Freedom isn't just one thing, it's everything!
Yacht Check Out Checklist:
While I was handling the charter paperwork, Bob had conducted his own yacht checkout check and informed me that we had everything we need. He showed me the list in the charter packet, pointing out where I could find everything before we removed our spring lines for the final time this day.
Yacht, Mechanical, and Safety Briefings:
As I mentioned before we didn't have a traditional briefing before we set out the first day. This became a rolling trend as we never ended up doing the briefings. I made sure to let the captain know that I would need to get a firm understanding of the ship before the review was done, but Bob had been sailing the Beneteau Oceanis line for some time and was well informed and equipped to handle any situations we might run into.
I do want to take pause and offer a quick disclaimer here. I have outlined my experience to give you our readers a sense of charter captain's capabilities, the faith the company had in my review captain, and level of customer service I experienced.
This is not to say that I recommend that you skip, expect to skip, or ask to skip out on these briefings. Charter Advisors is well established in the charter yachting world, and has a very healthy insurance policy. Anything can happen on the water, if I wasn't beyond confident in my ability to sail or motor the boat back to base in the case of some extreme situation, and positive that more than likely I would just radio or call in for help, I would not have skipped these briefings. As the Charter Advisors "Professor" likes to remind us often, "you don't learn with your ears closed."
When you hire a charter captain you are hiring him as your employee. You pay him directly. The Charter company, being friendly and helpful as they are, simply makes your life easier by helping to set you up with a recommended captain. What all of this means is if something were to go wrong, you are the one accountable. As it should be. So you want to have as much information you can.
Plus, once you charter sail you are going to get hooked. It's just fact. And someday you'll want to captain your own yacht. A captained charter combined with good mechanical and safety briefings are a great way to learn a lot in very short order.
Take note, you shouldn't expect Annapolis Bay Charters or any other charter company to let you leave the dock without doing the briefings, especially if you aren't being Captained by their personal favorite.
Leaving the Docks:
Two words: Yacht Thruster! Carpe Diem was docked in a slip, in a well occupied marina, that required the boat to make two 90 degree turns before entering the channel. Anyone who has had to park a boat before knows that barring misfortune, it is the most challenging part of the entire process.
The yacht thruster is a small motor situated at the bow of the boat that allows you to swing the front end of the boat port or starboard as necessary. This motor is controlled by a joystick at the port helm. I actually really would have liked to spend some time exploring this functionality on my own, but I listened to my number one rule: if you can't afford to fix it, don't take a chance on breaking it.
In a dock or more spacious marina I might have tried it out, but like some Caribbean Dorothy, I had to keep telling myself, we're not in the BVIs any more! I left the fine maneuvering to my skilled captain, and stored my curiosity and over confidence below.
With a few deft maneuvers we were in the channel in no time.
Day 2 (Part) 2: So this is the sailing I always imagined (Across The Bay)
As we left the harbor, Captain Bob and I took a motored tour of the Annapolis coastline. I strongly recommend this to all. While I was eager to get sailing, the opportunity to see downtown Annapolis, The Naval Academy, as well as the lovely homes, bridges and boats along the channel are a must!
After the tour of the coast, Captain Bob and I headed out into the Chesapeake to finally raise the sails and shred some saltwater. The trip into the harbor was a nice slow motor through clear skies. Along the way I enjoyed a wonderful views of the Chesapeake Bridge and learned more of the local lore. I also picked up more than a few navigation tips. For instance you can phone into any of the yellow bowies out on bay to get current weather and water conditions. Another helpful tip I gleamed from Captain Bob was that you can use Crab Floats as navigation in the summer, which is to say that they don't drop crab floats in more than 12ft of water, so be careful if you find yourself traveling through them.
As we entered the bay, I found myself staring into what might as well be a sailing arena. As our charter review took place so early in the season we had the bay, which would be littered with other sailing yachts, more or less to ourselves. I say more or less because there were five giant coal tankers on the harbor, each the size of a small village. These tankers however provided little more than industrial scenery and a current report. The anchored tankers would sway around their moors until they fell in line with the current.
We spent the afternoon growing accustomed to Carpe Diem. We tested her speed and maneuverability, and were thoroughly impressed by both. Both in and against the wind the Oceanis handled like a charm. On deck the ride was smooth enough to be enjoyed and reactive enough to let you feel the exhilaration of her speed as we pushed 14 knots.
After our initial test, we slowed the boat down hovering between eight and ten knots as Captain Bob was kind enough to focus on imparting sailing instruction and wisdom as I continued to "learn the ropes" in earnest.
We returned to the harbor around 5:30pm, well in time to tie up before sunset. Captain Bob offered to drive me into town to grab dinner before heading home for the evening. Bob would have been happy to have stayed the night aboard as captains do on charter, however after the airport fiasco the day before I was eager to have a calm night's sleep before heading out again in the morning.
After another tour of some of the local sailing bars and restaurants scattered throughout Annapolis, Captain Bob dropped me off downtown. Wednesday night is the big night for the local regattas in Annapolis and afterwards those involved head over to Boatyard Bar and Grill to watch the replay of the night's races. It's also worth noting that Sail Magazine has named Boatyard Bar and Grill one of the "Top 12 Sailing Bars in the World."
As much as I would have loved to check it out, the spring regattas had not yet begun for the season, and therefore catching a cab home from dinner and the bar would not have been quite as easy as it would be downtown. So off to downtown we went!
I had dinner at the downtown all you can eat buffet, Buddy's Crab and Ribs. It was my first real night in the northeast and I couldn't resist the crab leg buffet. I found out quickly that I couldn't eat nearly as much as I could in high school. Also I'm a sucker for raw oysters, but somehow the thought of knocking back a dozen or so of all you can eat oysters and then spending two days on a yacht seemed like a dangerous affair, so I kept it pretty tame.
After dinner I was thrilled to find that downtown Annapolis was home to a Pussers restaurant. If you've read a Charter Advisors review before, chances are you are familiar with the name. Both the rum and the restaurant are crew favorites. I enjoyed a few painkillers before cabbing it back to the harbor for a sound night's sleep.
Day 3: Going the distance: (Annapolis to St. Michaels to West River)
I woke early the next morning and enjoyed a shower at the yacht base facilities. This can be a great way to not only save on fuel chargers be limiting the need to run the water maker, which of course runs on fuel. The showers are also located right across from the local deli and they make one heck of an egg sandwich.
By the time I returned, Captain Bob was already on deck. We were cast off and cutting across the bay in under an hour. We set off in optimal wind conditions and made decent headway on our path to St. Michaels before hitting a small rain shower in route to the town of St. Michael. This was welcome however in that it provided a great opportunity to test out the Columbia Omni Heat Parka.
The previous day we had decided to make a day trip out to the quaint town of St. Michael. This lovely little town provides an awesome opportunity to enjoy scenic views, American history, and some seriously to-die-for New England Seafood. Arriving in St. Michaels we pulled up in the St. Michaels Inn and Marina. This is not to be confused with St. Michaels Marina. The subtle difference is that St Michaels Marina is attached to the larger hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed the staff and dock at the St. Michaels Inn and Marina. The docking was simple and easy.
The town of St. Michaels is famous for the fact that it was bombarded by the British in the 1812. Luckily the town survived, local lore attributes their survival to the towns wit. The story is that the folks of St. Michael took every lantern in the town and hung them in the trees of the woods miles away. When the British began their bombardment, the fired upon an unoccupied group of trees. Whether this is true or not, we are exceedingly happy that St. Michaels still stands today.
There is no denying that the town has history. Wandering through the downtown streets of St. Michael you will pass houses that are nearly as old as the country herself. The town is also home to an impressive Maritime Museum, which is comprised of five separate buildings.
By the time we had finished exploring the town and taking in its historical luster, Captain Bob and I had worked up quite an appetite. St. Michaels is a town of great restaurants. In truth the local establishments don't have much of a choice. The town is small and quaint enough that, serving anything but amazing food, especially exceptional seafood would get an establishment run out of town. With so many choices I was certainly glad to have Captain Bob along for the ride. He informed me that the choice was clear. We had to go to the Crab Claw.
The Crab Claw is a two story seafood restaurant that over looks the harbor leading into St. Michaels. You can dine inside or on the patio which boasts an incredible view. Ever since watching the HBO series The Wire sometime in college I have harbored a strong desire to throw down on a table of fresh New England Blue Crabs. That's exactly what we did. While April is slightly early for the season, there are still plenty of crabs to be had. Now, dismantling and enjoying Blue Crab requires a bit of work. I was lucky to have an instructor in Bob, who was able to show me how to crack, clean and enjoy the crabs. By the time that I tore into my third crab, I was pulling out thick succulent chunks of the crabs lump "Back Meat." Have no fear, if you don't have a Capitan Bob along for you journey the friendly staff will be happy to walk you through the process. Apparently it is a request they get often, as their placemats are actually printed with instruction mantels for disassembling these tasty crustaceans.
Noteworthy While Underway
New England Beauty
As anyone familiar with the Oceanis Line is sure to expect, Carpe Diem is a thing of beauty. Her warm, wooden interior finishings and compact design concert to form sleek, yet homey living quarters. Original art work, steel appliances, and advanced electronic entertainment options confirm the sheen of luxury one expects from Beneteau's high end line.
As posh as she is below decks, Carpe Diem's true beauty unfolds on the water as the wind fills her sails. Stern to teak bow decking and white leather seating sets the yacht above lesser models. Combined with her streamlined riggings, these aesthetics blend the timeless beauty of a world-class sailing yacht with the clarity and simplicity of the modern "function as design" philosophy.
I've written a good deal about Captain Bob thus far, but I want to take a moment to elaborate on the experience of traveling with a captain in general. As with any endeavor on the water, your number one concern must be the safety of yourself and your crew. If you have doubts about your ability to captain a vessel then you need to strongly consider hiring a captain for your charter.
The typical sailing yacht charter lasts five, seven, or 10 days, more than enough time to cover considerable distance. Weather and sea conditions can change drastically and unexpectedly. If you know that you would like to take the boat out on your own, but are not one hundred percent comfortable shoving off with your crew on your own, we recommend taking a captain out on your first day on the water. In this case, the captain can show you the ins and outs of your yacht and help you get comfortable at the helm. My second piece of advice would be to stay close to your base and travel known channels.
Ultimately, I found the experience of traveling with a captain to be quite rewarding. While one might assume the captain's presence restricts your freedom, the reality is quite the opposite. You may not have the same level of privacy, but freedom comes in bulk.
I was alone on this charter review. Without a captain I would have had to spend the entirety of my time out on the water in a state of full alertness (if not actually at the helm). Traveling with a captain gave me the ability to relax and do as I pleased. Traveling with friends or family, a captain offers the ability to visit, relax, sail, and travel without a member of your traveling party being devoted to the responsibilities of the boat.
On a more personal note, I was lucky enough to get paired with a great captain. Capt. Bob routinely went above and beyond, even when we weren't on the boat. He took me to the local grocery, he gave a personally guided driving tour of Annapolis, and a walking tour of downtown Annapolis and The Navel Academy. Back on the water Capt. Bob even offered sailing instruction. Capt. Bob was helpful, personable, and a true gem to have on the trip. His local knowledge, and "just-shy-of-salty dog" demeanor would have been sorely missed going it alone.
I learned a good deal from Bob on the trip. A few of my favorite examples are that the war of 1812 actually lasted through 1814 and that he would "never take enough baths" to feel comfortable living on the exclusive Gibson Island. However, the best way I can describe the experience is that sailing with a professional captain is like bringing an Eskimo to a snowball fight. It is said that Eskimos have at least seven words for "Snow". Bob has about seven phrases to describe any temperament or quality of wind. In fact I learned all about things that blow away in an Annapolis wind storm, I.E. Squirrels off trees, dogs of chains, and uh, hum... yeah that was it.
There was no need for moorning on this trip and we had such a good time sailing we didn't even bother to drop anchor for lunch. We slept with the Oceanis saddled up to a dock each night and enjoyed comfortable sleeping condition even in strong wind and choppy waters thanks to the break water a well laid set of spring lines.
Comfort and Cruising Amenities:
While the Oceanis can be a speedy boat, she was built for cruising and comfort. Designed with the comfort of her crew in mind the boat is joy out on the water. While the Charter Advisors crew likes to frequently remind me that I am ruined, having had my perceptions skewed by taking out the 60' ft Voyage catamaran "Off The Grid" on my first solo charter review, Carpe Diem managed to impress.
The yacht's cabins are spacious and provide ample storage space, lush amenities, and top notch entertainment systems.
To enter Carpe Diem's cabin, one descends the steps of the companionway. As it is the boat's hearth, I would be remiss not to take a moment to comment on the companionway itself. Equally as stylish as the rest of the yacht, the companion way is finished in the same deep wooden tones as the rest of the cabin. The short stairs and steep incline utilized prevent the path from area from taking up too much space. Tinted glass is used for the sliding overhead hatch and dual swinging companionway doors make finding a place to stow the board a thing of the past. This setup brings natural light into the cabin during the day and the ability to lock the yacht down snuggly and easily at night or when you're away.
The saloon is made up of three main areas, the galley, the nav station, and dining area.
As you enter the cabin via the companion way you will find yourself stepping into the galley. Located in the the stern end of the saloon, the galley offers just enough space to cook and prepare meals, without overrunning the yacht's the saloon space.
The galley is both well equipped and well laid out. The designers and planners did a great job fitting a refrigerator (mini-fridge sized) and a freezer (ample for storing frozen meats on a longer trip) seamlessly in to the small bar. This bar effectively expands the entertaining area of the Saloon as it eliminates any barriers between anyone cooking or hanging out in the kitchen and others in the entertainment area of the saloon.
Cabinetry lines the galley providing a considerable amount of stowage for a yacht this size. A pantry located starboard, opposite of the galley, provides additional space for non-refrigerated items such as bread and snacks.
Dining and Nav Area:
The dining area and Nav Station flow seamlessly together, sharing quarters and working in tandem to create the dining and entertainment area of the Saloon.
The dining area provides a large settee encircling a dining table. The dining table is the perfect size for six crewmembers, with two on each side of the table and one at each end. However, the large and comfortable seating area is capable comfortably seating at least eight, on it's large comfy white leather cushions. This is especially true if you have kiddos on board. In addition to efficiency, the reason for this is because the nav station located port of the dining area, doubles as an entertainment area with a flat screen television. This way you and your crew can get comfortable and enjoy a great DVD or even stream videos from an iPad or iPhone via a dock compatible adaptor.
Behind the dining area is additional row of overhead cabinetry, currently used for storing a helpful and charming selection of nautical books. The collection includes everything from fiction to a glossary of nautical terms, and my personal favorite, an illustrated collection of modern American sayings that originated from nautical terms!
Also located in this cabinetry unit is the ships stereo. This suite setup includes both and Apple "dock" adapter and a auxiliary headphone jack. The highly adjustable stereo offers the ability to pump music into the cabin, onto the deck, or both. The sound quality is clear and strong.
Carpe Diem is outfitted with two heads. The first head is located directly port of the companionway. This full service head features sink, shower, and head wthl full and partial flush capabilities.
The second head is located in the master cabin. This is the head I made use of on the charter trip, leaving the second head exclusively for Captain Bob, as it was a mere few feet from the cabin he selected for the trip.
Carpe Diem is not equipped with a dinghy therefore there is no need for davits.
Charter Advisor's review of Carpe Diem commenced on what ultimately was the first week of the season. As such the weather was a bit colder than most charters should expect to encounter. For my charter the weather hovered between the mid sixties and low seventies during the day, with temperatures dipping into the mid-to-high fifties at night.
Fortunately I spent the charter sailing in sunshine, under blue skies. Two quick and easy sun showers crossed our path, during my three days out on the water. These were quick and manageable affairs. I would barely have noticed, if the second of these showers didn't wet down the boat enough, that about an hour later I found that I wanted to swap out my soggy shorts after a long sitting at the helm.
The second night of the charter, we did get hit by a bit of a wind storm as we pulled the boat into harbor. This didn't prove to be any problem out on the water, but it did lead us to dock at the harbor over night, rather than drop anchor as we originally intended. This wasn't always the plan, but the wind kicked up so strong that we ended up staying tied to the dock all night. This was great, though our overboard fenders did get a bit more of a work out, it made for a much calmer night of sleep than the storm would have otherwise afforded.
Between the splash and solid 12 - 18 knots of wind we experienced throughout the sail the temperatures could get pretty cold on the water. Luckily, thanks to Columbia's PFG (Professional Fishing Gear) line I was very well equipped for the job.
The good people at Columbia sent the Charter Advisors crew a number of pieces from their high-tech PFG to test out on the water. The gear has been specifically and mindfully designed to help sportsmen adapt to the extremes faced on the water. You may find yourself wondering just how high tech a jacket could be, or if the tech is remotely necessary for a sailing trip. In both cases, I would respond with "VERY!" for any sailor concerned with being able to perform comfortably.
Columbia's patented "Omni-Heat" technology has been around for a number of years at this point. Many of our readers have likely seen a jacket or pull over featuring the distinctive metallic lining in person or in the store. What's amazing about Columbia's PFG line is the mindfulness which this and other details have been addressed.
Charter advisors reviewed three items for our trip:
The Men's Heat 360 II Full Zip Fleece
The Men's Gale Warning Parka
The Men's Gale Warning Fleece (Which zips into the Parka)
The Heat 360 Fleece ended up being perfect for work in the harbor or the morning I spent touring the Navel Academy. This light weight pull-on slips on easily and looks good. Notable features are the draw-string waist and fitted sleeves, that ensure heat doesn't escape through the sleeves or waist. For readers who may not be as familiar with Columbia's Omni-Heat technology, the inside of the my brown fleece, was comprised of a reflective, golden lining. Though it may not read like this is the case, but the lining is as soft and flexible as the rest of the full zip fleece. The greatest aspect of PFG's use of the Omni heat lining, is that the lining adapts to your body heat, meaning that heat is trapped in when necessary, but the material is lightweight and breathable enough that I could wear the fleece in high fifty degree weather to eliminate the chill of a biting wind in the dock, with out quickly overheating. This made for a truly versatile companion that I have continued to make use of long after the review ended.
It is worth noting that one of the reasons for the fleece's versatility is that it's full zip front, makes for a nearly immediate venting option if one's heat does rise. That however exposes the nifty golden lining. For Anglers out to grab a little extra attention, the jacket can always be reversed using it's reflective lining to wave down a rescue chopper or a night out on the town at your favorite Liberace theme party.
The Men's Gale Warning Parka & Fleece proved to be seriously valuable additions to my gear bag. Every aspect of on the water activity seems to have been taken into account in the creation of these nifty pieces. While temperatures never dropped quite low enough to justify zipping the fleece into the parka, I did make good use of each item while on charter.
In my opinion The Gale Warning Fleece is inadequately named. The full zip front jacket is much more than a fleece. The outer shell of the jacket is durable and water resistant. Between the shell and the omni-heat lining mentioned above is a light weight layer of filler that gives the jacket a light but full feeling, and is more than capable of keeping it's wearer warm without the parka which it zips into.
This is the piece of the PFG line that I made the most use of while on charter. Complete with pockets on the inside and outside of the jacket, great temperature control design (including back vents lined with the omni-heat material so as to release excess heat, without letting cold in), and light, comfortable fit. I spent most of my time on the water in my favorite pair of broken in kahki shorts, a t-shirt and this fleece.
The Gale Warning Parka did create the perfect companion for the sun showers I mentioned. While low seventy degree weather sounds like the perfect companion for a day on land, sailing the Chesepeake at 14 knots, in 18 knots of apparent wind in the in the rain (sun shower or no) can get a little chilly. The extremely well designed parka was made just for these environments. With dual layer lining in the sleeves and torso of the jacket, I stayed dry everywhere. One of the jacket's greatest features is it's sleeves. In addition to the fitted, elastic inner lining of the sleeves is tight Velcro strapping that allows the wearer to wrench the wrist shut, keeping water out. This prevents water from hitting shirt sleeves and wicking up. Wet shirt sleeves might not sound like a big deal, but when one spends and entire day in the rain and finds that a thermal under shirt has become soaked, from sleeve wicking despite never being exposed to the rain, then you might understand the real value of this detail.
The Parka also has a built in hat and visor that keep your head warm and dry in adverse conditions. There is even a nifty clear pocket on the left breast that a fisherman can store a day license, or a skier can store a lift ticket, protecting the paper and eliminating the need to frequently pull it in an out of a semi zipped jacket, which always seems to be the annoying case when I have skied in the past.
This Annapolis trip seemed to reinforce my belief that it is best to get all the crud out of a trip as early as possible. Though I had awful trouble with the flights, after I arrived on base the rest of the trip was literally smooth sailing if you will. This was in large part due to the attentive and capable captain that Annapolis Bay Charters helped arranged. I highly recommend Captain Bob to anyone sailing the Chesepeake.
There were only two small incidents worth mentioning when it comes to adversity.
The second night of the trip as Captain Bob and I pulled into the harbor on West River wind speeds kicked up very high. Captain Bob and I hopped into a great dockside restaurant where I once again took advantage of the great New England seafood offerings.
When we returned from the restaurant the wind had elevated to a level that made it unsafe to untie that tightly bound spring lines that secured us to the dock. Had we cast off we would have faced the challenge of trying to navigate our brand new Oceanis yacht through a crowded harbor, in rough seas and winds strong enough to blow us into anything that came within ten meters of us.
We elected to stay bound to the dock and cast off in the morning. This proved to be a great decision, as we slept sound and secure in the harbor.
Sailing the Oceanis was a joy and a pleasure. As I have previously mentioned, this was my first outing in a brand-new full-tilt cruising monohull and the experience left little to be desired...
For sailing enthusiasts, under sail Carpe Diem has the ability to offer a comfortable and luxurious cruise or tighten up and kick into high gear. Even with all the square footage and comfort of a catamaran, there is no feeling like heeling over and slicing your way through the ocean like a warm knife through butter.
We experienced a wide range of wind speeds and weather conditions on the trip. The yacht handled each poise and grace. From a slow luxurious cruise to a ripping speed test, traveling at approximately 14 knots in roughly 12 knots of wind, the boat was a joy through an through.
With a massive 1,068 square feet of total sail area the yacht has more than enough to pick up speed in just a few knots of wind. Carpe Diem is equipped with an in-mast furling mainsail. While purists may decry the sacrifices in speed and maneuverability this affords, the convenience factor is not to be undermined. With an infinitely reef-able in-mast furling main not only can you quickly and efficiently set and douse your mainsail, less experienced sailors will have a much easier time managing the simple button operated system, without the worry of tangling a baton in the lazy jacks.
The headsail is equally manageable, outfitted with electronic winch controls that make furling and unfurling as simple as the touch of a button.
Motoring on Carpe Diem is slick and simple. Sailing out into the Chesepeake Bay in good conditions we reached 5.8 knots cruising at 1500 rpms in no time. With a bit more juice, we hit 6.3 knots by ramping the engine up to 2000 rpms.
Putting the boat through her paces we capped the engine speed out at 8.5 knots hitting 2700 rpms. She had more to give, but Carpe Diem had more than proven herself and we were anxious to get the sails up on such a beautiful first day out on the bay. There was no way I was letting a top average wind speed (AWS) of 24 knots go to waste!
After our late lunch, we headed back to the yacht and set off across Eastern Bay for West River where we planned to drop anchor and settle in for the night. I had a late afternoon flight back to Dallas the following day, and we wanted to be able to launch the following morning and catch a solid sail back to Annapolis in time to wrap things up with Annapolis Bay Charters before setting off for the Airport. West River provided the perfect harbor to do just that.
The sail from St. Michaels to West River was perhaps the most enjoyable of the trip. The early morning rain had cleared off leaving a beautiful, cool day on the Harbor. As the weather system continued to pass through we caught 24 Knots of Apparent Wind Speed. It was only after two days out on the water that I truly began to comprehend Carpe Diem's Majesty. The sleek monohull had treated me well, keeping me comfortable and more than entertained.
There is a feeling you get as sail across a body of water with the wind in your face and a line in your had, and the water visibly beneath you as your yacht keels over. I've been on motor boats of every shape and size, and catamarans larger than the houses most of the world's population lives in, and that experience offers an immediate since of adventure and exhilaration that is hard to match. Knot for knot, it's the most fun I've ever had on the water.
By the time we arrived in West River the nice strong wind we had enjoyed on the harbor was becoming quite fierce. As we entered the crowded West River Harbor it became clear that sliding in to a crowded slip was going to be quite the feet for our crew of two. Luckily there was a large slip perpendicular to the fuel isle that we were able to grab.
After laying out a generous helping of fenders to keep the boat off of the hard dock, we set two strong spring lines to keep our boat in place, and headed into the local pub for a drink and dinner. Even after what may have well be one of the best crab dishes of my life at St. Michaels, I could pass up one last seafood dinner (I'm a sucker for the stuff). I enjoyed some great beer battered prawns and a great IPA and found myself quite exhausted after the days routine.
As we returned back to Yacht, we were disappointed to find that the wind had only grown more perturbed over the course of our dinner. Captain Bob wisely suggested we stayed where we were for the night, and deal with any fees or dock agents that had a problem with our positioning when the moment came. I happily agreed. There was no way I was going to be responsible for the first and only boating mishap or damage to come to a yacht under Charter Advisors control.
Luckily there was no objections or visits from a Dock Master. Nose deep in a great book, I fell asleep to the gentle rocking of the boat. It is worth noting that without our aptly tied spring lines, the rocking would have been severe to say the least in the night's wind conditions.
Day 4: Coming back
We woke up and pushed off early the next morning eager to enjoy the early morning boating, and get back to Annapolis Bay Charters before our schedule got tight. Given the Afternoon flight, we elected to motor back to ABC. This worked out well, as the early departure gave us a leg up on our schedule. Consequently we were able to explore a few of the costal inlets on the way back to base. We even raised sails for the last thirty minutes or so of the trip.
My first solo sailing review was coming to a close, and I was savoring the experience. When we went to lower the sails and motor into harbor, we hit our first and only sailing hiccup. A rigging issue with the headsail had finally ripened. While dropping sail, the line came loose. We lost control of the head sail and were forced to let the line out completely in order to retain control of the boat, on the way back into harbor.
The timing of the issue couldn't have been better. We drew more than few glances with our main sail dancing ahead of our boat, completely free except for it's top most riggings. Luckily as we pulled in to gas up and refill the water tanks Chris and another member of the ABS were already present and ready to help. We had called in the issue on the way into harbor.
For me, and anyone traveling with a hired captain, the issue was almost a nonfactor. The ABS crew saw to rigging the head sail as Captain Bob led the refueling and sewage pumping.
We returned to ABS with Chris and the other ABS crew member aboard. This helped the check in routine process clear through quickly and easily. I had done most of my packing the night before, so it was simply a matter of dumping garbage while Captain Bob and Chris went over the more technical aspects of the return.
I headed into the ABS base and paid my balances, said my thank you's and goodbyes and was ready to go. I returned to the boat and thanked Captain Bob for his tremendous service. I couldn't recommend him enough to any charters looking for the services of the captain. I do want to mention that Captains are paid in cash by the charters. There are legal restrictions on the charter companies supplying the captains, as well as insurance ramifications. Keep in mind that when you are on the water, Captain or Bareboat, you are ultimately responsible for the vessel. So be cautious, advise cautiously, and if you ever find yourself in the situation where you don't feel comfortable with the actions of your captain or his concern for the safety of the crew or boat, speak up. THE BUCK STOPS WITH YOU. In more ways than one.
That being said, I do want to make sure that this was never an Issue with Bob. I believe he will take as good care of your and yours as he did me.
Fuel and Water
Another point I would be remiss to leave out is that the total fuel and sewage bill ran about $188 dollars. This may seem high compared to your personal car, but then again your car doesn't drag itself through thousands of pounds of water resistance. In the Caribbean, you should expect slightly higher (at last check around $5 - $6 US a gallon), as everything has to be imported, including fuel. (Obviously fuel is imported to the U.S. but I think you get my drift... Get it, "Drift?")
The entire affair couldn't have been more painless. Captain Bob led the refueling and pumping out efforts. I stepped inside the marina shop, and enjoyed a free donut and paid the fuel and pumping bill. Not a bad set up if you ask me.
I couldn't recommend ABS, Carpe Diem, or Captain Bob enough. They say "you'll never forget your first time." I believe this will be the case with my first solo review. I had a great time and added a great deal to my sailing knowledge.
Working with Annapolis Bay Charters was a pleasure. I would expect no less as all of Charter Advisors experience with Dream Yacht Charters has been smooth and convenient. We are regularly impressed with both their yachts and service. The added component of ABS thirty years of service in the Annapolis area seemed to skin the whole process in the report of a family business. The crew was so familiar with Captain Bob, who they had deftly recommended, that the normal check out processes, which have become second nature to our crew were almost unnoticeable. I look forward to Annapolis Bay Charters extended catamaran offerings, for the sole fact that it shall give us another opportunity to work with their crew, in the good ol' USA. Say it with me: You-Ess-Say! You-Ess-Say! You-Ess-Say!.
By The Numbers
Note: Minor fees and deposits such as permits and insurance deposit, are not listed. The above totals are not to be used as exact costs as these costs change often. This budget summary is intended for planning purposes only and to give a good idea for the average costs involved. The costs listed above are as per what we were charged at the time of charter.
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