Charter Review: Dream Yacht Charter - Dufour 405 Grand Large - Thoxa VII
Dates Reviewed: August 20th - 25th, 2011
Charter Location: Maya Cove, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Yacht Chartered: Dufour 405 Grand Large
Locations: Worldwide: Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Asia, Pacific, Western and Eastern Med.
Charter Advisors Recommendation
A Quick and Comfy Cruiser
Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large is one of those Monohulls that stands out in the charter yacht crowd. One of the new 405's greatest tricks is how she balances between her racy and her comfy cruiser sides. Thoxa VII, our review 405 from Dream Yacht Charter looked striking, sailed like she's wants to have a go for pink slips, with all the comfort amenities I've come to expect in a well fitted 40-foot monohull. I don't know if the Dufour 405 Grand Large is a racer cruiser or a cruiser racer. How do you measure up a sailing yacht that seems to be just as quick as she is comfy? See my problem? What I do know is that Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large is not your average charter yacht. It all added up to an easy to handle, quick, and comfy charter yacht that works as well for families as it does for chartering crews at the BVI Spring Regatta. If you love sailing, enjoy a turn of speed, and have a crew of up to 6, Thoxa VII should be right up your alley.
Charter Company Overview
Scott Farquharson of Dream Yacht Charter / Annapolis Bay Charter arranged everything for our review of their new Dufour 405 Grand Large. He got us set up with everything we needed to get to the base smoothly and introduced me to the Tortola base manager Yann via email and phone before departure. Yann took care of all the details with the yacht and was there on hand at the base when we arrived.
The Dream Yacht Charter Base is located on Tortola in Maya Cove, a very short cab ride from the airport. It's tucked out of the way just on the leeward side of "the bluffs." The docks were packed with slick Catana catamarans, roomy Lagoons, and of course, our Dufour. The 405 Grand Large is unique among Dream Yacht Charter fleet being the only one of her breed at the time of the review. Her racy plumb bow, chinned sides, wide transom, and French design elegance makes her a real head turner. I didn't need to be shown where she was tied up, I got pulled like a magnet till I stood at her stern, ready to make her acquaintance.
What They Say About Themselves
Established in 2001 Dream Yacht Charter proposes charter boat and cruises in Seychelles, Caribbean, Madagascar, Malaysia, Thailand, and in many other destinations in Mediterranean as well. The fleet is mostly comprised of catamarans ranging from 38' (12m) to 82' (25m) with also a selection of monohulls and powered catamarans.
Dream Yacht Charter is the exclusive partner for the Harmony boat range and a privileged partner for Catana. Therefore you have a unique opportunity to sail aboard an assortment of the finest seaworthy vessels available on the high seas to date, which also includes the new Ocean Class range. (Catana OC 41, 43, 47, 50 et 52).
The company was created and is still operated by Luic Bonnet who has been actively involved in the yachting industry for many years. He has been responsible for overseeing several of the largest prestigious companies within the industry. 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 of 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.
Dream Yacht Charter is a member of the Federation des Industries Nautiques, part of the International Council of the Marine Industry Federation.
Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 450 Grand Large is a lot of boat for the money. She's a comfy cruiser and a speedy sport boat all rolled into one. Not to mention her unique look makes her stand out nicely in the chartering crowd. No "me too" boat here. Monohulls in general tend to be a good deal for the chartering dollar already. Combine that with everything Thoxa VII has to give and we've got a great value and some really awesome sailing.
Video - Dufour 405 Grand Large On Deck Tour
Recommended or Chosen Charter Yacht
Being our first review of Dream Yacht Charter, it was difficult at first to decide which yacht in their fleet to review. We were looking for something unique that just about anyone could spoil themselves with. Then Scott at Dream Yacht Charter filled me in on a new yacht joining their fleet, the new Dufour 405 Grand Large. That made the decision a whole lot easier.
The new Dufour 405 Grand Large is something special. She's a sailor's yacht with amenities that keep a spouse happy. A rare breed indeed. I was even more intrigued when I took a closer look. Twin helm stations, full chart plotter at the helm, folding transom, comfy accommodations, and those sporty French good looks. All of this in an easy to handle, spacious, and dare I say affordable charter yacht made the Dufour 405 Grand Large a natural choice.
Ok, if you have read our reviews before you know our crew has this thing for trying different methods of provisioning. All in the interest of informing our readers, of course. This trip was no different. So how did the crew mix it up this time? They chose not to provision at all. Yep, that's right, no provisioning. Provisioning was replaced with improvising. The thinking was, why not see what it would be like if we cast off with an empty fridge and stock up along the way. One thing got overlooked though, our first night's sleep aboard meal. Luckily Pussers was only a 5 min. walk up the road from Maya Cove. We grabbed our sleep aboard night dinner and many bottles of water (and a few Cokes for the Captain). Our first day on the water we stopped in Sopers Hole's Marina Market to fill our pantries and fridge, grabbing fill in items and anything we ran out of at stops along the way (even if there was no "store" per say). Places like the Baths and Cooper Island Beach Club are not known for provisions, but that didn't stop us. You might be surprised by the "provisions" you can buy from a beach-shack or restaurant. Like I said, the crew was improvising as they went. All in all it worked out well. I have to admit, it was kind of nice to just say, "forget the provisions, we'll pick up something along the way."
For this review we flew into St. Thomas rather than flying direct to Tortola. After comparing prices between the two destinations, the cost to fly into St. Thomas was almost 40% less than Tortola. So St. Thomas it was.
When we landed it was pretty clear we weren't the only ones flying to the BVI via St. Thomas. A line of travelers headed for the taxi stand (including the charter advisors crew), loaded into vans that all swung into the ferry terminal for a near complete offload. Within an hour we were on a 4 p.m. ferry to Road Town getting a water-born tour of the Virgin Islands along the way.
Once in Road Town we cleared customs in about 30 min., hopped into one more taxi, and pulled into the Dream Yacht Charter base around 5:45 p.m.
Charter Advisors Note: None of our taxis or ferries were prearranged. There is no shortage of taxis and there always seems to be a ferry when we need one.
Arrival at Base
Yann the base manager met us as soon as the taxi pulled in just before 6 p.m. In keeping with Dream Yacht Charter's international flair, he greeted us appropriately with a friendly French accent and was eager to show us their newest monohull. Yann quickly ushered us to Thoxa VII our review Dufour 405 Grand Large. She sat at the far end of the docks in still water and a trade-wind breeze. After helping us load our bags into the yacht, Yann and I walked the docks discussing what we needed to know for our night aboard. In a matter of twenty minutes, we were ready to hop aboard, kick back and relax after our day of travel.
Sleep Aboard Night
Our first visit to Dream Yacht Charter and Maya Cove was shaping up well. It's an intimate spot with none of the noise or lights like you might find in Road Town Harbor. Protected by a long reef and the tall cliffs of the "Bluffs," it makes for lagoon like conditions. The docks are well lit with shore-side restroom facilities attached to the base with Pussers a short walk up the road. For a sleep aboard night, this is about all our crew needs.
Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large was well prepped for our arrival. She sparkled from stem to stern. Down below her look was almost unexpected. Rather than following the usual European design style with white cushions and light-wood, Thoxa VII has the dark wood treatment with high-end surfaces and fittings. European minimalism be damned!
We spent the first hour of our sleep aboard night stowing our gear and learning our way around Thoxa VII. We found plenty of space for three large duffels worth of clothes and gear in the Dufour's lockers and cubbies. With the bags unpacked, I turned my attention to Pussers. It was time to treat the crew! Thanks to the internet and an iPad, I pulled up the Pussers menu and took orders, then walked over to Pussers for some take out.
It doesn't get much better than dinner under the stars in the Caribbean. Unless it's had in the cockpit of the Dufour 405 Grand Large eating a rather large Pussers steak with the knowledge that this is just the "night before the first night."
Settling down for the night we closed up the companion way, closed the saloon hatches, opened the cabin hatches, pulled the screens shut, and headed to our cabins for the evening. There were no ferry or transient boat wakes and no swell. We had a nice steady breeze all evening keeping everyone aboard cool and happy. Well except for one of our crew who forgot to close the screen on their hatch and ended up with a couple of mosquitoes she did battle with for good part of the evening. The still water at the Dream Yacht Charter base made for a very restful first night on the water.
Motion At The Dock
This may seem like something so miniscule that it's not worthy of mention, but believe me, it is. The gentle roll of a small swell, the little wave here and there feel perfectly natural at anchor or on a mooring, but this all changes when docked up in a slip. Those gentle rolls of the boat are met with an abrupt stop when boat meets fenders and fenders meet dock. Well sprung dock lines and the position of the yacht in the slip make all the difference in the world, but nothing compares to a well-protected marina. Our review Dufour 405 Grand Large was both well sprung and sitting in a calm and very well protected marina. Sleeping aboard felt just like sleeping ashore. No noticeable movement of any kind. For those who wince at sleeping dockside, Maya Cove is one place you'll have no trouble cashing it in at the end of a long day of travel.
This time around it was more a matter of us arriving for provisions then provision arrival. As we mentioned earlier we did no preordering and took no trips to the market before we cast off. Instead we acquired provisions bit by bit as when we stopped for lunch or dinner. The idea was this... What if we didn't pre-order (we didn't), and what if we didn't make it to the market (we didn't)? Could we just cast off instead of spending the morning at the grocery store? We learned we sure could, but admittedly the crew unanimously agreed on Sopers Hole as our first overnight stop. Surprise, surprise... Sopers has a big provisions market!
We topped up the fridge, freezer and every cubby aboard after a visit to the Sopers Hole Marina Market. What did we learn from our "no-provisions" provisioning? Don't provision hungry!
Morning Of the Charter
Chart Briefing and Check In
The crew awoke at sun up ready to begin our first charter day. The wind was perfect and the sun was out. 8 a.m. could not come soon enough. That's when Dream Charter base opens and when we could start our briefings and get underway.
Just before 8 that morning Yann walked up to the Thoxa VII coffee cup in hand asking, "everyone sleep well?" We had, I was ready to get the briefings going and Yann was happy to oblige. He and I headed to the base office while the rest of the crew finished packing away gear and getting ready for the day.
The chart briefing was customized to our level of experience in the islands and covered all the usual no go zones. With the Dufour 405 Grand Large's 6-foot keel there's no messing about with the shallows. The check out briefing process went quickly. We were onboard our 40-foot review Dufour by 8:45 a.m. for the onboard checklist and mechanical briefings.
Yacht Check-out Checklist
Checklists are a bit shorter with a straightforward monohull like the Dufour 405 Grand Large. Don't get me wrong here, this is no simplistic boat, but compared to the multitude of items onboard a charter catamaran, Thoxa VII is a breath of fresh air. Yann guided us though the yacht checklist, locating each item along the way. He showed us every item stowed under the cockpit seats, how to install the grill, where the dinghy pump is located, where to find the life jackets, to name a few. The inventory list aboard Thoxa VII covered everything we'd need or might need out on the water, where it's located, and made sure we actually had what we were suppose to. After the checklist we moved on to the visual inspection, noting any preexisting dings or rub marks. Within about 25-minutes we covered every item of the inventory checklist and were ready to move on.
Yacht, Mechanical, and Safety Briefings
Yann started the in-depth mechanical and safety briefing in the cockpit. We started by reviewing the chart plotter and the fancy new digital sailing gauges. Moving on, he showed us how to run her engine and sailing systems. Moving forward we checked the rig and went though how to use the anchor windless. Below decks we reviewed the engine and went though the engine check routine, then to the nav station for a tutorial on the main breakers. Then Yann showed us the water tank changeovers, head holding tank changeover (located at opposite ends of the yacht thankfully!), and a neat hidden "wine cellar."
Monohulls like the Dufour 405 Grand Large are thankfully straightforward by design. No matter how dressed up, sporty, or loaded, at their heart they still have the sensible systems that make for a very short learning curve. And for those who've chartered or sailed before, it makes for an intuitive vessel that feels instantly familiar.
Our mechanical briefing wrapped up with Yann saying, "so, ready to go sailing?" I know I was. It was a safe bet to assume the crew was excited to get Thoxa VII heeled over by the matching crew shirts and sailing gloves that suddenly appeared.
Leaving the Docks
During the briefings we learned that the owner of our review Dufour 405 preferred a smaller light dinghy for some extra speed underway. The dinghy was brand new, but for our purposes we needed a slightly larger one (camera equipment takes up more space than you'd imagine!). Yann was happy to oblige, setting us up with a larger 12-foot dingy with matching upsized 15-HP outboard. We also learned that Yann has an eye for detail. The original painter on the new dinghy wasn't quite long enough for him. He promptly grabbed a new line, affixed it to the dinghy and tied it off to the stern cleat.
Now that we had everything squared away we lit the engine and with Yann at the helm, we slipped Thoxa VII from her dock lines making for the Maya Cove Marked Channel. Maya Cove is protected by a large and somewhat winding reef. The well-marked channel makes navigation fairly simple, but the close proximity of the reef to the channel can seem slightly unnerving the first time. As we entered the channel Yann showed us the best path though the channel, where the reef steeply dropped off, and pointed out landmarks to help us line up our approach when we returned. His expert guidance and advice gave us confidence, showing us that the channel to Maya Cove is just like any other, Red, Right, Returning. Stay between the buoys and you're just fine.
Past the final red channel marker, Yann jumped into a spare dinghy tied along side, wished us Bon Voyage, and returned to base while we gained some sea-room to set sail.
Charter Advisors Note: Anytime you're leaving a charter base, especially a new one, be sure to take a look behind you on your way out. It makes return day much easier when you know what the approach actually looks like.
Noteworthy While Underway
Like Riding a Bike
Thoxa VII should be very familiar to anyone who's spend any amount of time aboard a sailboat, even if only as a guest. True, she tilts a bit to the sporty end of the scale but she is still just as easy to sail as anything with a jib and a mainsail. Everything from the winches to the chart plotter was right where they "should" be. Even the throttle lever fell into hand like I'd reached for it many times before. Good design and deck layout is one of those things that can go unnoticed just because it works so well. But on the other hand, a poorly laid out yacht stands right out. I'm happy to report our crew did notice, but for the right reasons.
There's nothing quite like a set of crisp new sails. Thoxa VII's were of a special breed too. You know, the kind of sails you see on racing yachts... The kind that glow golden in the sunlight rather than stark white. The kind of sails with the tight "cord" running though the opaque gold sail laminate. those kind of sails.
When sheeted the sails filled with a snap, tight and formed with a blade-like purpose. Dream Yacht Charter outfitted their Dufour 405 Grand Large with some high performance, high tech sails! Who knew? It was one of those "happy surprises" that comes along every once in a while on charter, usually when we least expect it. This was defiantly one of those times. A happy Captain was I.
To put it bluntly, I am not the biggest water sports nut. True, sailing and kayaking is at the top of my "fun list," but you won't find me face down snorkeling for hours on end like the rest of the Charter Advisors crew. But even I can appreciate the thought that the Dufour folks put into water access with the folding transom.
In keeping with the straightforward theme, a square section of the transom lowers via a line secured by a dedicated latch and jammer. Unclip the line from the jammer, unlock the stainless steel clip, and lower away. What's left is an opening large enough for two adults to pass though side by side and a swim platform that gives people like me a great perch to watch over the crew as they do their facedown swimming thing.
When the splashing is over, the telescopic swim ladder disappeared, sliding neatly into the folding transom leaving a swim platform that also happens to be an awesome spot for watching the colorful Caribbean marine life swim by in the gin clear water.
Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large is a smooth operator. I've had the honor to be in the role of Captain on many a charter review. I've managed to figure a few things out sailing all those yachts. Some yachts virtually sail themselves while others like to have your attention. Some blend in with the crowed, others turn heads and some attract almost too much attention. There are those yachts with a few "rough edges" while others are "smooth" and well balanced all the way around. Thoxa VII slots into both the "balanced" and "head turning" categories easily.
The Dufour 405 Grand Large has easy to operate systems, sail plan, and amenities all the way though. Her hull is chinned, sleek, with a flat stern section and plumb bow letting her slip cleanly though the water. But she's also beamy and roomy, sacrificing nothing in the way of comfort. A dichotomy that speaks to full tilt speed and cush and comfy cruising. There's only one way to pull all this off... Be a "smooth operator!"
Big, shiny, new catamarans just can't help but turn heads. Just their sheer size and presence are enough garner some extra attention. Monohulls are a different breed though. They tend not to jump out like a 50-foot catamaran. They're more part of the sailing landscape. For a monohull to stand out they usually need to be old and wooden, huge, or super high tech. The Dufour 405 Grand Large really doesn't fit into these extreme categories, but she proved to be a stand out nonetheless. Maybe even more than some of those shiny new cats.
At the dock and in the mooring field Thoxa VII attracted the attention of those around her. Wherever I parked her we had "visitors." Some came by for a chat while others just cruised around us in a circle to take a closer look. One guy putted over in his dinghy asking "what she was" and "where did we get her?" Another day I was driving the dinghy back to the yacht from the Baths on Virgin Gorda when I ran into another group of "lookers." A dinghy full of folks on a French flagged boat nearby were driving slow circles around Thoxa VII. Unfortunately they were so enamored with her that they didn't notice me trying to get to the yacht. When I finally made my run for the stern, I got a look like I was crazy or at very least, getting in their way. I was frustrated for all of one second, then I couldn't do anything but laugh. Such a burden to bear!
The Dufour 405 Grand Large has a very unique look among the charter fleets. Her plumb bow and chinned hull give her a look not often seen in BVI mooring fields. Even the saloon and hull port windows are cut from a different mold. It's hard not to take a second look.
Comfort aboard a charter monohull is either built into the design of the yacht or it's not. The hull, design, layout, and amenities all play central roles in the Dufour 405 Grand Large, but there are other small touches that made spending time aboard all that much better. Hatch and port placement for example. In the saloon the hatches are placed facing forward and aft to maximize the breeze below decks and the sizeable ports even kept the galley cool with the stove lit.
Our crew even found the surroundings soothing. From the dark wood cabinetry to the cozy aft cabins, the interior look and feel is far less "European" than her straightforward sailing systems above decks. There is no stark white minimalism here. The Dufour 405 Grand Large lives up to it's name with far more space then I expected before becoming acquainted with her. Add the comfy surroundings with the ample space and headroom below and you've got a great formula for keeping everyone aboard happy.
Above decks Thoxa VII is set up for sailing, but she doesn't leave out the human factor. High seat backs, long settees, and a dodger that meets the bimini so seamlessly that it creates a completely protected cockpit area. When it rained, we stayed dry. When the sun burned high overhead, we didn't. And thanks to a roll up center dodger window, I could leave the dodger up and still get a nice breeze blowing though.
The kind of comfort afforded by the new Dufour 405 Grand Large doesn't require a generator or air con. It's the kind that requires more than a pocket book and a bunch of extra amenities. The Dufour approach is a thoughtful one, and there's nothing more comforting than knowing I'm sailing aboard a yacht that's been smartly designed and elegantly executed.
Thoxa VII has a three-cabin layout with the main cabin situated in the bow and two smaller cabins located aft on either side of the companionway. Though the Dufour 405 Grand Large is a 40-footer, every cabin has standing space for a 6-footer and enough ventilation to let the trade's blow though. She has the kind of cabin space I'm use to on 42 and 44 footers.
The main cabin's queen size bed follows the form of the bow integrating stowage and hanging lockers into the flow of the woodwork. Twin fans, wide opening ports and an overhead hatch kept the trade-wind breeze blowing through. The in cabin head in the main cabin is another one of those nice touch not always present on a 40-foot monohull.
The aft cabins sport full size beds, hanging lockers, and a port and hatch that have been skillfully arranged to maximize breeze though the cabin. Just as importantly the aft cabin space is actually "livable". Aft cabins on yachts in the 40-foot range tend to be little more than a bunk that you climb right into after opening the cabin door. Not so aboard the new Dufour 405 Grand Large. There's proper space to stand (all the way) to get ready for the day (or evening out). Livability is one of those things that really comes into play after a few days aboard. If something's not quite right it will show itself after a couple of days. The more subtle, the longer it takes to appear, but it always appears. I can report that nothing of this sort stuck its ugly head up over the course of our weeklong review charter.
The Dufour 405 Grand Large's cabins are comfy and incorporate the extra thought that made them spaces we actually liked to spend time in, even with our eyes open.
The saloon aboard a monohull is the heart of the boat. The settees, galley, companionway, and navigation station all share this space. One misstep in any of these areas and the whole saloon becomes disjointed and cluttered. Thoxa VII's saloon layout is well balanced, well ventilated, and very easy on the eyes.
The Dufour 405 Grand Large sports a wide beam that affords plenty of walkway space though the saloon without shuffling sideways. The settee and table is large enough to seat six thanks to some extra seating provided by a high-back bench. Across from the saloon table on the starboard side sits the in-line galley. It actually forms more of a long L-shape with a top and bottom loading fridge / freezer making up the bottom of the "L." Just aft of the fridge is the nav station and breaker switches. The head for the aft cabins sits to port just across from the nav station. There is no "camping cruising" here. This is pure yacht surroundings crafted into a 40-foot yacht with a sporting nature. The teak and Holly sole felt smooth and solid underfoot and the shiny dark wood gave the feeling of luxury though high glossed strength.
As we mentioned earlier there's two heads aboard, located in the forward main cabin and the aft portion of the saloon. Both get the upscale treatment seen throughout the yacht. The sinks are thick, square and deep with shiny cylindrical modern looking faucets that pull out and become shiny modern showerheads. The actual heads are marine pump type with a separate holding tank for the main cabin. Water pressure was good at shower time as was the space. In either head, there is plenty of room to rinse the salt off at the end of a day in the sun.
Nothing to drive you nuts
One of my favorite parts of chartering a well-sorted monohull is the lack of stuff vying for my attention. There's no generator or air con. panels to manage. There's no abundance of extra moving parts to watch over or tinker with. Our review Dufour 405 Grand Large was outfitted to the European definition of the word, elegant and comfy with no need for heavy or loud amenities. The focus here is on comfort down below and fast and fun passages above deck. The result was a fuss free trip with nothing other than sailing, food, and fun to distract us.
Wide chartering appeal
Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large is one of those charter yachts with a wide spectrum appeal. She'll appeal to the value charterer as much as she appeals to crews looking for a fast ride in the next BVI Spring Regatta. And she can be sailed easily and well by ether group. Thoxa VII had our crew cruising easy one day and getting into an impromptu race on our way Norman Island the next (we won!). Beyond value and performance there's that other factor... looks. True, looks don't make the ride better or add to comfort aboard but it does do something. It adds to the experience. A good-looking yacht is a sight to behold. It's a point of pride in the mooring field. It's also something special to have the only one in the crowd. Having the necessary amenities and living cush at anchor is great, but having it all wrapped up in something that turns heads (sitting still or as she slides by), is the cherry on the Sundae.
Video - A 360 Look at Thoxa VII
Our summer charter reviews were at the mercy of an active weather system. This Dream Yacht Charter review was no exception. Hurricane Irene began to take shape out in the Atlantic, but no one knew where she was headed. So I began this charter review like all others, with a close eye on the weather. Through the week we could see that Irene was taking up a trajectory toward the BVIs. With satellite apps on our iPad, updates from NOAA on the weather radio, updates from the Dream Charters Base and changing wind and seas, our crew was able to keep up with the conditions and enjoy our trip. Because of the Atlantic storm, the swell was running 6 feet plus with waves and chop on top of that. The wind varied between 20 and 45 knots depending on the day (and time of day). But all this wasn't necessarilyy unwelcomed. Weather is all part of the experience, there's no denying it. Embracing what we're given weather-wise is what sailing is all about. So we did, and our crew got to really put the Dufour 405 Grand Large though its paces. Ideal conditions are awesome, but when it comes to getting the "full" impression of a boat, the added weather and sea-state gave us an extra good look.
Some days we put into port a little sooner than we might have planned, some days we changed our destination to suit the conditions. But that's about the only effect the incoming hurricane had on Thoxa VII. No drama underway, no harsh motion to windward, just a few itinerary adjustments.
Being a sporty yacht there's some added emphasis on saving weight. One of the places weight has been kept down is in the battery banks. The battery rack aboard Thoxa VII is plenty sufficient for overnight power, but if the engine doesn't get the running time required to fully charge the batteries, you'll be awoken by the battery alarm as I was for a very early morning recharge. This was some self-imposed adversity admittedly. Getting to know our chartered yacht is a short learning curve. I didn't let that happen again!
She makes whoever's at the helm look pretty darn good. Even me! Her predictability and precision allowed the crew to quickly set and sheet the sails and look good doing it. The best part was that none of this "precision" took much effort. This new Dufour is very easy to cruise or sail fast (or both). She's like a floating ego / morale booster. Raise the sails and the egos and good vibes rise right with 'em.
Our crew had the chance to put to sail the 405 Grand Large in a wide range of conditions. No matter the state of the sea or wind, Thoxa VII performed well. She sailed so close-winded that I nearly had her bow in the irons before the jib fluttered. Her downwind manners are sure-footed and quick. The combination of a performance hull, performance sails, and cruiser mindset work very well aboard this new Dufour.
For more on how Dream Yacht Charters Dufour 405 Grand Large did under sail, please see the Yacht Review.
Some sailors wince at the thought of running the engine more than they absolutely have to. Call it a "purist" pursuit. On charter though I'm not all that concerned with "purism." I'm out there to have fun. And if that means running the motor when others are sailing, so be it! You know the times... your destination for the day is dead into the wind and at least a 4-hour sail away. The choice is to make a sailing day of it, pulling into your final destination late in the day or fire up the engine, do the trip in two hours and spend the afternoon playing when you get there. Sometimes a day of sailing is exactly what the doctor ordered. Other times it's the destination your after. Or maybe the wind and seas are up and you'd rather not deal with sails in those conditions. Whatever your reasoning know this... You don't really need a reason. Chartering is not about being a sailing purist. It's about relaxing and doing what you came to do, be it an all day sail or a short motor and a beach play day.
There were a couple of days when I fired up the motor, dropped the sail, and pointed Thoxa VII into the irons. One day with winds gusting over 45 knots, I didn't bother to raise the main, opting to motor to our next destination. We managed an easy 6-7 knots at 2000 RPM pushing into the wind and seas. Another day the crew wanted a break from sailing after an extra long sail the previous day. Whatever the reason, I've never fell like I have to raise the sails to have a good day aboard in the BVI. All that matters is that everyone is having fun, relaxing, and enjoying the experience. With a strong motor like the one aboard Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large, our options were always open.
Video - Dufour 405 Grand Large Motoring to Sopers Hole
Our Route Through The BVIs
Our route through the BVIs was an organic one. We made our plans (intentions) and let the wind and mother nature decided our ultimate destination.
Day 1: Maya Cove to Sopers Hole
Leaving the Dream Charter base in Maya Cove on Tortola good and early we turned down the Sir Francis Drake Channel heading for the West End. It was an ideal "get to know the yacht day." The sun was shining, the wind was blowing a calm 6-8 knots with just a few wisps of clouds in the sky. We raised the sails in a quartering breeze for a lazy sail all the way to Sopers Hole. While we skimmed along we had plenty of time to fiddle with the sail trim and sailing electronics. It was an ideal way to kick off day one.
When we arrived in Sopers Hole and dropped sail I couldn't help but notice the ease that Thoxa VII's sails dropped. No sticking or grabbing and pulling, just a nice easy drop that reminded me of a racing yacht. Motoring though the mooring field we found a lonely ball, moored up, and headed to shore for overly extensive provisioning.
That evening was spent hanging out on the mooring and ordering take out from the Jolly Rodger (even though we just stacked the galley with enough food for two weeks). After dinner the crew turned in early and enjoyed the wonderfully cool breeze and easy motion of the harbor all night.
Day 2: Sopers Hole to Norman Island
Being that we were waking up in Sopers Hole none of us could resist a quick breakfast at D-best cup. Yes, yes, we were fully stocked up on provisions, but there's no way our weak willed crew could ignore the smell of bacon, fresh eggs, and lattes coming from D-Best cup.
After we properly stuffed ourselves we all headed back to the yacht, got things in order quickly so we could drop the mooring and go sailing. I motored out into the cut between Tortola and St. John heading for Norman Island and quickly realized today was not going to be like yesterday. The wind had picked up to north of 20 knots and turned, now blowing out of the east. Basically, right on our nose. Thinking there might be a bit of wind funnel effect going on between the islands, I kept the motor running pointing right into the wind and waves taking the opportunity to feel how the Dufour 405 Grand Large handles to windward under power. And to see if the wind funnel died down once clear of the islands and into the Sir Francis Drake Channel. I got my answer in the form of another 5 knots of wind and slightly more mixed up seas as soon as we were in clear air. This was our first hint at the inbound weather system.
As we made our way to Norman island we experienced something new aboard. Bare-pole sailing. The wind was on the rise and I noticed a slight bit of heeling (we were under motor). I backed off the power and we "sailed" at 4-5 knots under poles alone. Thoxa VII handled the conditions with confidence. It shrugged off what might have had us turning back on other yachts (especially of this size). Impressive stability and surprisingly little "bashing" to windward (a very windy windward in our case). As much "fun" as we were having there was no sense in extending our time out in the overly windy conditions, playing it safe I cranked the engine back up and pointed at the calm water of The Bight at Norman Island.
When we arrived we noticed something we hadn't seen before. Swell rolling through the mooring field in the Bight along with windier than normal conditions. It wasn't anything like out on the channel, but it sure wasn't the calm water we were expecting. A 1-foot (or so) swell that seemed to echo around the entire Bight. Well almost entire, we found glass still water just off the beach of Pirates Bight Beach Bar. There's always a "leeward spot" somewhere, it just took some extra looking. Unfortunately there were no mooring balls in the calm. So I picked the closest mooring ball we could and called it a day. A portion of the swell cut though our section of the mooring field, but not much more than a foot of roll. I'm mentioning all this because it was another sure sign that the weather was changing. The Bight is rarely swelly.
A weather system sure was headed our way. After checking the satellites, weather radio, and with the Dream Yacht Charter base, we learned about Hurricane Irene. It was several days out but tracking our way and messing up the weather, wind, and seas ahead of her. I discussed the changing conditions with the crew and we all agreed to keep an eye on the weather system and have a blast until we'd have to return to base ahead of the storm. The up-tick in the wind and waves added to the adventure. See, this is part of what makes charter sailing so much fun. No matter how many times I've sailed the BVI, every trip is different. There's always something new. If there is one thing I can say with confidence, the BVI experience is a fluid and organic one (and I'm not talking about the sea and palm trees). It's ever changing and always a happy adventure. Even if a Hurricane is on the way. The key phrase there is "on the way." I don't advocate playing to close to a Hurricane. We kept two days of padding between us and the earliest anticipated storm arrival.
Day 3: Norman Island Play Day
Waking up to a wonderful sunrise we were greeted by the sounds of the ocean, the dinghy happily bouncing on the end of its painter line and sea gulls chatting away on the nearby rocky cliff. Weather for the next few days was forecast to be typical Caribbean weather with the exception of 25-35 knot winds and a swell running slightly higher than normal. In other words, it looked like we had a few great days ahead!
After eggs and bacon from the galley, we set out for a morning sail around Norman Island. It was time to put the new Dufour 405 though it's sailing paces. Once we cast off our mooring and put a reef in the main we headed on our way. The wind was ticking all of 30 knots easily. This rose to around 40 knots on our windward jaunts with apparent wind factored in. Thoxa VII handled these conditions extremely well, feeling like she was a much larger yacht. Because of her powerful sail-plan I started off flying only a reefed mainsail. Even so she made an easy 8 knots heeling only about 10 degrees. With a little traveler trim I brought her back on an even keel dropping the speed 6-7 knots while playing conservative angles to the wind. Feeling the stability and bite the Dufour 405's long and slender 6-foot keel the crew called for the genoa. Well not directly... It sounded more like, "Hey, let's see fast she'll go!" followed by a resounding "yea!" from the rest of the crew. Thoxa VII's overlapping Genoa is not what I'd normally unroll, but being that it is on a roller furler we could set the headsail deeply reefed. Which we did. Our even keel sailing went by the wayside in favor of speed. With only a sliver of headsail out we saw speeds in the double digits without any drama or "burying the rail."
After a few hours of playtime sailing around Norman lunchtime was approaching. I fired up the engine while the crew dropped the sails and headed to the calmest water we'd seen since day one. The mooring field along Treasure Point just in front of the "Caves" was perfectly still and flat! Being that we were sailing at the tail end of the summer season the number of chartered yachts on the water was getting pretty slim (or maybe the hurricane had something to do with it), we had the whole mooring field and the caves all to ourselves! Amazing! Blue sky, warm Caribbean water, and the famous cove that inspired the book "Treasure Island" all to ourselves. These are the gems, these are the experiences, these are the reasons we charter. A postcard backdrop in a storied location and it's merely a "lunch stop." Sure beats a drive-through!
With lunch wrapped up, we couldn't resist a snorkel in the Caves. Even me. We loaded the dinghy with our gear and buzzed our way over to the blue dinghy mooring line just in-front of the caves and dove right in! A couple of hours later we made our way back to Thoxa VII hungry all over again! Funny how a couple hour swim can do that to you. Not exactly an activity many of us do this extensively back at home. After snacking we noticed the sun getting a bit low in the sky so we decided together to hang out at Norman Island for the rest of the day and enjoy our surrounding, the comfort of the Dufour 405 Grand Large, and our mountain of provisions!
We left the moorings at Treasure point and motored across the Bight to one of our favorite overnight spots at Norman Island, Kelly's Cove. The swell was about the same as in the bight so we settled in, played in the water and BBQ'd up some steaks. Not a bad way to wrap up a day.
Day 4: Norman Island to Cooper Island
Time to say goodbye to Norman Island. After two days of sailing, playing on the beach, and watersports we were ready to get on the water and stretch out the sails. We still had sun and gorgeous deep blue (Caribbean blue perhaps?) skies. We also still had the wind and swell. And of course, somehow, our route took us to windward once again. I'm still not sure how this happened, but no matter what direction we turned or where we were traveling to, we seemed to be sailing to windward every time.
The Dufour 405 Grand Large was taking waves on the chin like a champ on our way up the Sir Francis Drake Channel to Cooper Island. The wind was down in the low 20-knot range when we cleared the Indians around 10am that morning. Perfect conditions to roll out the sails. Our slightly golden main and genoa filled taught with a now familiar snap. Thoxa VII put her shoulder down, flattening the chop and gliding gracefully through the swells. Reaching the center of the channel we tacked to starboard and laid a line to Manchioneel Bay at Cooper Island. The Dufour 405 Grand Large pivoted like a race boat, pulling quickly and smoothly though the eye of the wind, settling into her new tack with precision and without drama. We were having so much fun that we nearly missed lunch at Cooper Island Beach Club. This was the whole reason we were heading to Cooper Island in the first place.
We tied up to a mooring ball in Manchioneel Bay around 2 p.m., salty, hungry, and happy. Sailing a monohull in a building breezes and lumpy seas can take it out of the crew, but that was not the case aboard Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405. We were all hungry, but definitely not wore out.
I hailed the Cooper Island Beach Club over VHF to see if we needed to set reservations for lunch and to see if they were still serving. Gratefully the lunch hour hadn't ended and no reservations were required. They had a table ready for us by the time we tied the dinghy to the dock.
Copper Island Beach club has undergone some major renovations. Gone are the days of eating with your toes in the sand on red and white checkered table cloths. In its place is a new alfresco restaurant, remodeled cabanas, and an area dedicated to Caribbean versions of bar games. We had an enormous lunch overlooking the beach, the channel, and Cistern Rock. It was the perfect place to be at that moment in time. And it only got better when dessert arrived. Ice cream and cheesecake!
We were so stuffed after lunch that the crew was nearly comatose. One half became exceeding lazy on the beach while the other half donned their snorkeling gear, floating along the shoreline like a bunch of limp jellyfish. From where I sat it looked like they had fallen asleep face down in the water. Good thing they had snorkels!
My intention was to sail over to the Baths after lunch. But it was pretty clear the whole crew was fully engulfed in island time and happy just where they were. We had an awesome extended sail that morning, one of the best lunches we've had in the islands, and were all genuinely enjoying our surroundings. There was no point in heading anywhere. We were all right where we wanted to be. Even if we didn't intend to be there in the first place.
No matter where I find myself in the BVIs I'm right where I want to be. And I'm pretty sure this holds true for the rest of the crew too.
After an afternoon of pure Caribbean lime'n we were exhausted. How does that happen anyway? Do nothing for half the day and wear yourself out? Go figure. Only one thing to do, take advantage of the large volumes of fresh water stored aboard Thoxa VII, take a relaxing shower, and chill.
The stillness and shelter of Manchioneel Bay was a welcome change from the roll at the Bight. This leeward shore is almost always well protected, but it has its quirks too. The curving shoreline that makes for a picture perfect postcard also makes for a subtle counter current. A slow eddy of sorts. The kind that slowly drifted us around our mooring ball counterclockwise. I can't say how long a complete revolution took, it was very slow. It's kind of like eating in one of those revolving restaurants. The motion is not actually noticeable, it's more like every so often I realize the view off the stern has changed. One thing's for sure though, if you don't tie the mooring line right here you'll end up with a nice "ball tangle."
We ended the day watching the sunset from the cockpit with "sundowners" in hand.
Day 5: Cooper Island to the Baths to Marina Cay
Well rested after a very still night's sleep, we were all eager to get on the water early while the seas were calmest. We ate a quick "snack-style" breakfast and got underway at sunrise around 6:00 a.m. Motoring out of the calm water of Cooper Island I walked forward to the bow. We were slicing though calm flat water and I couldn't resist getting a look at the bow-wave. I'm sure your wondering... Bow wave? Why? If you can't tell... I have this fascination with yachts. The Dufour 405 Grand Large is different than most charter monohulls in the BVIs, one of those differences is her bow. I'd obviously seen her bow, but seeing her unique plumb, fine bow slicing through the water, seeing the thin bow-wave curl away from her hull is pure art in motion. My curious moment was oddly quite satisfying.
Leaving the lee of Cooper Island we entered the mixed up Sir Francis Drake Channel and made way for the Baths on Virgin Gorda. The crew was preparing to hoist the sails just as we encountered the current from the Round Rock Passage. It was here that the seas were the most mixed up. So I asked the crew to hold tight on the sails for a moment. I wanted to get a feel for how Thoxa VII was going to play in these waves. Happily, she was solid and cutting the chop down to size, but the wind now gusting 30 plus knots. I opted to keep the motor running and get our motor testing done. It really was an ideal situation to feel out the Dufour 405 Grand Large's motoring stability and how she puts the power down when things are stirred up. Any yacht can motor around a mooring field. Pushing to windward though swelly confused seas is quite a different animal. It's also when you need to count on the engines power and reliability the most.
Dream Yacht Charters spec'd this Dufour with more than enough power to do the job. The new powerplant felt like it had been broken in right and kept in top-notch condition. She took lumpy seas and gusting wind on the chin while making 6 knots at 2200 RPM. The combination of horsepower and sleek hull design made short work of even the "wildest horses" the Sir Francis Drake Channel could throw at us. All this and it was only a little after 6 a.m.
When we came within bino range of The Baths the crew went to work looking for the beach flag. If it was red there would be no reason continuing on to The Baths. As luck would have it, they spied a yellow flag. We entered the lee of Virgin Gorda in the still fresh morning light. The wind was light around the moorings but a swell like the one at the Bight was rolling though. This one was slightly longer and taller though. A bulky slow roll is the best I can describe it. Once again, something we rarely encounter and yet another reminder to check the weather radar and radio.
Being that it was only about 8 a.m., we cooked ourselves a proper breakfast moored off the large boulders framing Devils Bay. Breakfast at The Baths with the mooring field all to ourselves made the early morning departure well worth it.
No matter how many times we've been to The Baths it never gets old. The hike though the massive boulders from The Baths to Devils Bay is awe-inspiring every time. We spent the morning playing at the Devils Bay beach until the shuttles from a cruise ship started arriving. It was our signal to head back. Watching the folks from the cruise ship attempt to navigate their way though the boulders and trails with their laminated IDs and aqua socks was quite entertaining. For a short period of time we played traffic cop, directing ship goers down the right path here and there as we made our way back to the beach at The Baths.
Back at The Baths, we swam to the dinghy tied to the dinghy mooring line, piled in, wished the now full beaches adieu and slowly putted our way up and down the swell back to Thoxa VII. After a fresh water rinse off on the fold out swim platform, we cleaned up for lunch aboard before setting off to Marina Cay for the night.
We cast off our mooring line a bit after 2 p.m. on a beam reach for Marina Cay. No longer sailing to windward and the wind settling into the mid twenties it was time to go sailing. With a reef in the main and the Genoa flying at 80 percent we sailed at 8-9 knots the whole way there on a single tack. This was one of those sweet sails that reminded me why I love sailing so much. Dream Yacht Charter's Dufour 405 Grand Large was so easy to drive and trim that we got her into her groove without knowing we we're looking for it and keep her there the whole time. While others bashed or rolled in the waves, we were slicing, through it, fast and relaxed!
Pulling into Marina Cay I was amazed to see our "swell" friend had made his way around the reef that normally keeps this mooring field quiet. After we moored up we packed up the laptops and iPad's and headed to Pussers ashore for some food and free WiFi. Time to fill the belly and do a weather check.
We were the last people served at Pussers Marina Cay for the summer season. I know this because they boarded the place up as soon as we had finished eating (and they told us). It turned out to be good timing. My weather check showed that Hurricane Irene had picked up steam and had made a turn aiming right for the Virgin Islands. She was estimated to be about three days away. The odd swell, larger than normal mixed up seas, the gusty wind all made perfect sense. We had two days left on charter. Time for a crew meeting and a call to the Dream Yacht Charter base.
The weather maps and Yann at the Dream Yacht Charter base all said the same thing. That it was good time to start making our way back to base. We decided to enjoy our day and make way for May Cove the next morning. But not before more snorkeling!
As the evening settled in we watched awesome lighting shows from far off storms, sipped our boat drinks, and revisited the great sailing we'd had aboard and how cool our chartered Dufour really was. Below decks or from the water, she's just cool. There's nothing quite like pulling into a mooring field (or a starting line) feeling cooool. That night the open hatches let in the only other kind of cool that matters aboard a yacht in the Caribbean, those cool evening trades.
Day 6: Marina Cay to Maya Cove
I was the first one up in the morning. It was 5 a.m. and the first glowing color of dawn was appearing on the horizon. The swell that had greeted us nearly everywhere except Cooper Island was lapping at the stern and bouncing the dinghy on its painter. I started to think; I don't think the crew even feels the swell anymore. I don't know if it's just us or the yacht, but it seemed like rolly anchorages and mooring fields had little to no effect on our crew. Perhaps a combination of a salty crew and a well rounded yacht. One things for sure, Thoxa VII definitely made things easier and played a big part in the overall comfort of our crew. Good design and planning shows in many ways, one of them is how the yacht carries her crew and how she treats them when things aren't perfect.
Pulling in a day early meant we had an extra day's provisions which could only mean one thing. A huge breakfast! We filled ourselves to the brim on pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, preserves, English muffins, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, the works! We ate so much that we didn't end up getting underway until 10 a.m.
We had a motor run in front of us to make it back to the Dream Yacht Charter base in time to catch the ferry for the rescheduled return flight. Leaving the protection of Marina Cay we felt an instant change in sea state. The channel leading to the Sir Francis Drake Channel was just as mixed up as the "big" channel was the day before. Thoxa VII sliced her way though the waves as she does, motoring past the bluffs and turning downwind for Maya Cove and the Dream Yacht Charter Base.
The seas had built at least another two feet overnight and the troughs between the swells had grown wider. With seas on the stern, we surfed our way back to base playing from wave to wave. Again the Dufour 405 Grand Large was easy to handle and confidence inspiring. How else could we be having fun motoring though Hurricane induced swells!
When we arrived back in Maya Cove Yann's crew was waiting to guide us into our slip. The wind had kicked up making backing into a slip extra interesting. With assistance from Dream Yacht Charter's crew (and a dinghy turned tugboat), Thoxa VII came to rest stern-to in her slip without a fight.
Our return was a bit out of the ordinary. We arrived back at base a day early due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Irene in the next couple of days. I say "a bit out of the ordinary" because returning to base early because of the weather is an unlikely event, but not an impossible one.
Our return began with a call to Yann the Dream Charters Tortola Base manager a day earlier. Before we left on our charter Yann and I had discussed the weather outlook and reviewed where and when to check the weather. We also discussed a potential early return should something develop. This extra preparedness paid off in an easy last minute adjustment and a no stress return. Though the Dream Yacht Charter's crew was very busy "Hurricane-izing" they handled our return like it was just another day in paradise. No rushing, no missteps, no drama.
I called Yann on the boat cell phone just as we cleared the Bluffs on Tortola letting him know we were about 15 minutes out. The seas were as mixed up as we'd seen them the entire trip and the wind had kicked up to a steady 30 knots without the gusts. Nonetheless, it was the last few minutes of the last day aboard Thoxa VII. I realized what an effect the new Dufour 405 Grand Large had on the crew when they were talking about what a bummer it was we had to bring the boat back today while surfing a 40 foot yacht down waves. When even steep seas and near gale force winds don't distract you, you know the yacht has made an impression.
Five minutes out I called Yann again to announce our arrival and to request he send one of his expert helmsmen out to park Thoxa VII in her slip. Just as we entered the Maya Cove channel a dinghy zipped out to meet us half way. The Dream Charters Base crew climbed aboard and brought us into harbor while I rigged the fenders "extra dense" incase the wind decided to push us around near the docks. Our Captain did well managing the wind as he wound his way to Thoxa VII's slip, positioning her to back in. The only trouble was that we were now broadside to the wind. This was the part I was not looking forward to. And just as I thought, we started blowing, the bow drifting to port toward the yacht parked next to us. I shouldn't have worried though, Yann was at the dock and was directing a inflatable dinghy that was acting as a tugboat, holding that big Dufour in position, helping to smoothly maneuver her as smoothly as anything.
At the dock Yann and the Dream Yacht Charter crew got the yacht tied up while we gathered up our bags. We were under a deadline to make our ferry to St. Thomas. Back in "civilization," suddenly the clock mattered again. Talk about a huge mental adjustment! While the crew gathered up the bags Yann and I went though the check out checklist, reviewing anything that needed attention or repair. In our case we only had one thing to point out. A plastic bracket holding one of the saloon cabinets had broken and needed replacement. A small "arm" that prevented the door from opening past 90 degrees. It wasn't anything that prevented its use during our trip. A mechanically cosmetic item at best. After we were done onboard, we headed to the base office to wrap up the paperwork. All in all we spent approximately 30-45 minutes at the base before hopping in a taxi for the ferry terminal.
Fuel and Water
This section is already outdated. How can that be? Because when we reviewed Dream Yacht Charter and the Dufour 405 Grand Large a new fuel dock was in the process of being installed. Meaning, we topped up our fuel tanks at Marina Cay before heading back. This isn't something anyone reading this will have to do (unless you want to). Water can be topped off at anytime, including at the Dream Yacht Charter base. Our cost for fuel was just under 70 bucks, and water barely broke the 35 dollar barrier. Thoxa VII has a seriously low operation cost (yet another happy surprise). Dream Yacht Charter has their new fuel dock up and running making the return process just that much easier.
When we headed out to review Dream Yacht Charter and the Dufour 405 Grand Large we had the same info any first time charterer would have. We knew what yacht we'd be chartering, we knew where the base was, and that's about it. Both the yacht and the charter company were new to our crew. It's one thing to charter a yacht similar to one you've already sailed from a base you've visited before, its another to take the leap into one you've never sailed at a base you've never been to. It's this exact conundrum that sometimes keeps people from trying out new charter companies or different yachts. Well I'm here to tell you fear not! Our crew's foray into the unknown was full of unexpected happy surprises, new locals, and new experiences. Once I embraced not knowing exactly what to expect I started to get exited about this review in a whole new way. A new experience, a new charter company, and a new yacht suddenly made me feel like an eager first timer. I wasn't let down when we arrived, the Dufour 405 Grand Large was as impressive at the dock as she was under sail and on the mooring. The folk's at Dream Yacht Charter were easy to work with, knowledgeable, and follow the same check-in and check-out process we've become accustomed to in the British Virgin Islands.
Navigating out of the Maya Cove channel was on my "not too excited list" because of its winding path and close proximity to a steep reef, but even that was made into "no big deal" with Yann's instruction (and demonstration). The crew at Dream Yacht Charter went out of their way to help make things easy and worked though changes in the schedule when the weather came up smoothly.
By The Numbers
Dream Yacht Charters worked with us one on one (no call centers or phone reps). Their unique, premium quality fleet is distinctive in the BVIs and well worth a look. One I do recommend you take. We were so impressed with their yachts and base that we are already planning a follow up review aboard one of their Catamarans. Stay Tuned!
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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