Deals to Keep You Sailing in 2010
The line could've been ripped from today's headlines: "Where's my sailing bailout package?" That's the question that former Montréal bank manager Cindy Chestnut, who's owned and operated Conch Charters since 1986, used to frame Conch's 2010 specials for vacation sailors. She knows that charterers are looking for a break. And that's what you're certain to find as you peruse the news of attractive deals that her company and a host of others with bases around the world are offering through the coming year.
As a former finance professional, Chestnut admittedly enjoys a unique perspective. "You can't take the banker out of a person," she says, adding that it's proven useful to her in her work at Conch, located on Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. Chestnut attributes her success in staying afloat in fluctuating economic climates to the things she learned in the frigid north.
"When we started the business here, I always paid our monthly statements from our suppliers the day I received the statement, not waiting for their due date," she says. "It makes you very popular with the suppliers when you pay your bills early! You also learn that you never want to borrow money, so Conch has never, ever had a loan of any kind, and that helps during down times. Of course, it helps to know how to budget and how to do cash flow charts."
So there you have it. Hats off to Cindy and all company owners and operators for working to keep cruisers afloat-no matter what the economic weather.
Annapolis Bay Charters (www.annapolisbaycharters.net) offers CW readers an exclusive "Endless Summer" sale: Book by August 30, 2009, and get a 15-percent discount off a charter of any boat in the fleet. The offer can't be combined with any other special offer or discount, and it isn't retroactive for charters already booked. It's also not available during the 2009 U.S. Sailboat Show or over the Labor Day 2009 holiday weekend.
From July 15 to November 7, 2009, sail two weeks in the British Virgin Islands for the price of one mid-season week with Conch Charters (www.conchcharters.com). Sail nine days for the price of one mid-season week from November 7 to December 15, 2009. In January 2010, sail nine days for the price of one high-season week.
CYOA Yacht Charters (www.cyoachaters.com), on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, posts discounts on its website, where vacation sailors can easily keep abreast of deals. Another way to stay in touch and save money is to log on to the home page of the site and sign up for the e-newsletter that carries special promotional offers.
In the B.V.I., Footloose (888-852-4666, www.footloosecharters.com) offers 15 percent off all charter yachts in its fleet from January 5, 2010, to February 13, 2010. Footloose will beat any competitors' offers by $100; call for details. Restrictions apply.
Book your 2010 vacation at 2009 rates with Horizon Yacht Charters (www.horizonyachtcharters.com). Book a 2010 date in 2009 by making a $500 deposit to secure the boat for dates of your choice, subject to availability.
Besides providing free sleepaboard nights in August and November 2009, Queensland Yacht Charters (www.yachtcharters.com.au) has offers that save bareboaters money through March 2010 as they cruise in Australia's scenic Whitsunday islands. Pay for five nights and sail seven; pay for seven and sail 10; pay for 10 and sail 14 days.
From April through June 2010, sail 10 days for the price of seven in the U.S. Pacific Northwest with San Juan Sailing (www.sanjuansailing.com).
Sail with Southwest Florida Yachts (www.swfyachts.com) now through December 14, 2009, for at least three days and get two free days; sail from December 15, 2009, through April 30, 2010, for at least three days and get one free day.
Sunsail Sailing Vacations (www.sunsail.com) offers up to 25 percent off charters of the Sunsail 36i in the British Virgin Islands on select dates for departures between December 1, 2009, and February 15, 2010 (excluding the Christmas and New Year's holidays). The company's Winter Reef Weeks discount program offers 15 percent off throughout Caribbean bases and up to 25 percent off on select dates. The new Sunsail 384 catamaran joins the B.V.I. fleet in time for 2010's high season.
Sail with The Moorings (www.moorings.com) from any Caribbean base through December 18, 2009, and take 10 percent off. Sail from January 3, 2010, through February 13, 2010, and take 15 percent off. Book by August 31, 2009; this offer excludes The Moorings 4600. Other discounts may apply.
Sail 10 nights for the price of seven on a luxury catamaran-whether crewed, skipper-only, or bareboat-with Voyage Charters (www.voyagecharters.com) in the British Virgin Islands. Save up to 25 percent off selected yachts in the B.V.I. and in Spain's Balearic Islands.
Sail with Yachting Vacations (www.yachtingvacations.com) in southwest Florida from November 1, 2009, through December 23, 2009, and take 10 percent off the website rate. Sail with the company from January 1, 2010, through January 15, 2010, and take 10 percent off the website rate.
The company has added several new yachts to its fleet, including a 2009 Seawind 1000XL catamaran that's been converted to accommodate wheelchair-bound sailors.