Joint Franchise Effort Creates Greater Purchase and Sail Choices

Voyage Charters International has joined with Florida Yacht Charters & Sales to offer sailors yacht purchase and chartering options from offices in South Beach, Miami.

Charter clients benefit from the two companies' featured destinations, which, combined, include Miami Beach, Key West, the Abacos, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, and the Balearic Islands off Spain. Those looking to buy can choose from among an array of Voyage South African-built catamarans and power catamarans. Florida Yacht Charters will continue to be a dealer for Hunter Marine. For details, contact Voyage Charters (390 Alton Rd., Suite 3, Miami Beach, Florida 33139; 800-537-0050 or 305-532-8600, e-mail boat@floridayacht.com).

Courses Aboard Catamarans
Sailors who desire to strengthen catamaran-handling skills before they take one out for charter may want to check out courses now offered by Offshore Sailing School and The Moorings charter company.

The liveaboard-cruising course for catamaran sailors, offered in St. Martin aboard a Moorings 4200, includes training geared to multihull handling. Hands-on practice entails turning in tight circles, tacking, and jibing; halyard, sheet, and traveler considerations for proper catamaran trim; and engine failure and defensive strategy.

An instructor is assigned to sail and live aboard with no more than four students for seven days while the group explores St. Martin, Anguilla, and St. Bart's. The course costs from $2,320 to $2,930 for double occupancy and $2,410 to $3,015 for single occupancy, depending on the season. Course dates are March 14-21, April 18-25, and May 16-23, 2004. Included in the fee are US Sailing textbooks, US Sailing certification, all breakfasts and lunches, three dinners aboard, and one night's dinner ashore.

For more details, contact Offshore (800-221-4326, e-mail sail@offshore-sailing. com) or The Moorings (800-368-9991).

Sunsail Adds Discounts and a New Base in South Africa
If you're eager to go sailing in the Caribbean but have a few budget issues, Sunsail's Reef Weeks might turn it all around for you. Pay attention to the restrictions, which include a multihull and monohull size limit and prohibitions against combinations with other discounts, but you stand to save from 15 percent to 25 percent off of normal charter rates by choosing weeks in spring, summer, and fall 2004. For details on the discounts, click on the Reef Week promotion at the Sunsail website (www.sunsail. com/usa/reefweeks.html).

The company, which operates a base in Durban, South Africa, announced plans in the fall of 2003 to add Cape Town as a charter destination. For details, contact Sunsail South Africa (031-3077944, www.sunsail.co.za and e-mail bonnet@yachtsman.co.za).

Cruising and Car Racing
Star Clippers has secured tickets for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix and is offering them to passengers on its May 2004 cruise to Italy and the French Riviera. For details, call (800) 442-0551.