EXPERIENCE: How experienced should we be to Bareboat?

On a bareboat charter, you are the Skipper, and your guests are the crew. Command of a vessel is a task which carries significant responsibility for safety, both in law and in practice. We have one over-riding criteria, and that is the safety of you, your ships' company, and our vessels.

In summary, whilst no particular formal qualifications are necessary, a prospective Skipper must have significant experience in charge of a vessel of a similar size and configuration to that being chartered.  By way of amplification,  “Significant experience” is normally acquired over a period of years, “in Charge of” refers to being the legal Skipper of vessels, and “of a similar type” refers to your experience being in sailing vessels of a similar size, weight and hull configuration.

We do conduct a substantial briefing on the procedures and equipment in each vessel, and local navigation, but this is designed to mitigate the risks of unfamiliarity with the craft and the area, not to teach the basics; we do not present Bareboat Chartering as an opportunity for Skippers to learn to sail, The Skipper should already be competent in vessel handling, seamanship, navigation, piloting and the ColRegs, and we'll ask all skippers for a declaration to that effect, and an outline of the experience that you've had in our "Skippers Resume". Your insurance coverage of the vessel depends on this being accurate.

There should also be onboard a person designated as First Mate, or Second-in-command. That person should be adult, and capable of basic vessel operations in the event of the incapacitation of the skipper.  There must also be at least one person aboard who speaks english fluently.

We'll send you a Skippers Resume form as part of the booking process, and we can use this to establish whether we feel your charter would be a safe proposition, based on your knowledge and experience. 

PROVISIONING: How do we provision our yacht?

There are a couple of provisioning options;

  1. From long experience we've found that the most satisfying approach is to go shopping yourself, so you can choose to your preferences.  A very good supermarket with lots of choices is New World Devonport, only about 10 minutes’ drive from the marina and we often have a modest little spare vehicle available to borrow for this. We would suggest you could do this before the charter proper commences.
  2. You could open an account at New World Devonport using their iShop app (android or Apple stores) https://www.newworld.co.nz/online-shopping/  and they will deliver.

Delivery address is 4 Sir Peter Blake Parade , followed by a specified Marina Berth in the Unit/ Flat/ Floor box.  You must arrange for delivery of your provisions to happen once you have arrived at the Bayswater Marina.  

Travel Insurance

If something happens at our end ….such as the vessel becoming unserviceable, (for instance due to damage by a previous charterer) then we will refund the charter fee in full if we are not able to arrange a mutually acceptable alternative. If there is a weather event which makes taking the boat to sea unsafe, we will also refund on a time-lost basis. (See the contract document for details and conditions)  Please bear in mind that as the owner of the business, my interests all revolve around referral business and repeat business from happy customers. 

However, if something happens at your end, such as sickness or travel problems, you'll need travel insurance to cover the loss. 

Earlier this year I made some calls to research insurance for local clients, and from what I can see, in New Zealand there are only a few people that seem to do travel insurance for domestic trips. The only people who appeared helpful were Cover-More insurance, http://www.covermore.co.nz/content/5282/en/domestic-travel-insurance ph 0800 500 225, and “Sharon” from there told me that sailing is indeed covered as an activity as long as it is within the 12m limit, and that they would cover under the  cancellations provisions on their “Plan B”.  They did, however, say that they don’t treat a boat bond under the “Rental Car Excess” clause. I’m passing this all on “without prejudice” and you’d have to check the wording, but there’s a place to start.

For international travellers, TopSail is one that has cover which addresses quite large singular costs/losses, such as charter fees.  We recommend that you check them out.  click on this link

The Coastal Classic Route - Sailing to the Bay of ISlands

We don’t generally start charters from the Bay, but we do offer a one-way hire to Opua, Bay of Islands, on charters over 10 days for a relocation fee equivalent to two additional days’ charter (which is for us to retrieve the boat!). 

It has to be said that it’s a lot easier to start in Auckland from a logistics point of view, and returning by road afterwards is easily arranged… although I’d recommend a few days there shoreside at the end of your cruise to explore!

Occasionally there are Charterlink vessels which are available from Opua because of a charter that has ended there

As a sailor, you know that the journey is more important than the destination, and the coastal passage from Auckland to the Bay of Islands is a great sail!  It’s only 130 miles Bayswater to Opua, and it is is in my view one of the world’s great short voyages

There’s a taste of open water in the deep blue Pacific, but there are ports and harbours all along the way, including Kawau, perhaps a side trip to Great Barrier Island and Port Fitzroy, Marsden Cove Marina, and Tutukaka.  The picturesque Hen and Chicken Islands and Sail Rock are worth a close pass, and a “must visit” is the marine reserve at the Poor Knights Islands, LINK, where you will also find the Rikoriko Cave…the world’s largest sea cave!  LINK ,    Following in the footsteps of James Cook, then you pass Hole in the Wall at Piercy Island, round Cape Brett and have the Bay of Islands to explore.



NZ Marine Mammals http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/marine-mammals/

The Bay of Islands itself is a beautiful cruising ground. With 144 islands there's no shortage of secluded bays to drop anchor in. Fishing, diving, walks, history and scenery. I highly recommend it.  In a few days there, after your sail up the coast, you could not stop in every anchorage or point of interest, but it would give you a taste of the inner islands and leave you wishing for more.

Learning: How do we learn and get experience?

Generally speaking, we will only charter to people who have Significant experience in charge of a vessel of a simliar style to that being chartered.

Without that, you can, of course, go to sea in one of our vessels if you hire a skipper who has a commercial licence, and we have a number of very experienced skippers on the books who are only too happy to show you round our great cruising area. While on your sailing/cruising holiday your skipper can instruct in sailing techniques, navigation, boat handling seamanship skills etc, and they may even "sign you off" for a solo charter if you have previously had the required skills and just needed a refresher.  Let us know if this is likely to be a requirement, and we'll try to source one for you. 

Other ways of gaining experience over time are to contact sailing clubs and offer to go away with other owners as crew for a while,

or to attend a sailing school such as

Auckland Sailing School - Phil Bishop - https://aucklandsailingschool.com/ ph +64 21 535670

Penny Whiting http://www.pennywhiting.com/

FISHING: Is fishing allowed on CharterLink boats?

Yes, you're very welcome and the Gulf is often bountiful  However, it's on the understanding that if our cleaning crew can tell that you were fishing (icky spots on the deck, smelly lockers  topsides or (please no!)fish scales below decks) then you will be charged an additional cleaning fee. And don't use the cockpit seats for a baitboard either - that's really expensive! So very careful fishing, well cleaned up.  

Also, be aware of the fisheries regulations.... There are some marine reserves around where no fishing is allowed, and outside of these, if you were, for example, to exceed the limits, be aware that the fisheries people can seize the boat! 

Follow this link for the fisheries regulations                          Follow this link for a useful Fish Identification Chart

Links to local marine reserves (Fishing Prohibited here but well worth a visit!) :

 Cape Rodney-Okakari Point (Goat Island)          Long Bay        Poor Knights          Tawharanui Peninsula      Te Matuku (Waiheke ISland)