Notes for Newbies

Never been on sailboat in your life? Don’t worry, you won’t be our first guest whose prior experience has been paddling round a duckpond.

If you love the water, being outdoors, getting away from the crazy crowds – chances are you’ll take to sailing like a duck to….um, a duckpond!

If you have a gregarious, team-spirited nature – you’ll love the social aspect of our shareboats. Our sailors often go from initial strangers to friends-for-life.

Please make sure that you are fully aware of the “cosy” space on sailboats. If you’ve never been aboard a yacht before, look closely at some interior photos of boats – and not ones taken with a super wide-angle lens!

Do be aware also that although you don’t need to be an athlete – sailboats need a reasonable level of physical agility. You need to be able to climb in and out of dinghies, navigate often narrow gangplanks, etc.

In short, if you thrive on adventurous new experiences, would prefer a family-owned pension to the Hilton, love the sun and the sea – you’re at great risk of falling in love with sailing. We feel it is only fair to issue a warning: Sailboat addiction is a chronic, incurable condition. You’ll never get over it.

What level of physical fitness is needed ?

You don’t need to be an athlete or a yogi to enjoy our trips. We’re very laid-back and cruise-y; we’re not out to win races nor battle 30 knot blows.

But you do need the balance and agility to climb in and out of a dinghy; on our Med trips – you’ll need to cross from the boat to the shore via a fairly narrow gangplank.

If you’re super-keen but not sure on this score – don’t be overly intimidated, just chat to us about it. We’ve had people onboard with conditions one would think a definite sailing no-no – and they have been wonderful!

A quick note on CPAP machines – these can be a challenge to a sailboat’s electrical supply; pls be sure to talk to us about this if it’s an essential for you.

What other costs should I expect?

Very few! That’s our whole philosophy of “No Surprise Extras”. In general, if it’s on the boat – it’s included. If it’s ashore – it’s not.

In the Med, our trips are mostly skipper-only – so we provide the provisions for breakfasts & lunches, and everyone pitches in to help. Dinners are always ashore in little local tavernas. A cook/first mate is sometimes available; this is at an extra cost.

In Thailand & the Philippines – we have amazing cooks onboard; they take care of all breakfasts & lunches. Dinners are usually half the time on the boat, half the time ashore. All meals on the boat can also be arranged.

The only other spending money you’ll need is for land activities; eg in the Med, you might rent scooters, jeeps, do some of the guided historic tours, etc. In Thailand, how could anyone resist those massages-on-the-beach! These costs are still all very reasonable, however.

Of course, if you decide to go hit the town and get into expensive cocktails, this will clock up a few extra $$s. Though all things are relative: you probably couldn’t spend as much on a night on the town as you would at home, even if you tried!

Note: There are a few dangerously enticing shopping spots; eg, Turkish bazaars, Thai markets… even those who claim to “hate shopping” have been known to sneak back to the boat with armfuls of goodies. You have been warned.

Can we bring the kids?

We don’t take kids on our shareboat trips. Sorry, parents – but an onboard mix of supposed grown-ups being “big kids” and the real variety don’t mix 🙂 We also get a lot of folks who’ve deliberately left their kids home for a break, who would be mightily unimpressed to find others on the boat.

However – if you charter one of our boats for your own family – no problem! As a private charter, we can create a totally “kid-friendly” itinerary. We do advise against bringing younger kids (under 5/6 or so) – it won’t be exactly a relaxing vacation for mom & dad unless the kids are already “boat trained”.

If you’d really like to bring your kid(s) with you and love the social aspect of shareboating – we are often able match up compatible families to share one of our bigger boats. Or perhaps you are travelling as a solo parent travelling with your kids/teens and would like everyone to have some more varied age interaction. Just drop us a line, we might know a perfectly matched family out there who’d love to share the adventure with you!

Is there an age limit?

On a sailboat, attitude comes before age. One recent 73yr-old newbie sailor was helming in 25 knots within a couple of days and having an absolute blast!

We do need to emphasize the physical agility aspect here (but that’s not necessarily age-related!).  See the FAQ note on “physical fitness”. If you’re a sailboat newbie and unsure, just talk to us!

Flights, hotels and other “getting to” info

We at SeaScape do not arrange flights ourselves. To get the best deals requires full-time attention to the airlines, and that’s not our area of specialisation. Of course, we are always here for advice on the best route to research, local connections/ferries etc.

Transfers
We can always help with arranging taxi rides at the end of a trip – we have lots of great local contacts for this. Meeting arrival flights – it depends on which destination. We have detailed notes on all this.

Hotels
We have several which have been longtime favourites with our SeaScapers; more notes available on this. We don’t book these directly, but we can certainly point you in the right direction!