Boating and Sailing in St. Martin and St. Maarten
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Boating and Sailing
The island is surrounded by water, so why not get out and enjoy it? The water and winds are perfect for skimming the surf. It'll cost you around $1,200 to $1,500 per day to rent a 28- to 40-foot powerboat, considerably less for smaller boats or small sailboats. Drinks and sometimes lunch are usually included on crewed day charters.
Random Wind. This company offers full-day sailing and snorkeling trips on a traditional 54-foot clipper. Charter prices depend on the size of the group and whether lunch is served. The regularly scheduled Paradise Daysail costs $95 per person ($50 for kids) and includes food and drink. Departures are on the Dutch side, from Skipjack's at Simpson Bay, promptly at 8:30 am Tuesday through Friday. You can get the best rates by booking directly from the website, rather than through your hotel or cruise. Ric's Place, Simpson Bay. 721/587–5742. www.randomwind.com.
St. Maarten 12-Metre Challenge. Sailing experience is not necessary for the St. Maarten 12-Metre Challenge, one of the island's most popular activities. Participants compete on 68-foot racing yachts, including Dennis Connor's Stars and Stripes (the actual boat that won the America's Cup in 1987) and the Canada II. Anyone can help the crew grind winches, trim sails, and punch the stopwatch, or you can just sit back and watch everyone else work. The thrill of it is priceless, but book well in advance; this is the most popular shore excursion offered by cruise ships in the Caribbean. It's offered four times daily; the entire experience lasts about three hours. Only children over 12 are allowed. Bobby's Marina, Philipsburg. 721/542–0045. www.12metre.com.
MP Yachting. You can rent boats here of all sizes, with or without a crew, for short trips and long, and it's located conveniently at Marina Port La Royale in Marigot. Marina Port La Royale, Marigot. 690/53–37–40. www.mpyachting.com.
Sun Evasion. This charter company has locations all over the world, including St. Martin. You can take a half- or full-day charter to Tintamarre, St. Barth, or Ilet Pinel on a mono- or multihull powerboat, available with or without a skipper. Book online for a 10% discount. Marina Port La Royale, Marigot. 690/35–03–18. www.sun-evasion.com.
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