You & The Sun

We normally leave the medical side of things to the HealthSavvy column in every issue of CharterSavvy, but the recent changes to sunscreen ratings are worth noting.  Besides, our dermatologist just gave us a lecture about boats, sun and fair-skinned people.  

Taking effect this summer are new FDA rules regarding the labeling of the various sunscreens.  First, the claim of “broad spectrum” will have to meet tougher standards for UVA protection (which penetrates deep levels of the skin).  All sunscreens must have an SPF rating but, on products without the “broad spectrum” label, that SPF applies only to UVB protection, which affects only the outer layer of skin.

To be called water resistant, the sunscreen must last at least 40 minutes of swimming or 80 minutes of sweating.  A fact box will be required on each sunscreen with warnings and important information.

Tips: Always choose SPF 15 or higher, and the American Academy of Dermatologists recommends a minimum of SPF 35.  Under the new labeling, always choose “broad spectrum” for maximum protection.  Last, don’t rely just on sunscreen.  The toughest times for your skin is between 10 a.m and 2 p.m, so use hats, long-sleeve shirts and sunglasses.  


CharterSavvy Lives! It Lives!!

We are proud and delighted to announce the premiere issue of CharterSavvy is now available online free, and you can read it by simply clicking on the magazine cover to the left or back on the home page of this website. 

CharterSavvy is, as we promised, all about bareboat charters, with great features on the British Virgin Islands, Greek islands, San Juan islands, and canal barging in France.  There is amazingly beautiful photography, a video to add some fun, and great reading, too.

The Cargo section is devoted to the latest and coolest duffel bags, while the charter boat review in Sea Trial is the Lagoon 44. 

Of course, we have all our columns and departments that cover health, finances, insider tips and more.  And it’s all FREE!!


New Power Cat In Florida

New to the power fleet of Southwest Florida Yacht Charters is a PDQ 34 Power Cat.  Based at Marinatown Marina in North Fort Myers, the comfy cat features two equally sized private staterooms with queen-sized berths, plus a large dinette with convertible settee for added sleeping space. 

From Fort Myers, the boat is ideal for exploring the Pine Island Sound and the islands of Captiva and Sanibel.  Fuel stingy with a pair of Yanmar diesels, the cat has a full collection of amenities including generator, color TV, washer/dryer, and both GPS and autopilot.

Charter fees range from $3273 per week in the summer to $4090 in the winter and, as part of SWFYC’s 50th anniversary celebration, all summer charters of three days or longer get two free days.

Info at


Sunsail Opens In San Francisco!

Sunsail has opened its first U.S. West Coast charter base on San Francisco Bay, with a fleet of brand-new matched Sunsail First 40s.  In addition to bareboat vacations, the boats can be used for racing in the many events in the bay area and they are also available for corporate hospitality, team building and incentive programs. Sunsail will also have an ASA-approved sailing school. 

The charter base will be at Sausalito Yacht Harbor, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.  This is a central location for sailing the bay or for exploring the wine country of nearby Napa Valley.  The boats can also be taken into the Sacramento Delta, which is the warm playground for San Francisco sailors.  The new base will open in June.

The First 40s are built by Beneteau and designed by Farr Yacht Design as performance racers, and they took first and second overall in the 2009 Sydney-Hobart Race.  Each has a 3-cabin/1-head layout and a spacious cockpit with large wheel.  For racing, the boats will be available with asymmetrical spinnakers and bowsprits as well as amenities such as chartplotters, autopilots, electric heads and sure-to-be-appreciated heating.


Bareboat Racing

"Bareboat" and "Racing" don't seem like terms that go together, but the Spring Regatta is a tradition in the British Virgin Islands, and the most recent edition, which ran March 30-April 1, had a strong turnout in the two Bareboat classes.

These classes are for bareboats from local charter companies, racing without spinnakers, and the only real concession to “performance” is that they all remove or furl the Bimini tops to minimize the windage.  Other than that, these are everyday charter boats.

Which isn’t to say that the racing is weak by any means.  Winning Bareboat 2 was Burt Keenan and Neil Harvey: Keenan is a long-time competitor and Southern Ocean Racing Circuit winner aboard his Acadia, Harvey an equally talented racer employed by Harken.  Pushing them hard was Bill Petersen, a sailmaker and former America’s Cup sailor. 

If you’re considering a bareboat race charter for next year, taking a look at what won this year isn’t a bad idea.  Clearly the highest placing yachts were the two Dufours from MarineMax Vacations, with Keenan’s 433 and Petersen’s 413 easily taking first and second in Bareboat 2.

In Bareboat 1, the first five places went to a Beneteau Oceanis 50 (Moorings), Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i (Sunsail), Beneteau Oceanis 50f (Moorings), Beneteau Oceanis 473 (BVI Yacht Charters) and another Beneteau Oceanis 473 (Rob Swain Sailing School).

Finishing behind the Dufours in Bareboat 2 were a Beneteau Oceanis 361 (Rob Swain School), a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 409 (Sunsail) and a Beneteau Oceanis 40 (Moorings). 

Now’s the time to start thinking about the BVI Spring Regatta for next year.  Contact the charter companies to see what packages they are offering. 

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