LateSail Regatta Overview

Why and when should you book with LateSail?

You will usually see us promoting the values of booking last minute or taking advantage of early or promotional discounts, but with regattas you typically find little or no availability last minute and discounts are scarce or none. If you are organised enough the best prices are to secure before the next season’s prices are released (ie book in the first half of 2015 for your 2016 charter). You also have the advantage of a wider selection of yachts available and from the company with the best list prices.


 So why book with LateSail at all for a regatta?

  • Our experience of finding the right yacht from the best fleets and what should be included – will it include a CSA certificate? A higher refundable deposit? Is a spinnaker available? The race entry itself?
  • As a broker we are impartial, so our role is to find an option that suits both your budget, level of performance and type of yacht. We are not trying to push a particular product above another.
  • We think outside the box. No yachts left in Antigua for ASW? That’s ok, we have an option you can charter from St Martin instead (or pay a premium to have moved to Antigua for you)
  • Bareboat, skippered, crewed or cabin charter. We offer them all.

What yachts are available?

Not all charter companies are happy for their yachts to participate in regattas (or insured for that matter), so depending on the regatta you are looking to race in we know and will check with all the fleets that have suitable options. After that, much like a bareboat charter, we will look to find the best size, berth and model of monohull or catamaran for you.

Differences to consider vs bareboat?

  • Some companies require you to take a longer minimum length charter than the regatta itself, and often you need time to prepare.
  • Refundable security deposits are often extra, and only third party deposit insurance available
  • Not all companies have spinnakers available, but often the bareboat class doesn’t allow them anyway so you don’t need to get stuck on this point.

What organised regattas are available to book through LateSail?


In short, there are lots throughout the Caribbean and Med, and as long as it isn’t outside of usual restrictions (between multiple countries for example), we will be able to track down any yachts available in the market to charter.

The following Caribbean  regattas are the most popular:

Antigua Sailing Week, 25 Apr – 1 May 2015, 23 – 29 Apr 2016, 20 Apr – 5 May 2017

St Martin Heineken Regatta, 5-8 March 2015, 3-6 March 2016, 2-5 March 2017

BVI Spring Regatta, 30 March – 5 Apr 2015, 28 March – 3 Apr 2016, 27 March – 2 Apr 2017

Organise your own regatta or flotilla?

If you are part of a sailing club or looking to do a corporate sailing event, just let us know how many yachts you need (matching  or not), dates and destination – and we will put together the best package for you. As always, our price guarantee always applies.

Bareboat, Flotilla, Crewed or Cabin Charter?

Bareboat, Flotilla, Crewed or Cabin Charter… which one is the best for me?

At LateSail we pride ourselves in not only getting you the best price, but also finding the best fit for you. That might mean the specifics of the yacht, the charter company or recommending a destination to sail from. Another broader decision to make is whether to sail bareboat, flotilla, crewed or by the cabin.

We will often have feedback along the lines of “I’ve always sailed bareboat, I don’t know why I never tried flotilla before… it was fantastic!”

So whether you are new to sailing or have been doing the same type of sailing holiday for 50 years, maybe 2015 could be the year to try something different, or at the very least read to the end of this blog!

Below we have highlighted some of the key factors for each of the types of charter.



A great way to hone your sailing skills on a variety of yacht models, the ultimate freedom, a smart alternative being committed to owning a yacht, and it is a competitive market so you can be price conscious as well.




A flotilla is a sailing convoy, numerous boats following an agreed route in company. You have the support a lead crew as part of the flotilla so good for confidence building especially if you are new to sailing, but equally good if you have lots of experience but enjoy the added social aspect of a meeting and socialising with many other like minded individuals. Particularly good for families as there is always something for kids to do.



Sail on a yacht with permanent crew who take pride in the yacht and know the sailing area like the back of their hand. It is much more service orientated than just adding a skipper to your bareboat charter and in the Caribbean food and drink (to a high standard) will typically be included in the price. There is a wide range of options and prices vary depending on a number of factors. The yachts typically have many amenities on board such as wakeboarding, windsurfing and diving. We know the boats, and very importantly, the crews, and we work with you to tailor make the perfect holiday.




Perfect if you are a single person or a couple looking to relax for a week without the responsibility and cost of hiring a whole yacht. The majority of cabin charters you will find yourself being waited on typically doing as little as possible. If you are looking to gain some extra sailing experience there are options for this too, and you could also gain a sailing certificate at the same time.

Everyone’s idea of the perfect sailing holiday is slightly different, but the LateSail team expert advice is on hand to help you find the perfect match, and of course, with our guarantee that you will be getting the best price possible.

Hidden Extras, What to Expect on a Bareboat Charter

We often speak to people who are looking to book their next charter, but keen to have everything included in the price. Usually this stems from a previous experience of appearing to be stung by a series of hidden extras on their arrival at the base.

LateSail is regularly booking with a number of different companies worldwide whose extras can vary massively. One of the many advantages of using LateSail’s experience is that we are fully aware of the variations in charging structure, and ensure this information is correctly conveyed from the base, to you, the customer, ensuring there are no nasty surprises and everyone is on the same page. Sometimes the “extras” can be included in the upfront costs, but often they are compulsory and payable locally. Our aim is to be as transparent as possible with these cost, so you will find every quote from us lists what is included, compulsory extras, and optional add-ons, along with charter start and finish times, as these can vary significantly, which of course affects the duration of the charter and the value on offer.



Such an example below:

There is an obvious attraction to an inclusive price. The booking can be completed and paid in advance with no need to double check details against charges the base staff are asking you to pay. The problem can often be that the much better value overall is with a company who will only allow extras to be paid at base.

We work constantly to maintain our records of each company’s extras, double checking them when sending each quote, guaranteeing the extras we have provided at the time of booking, are the total of extras required at base. If, in the unlikely event you find that it does not match what you have to pay at base, we will match the difference straight away. No blame games, no excuses, just your money back for any unexpected costs.

So what extras should you expect? Whether they are included, payable up front, or locally, the prices may vary between companies, but we are interested in breaking down the charges so you can work out the best total price including the yacht and its extras.

End cleaning –  A standard extra throughout the Med, the price of which can vary quite substantially. For Exotic or Caribbean destination this is often included however it does vary according to charter company.

Outboard – Typically included as standard from exotic and Caribbean destinations  but generally charged as an extra for Mediterranean charters

Bed linen and towels – Often an optional extra charge for Western Med destinations such as Spain, France and Italy. Some companies will charge in the Eastern Med but typically it is included. Exotic and Caribbean destinations typically include linens free of charge. Worth noting we still advise taking your own beach towel, as those provided are usually more designed for on board use.

Local cruising taxes – Turkey and Croatia call it a transit log payable per charter, plus in Croatia there is an accommodation tax per person per day.  BVIs and Cuba have cruising taxes based on the number of people on board. North American charters subject to a sales tax, which varies from State to State. Other destinations either do not have such a tax, or it is included within the cost of the yacht hire.

Fuel – Some companies will offer a pre-pay fuel option, or if you are sailing as part of a  flotilla it is often included in the charter fee. In the most part though, the yacht will be handed to you full of fuel and you need to refill the tanks before returning, much like a car hire. There are many factors that can determine the cost – weather conditions, sailing vs motoring time, local cost of fuel, size of the yacht, with or without a Generator. If you are unsure of what costs to expect please just ask us for a little more detail on how to estimate an approximate cost for your planned charter.

Insurance – all the yachts available to charter have a fully comprehensive insurance, but you will be asked to leave a refundable security deposit by credit card. The amount is typically held as an authorisation but not taken from your account. At the end of the charter it is released if there are no claims or damages. This amount is usually your maximum liability in the case of any incident, excluding gross negligence.

Damage waivers – some companies offer a compulsory damage waiver option (in some cases it is compulsory) to negate or reduce the refundable security deposit required. If the charter company in question do not have they own waiver available, you can always arrange cover with a third party insurer who offer deposit insurance. Ask us for more details.

Optional extras – typically they would include a skipper, cook or hostess, safety netting for children, kayaks, paddleboards or provisioning service.

Marina and mooring fees – your first and last night will be included free of charge in the yachts home port (note if you are arranging a one way charter moorings at the destination base, away from home port, will often be at your expense). Sometimes the home port is also free during any of the charter, but not always – check with us if this is important. Away from base you need to pay any local costs for mooring buoys or marinas, which can vary massively depending on the area you are sailing, the time of season and the size of yacht.

Airport Transfers – Typically your charter cost excludes providing transport to the charter base, however it can usually be arranged at additional cost. However if you are booking a flight inclusive charter, then airport transfers are generally included.

In short, when booking with LateSail there may be extras but none will be ‘HIDDEN’

Before you Sail to Croatia: Insider Info on the Marinas of Split and Zadar

Croatia’s Adriatic Coastline has achieved well renowned fame for its beautiful sailing conditions. It features thousands of islands to explore as well as safe anchorages and harbours. There are also a good number of on-land attractions including Dubrovnik with its medieval walls and the cosmopolitan city of Split.Split

Like any coastal nation Croatia has different sailing regions, each offering varied attractions according to your taste and preferences.

As you chart your journey it’s always great to know where you’ll moor each night and what you can reasonably expect from each place you stop- is the town within walking distance, will you be able to buy provisions or grab a drink at a bar?

We recently returned from a trip to Croatia in which we documented the pros and cons of the marinas in and around Split and Zadar, and we’re ready to share this important insider information with our readers!  Read on for the inside scoop and be sure to contact us for further details.

Beginning our journey……

This marina has many yachts and narrow pontoons in the main part, with a more open side closer to the city. It offers a very basic local shop and supermarkets within walking distance. You can walk to the city centre for restaurants and nightlife but driving into town through the traffic takes time.

Omis, Croatia

Here you’ll find a local shop and supermarkets within walking distance. It is located just 20 minutes from the Split airport (SPU). There is just one place in the marina for coffee and food and Kastela doesn’t have much more even if you get a taxi in.

Baska Voda
This is a nice town to start or end a charter in, located opposite the east end of Brac Island. There are small local shops in the village and you can go to Makarska for bigger shops. Here you can get away from the crowds and remain very close to a nice town near your yacht.

Baska Voda

Krvavica (Marina Ramova)

This small marina is not near a town but does have a small restaurant with bar. It is located over an hour from the Split airport. The closest place to provision would be Makarska.


This is a great place to start from, very picturesque and close to the airport. There are various places to provision within walking distance. It is close to the airport and in the old town there are lots of restaurants and bars. During high season it can take longer to get over the two bridges into town but walking may be faster.

Seget Donji

This new marina is located 1 km from Trogir. It is quite spacious and nice, with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool inside the marina. There is a small shop in the marina as well as larger supermarkets within walking distance. One could also walk along the main road to Trogir (although it is not actually in Trogir) and it is easily accessed from the Split airport.

Seget Donji

Seget Donji


It is important to note that this is marina is exclusive to the Sunsail and Moorings charter companies.  It has a supermarket in the marina which closes early on Sunday and can get busy, so pre-provisioning is recommended. You can also stop at a supermarket on the way. It is far from larger towns like Trogir and Split but still onl 20 minutes from the airport, with a small town with restaurants and bars.

Kremik Marina (near Primosten)

This is a large and rather lifeless marina but does serve its purpose (as it was purpose built) and has good facilities. Primosten and therefore provisions is a taxi ride away, in fact a taxi is the only way to get out of the marina.

Sibenik (Mandalina Marina)

This marina features a small shop and a supermarket within walking distance for ambitious walkers, although it may be easier to get a taxi. The marina is inland and positions you to go to the islands around Split, the Kornati Islands or Skradin waterfalls. Sibenik is a great town to visit, accessible by a taxi or water ferry.


Murter (Jezera ACI)

Lovely peaceful town to start from, especially if you’re headed for the Kornati islands. If you’re on a two-week charter you could still go further south. The marina features a supermarket and the the small town has restaurants and bars. The surroundings are picturesque. It is a bit further from Split and Zadar than other marinas but the tranquility may be worth it.


Zaton could feasibly be referred to as Sibenik although it is a good 10 minutes away by taxi. The town of Zaton is a 10 minute walk from the marina; you may wish to take a taxi there although you would need to call one. In Zaton you have some small restaurants and shops to provision. I nice small tranquil place to start from.

This is a good base from which to visit Skradin, the Kornati islands or Split islands although it is essentially in the middle of nowhere and there is not much in Zaton.

This is a good base for heading off to the Kornati islands, although it is essentially a pier off a deserted car park. Ther are restaurants and bars in the small town, and it is located further from Split and Zadar airports than other marinas. One can take a small walk around town, and facilities are limited as it is more of a jetty than a marina.

Biograd na Moru (Kornati Marina, north and south, and Sangulin Marina)

This makes a good town to start from and is a fairly big marina. There are many places to provision. Most charter companies here are based in the Kornati Marina, It is close to the Zadar airport but allows you to avoid having to go to Sukosan marina, which is massive and purpose built.

Sukosan (Marina Dalmacija)

As mentioned, this purpose built marina is huge, with 1200 charter berths and 500 private berths. You can find all kinds of food for daily use in the marina. The marina or village (500m) also offer a baker, butcher and some fruit and vegetable shops. Here there are admittedly good facilities charter companies have big offices here. It is also close to the airport, but it is too big to be at all charming and you’ll need to get a taxi into Zadar to go out on the first or last night of your trip.


Rogoznica (Marina Frappa)

A mostly private marina, here you’ll find a supermarket, swimming pool and bar. It is a step above your standard charter base and a well appointed full service marina ideally located on the coast line, although 30 minutes from Split airport.

Vodice (Vodice ACI)

A nice small lively town to spend two nights in if desired, it is also very convenient for visiting the Kornati Islands. You’ll find a supermarket, bars and restaurants but it is fairly far from both the Zadar and Split airports. The Split airport may be the closest, at about 40 minutes driving distance. In the summer months the bars are quite lively and some guests may find marina a bit noisy at night.

Having just visited the region (and with its beauty still fresh in our minds!) we are happy to help you chart a course in Croatia that stops off at the best marinas. Contact us today.

Monohull or Catamaran?

It is true to say that many a purist wouldn’t be caught dead in a catamaran, however we are finding that just as many people are starting to appreciate the benefits which they present.

The question needs to be asked, what kind of sailor are you or what kind of sailors are your crew? Many fair weather sailors, novices, older people and younger people appreciate the stability and space which a catamaran offers. A hard-core monohull sailor once said: “When I sail a cat, it feels like I am driving my living room!”  We see how this description is either appealing or not appealing, depending on who you are. This stability and void of healing are the main features which purists dislike and many a fair weather sailor does like!


Far too often we hear heart retching tails of sailors who are forced to settle for a week in a hotel. They are often out voted by their very own family or people who just don’t share their same passion for monohull sailing. We believe that catamarans could well be the answer and middle ground for many. Is it better to spend a week sailing a catamaran or being land locked and not sailing at all?

Traditionally there has been a definite price difference between catamarans and monohulls, however this gap in most cases is shrinking as catamarans are becoming more and more plentiful.


Catamarans are great for entertaining with their wide open spaces, easy flow from cockpit to saloon and not often can you blame a spilt drink on the sea. The shallow draft also makes for much closer beach access and davits for convenient dingy access.

It must be said that catamarans do not always add to the ease factor. In busy Mediterranean ports and marinas, space is a scarcity and monohulls do trump catamarans in this scenario. The wide beam can make finding a berth challenging, but when you find a space catamarans do trump on manoeuvrability due to their twin props. Catamarans are very popular and even more common than monohulls in; the Caribbean, the Seychelles, Thailand and other popular tropical charter locations.


Perhaps catamarans are still not for everyone, but they certainly have a place for many. Give them a try and see for yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised. For those of you who need less persuading, why not ask LateSail for a catamaran quote for your next charter.

Happy sailing

When’s the Best Time to Visit the BVI?

As with any destination the weather in the BVI fluctuates throughout the year. Of particular interest to sailors of course are the winds, the crowds and chances of rain and storms.


The British Virgin Islands

Exciting Winds and Good Times

From December to February you can expect the BVI to really pull out all the stops in terms of gorgeous weather. There are sunny skies, little chance of rain and moderate daily temperatures for hanging out on deck or on land. The winter months (November to January) bring winds of 15-20 knots, with the Christmas winds blowing at 25-30 knots for several days at a time.

This is one of the best times to visit the BVI and the number of visitors does reflect this, but if you’re looking for a party, this will be the time to find it! Sailors and merrymakers flock to the islands for the holidays, making for a lively vacation with plenty of opportunities to have fun and get involved.


The Beautiful Weather only Gets Better

During the period from February to May the weather warms up a bit and the winds remain at around 15-20 knots.

There are several events that draw visitors during this time, including the Kite Jam in February and the BVI Spring Regatta in April, but travelers do report getting good rates on flights. You may have to contend with some crowds but the gorgeous conditions can more than make up for it.


When Things Slow Down

In May and June the busier season comes to an end. Things slow down, as do the winds. It is a time when you can enjoy plenty of space for anchoring and far fewer visitors.

At this time you may find less restaurants open and less people to chat with but it’s a very peaceful time to visit. The islands generally have quite a low amount of rainfall but there is a chance of showers starting in July.

This is also the time of the BVI’s Emancipation Festival, which actually could be a good reason to schedule your charter in late July or early August. It is a colorful celebration of the islands’ history and culture- the local music, food fairs and parades can make for a great complement to your sailing time in the Caribbean!


Slight Risk of Hurricanes

From September to November the islands have their chances of hurricane. You’ll still have very decent weather and temperatures, with steady winds. If your dream is to have a BVI beach all to yourself and really enjoy that desert island feel, this is probably the best time to come.

As you can see the best time to sail in the BVI can really depend upon your preferences and group interests! Each season brings something different, but we can help you find the best rates for the time you want to travel.

Our staff’s years of experience also means we can also help personalize a trip plan to your unique needs and preferences.

Fun Tips for Celebrating Christmas in the BVI

Heading to the BVI around Christmas? Aside from the great sailing winds you’ll also be able to enjoy this festive time of year amidst the area’s vast beauty and a good number of spirited yachties.

Here are a few fun tips for making Christmas in the BVI fun and festive, on board and on land.


Christmas Dinner at a Restaurant

There are a number of very good restaurants on the BVI, distributed throughout the various islands. A few that offer good Christmas meals (and great food in general) are the famous Foxy’s on Jost Van Dyke, Scrub Island Resort, Cooper Island Beach Club, Peter Island Resort, The Dove in Road Town, Tortola and the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda.

Christmas Dinner on Board

You can also of course prepare a great Christmas Dinner on board! With some good planning and provisioning in advance you can make it as elaborate or simple as you like.


Plan to have a few drinks on board and perhaps invite your neighbors over for some appetizers to spread the Christmas cheer. There is no shortage of people looking to make friends and party!

While you’re at it, why not decorate your boat in the spirit of Christmas? This will be good preparation for the Annual Holiday Boat Procession.

Christmas Parties and Events

There is a lot to see and do at this time of the year, as the BVI essentially turns into a big party from Christmas Eve to New Year’s (also known as Old Year’s).

You’ll see local homes decked out in festive lights, ribbons and ornaments as well as palms decorated as Christmas trees. Tortola’s main street is one of the centers of the action, with plenty of music, food and general merrymaking.


On Virgin Gorda Spanish Town is the place to be, with similar festivities to Tortola, and on the 24th you can take part in the Annual Holiday Boat Procession. Kit out your boat with fun stockings, lights and other Christmas decorations and join the other charterers for the parade.

As you can see this is a bustling, joyful time in the BVI- the entire area enjoys Christmas carols on the radio stations, and people are there to really enjoy the holidays in the Caribbean. It’s a fun place to be-  and this is to say nothing of the Old Year Celebration at Foxy’s.

For more information, please feel free to contact us. Our experts have years of experience sailing the BVI at all times of year.

The LateSail Difference: Bareboat Charter Brokers with Experience

When it comes time to book a sailing charter many seasoned sailors are well aware of the fact that you don’t have to book directly from a larger operator.
Brokers can often help you find the very best deal around, especially if you’re willing to go on slightly shorter notice. Just like the people who have become experts at finding the cheapest flights on the internet, sailors are becoming much savvier when it comes to finding the best prices; much of this has to do with the broker.LateSail

So how do you choose your broker?

There are many new bareboat charter companies that have recently come onto the scene, offering good holidays and reasonable rates. LateSail, however, puts years of experience at each client’s disposal.logo 300dpi
If you haven’t already sailed in a certain destination it can be hard to figure out exactly when and where to go. Your charter will only last a short time and you want to ensure you really make the most out of every day spent out on the water. This is where an experienced team can really make the difference!
There are so many factors involved when it comes to planning a successful charter- from the group you decide to sail with to the boat you choose, and perhaps most importantly; where to go.
Friends can offer advice but when it comes time to make your payment you want to be really sure you’re getting exactly what you bargained for.
Our service means you won’t just hand over your credit card details and arrive in port to make your way wherever the wind takes you. By the time our clients are ready to board their flight to Athens, for example, or touch down in Tortola, they’ve received extensive information about every aspect of their charter.
Instead of just reviewing offers online and quickly processing payment, those who reserve with LateSail can enjoy a full informational chat if they so desire. Our staff has over 65 combined years of personal experience in many sailing destinations. This means they can advise on where to go, what time of year, what not to miss and which boat will be best.
Access to thousands of discounted charters also means we can take any and all budgets into account when searching for the right offer.
A quick look at our Meet the Team page will show you that our team members really span the globe, not only in terms of location but experience and knowledge as well. We have people with years of experience guiding groups in the Caribbean, as well as those who have a passion for sailing in the Eastern Med. LateSail’s Dan Lockyer was a professional skipper in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean before founding the company in 1999.

One of the best reasons to give LateSail a call is that there will be someone on the other end ready to personalize your sailing experience and tailor a charter offer just for you.
Some skippers are just setting off on their first solo voyage, while others are experienced sea dogs just looking for the best offer. Whether you’re looking for a breezy sailing experience in well charted waters, or want to try something new and different we can present you with a range of options.
LateSail also recognizes the fact that some sailors have been there and done that; they know where they want to go and how much they’d like to pay, no additional information necessary. For this there is our Name your Price option, where we will find a suitable charter at the right price.
With such an experienced team clients can really enjoy a higher level of service; one where from start to finish their charter broker does everything possible to ensure each vacation lives up to all expectations.

Exploring the Blue Holes of the Bahamas

The Bahamas are a set of low-lying islands off the southeast coast of Florida, north of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. What is particularly interesting about them is that they were not formed by any volcanic activity, making them low-lying far-reaching islands with long sweeping sandy beaches.Bahamas_white_sandy_beach

One of the coolest aspects of the Bahamas’ formation and geography is the formation of blue holes. These occur when the ceilings of massive limestone caves collapse, resulting in a circular expanse of deep blue water visible from the sky.

The blue holes are located both inland and in the open ocean of the Bahamas. They are fascinating places to dive, snorkel and explore!

The Bahamas are full of blue holes, but the island of Andros has proven to be the central focus for those looking to explore the largest number of caves. Here divers of all levels can experience cave diving at its best. With the help of a guide it is possible to delve into the deepest depths of the island, following ancient underwater paths that often lead to small openings opening into majestic spaces with vast expanses.Diving_blue_hole

Snorkelers can enjoy the blue holes and caves of Andros on the southern end of the island. The openings of caves are often teeming with tropical fish that are easy to see on the water’s surface.

Long Island is home to the massive Dean’s Blue Hole, which is the deepest blue hole in the world; an interesting factoid for anyone who has experienced the famous Blue Hole of Belize or snorkeled the cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula.

A visit to any of the blue holes, large or small, is enough to make your charter in the Bahamas truly unique – as if you needed another reason to visit these beautiful islands!

Guests are fascinated by just how clearly you can see how the caves were formed when they were still above ground. Stalactites and stalagmites are only formed when exposed to oxygen and they make for a dazzling sight to see.

Contact us for more information.

Island Hopping in the BVI

The British Virgin Islands consist of more than 45 islands, many uninhabited. It is worth planning your trip so you can spend some time on as many of the islands as possible. Island hopping in the BVI offers dramatic coastlines, superb water quality and some of the most beautiful islands anywhere in the Caribbean.


Here is link to a great article featured in the US Airways Magazine, about Island Hopping in the BVI.

Maybe it will inspire you to start planning your own trip to this beautiful sailing destination.