Your guide to booking sailboat charters

Feel the salt spray in your hair, the breeze of the ocean, the slosh of the sea, flitting between shimmering Caribbean isles or exploring the temple-topped map of the Greek Aegean. Those are the sort of bucket-list-busting vacation experiences that sailboat charters bring to the table. This guide can help you get a feel for the type of bookings available, and some of the top destinations in the mix.

The various types of sailboat charter out there

Finding the right sailboat charter doesn't just mean hopping aboard a boat and whizzing out to sea. There are certain things you'll need to consider before donning your captain's hat and hoisting the mainsail. The pointers below should help…

A bareboat sailboat charter

As simple as they come, the bareboat is your chance to get a ship to call your own. It's a sailing charter that includes just the vessel and nothing else – no crew, no trained skipper. They are the go-to option for seasoned seafarers who are ready to aweigh anchor and skim out of port.

A catamaran sailing charter

Fast, stable, and spacious, the catamaran has become a real doozy of a sailboat charter for oodles of reasons. It's true that they often tend to be a little pricier than their single-keel compadres, but you should be able to fit more crew members on board to share the cost.

A monohull sailboat charter

The classic monohull remains a popular sailing charter choice all around the globe. In fact, whether you're in the Greek Aegean or the Turquoise Coast of Turkey, the Florida Keys or the pink-tinted cays of the Caribbean, it's likely that this tried-and-tested type of yacht will be the first that's available. They have just a single hull, which adds maneuverability and gives that quintessential sailing look.

Sailing charters with a crew and skipper

You don't have to be Captain Cook to be able to enjoy the open ocean. There are sailboat charters out there that offer to take all the technical aspects of a vacation at sea out of your hands. They come with a trained skipper and a crew, leaving you plenty more time to pinpoint the hidden coves you want to swim in and the enchanting fishing towns you'd like to explore.

Amazing destinations to grab a sailing charter

From the white-sand isles of the Caribbean to the pulsing promenades of Miami Beach, the pointers below range all over the globe in search of some of the hottest destinations for that sailboat charter this year…

Your sailboat charter in Florida

All of Florida is a haven for sailboat charters. However, the happening Magic City of Miami really stands out from the crowd. You can leave the sunbathers of South Beach in the salt spray and skim out across Biscayne Bay in the direction of the Florida Keys, searching for dolphin pods and hidden islets ringed with mangrove while you're at it. What's more, oodles of villas by the ocean in Miami come with their own boat mooring or access to a marina, so there's a chance you can combine it all with a stay in a slick home near samba-bumping Little Havana.

Unforgettable Bahamas sailing charters

You might not even have to book a flight to the Caribbean to start sailing your way around the wonderful Bahamas. It's possible to get a sailboat charter in Florida and hop straight over to the archipelago. First stop: West End. At the very tip of Grand Bahama, it's a bustling marina with Carib fish fries and manicured golf courses.

Escape with a bareboat sailing charter in Mexico

The great thing about opting for a sailboat charter in Mexico is that you get two coastlines to pick from. In the east is the Caribbean, where rollicking Cancun gives way to the reefs of Cozumel island and the haunting temples of Tulum. In the west is the Pacific, which hosts the rock-carved arches of Cabo and the whale-rich bays around Puerto Vallarta.

BVI sailboat charters

For many veteran sailors, there's simply no more of a mecca for water sports than the British Virgin Islands. Get your sailboat charter here and you'll be able to dock by the boulder-spotted sands of Virgin Gorda, discover natural hot tubs along the coast of Jost Van Dyke, and even explore the USVI – charter boats can move freely across the straits.