Belize is not -- and never will be -- a big chartering center as, for example, is the British Virgin Islands. For one thing, stiff winds, strong currents and the barrier reef with its hidden coral heads can make navigation dicey, even for sailors who know local waters. Still, a few bareboat and crewed charters are available in Belize.
The only "name" chartering outfit with an office in Belize that we've been able to locate is Tortola Marine Management (TMM), in San Pedro. TMM has a small fleet of catamarans (sail and new motorized cats) for bareboat and skippered chartering. Reports from readers who have used TMM appear favorable. Rates vary depending on the boat and time of year, but range from around US$2,200 to more than US$6,000 a week, not including provisions or a US$20 per-person sailing fee. Skippers are an additional US$100 per day. Contact TMM (Belize) Ltd., Coconut Drive, San Pedro, tel. 501-2-63026, fax 501-2-63072, e-mail email@example.com.
|The Winnie Estelle is a former freighter (or "island trader") now doing day trips and some charters|
Peter Singfield Charters, Xaibe Village, Corozal District
Probably the best value in the Caribbean. US$400 per person, all inclusive, for seven days on a Belizean sailing sloop. But you do it in a bucket. on Peter's boat.
Windsong Charters, Punta Gorda
Based at Orange Point Marina in PG, Windsong offers MacGregor 26s, either bareboat or captained. Bareboat rate for a charter running from Sunday to Saturday is US$1,850. Provisioning is available from around US$228. A good value, but the MacGregors will knock you around a little on Belize's choppy waters.
Cats, motorboats and sailboats temporarily in Belize may be available for charter from time to time. These boats come and go at the whim of the seas and their captains. Ask locally in San Pedro (especially at the Belize Yacht Club) or at the marinas at the Radisson Fort George or Princess Hotel & Casino in Belize City or on Moho Caye. Catamarans for day or short charters may be available at Ramon's and Journey's End and elsewhere.
Liveaboard dive boats are also an option for those seeking the salt. The two best-known operations are Peter Hughes Diving with its 120' Belize Wave Dancer and the Aggressor Fleet, with its similarly sized Belize Aggressor III. Per-person rates shown include a seven-day trip with around 5 1/2 days of diving, food, drinks and airport transfers. Port charges about an additional US$45.
Peter Hughes Diving, 1390 South Dixie Highway, Suite 1109, Coral Gables, FL 33146, tel. 305-669-9391 or 800-932-6237, fax 305-669-9475, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Rates US$1595 to US$1695
Aggressor Fleet, P.O. Box 1470, Morgan City, LA 70381, tel. 800-348-2628 or 504-385-2628, fax 504-384-0817, e-mail: email@example.com. Rates US$1,695.
The Belize River Lodge near Belize City offers a liveaboard fishing boat, a 58" Hatteras. Tel. 888-275-4843.
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