Choosing Your Bareboat Charter Destination

Setting sail on a bareboat charter is like playing hooky from school. When you hop aboard that powerboat or sailboat, and head away from the dock, you leave your daily routine behind. You shake off your responsibilities for a day or maybe even an entire weekend. You pour a cold drink, kick back in the cockpit, and put yourself on island time – regardless of where you’re going. Your biggest decision: where to head the boat’s bow after you leave the marina.

Choosing your bareboat charter destination? Check out these tips!

When you schedule your bareboat charter, consider how much time you can spend in your liquid playground. If you book a daylong boat trip, your destination will differ from someone who has a weekend to burn. Your decision will also be influenced by the proximity of easily reached marinas and anchorages.

Pinpoint a One-Day Bareboat Charter Destination

First, let’s assume you’ve booked a one-day trip on a comfortable mid-sized powerboat. In south Florida, this well-equipped vessel can take you to a nice waterfront eatery for lunch before you cruise the Intracoastal Waterway or head offshore to give the engines a workout. With good weather conditions, you can easily return to the dock with time to spare. Or, maybe you’ve scheduled a bareboat charter from Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay. After casting off the lines, head across the Bay to Kent Narrows for lunch before powering through the waves on the return trip. Leaving from either homeport in a mid-sized sailboat, enjoy a relaxing daysail while noshing on lunch in the cockpit, and return to your marina in time for a sundowner.

Make an Enticing Weekend Float Plan

Next, maybe you’ve booked a weekend cruise on a mid-sized powerboat containing a galley and sleeping quarters. After you spend a high-octane day on the water, settle down at a marina or protected anchorage, and enjoy dinner and an overnight stay. In south Florida, take your powerboat to the popular Biscayne Bay anchorage south of Miami. Or, dock at an Intracoastal Waterway marina/restaurant for dinner and plug into shore power for the night. The next day, get the wind in your hair with another offshore trip, or cruise the ICW and stop for a tasty meal before returning to the boat’s dock. Leaving from Annapolis, consider a similar itinerary with an overnight stop in St. Michaels on the eastern shore, or anchor in a gorgeous creek off the Chester River. On the Bay’s western shore, you can easily reach a Patapsco River marina or even a marina resort on Herring Bay to the south. Leaving from either homeport on a comfortable mid-sized sailboat, plan a scaled-back itinerary that allows you to enjoy the ride. If the breezes are good, take a mellow daysail and choose an easily reachable marina or anchorage for the night. The next day, let the wind (or lack of it) be your guide. If the heat’s a factor, find a safe stopping point and take a cooling swim. Relax under the boat’s bimini while you head toward home.  

Get Your Bareboat Charter Yacht Lined Up

If these one-day or weekend boat trips intrigue you, but you don’t have your own vessel, roll out your Plan B. Rent a desirable boat through Boatsetter,  the leading boat-sharing company that connects boaters with local boat owners. Within a few minutes, you can reserve a privately owned powerboat or sailboat near your homeport. If you’re new to boating, or want to relax and enjoy the trip, hire a licensed Coast Guard captain as well. Choose from Boatsetter vessels docked in convenient coastal ports and beautiful lakes around the United States (plus some international boating hotspots).  So go ahead and book that bareboat charter now, and that “playing hooky” daydream can soon become a reality.


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