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Dominican Republic Sailing and Boating

Enjoy the waters off of the Dominican Republic

Photo credit: © L.C.N√łttaasen

Dominican Republic Sailing

The Dominican Republic has only recently become accessible by foreign sailing and yachting enthusiasts. And while there are still many improvements to be made in the form of procedures and facilities, sailing to the island is becoming easier.

Travelers who are destined for or sailing past the Dominican Republic can find calm sailing on the southern coast and challenging conditions on the northern coast. Sailors with less experience can find protection from strong tradewinds on the southern coast of the island. The north coast has few safe anchorages. While procedures and facilities are not up to the standards of other Caribbean islands, there are now some places for foreign cruising vessels to access the Dominican Republic.

Contact Information
Boca Chica Club Nautico de Santo Domingo
809-523-6524 (Fax)
Casa de Campo Marina 809-523-8646/7
809-523-8648 (Fax)
VHF Channel 16, 18a
Luperon Harbor Puerto Blanco Marina
Punta Cana Resort and Club 809-959-2262 x 8004,8005
809-688-1556 (Fax)
Marina Punta Cana Santo Domingo
Club Nautico Haina 809-537-7969

Be aware that port dues and harbor fees will be assessed for staying in ports and harbors in the Dominican Republic. In addition to these costs, some marinas require fees of up to $60(USD), as well as $10(USD) tourist cards for each passenger on board. A yacht must go through the clearance procedures and receive papers from each port that it visits in the Dominican Republic.

Entry Procedures

  • Fly a quarantine flag (Q) in a visible place on approach and wait for boarding.

  • Passengers must pay fees, obtain tourist cards, and produce appropriate passports and papers.

  • Passengers must sometimes be cleared by military commanders in the port.

  • Firearms must be accompanied by proof of ownership.

  • Customs officials will often request a small gift upon completion of inspection.


Name Address Phone number VHF channel
Club Nautico Haina Inc. Carretera Sanchez, Haina, Dominican Republic (809) 539 7313 68
Marina Casa de Campo Ave. La Marina #49 Casa de Campo, La Romana,  Dominican Republic (809) 523 2111 16 and 68
Puerto Colon Port and Marina Plaza Popular Local # 3 / 6 / 7, Cabarete, La Isabela, Luperon, Dominican Republic (809) 571 0753 Unknown
Marina Puerto Blanco Puerto Blanco, Luperon, Dominican Republic (809) 571 8644 Unknown
Ocean World Marina Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata , Luperon, Dominican Republic (809) 970 3373 16 and 68
Marina Luperon Yacht Club Puerto Plata , Luperon, Dominican Republic (809) 571 8606 Unknown
Marina Tropical Puerto Plata , Luperon, Dominican Republic (829) 902 6169 Unknown
Cap Cana Harbor and Marina Juanillo, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (809) 227 2262 Unknown
Roco Ki Marina Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (888) 476 2654 Unknown
Marina Punta Cana Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (809) 959 6272 Unknown
Puerto Bonito  Playa Bonita, Las Terrenas, Samana  Dominican Republic (809) 732 1500 Unknown
Puerto Bahia Samana Porfirio Herrera No. 4, Puerto Bahia, Samana  Dominican Republic (809) 567 2211 16 and 68
Marina Zar Par #1 San Andres St, Andres, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (809) 523 5858 5 and 16
Club Nautico de Santo Domingo Boca Chica C/San Andres #6, Boca Chica, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (809) 549 6137 28 and 68
Club Nautico Haina Carretera Sanchez, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (809) 539 7313 68

Chartering Style

Inexperienced or novice sailors should not be intimidated by the idea of chartering a boat to vacation in the Caribbean. There are many options for chartering, from fully crewed charters for the inexperienced, to skippered bareboats and bareboats for the sailing elite.

Fully crewed charters are best for those who have little or no sailing experience. These types of charters allow charterers to simply relax or to learn a bit about sailing from the captain and crew. Fully crewed charters have a captain, crew, and cook. Crew members will often allow interested passengers to assist in rudimentary sailing tasks. The captain and those chartering the boat normally discuss the itinerary and tasks, but the captain has authority to make decisions in the interest of the safety of the boat and those on board, and is in ultimate control of the vessel.

For those who have some sailing experience but are not familiar with the waters of the Caribbean, a skippered bareboat is an appealing option. Charter companies will assign a skipper for a few days or for the entire journey to guide charterers through the Caribbean. This option gives charterers the experience of a bareboat while also giving them someone to turn to for information and help. Those without Caribbean sailing experience should consider this option. Skippers on these bareboats command a daily wage and must be provided with food.

Finally, for the experienced, swashbuckling sailor, there is the option of chartering a bareboat. A bareboat gives the charterer full responsibility for both the boat and the trip. Bareboats are usually not equipped with extras, such as kayaks and scuba diving gear, that are sometimes found on crewboats. Adventurers looking to explore the waters of the Caribbean by themselves, however, will find no better option than the bareboat. Charter companies will not rent bareboats without adequate proof of substantial sailing instruction and experience, and sailors should also have some knowledge of or experience with the challenging wind and water conditions in the Caribbean. Sailors should prepare a list of amenities and supplies to bring with them, so as not to have a bare bareboat.

Chartering a Yacht

Most people who charter a boat find that securing the charter is easiest through charter companies and brokers.

Charter companies divide themselves by size and tier, according to the number and age of their boats. Small companies who wish to focus on giving what they believe is the best customer service keep smaller fleets. Large companies are distinguished by their larger fleets and often offer guarantees and bonuses that the smaller companies cannot.

Companies are divided into two tiers, which are based on the general age of the company's fleet. First tier companies have fleets of boats that are less than four to five years old. These newer boats often come with newer technology and extras such as CD players and phones. Second tier companies are less expensive than first tier companies, and have older boats that they often buy from first tier companies.

Crew and charter selection is often mediated by a charter broker, who will work to ensure that you find a charter and crew that are compatible with you - an important factor for a pleasant trip. Yacht owners pay brokers, so travelers can use their services without charge.

Consult the American Yacht Charter Association (AYCA) or the Charter Yacht Broker's Association (CYBA 866-901-3922) for assistance. Most people who charter yachts for sailing to the Caribbean charter out of Florida or the U.S. or British Virgin Islands. The following is a list of contacts.

In the Caribbean:

Charter Broker Telephone Number
Crewed Charters (U.S. Virgin Islands) 800-874-2584
Nicholson Yachts Worldwide 800-662-6066
Paradise Connections (U.S. Virgin Islands) 877-567-9350
Regency Yacht Vacations (U.S. Virgin Islands) 800-524-7676
284-495-1970 (British Virgin Islands)
Stewart Yacht Charters (U.S. Virgin Islands) 800-432-6118
Yates Yachts (U.S. Virgin Islands) 866-994-7245

In Florida:

Charter Broker Telephone Number
Broward Yacht Sales Charter Division 954-763-8201
Charter Specialists 800-479-9054
Fraser Yachts Worldwide 954-463-0640
June Montagne Yacht Charters 954-217-2992
Marine Group of Palm Beach, Inc. 561-627-9500
Nicely-Dunn Yacht Charters 800-874-0724
Paradise Yacht Charters 954-462-0091
Rikki Davis, Inc. 954-761-3237
RNR Yacht Charters 800-525-2526
Tom Collins Yachts Worldwide 800-637-5407
Whitney Yacht Charters, Inc. 800-223-1426
Yachtstore, Ltd. 888-376-5198

Making Your Decisions

The choices you make when selecting the type and duration of your charter can affect the quality and style of your vacation. Carefully consider and review your needs before making final boat and crew selections. Understanding as much as you can about chartering a boat and sailing in the Caribbean will help you to choose a boat and crew that match what you want.

Consider the amount of time you wish to be on the boat, as well as the general and daily itinerary - where you want to go, and what you want to do each day as you sail. Some travelers prefer to island hop, while others prefer to explore a particular area. Many travelers will find themselves casually lounging on board, while others will venture into the waters with kayaking or scuba gear.

Other important considerations include the time of year and weather. Some may feel uncomfortable heading to the region during the busy Atlantic hurricane season. Also consider the number of people who will be traveling with you, your budget for the trip, and the type of crew that will best fit your vacation style.

Sailing purists who want to stick close to the historical experience of sailing will often select a monohull boat for their trek through the Caribbean. Monohulls tend to rock in the water, adding to the authenticity of the experience. Tackling and anchoring techniques on these boats will be different from the techniques used on the more comfortable catamarans.

Catamarans are good choices for those who are worried about seasickness, as they do not roll at anchor. Travelers with children generally choose catamarans, since running about on the deck of a catamaran will generally not be as dangerous as it would be on a monohull. Catamarans are also usually more spacious, providing more privacy and room in the cabins. Most standard catamarans have four suite rooms, while others have three rooms with two to three bathrooms. Also consider extra boat amenities such as a powerful windlass, a very helpful anchoring assistant.

Paperwork and Costs

Always meticulously review the fine print of your charter agreement so you are fully aware of insurance policies and liabilities. But even after chartering the boat, there are additional costs to consider.

Food will comprise the largest part of your budget after the chartering of the boat. Chartering companies can arrange for food from small snacks and basic supplies to full meals. Meal provisions generally start at about $25(USD) per person per day. While this may seem pricey, it may be the safest option depending on where you plan to travel. Bringing your own food can be tricky, since it will often not make it through customs. Planning to buy food on some of the more remote islands is also risky, since markets on these islands are not always well stocked. However, you can more easily get your own supplies if you are stopping at more populated islands.

Other potential costs include the cost of hiring a crew if you have a fully crewed charter or a skippered bareboat. On a fully crewed charter, the crew and captain should generally be tipped 10 percent to 15 percent on the cost of the charter. Skippers for bareboats have a fee of $80(USD) to $120(USD) a day.

Chartering a boat in the Caribbean is full of romance and adventure, and destinations in the Dominican Republic are becoming more and more accessible.


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