Boating and Sailing Near Philipsburg

Sailing is a popular pastime in Philipsburg

Photo credit © Robinson Tours

Known for its excellent docking and repair facilities, St. Maarten has become a top yachting destination in the Caribbean in recent years.  Philipsburg is a great choice for sailing, whether you're hiring a charter or sailing yourself, thanks to its location on Great Bay.

If you're just wanting to spend a few hours on the water, without the stress and cost associated with renting a boat you can take an excursion. Check out the table below for contact information for area day sailing companies.

Boat Excursions
Name Phone Location
Blue Safaris (721) 526-2749 Bobby's Marina - Philipsburg
Offshore Sensations Philipsburg (721) 527-1444 Philipsburg
Pirate Tours (305) 879-0941 Dock Maarten - Philipsburg
Robinson Speed Boat Tours (721) 581-3798 Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard - Philipsburg
Soualiga Destinations (631) 458-0543 Philipsburg

Boat Rentals and Charters

Not everyone has the time and experience to sail internationally, so a great way to be able to captain a boat and see local waters is by hiring a charter when you arrive in Philipsburg.  There are more than half a dozen charter boat rental services in town, so you shouldn't have trouble making arrangements to do so either before or when you arrive. 

If you're starting to research chartering a vessel, you can contact one of these area firms:

Charter and Rental Services
Name Phone Location
Bay Island Yachts (069) 047-7145 Philipsburg
Black Fin (721) 547-0210 Dock Maarten - 0.5 mi. (0.9 km) South-Southeast of Philipsburg
Eagle Tours (721) 542-3323 Dock Maarten - Philipsburg
Outfitters International (721) 545-2510 Airport Road - Philipsburg
St. Maarten 12 Meter Challenge (721) 542-0046 Bobby's Marina - Philipsburg


Philipsburg is located on St. Maarten's southeast corner at the center of Great Bay.  A buoyed channel leads traffic into the Bay, running from Captain Hodge Wharf to the marinas on the northeast end of the bay.  Red and green lights flash at the seaside entrance to the channel.  

The immigration department is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day of the week, while the clearance office is open from 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday.  They will assist you in clearing in when you arrive, but if you have any questions as you sail into Great Bay you can contact them over VHF Channel 12.  Note that a valid passport is necessary for every person aboard your vessel. 

Planning to travel to Philipsburg using a vessel you own, or a charter from a different area? The following chart contains a list of places where you might be able to dock.

Name Phone Location
Bobby's Marina (721) 545-2890 Simpson Bay Lagoon - Philipsburg
Dock Maarten (721) 542-5705 Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard - 0.5 mi. (0.9 km) South-Southeast of Philipsburg
Great Bay Marina (721) 542-2167 26 Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard - Philipsburg

While there are two marinas available for use in Philipsburg, those who do not wish to use them may anchor in Great Bay despite the limited space thanks to the cruise ship dock.  Do be aware, however, that anchoring is not permitted inside the buoyed channel.  

Whether your choice is to sail to the island yourself or wait until you arrive and charter a boat, getting out on the waters that surround Philipsburg is a must for those whose passion is yachting.


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