Boating and Sailing Near Sint Maarten

Whether you sail aboard a yacht to the island or want to enjoy a day on the sea, St. Maarten can accommodate you

Photo credit: © kampi

Well kept marinas, pleasant sailing conditions and easy access to neighboring islands makes St. Maarten a popular sailing destination in the Caribbean.

With its good winds and overall excellent sailing conditions, St. Maarten is a sailor's dream and in turn has the leading sailing venue in the Caribbean. St. Maarten hosts several annual sailing regattas, including the Heineken Regatta. This event, which is held in March, is one of the largest sailboat races in the Caribbean, and brings about 200 boats from two dozen different countries.

There are smaller sailing events throughout the year that are popular among boat owners and renters. Those interested in finding out more information about any of the island's sailing competitions can contact the Sint Maarten Yacht Club Philipsburg at 599-0544-2079 or Dockside Management at 599-542-4096. Due to the popularity of the island's boating contests, those who don't have their own vessels and want to participate or watch from the water should make sure to reserve a boat early.

If you merely want to enjoy a few hours on the open water, without the cost and complications of sailing on your own you can take an excursion. Wondering how long you'll spend on the water and what's included? Check out the listing that follows to obtain information on area providers.

Boat Excursions
Name Phone Location
Bluebeard Charters (721) 587-5935 Palapa Center Unit 13 - Pelican Key
Captain Alan's Boat Charters (721) 580-0377 Great House Marina Dock - Oyster Pond
Captain Morgan Charters (721) 526-2467 Simpson Bay
Eagle Tours (721) 542-3323 Bobby's Marina - Philipsburg
Fun In The Sun (721) 547-0210 Airport Road - Simpson Bay
Lord Sheffield (721) 552-0875 John Craane Cruise Terminal - Point Blanche
Offshore Sensations Philipsburg (721) 527-1444 Philipsburg
Offshore Sensations Simpson Bay (721) 527-1444 Airport Road - Simpson Bay
Out Island Charters (721) 543-0068 Simpson Bay
Random Wind (721) 544-5148 23 Wellington Road - Cole Bay

Boat Rentals and Charters

There are several charter companies that have both crewed and bareboat charters available. The price of your boat trip will depend on the kind of boat you choose and the length of the charter.

If you are uncertain about which charter company to choose, you can get the help of a charter broker who will the best type of charter for you, and if chartering a crewed ship, brokers can even find the crew with the right personalities for your trip.

If you're thinking about chartering a vessel, you can contact one of these area companies:

Charter and Rental Services
Name Phone Location
Aquaworld (721) 520-7002 Palapa Center - Simpson Bay
Bay Island Yachts (069) 047-7145 Philipsburg
Black Fin (721) 547-0210 Dock Maarten - 0.5 mi. (0.9 km) South-Southeast of Philipsburg
Celine Charters (721) 545-3961 19 Corner Road - Simpson Bay
Lambada (721) 544-2640 Billy Folly Road - Pelican Key
Marine Time (721) 543-2028 Cay Hill - Little Bay
Outfitters International (721) 545-2510 Airport Road - Philipsburg
Private Yacht Charter (069) 083-5305 Emerald Merit Road 14 - Oyster Pond
Raphaella Charter Service (721) 523-7723 Bobby's Marina - Philipsburg
St. Maarten 12 Meter Challenge (721) 542-0046 26 J. Yrausquin Boulevard - Philipsburg

Picking out the right boat is also important to the enjoyment of your yachting trip. When considering what kind of yacht to choose, keep several things in mind including your sailing skills, comfort, and personal needs.

Three cabin, two bathroom monohulls are the most popular type of chartered yacht, and are one of the larger boats ranging from 36 to 50 feet long. Inexperienced yachters should not choose this kind of boat, because the larger the yacht, the more skill it takes to operate.

Those vacationers traveling with families or travelers who have less experience with yachting will find catamarans to be a good choice for charter. These boats are generally more comfortable, and experience less of the ocean's motion and less roll. Travelers who experience motion sickness may find these boats more comfortable.

There are several kinds of boats that vacationers can choose from: bareboats, skippered bareboats, and crewed charters. With a chartered bareboat, you are completely in charge of the navigation of the vessel, and have to do everything yourself. Sailors who rent these boats should have ample experience as a skipper before setting sail. Some charter companies will even make renters present documentation of their sailing experience before they allow you to charter a boat.

Skippered bareboats hire out the boat as well as a skipper to guide you and the vessel. These experienced skippers do come at an extra cost, which can be between $80(USD) to $120(USD) per day, but are well worth it for those with less experience on the water. Skippers can also serve as vacation guides, which can be helpful if you are not familiar with the area in which you are sailing.

Fully crewed charters provide both a captain and a crew. This kind of charter is usually on a more luxurious boat, and is more expensive than the other types of charters. In addition to the cost of the charter, your crew will expect a gratuity of 10 to 15 percent. This can be rather pricey as the cost of your charter is high, but the tips that the crew receives is about 30 to 40 percent of their income. Be sure to select a crew that fits in with your vacation style and the other members of your party.


Boaters can sail the waters of St. Maarten without ever being too far away from another island. The island's port of entry is located in downtown Philipsburg, and is usually active with cruise ship passengers doing a bit of shopping. Travelers who want to get out on St. Maarten's beautiful waters have several options available for finding a water craft that best fits their sailing or yachting needs.

Sailing Safety

Before setting out on your sailing adventure vacationers should remember to be safe while out at sea so they can thoroughly enjoy their trip. These are a few safety issues that vacationers will want to take into consideration while on the water:

  • Although the waters around St. Maarten and St. Martin are generally calm, boaters should be aware that the strongest currents and largest waves are closer to the Atlantic Ocean, which is north of most islands.
  • From January to March, the waters of the Caribbean are at their calmest. This is during the high season when most tourists visit the island, so you may experience some crowds and higher prices.
  • Hurricane season is from July to November.  This may make for choppier waters and not so smooth sailing conditions.

Do you plan to reach Sint Maarten using a vessel you own, or one you charter in a different location? Check out the listing that follows for basic information for area marinas.

Name Phone Location
Bobby's Marina (721) 545-2890 Simpson Bay Lagoon - Philipsburg
Captain Oliver's Marina -- Oyster Pond
Cupecoy Yacht Club (721) 545-2315 Rhine Road - Simpson Bay
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
Igy Portofino Marina (721) 545-2500 46 Airport Road - Simpson Bay
Igy Simpson Bay Marina (721) 544-2309 Airport Road - Simpson Bay
Isle Del Sol Marina (721) 544-2408 Simpson Bay
Palapa Marina (721) 545-2735 28 Airport Road - Simpson Bay
Pelican Marina -- Pelican Key
Port De Plaisance Yacht Club (721) 544-2953 Princess Port de Plaisance - Cole Bay
Simpson Bay Marina (721) 544-2582 Simpson Bay
Simpson Bay Yacht Club Marina -- 0.7 mi. (1.2 km) Southeast of Simpson Bay
St. Maarten Yacht Club (721) 544-2086 90 Welfare Road - Cole Bay
The New Lagoon Marina (721) 544-4937 35 Wellington Road - Cole Bay

Once you have decided what kind of charter is best for your vacation, it will be easier to find out the overall cost of your charter. There are several things that sailors can consider when trying to estimate what you will be spending.

An often overlooked necessity is food. Everyone has to eat while aboard the ship, so when budgeting for your charter, don't forget to include the price of meals. Some charter companies will stock their boats for your charter, but often it is more efficient for the vacationer to do it themselves.

The type of boat you charter will also have to be factored in to the cost of the boating excursion. Skippered and crewed boats are going to cost more than chartering just the boat itself, but crewed boats are the best option for inexperienced boaters. Also, the time of year during which you are taking your vacation will affect the cost. Everything in the Caribbean Islands tends to cost more during the high season, which is during the winter months. Travelers may want to consider this when planning their island retreat.

When going over the paperwork that the charter company has sent you, don't forget to read the small print. Most charter companies let you put the cost of the deposit and damage insurance on a major credit card, this is considered one of the best options in case anything unexpected should happen during the charter.

Nearby Anchorages
Location Latitude Longitude
Simpson Bay Lagoon - Cole Bay 18.0355763306 -63.0878090858
Great Bay - Philipsburg 18.0201303262 -63.0492925539
Simpson Bay - Simpson Bay 18.0349846328 -63.1011128426
Baie de Marigot - Marigot 18.0664384876 -63.0902552605
Baie Nettle - Sandy Ground 18.0624250736 -63.1019496918
Oyster Pond - 2.2 mi. (3.6 km) South of Orient Bay 18.0551264536 -63.0174922943
Baie Longue - Las Terres Basses 18.055998886 -63.1410884857
Orient Bay - Orient Bay 18.0844709512 -63.0136728287

St. Maarten is a sailing hot spot in the Caribbean, so vacationers are sure to have unforgettable experience boating on the island's beautiful waters.


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