Small Boat

FAQs

Planning my Trip

A: Download this sample itinerary for sailing the Florida Keys.
A: Download this sample itinerary for sailing the Southwest Florida.
A: Download this sample itinerary for sailing in New England starting in Newport, Rhode Island.
A: Download this sample itinerary for sailing the US and British Virgin Islands. We also offer charters in the US Virgin Islands only if the BVI's borders are closed. We are working on a sample itinerary to upload for the USVI, but in the meantime, reach out to us directly for details.

A: Download this handy packing list to help you pack your soft-sided bag.

A: Check our Resources page for some great spots for your overnight ashore. There are hotel and dining recommendations listed.
A: Catatonic 500 accommodates up to 6 guests in 3 Queen Staterooms. If there are more people in your party, let us know, and we can find a yacht that can accommodate your group.
A: Let us know as we work with all of the yachts in the Caribbean, and we can help find something at your price point that will be perfect for your dream vacation!
A: Contact us and book directly with us by using the website or by emailing yachtcatatonic@mac.com or calling or texting 203-536-2684. Email is really the best method of communication, but you are welcome to call or text, as well. We will get you started by reserving your dates and sending you a charter agreement to review and sign. If our calendar looks like we are booked during your dates, reach out anyway as we work with other yachts in the Caribbean and we can help you find a fantastic yacht for your trip!
A: We always recommend insuring your trip in case the weather is uncooperative, on the off chance (heaven forbid) that someone in your party is injured before the trip, or for any other unforeseen reason. We refer guests to Alex Dalton, who is an expert on travel insurance. He will find a great policy for you at a very competitive rate. Email him at Alex@travelwithalex.com.
A: The crew will work hard to ensure you have a GREAT vacation and appreciates gratuity at the end of the trip. Gratuity is left to the charter guests’ discretion and general guidelines are that 15% of the charter fee is appropriate for very good service and 20% of the charter fee for exceptional service.
A: The crew prefers cash but can also accept Pay Pal and personal checks.
A: Chef Sandy will customize a menu especially for your group. Before the trip, you will fill out a preference sheet to indicate your favorite meals, sides and snacks! Then she will send you a sample menu so that you can get an idea of what the menu may look like for the trip. There may be some changes in the menu as sometimes items are not available on island or they are not their freshest, so she may need to make substitutions, but the sample menu will give you a good idea of the plan and then if you see something there that you’d rather not have, you can let her know and she’ll come up with something different.

When I Get to the Island

A: Once you claim your bags, there is a taxi stand right outside of the baggage claim area of the St Thomas airport. Just let the dispatcher know you are headed to American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook and they will direct you to a shared van to the marina. If you’d prefer to have a private taxi instead of a shared van, contact Elite Limo at www.elitelimousinevi.com. Fares start $100 for 4 passengers, and $25 for each additional passenger. Please contact Elite before your charter to confirm your reservation and price quotation. (Fares are subject to change, please contact Elite for an up-to-date quote.)
A: For the shared vans, the fare is $15 per person plus $2 per bag and gratuity to your driver. If you prefer a private taxi, contact Elite Limo at www.elitelimousinevi.com. Fares start $100 for 4 passengers, and $25 for each additional passenger. Please contact Elite before your charter to confirm your reservation and price quotation. (Fares are subject to change.)
A: We will pick you up at the Dinghy Dock near Outrigger's Restaurant at American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook. Download the map for specifics. Map of AYH American Yacht Harbor Red Hook

Once I’m aboard

A: Once you board the yacht we will offer you a welcome beverage, help the guests choose their cabins and then we’ll cast off the dock lines and your vacation will be officially underway!
A: On a typical day, everyone will wake up to freshly brewed coffee and we will get breakfast underway. After breakfast, everyone may hop in the water and enjoy some water activities or if everyone’s ready to get on the move, we will move to a new anchorage and start the fun there. After activities, or a shore excursion or just sunning and relaxing, we’ll be ready to serve lunch. Then it’s time for more fun, followed by Cocktail Hour complete with appetizers followed by dinner and dessert. All meals will be from a menu created especially for you based on your preferences.
A: Absolutely!  We love to fish on Catatonic and sea-to-table meals are some of our specialties!  Every person intending to fish fill out the request for a fishing permit at this link: http://www.bvi.gov.vg/services/acquiring-temporary-pleasure-fishing-licence. The vessel information is as follows: vessel description - 51' Sailing Catamaran, registration number - 1265831, port of registration - Dover, Delaware, USA, dates into territory are your charter start and end date, gear - 2 trolling rods. Licenses are approximately $50 per person. When you get the fishing licenses back by email, please forward me a copy in order to be able to fish aboard. You may want to consider taking Dramamine when we deep sea fish as we will be in the open ocean instead of in the protected cruising grounds.  We deep sea fish because we do not eat the reef fish as they can carry a toxin known as Ciguatera, but the fish caught offshore in deep water are safe to consume.

A: While Catatonic does have WiFi, we rely on island carriers to make that connectivity work.  The connectivity works most of the time.  Sometimes it is slow, so if you must be connected with high transmission speeds, please consider an international plan through your own cellular carrier, which typically costs $10 per day.  You can set that up with your carrier.

A: Part of the adventure is anchoring out at night or picking up a mooring ball, so most nights we will not be at a marina. The crew may choose to dock at a marina during the charter if the guests agree, and if the crew chooses to dock, we will pick up the marina fees.  If the guests request to be dockside at other times, the dockage is not part of the charter fee and will need to be covered by the guest separately.  Please see the details in your charter agreement.

A: We will tailor your itinerary specifically to your interests.  If you are more interested in nightlife and beach bars, we’ll hit the more popular spots.  If you’re more interested in secluded anchorages, we will make sure to have out-of-the-way spots on our itinerary.  We’ll work with you to come up with a plan that will hit all of your favorite highlights.
A: Captain Dirk will be happy to take certified divers on a lobster dive in US waters! As long as the lobsters are the correct size and species and are not egg-bearing females, we can bring them aboard in the United States.  We are not allowed to catch lobsters in the waters of the British Virgin Islands as we are not “belongers” (citizens) of the BVI.
A: Catatonic has full A/C. We start the AC before bed and run the A/C overnight. We don’t run the air conditioning during the day since we have beautiful tropical breezes keeping us comfortable.
A: We have an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), a Satellite position indicator, two 8-person life rafts, 15 Life Jackets, man overboard gear, a Life Sling, and more.
A: Catamarans are very stable, but you will still feel the motion of the seas. People are rarely uncomfortable under normal cruising conditions, but if you have any concerns, please consider getting the Scopolamine patch from your health care provider. Alternatively, you may take Dramamine tablets on the days when we anticipate rough conditions. The best tip to avoid seasickness is to avoid being in your cabin for prolonged periods while the boat is moving. The flybridge or cockpit are the ideal places to be when underway. Other best practices are to have something in your stomach (don’t skip breakfast!). If you take Dramamine, take it BEFORE you start feeling symptoms and if you do start feeling queasy, make sure to come topside, concentrate on looking at the horizon and the malaise will pass.
A: We provide bath and beach towels, linens, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, straightening iron, curling iron, masks, fins and snorkels, BCDs, weights and tanks for divers, a general first aid kit, a small library of books for leisure reading and more!
A: Please don’t bring spray sunscreen, suntan oil or sunscreen with bronzer. Spray sunscreen is not reef safe and it blows away in the wind before it even lands on your body, so it does not provide effective protection at sea. Spray sunscreen with and without bronzer stains the boat terribly. The propellant is the culprit. Don’t bring pets of any kind. We will be checking in and out of foreign ports and pets must be declared and are subject to quarantine when entering foreign countries. Additionally, some of our guests are allergy-prone and we must avoid introducing allergens such as pet dander onto the boat. Of course, do not bring illegal drugs, including marijuana, even if you have a prescription. Oceangoing vessels are governed by federal legislation and even if your marijuana is prescribed and legal in your state it is illegal at sea. See your charter agreement for further detail and thanks for understanding all of the above.
A: Yacht chefs take pride in working hard to meet dietary restrictions and please every palate. With that said, please keep in mind that galley (kitchen) space is tight and storage space is limited. If a guest, for example, prefers to avoid pork and beef, substitutions can easily be made to avoid those proteins. It is impractical, however, for the chef to prepare multiple different entrees at mealtime. We easily accommodate gluten-free, low sugar, nut-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, child-friendly and other dietary restrictions. Please inquire for highly restrictive diets before booking, and we will let you know the options.