Bareboat Catamaran Review Saba 49.9 Fountaine Pajot
Sail this Saba 49.9 Christophine II out of Tortola, British Virgin islands after reading our bareboat catamaran review.
We had one week sailing onboard Dream Yacht Charters Christophine II. Christophine II is a six-cabin and six washroom model with six washrooms.
Dream Yacht Charters Base Review
Located at Scrub Island, just East of Trellis Bay and the airport on Beef Island ( EIS) in the British Virgin Islands, Dream Yacht Charters is one of the larger charter companies offering bareboat chartering in the world.
H2O Luxury Yachts had three weeks sailing the British Virgin Islands. You can read the review of our previous Lagoon 500 catamaran here.
Our previous yachts had been out of Roadtown on the main island of Tortola. The location of Scrub Island is a bit problematic.
One of the negatives for me is the location of the base. It entails taking a ferry that comes approximately every hour or so from Trellis Bay to Scrub Island.
Trellis Bay is not CLOSE to much besides the airport and the ferry. That means you have to provision elsewhere and take cabs and if you are staying overnight but not at the base, you have to consider that as well.
Most people may not have fishing gear, SCUBA tanks and gear and more that they need to consider from this location as we did.
Our group ended being behind seventy-five people for the ferry. Then the rain came! (Of course, it did)
Scrub Island is lovely; what a pleasure of a tropical setting and a great trip started here.
The water was crystal clear and azure. Here at the base, you pay your cruising taxes, etc. in cash as well as any extras you may want on board. There were no paddleboards left the day we went out.
A good thing to consider is you cannot rent kayaks through the base because of liability issues, so going through one of the coastal toy rental stores like BVI Watertoys is helpful.
Overall Impression of the Saba 49 catamaran compared to the Lagoon 500 catamaran
You could certainly tell the higher quality throughout this yacht comparatively
In most ways, I like the Fountaine Pajot better than the Lagoon 500 for my comparison bareboat catamaran review
- I loved having a counter that separated the galley from the living saloon area. The cook did not have to move as much to let guests in and out.
- The Lagoon had better counter space as far as laying out the food buffet style.
- The showers on this boat were a mixture of wet and dry. Dry means they have a separate shower stall, and the entire washroom does not get wet. Don’t get too excited though, as there still is not that much water storage, however, with this yacht having a water maker that worked all week adequately; we did not notice it.
- This yacht did not have an ice maker. That was a bummer, and again, the cockpit coolers don’t last that long.
More Impressions of this Bareboat Catamaran Review
- The flybridge is more extensive on this model.
- The tender does not come up to “hide the views” on the davits from the cockpit. That makes a huge difference in enjoyment while sitting in the cockpit. Cocktails and sunset from the back deck work much better with a view.
- The Saba catamaran has more variety in Cabins. Still, the same situation where the two cabins in the middle of the boat were more suited for children or a small couple; however, each cabin did have its washroom.
- Christophine II had manual winches for the tender and headsail. The main had a power winch.
- The visibility on the Saba, once you had the headsail up, was worse than the Lagoon Catamaran. You had a much better range of vision from the upper helm on the Lagoon.
Christophine II has three fridges and just one smaller freezer on it. The Freezer on the Lagoon 500 was better. The one of here was quite piddly! (Is that a word?)
Christophine II could improve with the addition of an ice machine and a larger freezer. The small fridge in the cockpit would have served us better if it was an ice maker, as it did not fit much in it as a fridge.
How do I get booked on this or a similar catamaran?
Let’s talk and see whether a bareboat catamaran is right for you! We can even supply a Captain if you require or want one for these larger catamarans.
What should I pack for a bareboat charter?
Packing List for Bareboat Charters
- Two swimsuits, 6 t-shirts, and underwear. If you are female, you probably want a sundress or two that can double for going out for dinner. Males may wish to have a short-sleeved nice shirt again for going out to fancier places for dinner.
- Two pair of shorts plus the ones you are wearing when you get to the islands 🙂
- One pair of clean gloves (if you are on a bareboat participating in the sailing)
- One pair of sandals or flip-flops, perhaps only the ones you wear on the plane. Need to be able to get wet. You will mostly be barefoot on the boat. Make sure your footgear won’t leave black sole marks on a ship. If you have shoes that are not good for getting wet, then bring a pair of water shoes as well. It will come in handy, getting to beaches.
- Sun Gear which consists of 2 pair of sunglasses. (1 spare) Must be polarized. Have a lanyard with them, so they don’t disappear even better!
- A light rain jacket. If we get in some squalls, you can cool off quickly if you get wet + wind. Your rain jacket also doubles as a light coat if you get chilly in the evenings.
- Beach/Sailing Music (my phone) + a UBS cable
- Reading material (Kindles, books)
- Mask & Snorkel (If you wear prescription lenses or have your own comfortable, well-fitting mask and snorkel, bring it. Although most of the bareboat companies will put on snorkel gear for you or tell you were to rent it, I don’t find them the “best quality.”
- Towel – Bring one of those “light skinny towels” Even though your yacht will have towels, they don’t dry as quickly.
- Earplugs. If you have problems sleeping, a disposable pair of these for boat noises may come in handy.
- Refillable water bottle. Insulated preferred!
- Hat – to keep the sun off your head all the time.
- Chargers/batteries for electronics
- Non-Deet bug spray (DEET stains the fabrics and cushions on the boat. Many people like skin so soft too)
- Cel Phone/ International Roaming Package/ Local SIM card as you prefer. Quite a few of the restaurants and beach bars will have complimentary WIFI, and many of the bareboat companies now have modems you can rent for the week. Not cheap, I have found them fairly fast in the last couple of years.
- Motion sickness? Get a prescription for Transderm Scop or bring Bovine, ginger, or the wrist bands. Generally, this settles down if you are prone after the first 24 hours.
- Money and credit card: All but the tiny beach bars take credit cards. Not much American Express, though. Although there are ATMs on significant islands, there is not a lot, so they are often out of cash on a Sunday. You will need some money for gratuities for people.
- Passport. Even if you are American going to the US Virgin Islands, you will require one to go into the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
- The cockpit will have a good shade cover. But everywhere else you’re getting direct sun plus the reflection. It’s like being in a sun broiler.
- -Non-spray on sunscreen. Spray-on sunscreen on the boat makes it slippery for everyone as most ends up in the air or on the decks. Look for a sunscreen that will not harm the reefs.
With all power yachts and most sail yachts, you start with a full diesel tank and have to refill it before you return the boat.
Moorings sail yachts are an exception within the Caribbean; they usually include fuel for a fee. For both Sunsail and TMM non-generator yachts, they have a pre-pay option, so you don’t need to refill the tank if you don’t want to.
You can have us organize rental gear for you, tell us what you need and it will all be delivered the morning of your charter. You are then free to go dive at will. Air fills are available all over the place. If you are on a larger catamaran, then you could also rent a compressor.
Many charters are all about getting together with old friends. Often this is all the guys, but it is also sometimes just the girls. There is no reason at all why it can’t be all the girls either. If you intend to have a rented captain on board please make sure to mention if you specifically want a female. There are many of them available but if you don’t ask, you may end up with a guy!
There is nothing more annoying than being thousands of miles from home, and having your credit card company freeze your account, thinking there is fraud going on. Generally speaking, if you use your card away from home to purchase something unless it’s for a considerable amount, it will not raise a flag. However, put your card into an ATM away from home to get even $10 out. Bingo it’s flagged. The best bet is to call the number on the back of your card before you leave home, tell them where, and how long you will be gone. Then everything should be ok.
Yes, it could be the week you decided to go on vacation if you are super unlucky. Buy trip insurance! Insurance generally costs about 7% of your total vacation cost. However, at this time of year, the price of airfares is as low as can be, and the amount of renting a boat can be as little as 50% of that in peak season. The math looks great.
In the last couple of years, the internet options have improved while you are out on the sea.
Not only has it improved, but the cost has come way down too. There are not too many areas of the world where you will not have an internet connection.
Purchase a local SIM card for your phone, and you are good to go.
Bareboat sizes range from low 30 feet monohulls up to catamarans ( power and sail) and monohulls in the high 50-foot range.
The size you are allowed to bareboat becomes larger every year though!
- Safety Equipment
- Dinghy Usage
- Operation of Anchor and Windlass
- Back up Anchor
- How to use and care for the heads (washrooms) on the boat
- Refrigeration and oven usage
- VHF Radio usage
- How to call back to the base
- How to run the engine and check oil levels
- Navigation Equipment including GPS and Charter Plotter
- Daily Weather updates
- If you are sailing, instructions on all sailing controls and lines
You can rent a boat up to about 10 feet longer than you are experienced in. It does not matter if you’re experience is in a monohull and want to charter a multihull or vice versa. Having a bareboat certification or recognized captain license may get you a larger boat.
Each fleet has different requirements which we will be happy to advise you on.
There is an official bareboat certification available. It is available through the ASA. It requires you to do some pre-study at home of items ASA101 ASA103 and ASA104. The course materials cost about $100 per person.
You will need to show that you have experience in a similar sized yacht. Typically the bareboat fleet will let you take out a vessel up to about 10 feet longer than your experience.
If your experience is in a monohull, they will allow you to take out a multihull and vice versa.
You can bolster your ability to charter by taking on a paid captain for the first day or two or by joining up with one of the bareboat flotillas.