Sail The Florida Keys Rudder Angle Indicators A Smarter Way To Dock Caribbean Yacht Charters Take The Sailing Vacation Of A Lifetime Once In A Lifetime Experience Yacht Charter Sailing In Greece
At the south point of Florida, there is a chain of islands 170 miles long that is embedded in turquoise water. This is the Keys, bordered by the unique living coral reef in the United States. The subtropical climate and the extraordinary beauty of the Atlantic have made this ecological wonder one of the most prized destinations for sailors.
Sailboat Chartering With or Without a Captain
You can choose from four types of sailboat vacation:
Leasing the sailboat without a captain or “Bareboat Chartering” – The sea has no secrets for you or your crew and you are capable of bringing the sailboat back to port even if a hitch happens during your trip.
Chartering a sailboat with a captain – You prefer to have a captain on board to help you with the bowline knot.
Sailboat training – You want to learn to navigate or you wish to enhance your knowledge. Charter companies offer courses at every level, for groups, couples, for a weekend or for the whole week.
Cruising with a captain and cook – You watch them raise the sails and manipulate the sauce pans, while you take it easy.
Choosing a Sailboat
The marinas cannot always accommodate boats that are too big. Also the draft of your boat should not exceed 4.5 to 5 feet and the beam 13.5 feet to 14 feet. We prefer mono hulls from 40 to 43 feet long. They combine space and comfort and generally find a spot in the small marinas of the Keys. These boats are also better equipped than the smaller sailboats. Catamarans rarely find a dock large enough and must anchor outside.
The boats are rented for a day, a weekend or for a week.
Best Time for Sailing the Keys
The Keys benefit from a subtropical climate. You can sail all year long but, like everywhere else, there is this fantastic time of the year and less favorable periods.
The best periods are: March, April, May, end of November and beginning of December.
The periods of tourism affluence are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year
Possible cold front periods: End of December, January and February.
Hurricane, humidity and mosquitoes’ months are June to November, with a peak in August September, and October.
Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, by Captain Frank Papy.
Good basic information about places to visit, marinas, underwater activity, etc. Excellent maps describing the entrances to ports and marinas, usually difficult in access because of shallow waters.
Diving and Snorkeling guide to The Florida Keys, by Halas and Kincaid.
Excellent guide for skin diving and snorkeling. Description of coral reefs, exotic fish and sunken Spanish Galleons. Indication of depth and the level of difficulty of the different sites.
When maneuvering a vessel in tight quarters, the ability to have a quick visual reference of your rudder angle is very important. A collision could jeopardize the safety of your passengers and of others. It could damage your boat and your pride. Luckily for us, technology provides a solution.
A rudder angle indicator is a nautical device which monitors your rudder’s horizontal position. It is also referred to as a rudder reference gauge, rudder locator, or a rudder position sensor. We took a look at several different types of rudder angle indicators and reviewed them for you in this article.
Gravity Driven Rudder Reference Gauge
The first type we reviewed are gravity driven rudder angle locators. These simple devices attach to the center of your steering wheel and use gravity to pull a needle downward as the gauge moves in synch with the wheel. These units are inexpensive and easy to install with no cabling or drilling required.
During testing we found that these rudder locators to be inaccurate and unreliable. Any time that the boat rocks from side to side, the needle swings back and forth making it virtually useless in choppy water. On vessels with hydraulic steering, these indicators give poor reference of the rudder angle due to variances in hydraulic fluid pressure. Our Score: 3/10
Mechanical Arm Rudder AngleIndicators
The second type of rudder indicator we reviewed operates using a mechanical arm. Mechanical arm rudder locators are the most common type on the market. Arm-driven units like come stand-alone or as a part of auto-navigational systems.
These mechanical indicators consist of a dashboard gauge and an arm (often sold separately) that connects to your rudder or outboard motor. A downside to these devices is that on some vessels the rudder moves further in one direction than another, this cannot be read by the mechanical arm. Otherwise, these units are accurate and reliable. They are somewhat pricey though, ranging from $350-$2000 and typically require expert installation. Our Score: 6/10
Cable Driven Rudder Locators
Last but certainly not least, we reviewed cable-driven rudder angle indicators. Unlike other indicators, these units work for both in-board and out-board motors. A company called SmarTrac inc. currently holds a patent on the system which is used in their product the SmarTrac Rudder Locator.
The SmarTrac rudder angle indicator has a sending unit (also
called a potentiometer) that is mounted near your rudder or outboard motor. A steel cable is then pulled from the sending unit and hooked to your rudder linkage. This unique cable driven system allows the device to measure the entire range of rudder movement.
The sensor sends data through a 3-conductor cable to the dashboard gauge which then calculates a reading using a built-in microprocessor. The microprocessor is easily programmed to match the specifics of your vessel. This product is effective for use on hydraulic steering systems because it connects directly to the rudder linkage. Accurate, inexpensive ($199), and easy to install, this new technology could make a big splash in the nautical electronics market. Our Score: 10/10
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When you choose Caribbean yacht charters for your next vacation, it will be almost like having your own exclusive luxury hotel on the water. If you choose the crewed option for your sailing vacation, you won’t have to lift a finger. If you already have experience in sailing, you can charter a yacht on your own to sail the Caribbean, but you won’t have the luxury of having someone attend to your every need. Caribbean yacht charters are not just for the rich and famous. If you can afford to spend a vacation at a tropical resort, you can afford to take a sailing vacation.
The advantage of booking a Caribbean sailing charter is that you can choose the islands you want to visit. Although the company for Caribbean yacht charters may suggest a sample itinerary for you, you decide where and when you want to stop and for how long. You can also decide what kind of food you want to eat. Of course, if you choose one of the bareboat Caribbean sailing vacations, you will have to cook for yourself. On a crewed sailing vacation, you will have your own chef to prepare exotic delights for every meal.
Take a look at the many options available to you in Caribbean yacht charters. You can leave all the decisions up to the captain, who knows all the best locations among the islands. You can also do your own research to find out what kinds of activities are open to you on the various Caribbean sailing vacations so you can select all your favorites. You can spend your time at sea sunbathing on deck while reading a book. You can also enjoy diving, swimming or snorkelling among the tropical fish. One of the highlights of a Caribbean sailing charter is that you can go ashore on the islands and partake of the culture and shopping that only the Caribbean can provide.
You will have to demonstrate experience in sailing in order to book one of the bareboat Caribbean yacht charters. The yacht charter companies have a responsibility to make sure that all the passengers on the yacht with you will be safe. You don’t necessarily need to have a sailing certificate – experience is valued more than a license. If you choose the crewed option for a Caribbean sailing vacation, you will have an experienced captain at the helm. The crew are knowledgeable about all kinds of watersports and will be able to provide you with instruction if you need it to make the most of the Caribbean sailing charter.
Chartering a yacht for Caribbean sailing vacations is the perfect opportunity for families and groups of friends to get together for a short period of time. It is possible to book Caribbean yacht charters for day trips as short as an hour or two or for week long excursions to the islands of the Caribbean. Choosing to spend a week cruising the Caribbean waters is one of the best ways to experience the best of what this part of the world has to offer. Check out the many options of Caribbean yacht charters and get started on making memories to last a lifetime.
Greece is a country chosen by the Gods Offering its visitors spectacular beaches, interesting villages, an abundance of history, as well as flowing green country sides, Greece is an ideal destination for a wide variety of groups. Greece boasts one of the world largest and most beautiful coastlines and over 2000 islands to choose from. Therefore, chartering your own private, crewed yacht is quite simply one of the best ways to visit this exciting destination. With numerous luxury yachts adorning the perfectly blue, crystal-clear waters off the coastline of Greece, Yacht Charter trips in Greece has turned out to be one of the favorite past times of the country and an awaiting adventure for its many visitors. As you island hop your way through the islands of Greece, a wide variety of available activities and land base excursions are at your disposal. Drop anchor for a while and wander the winding cobbled streets, experience a Greek coffee or a taste of sizzling grilled octopus at one of the many small island taverns, visit one of the many beautiful beaches, or take a cooling swim in the sparkling sea. A Yacht Charter in Greece is not your ordinary vacation it a trip of a life time and an experience that is sure to be filled with adventure, history and fun.
For our clients interested in Yachting Vacations in Greece, we offer quality yachts, professional crews, friendly service, and 12 years of hands on experience owning and operating our own charter yachts, at no additional cost to our clients. We make it our business to know the yachts, the crews, and our destinations we recommend first-hand. Therefore, we recently attended the charter yacht show in Poros, Greece where we had the opportunity to step aboard classic Sailing Yachts, stunning Motor Sailers and sleek Power Yachts galore. In addition, we took the opportunity to explore the most popular grouping of islands in Greece, the Cyclades, which include well-known Mykonos and Santorini. These are the islands that typify Greece with their white washed villages, beautiful beaches, and cosmopolitan nightlife. Other popular island groupings in Greece include the Ionian, the Argo-Saronic and the Dedoconese. The Argo-Saronic Islands, with their close proximity to Athens have a rich history. The picturesque harbors and cobbled streets of Aegina, Poros and car-free Ydra are still lined with Neo-Classical mansions of a time gone by. The Ionian Islands, which lie off the west coast of mainland Greece, are the greenest of the island groups, less visited than the popular Cyclades islands, and therefore a “crew favorite” among the yachts of Greece. These islands, which include Corfu and Ithaca, enjoy crystal-clear seas, superb beaches and inviting towns and villages. The Dodecanese Islands are situated at the most eastern part of Greece, along the West coast of Turkey. These islands, including Rhodes and Kos, offer their visitors a wonderful blend of architectural styles with both eastern and western influences. Discover traditional villages, crystal clear waters, splendid beaches, historical sights, and an exciting nightlife.
In addition to destination choices in Greece, there are various types of yachts available for Yacht Charters in Greece, including Monohulls, Motor Sailers and Power Yachts. Monohulls are the perfect choice for the traditionalist as these yachts provides a classic sailing experience. Guests aboard this style of yacht will experience the exhilarating thrill of sailing as well as the traditional features of these yachts. Motor Sailers are a traditional yacht style found in Greece. These yachts typically use their engines in tandem with their sails. This would be an excellent choice for those wishing to explore the islands of Greece in luxury while enjoying the character and exhilaration found onboard a sailing yacht. Power Yachts are a suitable choice for those interested in greater mobility in the islands. This type of yacht is a popular choice in Greece as the distances between many islands are greater than those found in the Caribbean. This category additionally features yachts of over 100 feet in length, which could be individually classified as “Mega Yachts”. This type of yacht is suited to the high-end customer interested in world-class amenities, cuisine and service while traveling the islands of Greece aboard a private, luxury yacht..
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