St. Lucia

Essential information

St. Lucia

Location

Our St. Lucia base in Rodney Bay is the starting point for a bareboat yacht charter exploring the Windward Islands. St. Lucia is the ideal gateway for exploring nearby Martinique and Guadeloupe to the north and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tobago Cays and Mustique to the south.

This destination is ideal for more experienced sailors, with long passages in stronger winds with some line-of-sight sailing.

Contact details

Sunsail
Rodney Bay Marina
Rodney Bay
St. Lucia
West Indies

Open hours

Our St. Lucia base office hours are from 8am-6.30pm, seven days a week.

Base/shore facilities

A fully serviced marina including a hotel, restaurant, post office and bank.

  • Water
  • Showers
  • Pool
  • Garbage disposal
  • Provisioning
  • Accomodation
  • Bar and restaurant
  • Money change (limited amounts)

Arrival and departure

Start and end times

Charters start on a Saturday or Sunday at 6pm and at end 11am.

Out of hours arrival procedure

If you arrive after office hours, a welcome letter and the keys for the yacht will be left on board your vessel. It is necessary to give us flight information for late arrival to arrange for you to be picked up by our designated taxi driver, who will show you your boat. The marina is very large and it may otherwise be difficult to find your boat.

Boat and chart briefing will be conducted the following morning.

Flight information

Airports

George Charles (Vigie) Airport is about 15 minutes from the base.

Hewanorra International Airport is about an hour and a half hour from the base.

Servicing airlines

  • Air France
  • Air Canada
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Caribbean Star
  • Delta
  • LIAT
  • US Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic

Transfers

From George Charles (Vigie) Airport it takes about 15 minutes. It costs approximately USD 25 for the first three people, and USD 10 for each extra passenger each way.

From Hewanorra International Airport it takes about an hour and a half. It costs approximately USD 90 for the first three people, and USD 25 per person for each extra passenger each way.

Passports and visas

British and EU citizens must have a full passport, valid for at least six months after their return to the UK.

British citizens do not require a visa to enter St. Lucia, but other nationals should check.

  • If you are travelling to or via the US you must have a machine readable passport with a barcode and have applied online for an ESTA travel authorisation, or have a US visa.
  • If you have a criminal record you must apply for a US Visa at the US embassy. Applying for a US visa is a lengthy process which can take several weeks. A customs declaration form must be completed at the port of entry.

Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. Please check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the latest information before you leave.

We are not responsible for any requirement changes.

Sailing information

Sailing experience: Level 3

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area.  

Get more information on the St. Lucia's sailing conditions.

Level 3 equates to 20 days sailing, 400 miles on an equivalent yacht or RYA Day Skipper qualification with experience to a higher level.

ICC qualification with experience to a higher level

Wind/weather: 10-25 knots

Navigation: understand tidal flow, ability to navigate in open waters, cope with strong currents and be able to make a passage plan.

Anchor/mooring: primarily anchoring, some slightly more exposed anchorages with poor anchor holding ground.

Sailing licences

Although no sailing licences are required for cruising in St. Lucia, we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you. This may be useful should you be contacted by Customs or Port Police. If you have not already done so then skipper and first mate will be required to fill in a sailing resume at the base to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sailing in this region.

Cruising permits and taxes

Cruising tax

ECD 5 per person, per day (to a max of seven days)

St. Lucia cruising permit

USD 7.50-20

St. Vincent cruising permit

USD 0.75/ft

Grenada cruising permit

Up to 40 feet: USD 20

40-60 feet: USD 29

60-80 feet: USD 39

80 feet and over: USD 58

Night time sailing

You are not permitted to sail at night unless it has been agreed with the base manager prior to departure.

Cruising area limits

Outside our cruising grounds would be US Virgin Islands and Spanish Virgin Islands.

Rest of Caribbean: no further than 20 miles out from Puerto Rico to Grenada,
excluding Saba, Montserrat, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago.

There are some other restrictions throughout the whole Caribbean, which are detailed in the Caribbean Introduction section.

Mooring fees and taxes

St. Lucia

USD 12-16

St. Vincent

31-51 feet: ECD 100
51 feet and over: ECD140

Grenada

USD 6-22

Payable when clearing at customs.

The Windward Islands are four separate countries: 

  • Martinique (part of France)
  • St. Lucia (south to Martinique)
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines (south to PSV)
  • Grenada (including Carriacou and Petit Martinique)

Mooring facilities are provided in some areas for overnight stays. These are managed by local restaurants and bars or marinas. Charges are variable but start at USD 20 a night.

A marine park fee for Tobago Cays is ECD 10 per day, per person. This can't be purchased in advance at our base; it will be done on the marine park facility.

Area and sailing

Charts and pilot book

All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht.  Charts and pilot books can be purchased by mail order from the UK chandler Kelvin Hughes by contacting 02380 634911.

Fuel

We would highly recommend that all clients’ pre-pay fuel.  Fuel is not available at the base. Base buys fuel from a local vendor. The cost is approximately EUR 0.98 per litre.

Cool boxes

Cool boxes are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please sign these out and return them clean and undamaged otherwise you will be charged for replacement. Only one per boat.

Skippered charter information

The skipper’s time is booked from 12pm-12pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved a skipper for the first day of your charter and have a 6pm start, he or she will use this time to ensure they are happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you've reserved a skipper for a later date on your charter they will start at 12pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. They are not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He or she must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of the contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the check out skipper’s time is booked from 6pm-6pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day.

The skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. We suggest that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his or her time with you on the yacht. We also suggest that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover: anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and this is your responsibility. We suggest that you discuss this on the first day with your skipper and establish whether you'll provide cash for meals, whether you've included him or her in your provisioning or whether you'll accommodate him or her as part of the group for meals ashore.

The skipper must have his or her own cabin. We prefer not to put the skipper in the bow due to the shared head and size of the cabin. If you expect your skipper to stay in the bow, please let us know well in advance so that we can choose the appropriate (small) skipper.

For one-day check out skippers, it's your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay all expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him or her back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15-20 percent of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at your discretion.

Banks and money exchange

Currency

The local currency in St. Lucia is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. US dollars and US dollar travellers cheques are also used throughout the Windwards. Visa and MasterCard are also accepted in most places.

We cannot exchange any money or traveller cheques at the base.

A 1st National Bank is located in the Marina Village and is open Mon-Fri from 8am-4pm and on Saturdays from 8am-12pm and is closed on Sunday. There's also a 24-hour ATM machine beside the bank.

There are other banks in Rodney Bay with similar opening hours, although they are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

General information

Language

English and French-based patois.

Restaurants

  • Cafe Ole
  • Bread basket
  • Bosum Restaurant
  • Rituals Sushi Restaurant

Hotels

  • Bay Gardens Beach
  • Bay Gardens Hotel
  • Bay Gardens Alnn
  • Coco Palm Hotel
  • Palm Haven
  • Blu

Electrical, phones and music

Electricity

The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. Electricity in St. Lucia is 220 volts AC, 50Hz and uses the standard US 2-pin plug. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220 volts you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.

Mobile phones

Card and coin phones can be found all over the island. You can buy phones cards in post offices and some shops.

It is also advisable to bring your mobile and to ensure sure you have global coverage.

Activities

Provisioning

Provisioning is available in this location.

Find out more about our provisioning options.

Water sports

Scuba diving

Scuba diving packages are available. Please contact us for more information on diving.

Snorkelling

We have a range of snorkelling gear which you may wish to use. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to bring them with you.

Kayaks

Kayak rental is available.

Fishing

A range of fishing gear is available. Please contact us for more information. Seasonal catches include mackerel, king mackerel, white marlin, barracuda, kingfish and sailfish.

Health and safety

Illness or injury

If you get sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip please have a member of your party contact the Sunsail base manager as soon as possible. If you will need to make a travel insurance claim please contact your claim insurer’s emergency medical service immediately.

Obtain receipts for any medication, treatment or transport you have to pay for and submit with your claim.

Safety

All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets and harnesses. We leave it up to you to decide when personal safety equipment should be worn.

We have a limited supply of children’s life jackets (age 4+ only). If you have your own children’s life jacket we would encourage you to bring it along.

We suggest that children who are not strong swimmers should not be allowed in a dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and that they should wear a buoyancy aid or harness when on deck.

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.

Choose Sunsail

25
Destinations worldwide
14
Flotilla routes
48
Types of yachts
40 yrs
Creating holidays
4 hr
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