Frequently Asked Questions...
Am I qualified?
We determine that from the information you submit on your sailing experience resume and through conversations with you. Common sense is a good indicator of the answer to this question. What we look for is experience commensurate with the size and type of vessel you wish to charter in the areas of navigating, maneuvering, and anchoring. If all your prior experience is on Hobie Cats, we will not approve you for chartering a Pacific Seacraft 37!! Worst case, you may need to book a smaller vessel, or take a captain along for a portion of the charter, or agree to restriction of your sailing territory. If you are not sure of your capabilities or you are uncertain of your experience qualifying you for charter...call us. Hiring a licensed captain to go along full or part time is a fun, educational and relaxing way to charter. This may be a perfect way to get started toward a bare boat charter.
What's the marine environment like?
The sailing on the Pamlico is as easy as anywhere in the world. There is no place on earth that has this much protected, year-round, recreational water. Nowhere!! All our rivers and sounds are completely enclosed by our barrier islands which we call the Outer Banks. We have no lunar tide and therefore no currents until you get to the Atlantic Ocean. And even then, North Carolina has less tide than any where else on the east coast! Our bottom is all soft sand and mud. If you do run aground, make a sandwich, enjoy the view (with no tide, things won't get worse in the next few hours), then jump overboard, push the bow around and motor off. Because our waters are relatively shallow (as long as the boat floats, we're happy), commercial and military shipping cannot enter our waters. Oil tankers and aircraft carriers are NEVER seen. With no lunar tide or current, our bottom does not change. All our navigational marks are on fixed pilings. They don't shift. And importantly, while you're out of sight of land for a few minutes in the middle of the Pamlico Sound, you're never out of sight of a navigational marker. Also, if the chart says you've got 10 feet of water, you've got 10 feet of water. Now, we do have enough fetch that we can and do get wind tides, so as with any boating, it's prudent to always watch the weather. But, generally speaking, you've got to work to get yourself into trouble!!
What's the sailing like?
Peaceful, quiet, uncrowded. We have thousands of square miles of very mildly brackish water, second in size only to the Chesapeake but without the headaches of the Chesapeake. Anchor up in a small creek and next morning, you'll probably still be the only boat anchored there! Want big cities, bright lights and fancy places to spend money? Don't come here! Our waters are undeveloped and what few communities are along the water are farming or fishing oriented. We'll tell you the spots where you can find civilization if that's what you want, but most of our folks come here because it's a great place to "get away from it all". Like to fish? We have both fresh and saltwater species. Troll while you're under sail or put a chicken back on a string while you're anchored and catch a few crabs for supper! Go swimming in comfort and safety. All in all, you'll wish nobody else finds out about this place!!
What do I need to bring?
Basically, linens & towels, food & beverages and appropriate clothing. Regardless of the time of year, bring suntan products because it's always bright on the water. If you don't want to bring provisions, we'll loan you a courtesy car to visit the grocery store. If you want to buy your own charts prior to the trip, 11554 (Pamlico River) and 11548 (Pamlico Sound) cover most of the sailing territory you're likely to visit in a few days of sailing. Charts are, of course, provided on each boat. Provisions may be requested at an additional charge as well as pillows for those who are flying in. If you have special needs, let us know. Don't forget your medications and spare glasses (sun and regular). We want your Charter Vacation with Carolina Wind to be THE BEST!!
What if the weather is bad?
We have no control over the weather and the boats are designed to get wet! You have to take whatever mother nature throws your way and make the most of it. If you elect to cross the Pamlico Sound or Albemarle Sound, recognize that these large, shallow bodies of water can quickly develop a short, steep chop. Also, Ocracoke and Beaufort inlets are, like all inlets from the Atlantic, to be transited with respect. We strongly recommend adequate foul weather gear so that if the weather becomes unpleasant for the land lubbers, you can still enjoy it! Besides, some of the best winter fireside stories are from charterers who experienced a little foul weather! The one exception to our weather policy is hurricanes. If an official Coast Guard hurricane warning is posted for our waters, we want you and the boat to be out of harm's way and we will either refund or rebook days lost due to such a warning.
What boat gear is included?
Each boat is equipped to legally and safely transit the waters of our sailing territory. All boats include: insurance, navigational equipment, docking, anchoring and safety equipment (fire extinguishers, flares, etc.), VHF radio, appropriate charts, galley equipment, initial fueling and thorough orientation to the boat systems and navigation charts. All boats have inboard diesel engines, roller furling head sails, hot & cold pressure water with shower, wheel steering, and propane stove and oven.
What is my financial risk?
Each boat is insured, but each insurance policy has a 1% deductible. You are financially responsible for the amount of the deductible which varies based on the value of the boat. A $100,000 boat has a $1,000 deductible which would come out of your pocket in the event of a loss. We have an extraordinarily low loss claim record, in part because of the extensive checkout we do on the boat systems and the navigation charts. We will try to steer you clear of any known hazards, but ultimately, you are the Captain and the responsible party. Remember to be careful, prudent, act in a seamanlike manner, act with forethought and you should have a most enjoyable experience.
What are the weather conditions like?
Spring and fall present the very best sailing conditions with good breezes and moderate temperatures, typically warm in the day and cool at night.. The water will be too cold for swimming (for most folks) until June or later. As we move into the summer, temperatures and humidity rise and wind speeds begin to diminish. August is the hottest and lightest air month. Summer brings a thunderstorm or two each week, but they usually last less than an hour, they are beautiful to watch and they cool things off for a bit. Click HERE for average temperature and rainfall climate data for Washington (note that winter rain is is usually light but steady while summer rain is mostly thunderstorms).