Women's Sam Kaleb Edelman, E6173M2001 E6173M2001 Kaleb Ankle Booties, Women's Black Suede, 429fa1a

Yes, you, too, can sail on a private yacht in the Caribbean Yes, you, too, can sail on a private yacht in the Caribbean
Renting a private vessel in the Caribbean and cruising through a warm, salty-breezed parallel universe isn’t as out of reach as you may think
Women's Sam Kaleb Edelman, E6173M2001 E6173M2001 Kaleb Ankle Booties, Women's Black Suede, 429fa1a - alprotem.com
As the old saying goes -- money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull right up alongside it.

Sailing the Caribbean.

For many, it’s just an item on the bucket list. Something reserved for those privileged few who actually own yachts in the Caribbean, know someone connected in the BVIs or who even have the foggiest idea about how to operate a 46-foot (14-meter) catamaran, right?

Think again.

Enter the world of Caribbean yacht charters and the keys to a nautical kingdom are tossed to the common among us. Not just yachties and experienced sailors, but landlubbers eager to chalk up an unforgettable, fully crewed, tropical vacation on the open water.

“A lot of first-timers are pleasantly surprised by how doable it is -- chartering a yacht and making their dream sailing trip a reality,” says Dennis Dori of Charter Sailing Unlimited, a U.S.-based charter yacht brokerage company with ties to hundreds of vessels for hire all over the Antilles.

“And there’s truly no better or easier place in the world to do it than in the Caribbean.”

Here are some Chartering 101 basics and pinch-me-I’m-dreaming, charter-friendly destinations that’ll make your next Caribbean trip your best one yet.

More on CNN: Insider Guide -- Best of Miami

How? Three chartering tips

The gist of charter sailing is simpler than tying a bowline. Here are your first three questions, and answers, on the subject:

Do I have to know how to sail -- or make dinner when a storm's blowing?

Yes, if you’re chartering a “bareboat,” meaning a fully equipped sailing yacht without a captain or crew.

No, if you opt for an all-inclusive crewed yacht charter package that comes with a skipper, crew and chef.

Both options are readily available throughout the Caribbean and you probably already know which one is for you.

While bareboat charters are more common (and cheaper), the crewed option is a great way to gain some guided sailing experience or just kick back on a private yacht and enjoy a worry-free vacation. A “skippered bareboat” is an alternative for non-sailors who need a captain but don’t want to spring for a whole crew.

How much is this gonna cost?

Women's Sam Kaleb Edelman, E6173M2001 E6173M2001 Kaleb Ankle Booties, Women's Black Suede, 429fa1a - alprotem.comHow many crazy rich people do you see down there? Probably not as many as you think.
Prices range widely, depending on the vessel, passenger and crew size, and when you go (high season in the Caribbean runs from mid-December through late April).

Typical all-inclusive rates for a week on a fully crewed sailing yacht run from US$1,800-2,500 per person (for a standard-sized group of four to six people), plus incidentals and 10-15 percent gratuity. Couples can lower their costs by opting for a “cabin cruise” -- chartering a single berth on a boat shared with other guests.

Let’s do this. Who do I call?

An experienced broker accredited with a recognized chartering organization such as the Charter Yacht Brokers Association or American Yacht Charter Association can tailor a charter sailing vacation to your needs without adding to the cost.

The Moorings and Sunsail operate the two largest charter yacht fleets in North America, with several bases throughout the Caribbean.

Where? Three yacht charter hotspots

Spanish Virgin Islands

No one said you have stay on the boat.
It’s been said that cruising through the Spanish Virgin Islands (aka, the Passage Islands), a mini-archipelago wedged like a quiet middle child between Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, is the closest thing to experiencing the Caribbean 40 years ago.

A world apart from the USVIs and BVIs (the Caribbean’s yachting and boat chartering capital) the quieter “Spanish” chain -- ceded to the United States along with Puerto Rico in 1898 -- was until recently best known as a restricted U.S. Navy weapons testing ground.

Today, this untrammeled archipelago is a haven for weekend warriors from Puerto Rico (less than 10 miles -- 16 kilometers -- away) and savvy charter vacationers who know a well-kept Caribbean secret when they sail one.

Fajardo, a bustling port on the eastern tip of Puerto Rico, is a natural point of departure for crewed or bareboat sailing charters to the Spanish Virgin Islands.

Trips are as flexible as your budget and time restrictions and best discussed with a reliable charter broker or company specializing in the area -- including Florida-based Virgin Island Sailing and Puerto Rico’s Sail Caribe among several others.

A short, breezy cruise from Fajardo puts you at anchor in the pristine bays and protected reefs of the area’s two principal isles, Vieques and Culebra, along with several picturesque cays that haven’t seen much of a crowd since the Spanish galleon days.

Culebra, the more secluded of the two islands, is home to a host of sandy bays, remote anchorages, enticing dive sites and a wildlife refuge occupied by sea turtles and thousands of seabirds.

Vieques has stunning beaches, a pair of friendly island communities and the area’s hallmark nighttime stop at Puerto Mosquito -- a surreal bay illuminated by millions of light-producing micro-organisms -- one of the last glowing “biobays” on earth.

More on CNN: Insider Guide -- What to do in Havana

The Bahamas

The color of relaxation.
More than half a millennium since Columbus made landfall in the Bahamas (his intro to the New World) and noted “the soft balmy smell of trees and flowers” and “flocks of parrots so big that they darken the sun,” the instant charms of this sweeping archipelago off the Florida coast are still pretty obvious.

Close enough for a day trip from Fort Lauderdale and popular enough to attract scores of major cruise lines, the Bahamas are home to 700 islands spread over 100,000 square miles (259,000 square kilometers). In other words, prime territory for a chartered yacht.

Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco (a quick puddle jump from Nassau) is chartering headquarters in the Bahamas, and the base for its two largest rental fleets, operated by The Moorings and Florida Yacht Charters.

Options run the gamut from un-crewed catamarans and mono-hulls to all-inclusive luxury vessels staffed with a captain, chef and PADI-certified dive master.

New Dr. Martens Coralie quilted black boots. SzUS6(37). RT$140.The North Face Women's Thermoball Utility Mid Boots sizes 7.5 8 Deep Garnet Red , Women’s Eileen Fisher Tag Wrap Zip Heel Black Suede Booties Ankle Boots Size 10Stuart Weitzman Brown Suede Leather Knee High Pull On Boots Women's Size 10 MNot Rated Taina Perforated Peep Toe Ankle Boots in Light Taupe NRPP0118 , Teva Womens Delavina Ankle Perf Tan Soft Suede Boots Size 8 , WOMENS SALOMON X ULTRA MID AERO HIKING BOOTS TRAIL SIZE 7.5 - B11 , FRYE Rider Equestrian Riding Boots 77359 Cognac Brown Tall Womens Size 7 1/2 BNEW Matt Bernson 'Baez' Chelsea Ankle Bootie, Brown Leather, Women Size 6, $329NEW Bearpaw SHANTELLE Hickory SUEDE 2 Tone Buckle Accent Boot (sizes)Grateful Dead Music Band Skull Flower Girl's Canvas Martin Boots for WomenNEW NIB Doc Martens Women's Hackney II 7 Eye Boot US Sz 6 ; ; in Wine , Zara Flat Embroidered Black Leather Buckle Women's Ankle Boots Sz US 7.5Torrid Quilted Harness Tall Boots (Wide Width & Wide Calf) size 7W , CODE WEST Sz 7.5 M Black Leather Lizard Skin Inlay Cowboy Boots Shoes For Women , Luichiny Stand By Army Green 5" Block High Heel Platform Furry Ankle Boot 7- 11 , Ecco Hydromax Fur Snow Boots Woman's Size 39 8 8.5 EUCFranco Sarto Brandy Flat Casual Ankle Boots, Peat Leather , DR MARTENS Air Wair Black Leather Gold Demon 9168 Boots Women Sz 6 UK/ 8 USAriat Womens Fatbaby II Western Cowboy Boot Black Deertan Size 6,5B , Teva Womens Foxy Mid Calf Ankle Boot Bison Brown LeatherWOMEN'S BOGS SIZE 11 STYLE 72053 312 AMANDA SLIP ON BOOT LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN , CHARLIE 1 HORSE LUCCHESE Brown Leather Western Boots Sz 9EUC Frye Jillian Pull On Riding Boot 10J. Crew Black Leather Size 7.5 Women's Knee High Boots Sutton Tall 31126 , Dolce Vita Saira Tan Suede Bootie Size 12Free People Twin Sundown Black Platforms Sz.9H.H.BROWN CONGO LEATHER WALKING HIKING WATERPROOF GORETEX BOOTS/SHOES WOMENS 7.5 , Marc Fisher Escape Women Round Toe Suede Brown Over the Knee Boot Wide Calf NWOB ,

What’s out there?

One of the 10 nicest beaches in the world (according to a National Geographic worldwide poll) at Treasure Cay; one of the western hemisphere’s most extensive barrier reefs off Great Abaco; and one of the strongest rum libations anywhere at Great Guana Cay’s landmark beach joint, Nippers Beach Bar & Grill. It’s a yachtie’s rite of passage.

A night’s sail away, the Exumas feature 365 more islands to explore (“one for every day of the year,” boast local sailors) plus the showpiece Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a spectacular marine preserve accessible only by boat.

The Grenadines

Yacht Sudiki cruises the Grenadines. You can, too.
One of the last outposts to awaken (dozily) to Caribbean tourism, the 30 isles and cays stretching from St. Vincent to Grenada that make up the Grenadines have always been a natural draw in boating circles.

Pristine, sandy coves. Storybook harbors. Isolated coral reefs. Traffic-free cays hanging off the Atlantic-battered rim of the Caribbean Sea.

These are all on deck during a week of yachting through the Grenadines, which aren’t called the Windward Islands for nothing.

You can expect gustier, choppier, more exposed sailing conditions compared with the calmer Leeward waters of the British Virgin Islands -- a good place to practice before coming here.

The payoff: An unforgettable sailing experience through some of the most alluringly out-there hideaways in the Caribbean -- Canouan, Bequia, the Grenadian island of Carriacou (have your passport handy, it’s an international border).

Even farther out are the Tobago Cays, a group of five mirage-like isles shielded from the Atlantic Ocean by a horseshoe barrier reef where the diving is superb and the “crowd” is just you.

St. Vincent is the obvious gateway into the Grenadines, though St. Lucia, Grenada and several smaller islands within the chain are also popular entry points for sailors.

Charter companies serving the area include Sunsail, The Moorings (headquartered on Canouan in the Grenadines) and Nicholson Yacht Charters, along with several local outfits and entrepreneurs offering competitive deals on catamarans, sloops, cutters, ketches, trimarans, schooners and virtually everything else that floats.

More on CNN: 10 outrageous yachts for hire -- if you're filthy rich enough


PAIR OF BROWN LEATHER COWBOY BOOTS. HIGH HEEL BRAIDED LEATHER DETAIL , Womens Size 8.5 Nike ACG Hiker Brown / Tan / Orange / Black 908003-311Steve Madden Northpol Round Toe Synthetic Rain Boot Womens Size 7M GreenLucky Brand Womens Lk-jezzah Leather Open Toe Ankle Fashion, Brindle, Size 9.0 c , new ladies Tan 3"High Heel Round Toe Side Buckle Sexy Knee Boot Size 10 , ROCKY Brown Green Leather Cowboy Western Boots Womens Size 7.5 MW Style 4303womens winter fur trim british side zipper motoercycle block heels ankle bootsNew Sam Edelman Landon Ankle Boot Buckle Harness Black Suede Women's Size 10 M *Bottines COWA cuir fourrées - 38 - état parfait - valeur :Tommy Hilfiger NATTIE 2 Black Boots Size:6.5 , Sanuk DONNA KNIT STITCH Womens Donna Knit Stitch Flat- Choose SZ/Color. , Women's Diba True Casa Loma Up Front Stack Booties Gold/Beige Size 8 , EUC Josef Seibel Britney 02 Size 37 US 6 - 6.5 Black Leather Ankle Booties A8Charles by Charles David New Edie Black Womens Shoes Size 5 M Boots MSRP $199 , WOMENS 6 M EDDIE BAUER BLACK LEATHER FLEECE LINED TALL KNEE HIGH RIDING BOOTSMago Fedora Red Leather Flat Shoe , Spring Step Women's Lorona Mary Jane Shoe Black , TORY BURCH Reva Ballerina Ballet Flats - Black Patent Leather - Size 4 M (X53) , Miu Miu 9 Gunmetal Leather Evening Sparkle Flats 1579-34-82118 , tory burch shoes ballet flats with silver logo 7.5El Naturalista NG13 IBON / ALHAMBRA Womens Alhambra Boot- Choose SZ/Color.Womens Flat Slip On Shoes Brogue Round Toe Retro Metal Decor Loafer NewNike Free 5.0 Women's Shoes SizeNew Balance Womens WW411WT2 Walking Shoe, White, 7.5 D US , Hoka One One Clifton 4 Running Shoes Blue Women Size 8.5 , Women's Kamik Plateau Boot - Women's Athletic Shoes , Women's M. Gemi Driving Mocs Flats , Women's Antelope Boots Boots , Easy Street Mika Ankle Boots, Brown, 8 US , WMNS Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Sage XX SZ 8.5 Off White AJ1 AO1526-100 ,

Women's Sam Kaleb Edelman, E6173M2001 E6173M2001 Kaleb Ankle Booties, Women's Black Suede, 429fa1a - alprotem.com

Women's Sam Kaleb Edelman, E6173M2001 E6173M2001 Kaleb Ankle Booties, Women's Black Suede, 429fa1a