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Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Sydney
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Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

I haven't been able to place this review in the regular Review Section, but I thought the info may be useful to others so I'm posting it here instead...

Our family of five (kids aged 8, 6 and 4) have just returned from a 7 nights bareboat charter in The Whitsundays with Cumberland Charter Yachts (CCY). What a fantastic holiday and we were so pleased with the service provided by CCY, I cannot speak highly enough of them. From our initial booking right through to the conclusion of our holiday we were kept up to date and communicated with via our own private ‘Charter Centre’ on CCY’s website. Here all information for our upcoming holiday was listed, explained and updated – from a rundown on our budget and outstanding costs, to items for consideration (like provisioning, additional equipment for hire), details of our boat and sailing in The Whitsundays, our itinerary, weather etc. Any additional questions I had were quickly answered via either email or phonecall. Our contact with the CCY staff once at Airlie Beach, and throughout the charter, was equally professional and timely. Our 3-4 hour briefing was patient and thorough (especially with 3 excited kids about), and our communication with the staff when we encountered an issue with our winch and a blocked head was equally professional and prompt. I would highly recommend CCY.

My husband and I have NSW boating licenses and own a 17 foot bowrider, however we have never been on open water before or driven a boat of this size, and have never utilised an anchor winch.

We charted CCY’s ‘Charisma’ 38 foot Powercat, and were offered an additional night at Able Point Marina prior to the charter for a small fee which we accepted. Boarding the catamaran at 3.30pm the day before gave us the chance to familiarise ourselves with the boat, load our luggage, do our shopping at Coles (‘Click and Collect’) and store the food onboard (particularly with the advantage of utilising marina power to get the fridge and freezer extra cold).

The following day, after our briefing, we picked up our stinger suits, snorkel gear, fishing gear, coral viewing boards (didn’t use them), and kayak (invaluable!) and headed out of the marina for a practical anchor practice with CCY. From there we were on our way! Our itinerary was as follows:

Night 1: Nara Inlet (anchor)

It may be a little intimidating using the anchor winch for the first time, but we found Nara Inlet to be a great quiet spot to get our confidence.

Day 2 / Night 2: Langford Island / Stonehaven (mooring)

Great snorkelling. At Stonehaven we encountered bullets of wind which were a novelty!

Day 3 / Night 3: Butterfly Bay (mooring)

Great snorkelling.

Day 4 / Night 4: Manta Ray Bay / Luncheon Bay (mooring)

Great snorkelling and a terrific beach.

Day 5 / Night 5: Cateran Bay / Tongue Bay (anchor)

Great snorkelling and a terrific beach at Cateran. Tongue Bay was beautiful and also offers the Hill Inlet boardwalk overlooking Whitehaven.

Day 6 / Night 6: Whitehaven / Hamilton Island Marina

We had planned to stay in Turtle Bay for this night, however wind conditions were not favourable. Our last minute change to Hamilton Island marina was a surprising success – it was great to spend some time walking around, eating out, utilise the resorts pools, replenish supplies (and have a proper shower!).

Day 7 / Night 7: CID Harbour (anchor)

A nice protected spot for our final night which had increasing winds.

Overall, a fantastic holiday and one I can’t recommend enough. We encountered so much marine life, the weather was hot, the water warm, and The Whitsundays is just an absolutely beautiful area. The kids loved the adventure of it – we had no electronic games for 8 days! – most of their time was spent snorkelling or swimming off the back of the boat, but we also had quiet times of reading, craft, games etc. For my husband and I, it was so incredibly relaxing soaking up the scenery, having afternoon nibblies and drinks, and enjoying bbqs on the back of the boat, when we weren’t snorkelling, swimming or exploring ourselves - a holiday offering real escapism.

Canandaigua
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1. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

We just spent 8 days on a catamaran booked thru WRAY(Whitsunday Rent a Yacht) and had a similar fabulous experience. Sounds like we stayed at a lot of the same spots, except perhaps we had better weather, as we didn't try a marina.

There were 8 of us-ages 53 to 4 and we all had the best vacation of our lives.

These are two great local owned and operated companies, with everything you need for a dream vacation!

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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2. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Excellent Trip Report & I'm sure others will benefit from reading about your experience. Thanks for sharing !

Whitsundays
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3. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Yes, thank you for sharing, it's a shame you can't leave a proper review for boats on TripAdvisor, something we hope they will rectify down the track. In the meantime, it's great to see your report here!

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Thanks for your report.

We have booked for a week in early October on the same vessel 'Charisma' and your summary has reinforced exactly what I was hoping when I booked. We are hoping to anchor as much as possible and my proposed itinerary looks slightly similar to yours.

If you happen to read this, just wondering why the kayak was invaluable?

Still a few months away for our trip. Meanwhile I will keep staring at the picture of 'Charisma' I have pinned to the wall of my desk pod.

Cheers,

Phill

Sydney
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5. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Hi Phill,

In answer to your question - the kayak was a terrific activity for both my husband and I, and our 8 and 6 year olds, to paddle off and have some quiet time alone, whilst still staying in sight of the boat - sometimes living so close together you just needed some time to yourself. Plus it also had the benefit of a bit of exercise and the opportunity to explore around the coastline.

Enjoy your holiday! You'll love it!

Canandaigua
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719 posts
159 reviews
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6. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

We also rented 2 kayaks, which we used for quiet exploring in the early am, following sea turtles and dugongs, and just another source of fun and amusement!

Australian Capital...
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7. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

My experience of Cumberland Charter Yachts was very poor, although the Whitsundays are a fabulous destination.

At the time their "top of the range" option was a Perry 43 called 'Stardust', glamourised on their website, but what we discovered was a tired old hack, with worn upholstery and every square inch of the underwater surface covered in barnacles which severely effected its sailing and motoring performance.

Bedding foam was flattened and uncomfortable, and a water pump had failed in one hull which limited the supply to half it's capacity.

The VHF radio failed during the initial hand-over and they 'duct-taped' an antique replacement which we discovered also did not transmit after reaching the first anchorage, so morning and evening check-ins could not be made, although we could hear the yacht being called, we couldn't respond!

During the first two days the dinghies outboard motor developed what we discovered to be electrical problems due to perished spark plug leads (tired old engine) whilst in Butterfly Bay, which I repaired myself rather than cut short our holiday.

Friends who had accompanied us, had charted with another company and had a faultless experience with a beautifully maintained yacht, the contrast was glaringly evident.

When the boat was returned I gave the manageress a list of the problems, asking why would you charter a boat in such poor condition, especially the barnacle issue, she basically shrugged her shoulders saying, ...."we are just a management company, if the boat owners choose to present the boats like that, it's entirely up to them!"

Canandaigua
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8. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

When I read these negative posts about "bareboats", I think that people have unrealistic expectations. Of course you should fix the electrical problem yourself rather than cut your vacation short! Duh! The point of it is getting out in the wilderness. Stay at a marina if you want everything taken care of, or hire a crew!

The boats cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. The prices are reasonable, considering! The phrase "champagne taste on a beer budget" comes to mind.

I feel the inconveniences and minor problems we faced were well worth the otherwise incredibly fabulous experience! It's CAMPING in a 350,000$ watertight RV, in a way. Be prepared, or invest in luxury accommodations. Shout out to WRAY and their awesome team! Can't wait til I save enough pennies to go back!

Australian Capital...
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19 posts
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9. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

Sounds like you almost work for a Whitsunday charter boat company, or you know very little about boating?

So should the "bareboaters" be charged $1100.00 per day for a substandard vessel, because somebody from the "hair-shirt" brigade (or the industry?) feels we all need to toughen up a bit? Get real.

I suggest you re-read the post again and actually absorb the contents, which is in case you can't, implies other companies do present a great vessel and manage their business well, and one clearly doesn't.

Canandaigua
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719 posts
159 reviews
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10. Re: Review - Whitsundays bareboating, Cumberland Charter Yachts

When I read these negative posts about "bareboats", I think that people have unrealistic expectations. Of course you should fix the electrical problem yourself rather than cut your vacation short! Duh! The point of it is getting out in the wilderness. Stay at a marina if you want everything taken care of, or hire a crew!

The boats cost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. The prices are reasonable, considering! The phrase "champagne taste on a beer budget" comes to mind.

I feel the inconveniences and minor problems we faced were well worth the otherwise incredibly fabulous experience! It's CAMPING in a 350,000$ watertight RV, in a way. Be prepared, or invest in luxury accommodations. Shout out to WRAY and their awesome team! Can't wait til I save enough pennies to go back!