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Frequently Asked Questions relating to your Sailing Holiday

We get asked lots of questions and you can find the answers to many here. I hope these help and if not feel free to Contact Us and ask:

Sailing Holiday Charter Thailand

What makes your Five Star Courses special?

We think our courses are very different and special compared to other sailing schools. We try to create a special experience where you can learn in a relaxed environment and really enjoy yourself - its a learn to sail holiday! We try to do everything that bit better aiming for the highest standards. We do not think that we can be beaten on most of the points listed below.

  1. We believe in having fun enjoying, not just the sailing, but the places we visit, the people and their culture.
  2. Our courses last 7 days not five and we have a very high pass rate because of this.
  3. We make time to enjoy other excursions and experiences outside the sailing curriculum.
  4. We usually have 4 or less students with an absolute maximum of five.
  5. You will not be asked to share a cabin with someone else.
  6. We pride ourselves on providing the freshest natural food available. Hearty international and local dishes are prepared for you - you will not have to cook the main meals nor will you be given baked beans or pre cooked meals (unless you request them).
  7. We provide good quality linen, cutlery and crockery - you do not need to bring a sleeping bag or use plastic plates and glasses.
  8. The boat is well maintained and serviced and whilst boats are boats we do not expect it to break down.
  9. Your instructor has world wide extensive experience and the highest qualifications.
  10. We really hope that you will be impressed enough to join our growing number of regular guests.

Is it safe to travel in Asia?

At the time of writing, although there may be travel advisories issued by various governments they normally relate to major resorts and do not apply to small and remote islands. We are not aware of any current political or religious disturbances in the area which would cause a problem. No where is 100% safe any more but the main targets are always going to be places with a high density of people. As we specialise in finding quiet and remote places we tend to spend most of our time well out of the way of any potential trouble spots. Some parts of southern Thailand close to the border with Malaysia should be avoided.

You should of course take the same precautions against theft etc. that you would take at home or anywhere else. I have no hesitation in recommending the area as a holiday destination but do check when booking.
 

What is the weather like?

The normal weather between November and April (the dry season) is perfect for Yachting with clear skies, calm sea conditions and light to moderate breezes. From April (the rainy season starts) to July the wind can be more fickle, more cloudy, and there are often rain squalls sometimes with wind. From August to October the rain gets more frequent and can sometimes last or several days.

What will I have to do on board?

The RYA courses obviously require active involvement. If you are cruising or chartering you are free to choose your own level of participation although we encourage our guests to take part and enjoy the thrills of sailing. If you want to do an ocean passage we would expect you to participate in the sailing and watch system. If you just want to relax and have a holiday that will be fine - please let us know when booking.

What sort of food is served?

We pride ourselves on preparing good healthy, appetising food. We buy the freshest food available where ever possible getting it locally from markets. Generally the menu is a fairly hearty and a mix of international and local cuisine. We can cater for vegetarians and food allergies, but please let us know well in advance with information on what you normally eat/drink and don’t eat/drink. We would particularly like to know what you like for breakfast and whether you have any preferences for teas, coffee, soft drinks or alcoholic refreshment.

We serve alcoholic drinks and sodas at an extra charge. Please let us know before hand if you would like something special to drink onboard.

What sort of people will I meet on board?

We have guests from all over the world. Usually they are open minded people interested in learning about sailing, the places and people they visit - most yachties are easy-going, friendly people.

How do I know that the yacht is safe?

Meniscus has been surveyed on behalf of the RYA - Royal Yachting Association and is registered as a commercial vessel with the ability to make offshore passage making. She is also recognised as an RYA Sail Training Vessel and carries all the required safety equipment on board as well as complying with stringent stability and safety requirements. Meniscus has also been fitted with sophisticated electronic systems to help improve safety.  Click here for specific details about safety equipment.

What do I need to bring with me?

Here are a few things you might want to bring:-
  • Please bring as little as possible, you will not need much unless you have other travel plans
  • Please use a soft light weight travel bag it will be easier to stow
  • Local currency for meals ashore, local fees, drinks aboard etc.
  • Meniscus is a bare foot boat but if you want to wear shoes on board they must be light weight, clean, white soled and only for wearing on deck
  • small personal medical kit: painkillers, sea sickness, stomach, antiseptic, plasters, etc..
  • sailing gloves for tender hands
  • light waterproofs for normal trips - check if warm clothing is needed if joining for a potentially cold passage
  • 12 Volt charger for your phone and other accessories
  • sunscreen/block
  • sun glasses
  • sun hat
  • swimming costume
  • long sleeved top or body suit for swimming in case of jelly fish
  • beach towel
  • your favourite cassettes or CD?s or Ipod
  • note pad and pencil if doing a course
  • anti malarial's if appropriate
  • mosquito repellant - please bring roll on or creams - not the highly flammable jungle formula sprays or the swabs which both strip paint and varnish.

What is included in the price?

  • All meals taken on board Meniscus (full board is available unless you choose to eat ashore).
  • General sailing instruction and involvement in the day to day sailing and other activities aboard Meniscus.
  • RYA practical courses and certificates as appropriate (if requested).
  • Use of snorkeling and fishing equipment. (Divers need to be qualified and arrange their own insurance.)
  • Use of bed linen and towels (but please bring a beach towel).
  • Use of wet weather clothing if required.
  • Use of safety equipment as appropriate. Meniscus is equipped to DoT requirements for category "0" - unlimited passage making

What do I need to arrange?

  • Return travel arrangements at the beginning and end of your holiday plus any visas required.
  • Current Valid passport
  • Any necessary vaccinations/medication e.g. malaria tablets in some parts of the world.
  • Spending money for drinks onboard and ashore, excursions ashore, restaurant meals, souvenirs, local taxes, port clearance and immigration etc..
  • Personal travel insurance and cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to and from airport

Do I need to Worry about Malaria?

Malaria is not normally a problem in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Mergui, Andaman. Please request more information if booking for destinations in Borneo or Indonesia.

What is the cruising area?

We plan to stay in Asia cruising between Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Burma, Cambodia Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong and Philippines. There is a huge amount to do and see here. The area is a place of extremes from highly westernised tourist and business areas to remote fishing villages. With hundreds of different islands there is a vast cultural diversity. Interesting artifacts abound including textiles, painting, jewellery, furniture and carvings. There are some amazing things to see including volcanoes, mountains, rain forests, buffalo, monkeys, deer, wild pigs, native sailing pinisi' and canoes, reef diving, surfing and fishing to name a few. The people are wonderfully friendly and interested. Their own cultures vary considerably from island to island and from village to village. This area is really the most interesting place I have visited to date with so much extra potential to explore. The Sailing and Cruising has been excellent with calm seas, clear blue skies, great scenery, clear water and good snorkeling, plenty of fish to see, catch as well as friendly visits to the local villages. I have recently seen a 12 - 15 meter Whale Shark, Dolphin, Reef Sharks, Leopard Shark and Manta Rays in these waters.
 

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