St Martin is an island divided between two principalities: French in the north and Dutch in the south. Philipsburg is the capital of Dutch Saint Maarten and offers duty free shopping, casinos and nightlife and has some great bars around the waterfront yacht charter solent. Marigot is the largest town in the French sector.
Oyster Pond Marina is on the border between the French and Dutch sides, it is a full service marina with a fuel dock, laundry, bars and restaurants offering international cuisine and local seafood. There is a well-stocked supermarket for provisioning the yacht. Dawn Beach is on the Dutch side, and a bit off the beaten path. It boasts fine sugar white powdery sand, with a view of St. Bart’s in the distance. Compared to other well-developed popular beaches, Dawn beach has preserved its tranquillity and laid back atmosphere. The best snorkelling is found at Dawn Beach, as the coral reef is right off the shore. The surf can sometimes be a little challenging, so for young kids this is not the ideal beach.
St Martin offers a wide choice of yacht charter and includes bareboat yacht charter, skippered yacht charter, luxury crewed yacht charter, monohull and catamaran charter and both sail and motor yacht charter.
Juliana International Airport in the main airport on St Martin and has daily flights to the main cities of the world. French and English are spoken widely on St Martin. US Dollars and Euros are used everywhere. Major credit cards are generally accepted in hotels, restaurants and larger shops.
Anse Marcel is a small harbour with a pleasant beach next to the Marina Port de Lonvilliers. Many yacht charters start from this marina. The marina is lined with shops, hotels, and many restaurants.
The weather is tropical, meaning it’s hot and sunny year-round with very little temperature variation between seasons. The average yearly air temperature is 27° C and sea surface temperature 26.4° C. The total average yearly rainfall is 995 mm, with 22 days of thunder. St Martin weather turns wetter in the autumn but showers are generally short and taper off quickly after big downpour. St Martin catches the unobstructed trade winds off the Atlantic Ocean. You can experience winds upwards of 20 knots for several days, making for some challenging passages. Summer months see winds anywhere from 10 to 20 knots.
The island has a well developed network of mini-buses on both sides and this is an inexpensive way to get around. There are marked stops along the roadside, but by waving them down you can be picked up and dropped off virtually anywhere.
Marigot Fort Louis has a 150 berth marina, Marina Fort Louis. It has direct access to the sea, as opposed to marinas on the Dutch side where yachts need to negotiate the Simpson Bay Bridge.
Christopher Columbus discovered and claimed the island for Spain on 11th Nov 1493.The French settled on the island in 1624 to cultivate tobacco followed by the Dutch in 1631 who where looking for salt. In 1684 the island was divided into two zones, French Saint-Martin in the north and Dutch Saint Maarten in the south. The next 130 years saw the entire island occupied by the French, Dutch or British until 1816 when the French and Dutch zones resumed.
Marigot Port La Royale is a bustling marina boasting located on the leeward side of St Martin. It has one of the largest shopping arcades on St Martin and a host of little restaurants and bars. On Wednesday and Saturday your morning’s stroll will take you through the open-air market located along the wharf. There you will discover a colourful array of home grown produce, fresh fish and tropical fruits and spices. Fort St. Louis, built in 1767, is the largest historical monument in St Martin. The steep climb is worth the effort for the panoramic view of the island and the sea surrounding it.
Every March, hundreds of participants from Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean visit St Martin to compete in one of the world’s biggest sailing events; the Heineken Regatta. During the past 25 years this regatta has become one of the largest events in the Caribbean.
Summer is the least expensive time to charter. Many yacht charter companies will offer promotions such as sail 10 days for the price of 7, or give discounts of up to 25% off charter prices. The winter is the height of the season and you will pay the full yacht charter price.