Will a sailing yacht charter depart in foul weather, or wait until it settles down? If it is delayed, will this affect the rest of our charter?
There is bad weather and there is seriously bad weather. Although most of the charters take place during seasons where good weather is expected, nothing can guarantee that there will not be a storm coming.
The decision to depart, or reach « safe harbour », is ultimately the Captain’s responsibility, with the safety of all passengers and crew as their primary concern.
Foul weather may indeed result in delays and impact the timeline of your charter, which could in turn reduce the number of cruising grounds you may get to enjoy. There are however two things to keep in mind :
First, the itineraries should be / are prepared by your broker and Captain so as to leave some flexibility and leeway for unexpected delays or changes in plans – that could be made upon your request ; therefore, minor delays due to weather conditions may not affect that much of your charter.
Second, the Captain and crew are not responsible for bad weather… They will always try their best to fulfil the expected and agreed navigation program, but should not be blamed if they can’t ; and it’s therefore better to try and work alternative plans together, between charterers and the Captain, than to try and squeeze the initial itinerary over half the time.
Each situation, although rare, being different, remember to keep an open mind about it and trust your Captain and crew when they make suggestions for alternative solutions, their aim is to make sure your charter experience remains the best possible.
The captain will make the final decision as to whether he deems it safe or not to travel, dependent on the weather. Even if you might think it is safe and feel disappointed that your charter is departing later than expected or holding up the itinerary, the captain will only ever bring a halt to proceedings in the interests of everyone's safety - guests, crew and his own.
Naturally the charter itinerary may change slightly as a result of bad weather but the captain and crew will always endeavour to ensure that the remaining itinerary is as perfect as it can be.