Travel information

St. Martin

Back to St. Martin


Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in St. Martin. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don't forget to pack a copy to take with you.

Plan

Before you go

Address
Sunsail St. Martin
Mariner Yacht Services
Marina Fort Luis
Baie de Marigot
Marigot 97150 Saint Martin

The base is located at Marina Fort Luis. The marina is about 15 minutes from Juliana International airport and 15 minutes from Grand Case local airport.

St. Martin is an island of dual nationality. The northern side is French and known as St. Martin and the southern side is Dutch and known as Saint Maarten.

map-st-martin

Base hours
The Base is open 8.30am-4.30pm, seven days a week.
Season: The base is closed the month of September.

Time zone
St Martin is GMT -4 hours behind the UK.

Language
French and Dutch are the official languages, although English is also widely spoken.

What to bring

Passport and visas
Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return.

Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.

Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. We are not responsible for any requirement changes.

Clearance
Customers can now clear in and out procedures at the Oyster Pond base. There is a small charge of EUR 5-7. The Marina office in Anse Marcel also offers this service.

There is also the official customs office on the French side in Marigot, however we recommend to do clearance in Oyster Pond instead. The office opening hours in Marigot are 9am-11.30am and 2pm-4pm. Original boat papers are required and there is no fee. Anse Marce is open from 8am-11.30am and 2.00pm-5.30pm. Fee: EUR 5.

St. Martin

On the Dutch side, Philipsburg or Simpson, for clearance out, they ask for the paper of the clearance in from Dutch side. Clearance and harbour fee approximately USD 30. Sunday overtime.

Anguilla

Cruising permission USD 140 (This permit is valued from midnight to midnight: one overnight stay means two days) from 20 tonnage. From five to 19 tonnage, USD 56. Port dues: from two tonnage, USD 23. Embarkation fee: USD 5 per person. Security tax: USD 3 per person.

St. Barts

USD 7 for yachts 35-45 feet. Minimum EUR 20 for a cat and EUR 3 per person for “la réserve Naturelle”.

St. Kitts and Nevis

ECD 20.

Prices above are subject to change.

Customs + immigration
Before leaving the airport, you will have to clear immigration and customs. A landing card will be given to you on the plane, along with a customs declaration form. It is not possible to take fresh food into most Caribbean islands and airlines will assume no liability for perishable articles that may be confiscated by customs.  

The departure tax depends on where you fly out from:

St Martin: USD 35 per person
Anguilla: USD 10 per person
ST Kitts: USD 10 per person
Nevis: USD 10 per person

Some airlines include the tax in the flight ticket price.

Sailing licences
Although no sailing licenses are required by the authorities, we strongly advise that you take any sailing certification on holiday with you. This may be useful should you be contacted by customs or Port Police. If you have not already done so then both your boats skipper and first mate will be required to fill in a sailing resume at the base to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sail in this region.

What's on board

Coolers
Cool boxes are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please return them clean and undamaged otherwise you will be charged for replacement. Only one per boat.

Mobile phones
If you bring your own phone, please check with your service provider before departure, to ensure you will have coverage and to check rates regarding roaming calls and data.

Music + iPods
All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your iPod whilst sailing you will need to bring along an iTrip or FM radio transmitter.

Drone

The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws-in-sint-maarten/

Electricity
The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts. In order to use electronic equipment that is 220 volt you will need an inverter suitable for use in a cigarette lighter.

Internet
There is free wireless Internet access available on the marina. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no wireless Internet access on board the yachts.

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Sail

About the marina

Marina facilitiesRestaurants
Boutiques
Water
Electricity
WiFi
Laundry (additional cost)
Flower shops

...and many more nearby restaurants and shops.

Dock facilities*
We would highly recommend that all clients’ pre pay fuel due to the distance of the nearest fuelling station from the base, meaning the boat will not be full when they hand it back to us.

Cost is approximately USD 1.18 per litre. Fuel is available at the base.

Sailing licences

Experience level
Sailing experience: Level 2

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area. Follow the link for more information on the sailing conditions.

Get more information on St. Martin's sailing conditions.

Sailing grounds

Skippered charter information
The skipper’s time is booked from 12pm-12pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved a skipper for the first day of your charter and have a 6pm start, he or she will use this time to ensure they are happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you've reserved a skipper for a later date on your charter they will start at 12pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. They are not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He or she must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of the contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the check out skipper’s time is booked from 6pm-6pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day.

The skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. We suggest that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his or her time with you on the yacht. We also suggest that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover: anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and this is your responsibility. We suggest that you discuss this on the first day with your skipper and establish whether you'll provide cash for meals, whether you've included him or her in your provisioning or whether you'll accommodate him or her as part of the group for meals ashore.

The skipper must have his or her own cabin. We prefer not to put the skipper in the bow due to the shared head and size of the cabin. If you expect your skipper to stay in the bow, please let us know well in advance so that we can choose the appropriate (small) skipper.

For one-day check out skippers, it's your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay all expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him or her back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15-20 percent of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at your discretion.

Sailing area restrictions
BVI: All the British Virgin Islands, including Anegada and US Virgin Islands. For Bareboat Charter with Sunsail Crew. No sailing in US Virgin Islands and Spanish Virgin Islands.

To sail with St. Martin boat to Guadeloupe/Martinique, please check with your sales agent if the boat has the necessary flag/registration (French/Octroi De Mer).

Rest of Caribbean: No further than 20 miles out from Puerto Rico to Grenada,
Montserrat, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago.

There are some other restrictions throughout the whole Caribbean, which are detailed in the Caribbean Introduction section.

Night sailing
You are not permitted to sail at night unless it has been agreed with the base manager prior to departure.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht.

Sailing permits + taxes
No cruising permits are required in this sailing area except Anguilla. Cruising permit for Anguilla is payable in Anguilla only. A cruising tax of 4.5 percent of the charter fee is already included in the charter fee.

Moorings fees + taxes
Optional moorings are at present being installed in many of the St. Barts anchorages and plans are underway to install these in some St. Martin anchorages. Saba and Statia provide moorings (you will need waiver from the Base manager). Furthermore, moorings can be arranged inside the harbour of Gustavia, St. Barts with the Port Captain at USD 15 a night.

St. Martin charter guests will now be charged a "Natural Park Fee" of EUR 3/USD 3 per person, per day, which can be paid at the base before the start of your charter or payable in cash only to the St Martin natural parks officials to anchor in: Tintamarre and Pinel Island. Fees for St Bart's natural parks Anse de Colombier and Fourche Island will be payed at the same day when you do the clearance in the harbour office. 

St. Bart

Gustavia anchorage fee approximately EUR 38 per day

Dockage Gustavia approximately EUR 150 per day

Marine Park (Ile Forchue, Anse de Colombier) USD 3 per person, per day

Anguilla

Port dues: From two tonnage USD 23

Embarkation fee: USD 5 per person and security tax USD 3 per person.

Health + safety

Swim Safe 
For your safety and for environmental reasons, the feeding of fish is not recommended and may be prohibited in some destinations.

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Shop

Around the base

Hotels

French Side
Fantastic Hotel - close to the marina
Mercure Hotel - close to the marina
Centre Hotel - close to the marina
Golfe Hotel - close to the marina
Adam & Eve - Orient Bay
Shamrock - Orient Bay
Columbus Hotel - Oyster Pond

Dutch Side
Holland House - Philipsburg
Atrium - Simpson Bay
Mary's Boon - Simpson Bay
Atrium - Simpson Bay
Princess Heights - Oyster Pond

We have preferential rates at many hotels at the UK’s major airports. Please call the team for more details.

Currency
US dollars and euros on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. All the islands accept US dollars (USD), however only Anguilla, St Kitts, Nevis and Antigua accept Eastern Caribbean Dollars (ECD).

US dollars and US dollar travellers cheques are accepted.

Banks are open 9am-3pm, weekdays only.

Please note that you can change money at the base.

Credit card information
Credit cards can be used for payment in larger establishments and restaurants.

Shopping
Shops open 8am-6pm (Mon/Sat), however, most are closed on Sundays. Supermarkets open 9am - 1pm on Sundays.

Super U: 15 minute walk or 5 minute taxi from the marina; the biggest supermarket on the island located at Howell Center.

Carrefour: On the Dutch side. Regular full service grocery store with wide variety of goods, also has bakery, deli. Open from: 8AM-8PM Mon-Sat, 9AM-2PM Sun.

Please note all shops are Duty Free!

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For more information on what's included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

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