Love life at sea? See for yourself on a Caribbean yacht charter, offering in-depth island exploration at a leisurely pace.
The United States Virgin Islands, the largest charter fleet base, offers hundreds of crewed or "bare" sailboats. Power boats (crewed, some equipped for deep sea fishing) are also available. Brokers (representing boat owners) match customers and craft without missing a beat. Their service (for which the boat owner pays) is invaluable.
Charter operators are everywhere in the region, but the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua have especially active charter communities.
Accredited sailors (requirements vary) take a quick equipment and safety check before setting sail. That's "bareboat," when you do it yourself. (Though agents will arrange specified food and beverage provisioning to specifications on request).
On crewed charters, staff varies with the vessel's size, but a captain and cook (or more) are provided. You can take the helm (supervised) when the mood strikes you but the crew caters to your every whim, leaving you to loll on deck, dozing, planning stops, sipping rum punch and anticipating the next gourmet meal.
Some marinas operate sailing schools with tie-in trips to practice your skills with an instructor/captain's supervision.
Several marina/resort complexes offer "Sail and Stay" packages combining a resort stay with a few days aboard a private or semi-private fully crewed charter -- a terrific alternative for those torn between the pleasures of life on land and at sea.