Saint Martin: A 7 day sailing adventure in the Leeward Islands

By Kanika from SamBoat - September 7, 2022

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, discover the island with dual nationality: Saint Martin. SamBoat has put together a charter itinerary to discover the best of the Leeward Islands. With a yacht charter in the Caribbean, you can explore the islands of Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin and Anguilla. Departing from the Marina Fort-Louis in Marigot, the French capital of Saint-Martin, you will discover exotic landscapes, breathtaking seabeds, warm and translucent waters. It truly is a dream come true.

Tips for a sail in Saint Martin

On a cruise in St. Martin you can sail all year round, except for the months of December and January, as this is when the trade winds get a little intense. The average temperature is 26 degrees and the wind speed is between 15 and 20 knots.

For this itinerary, no licence is required to rent a sailing boat or catamaran.

However, you will be asked for a nautical CV, similar to this charter itinerary in the Grenadines.

However, if you don’t have any sailing experience, this is not a problem, as you can rent a boat with a skipper.

This charter in Saint Martin is composed of islands belonging to different countries France, the Netherlands and England. Therefore, you will have to go through immigration formalities for each stopover made in the different territories.

On the other hand, if you spend only one night at anchor, it is not necessary. You will only be obligated to display the yellow flag which means that you are only passing through and do not intend to set foot on the island.

Day 1: Marina Fort Louis (Marigot) → Grand Case

4 nautical miles, 1.5 hours sailing time

Chosen as the starting port, the Marina Fort Louis is relatively close to all amenities: shops, markets and restaurants. Before starting this sailing itinerary we recommend that you take a walk in the capital and visit Fort Louis.

After conducting preliminary checks on your boat, set sail to Grand-Case. For this crossing, you should follow the coast of the island in a northern direction.

Once in Grand-Case, drop anchor and dine at one of the Lolos (local restaurants) at the square. “Au coin des amis” is our favourite. Here, you can enjoy local cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. To end this first evening in style, be true to the West Indies and enjoy a little rum!

During this stopover, diving is not to be forgotten, as you can jump into the water at Creole rock.

To drop anchor, we advise you to spend the night in the bay of Grand-Case, which is protected and less frequented than Marigot.

Day 2: Grand Case → Orient Bay

8 nautical miles, 2.5 hours sailing time

After this first night at anchor, sail to Orient Bay located on the North eastern coast of St Martin. This bay is well known and popular with boaters in the high season. For this reason, we recommend that you head north of the bay to Friar’s Bay, where you will be away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist trade, and in a place lined with palm trees and white sand. We recommend donning fins, masks and snorkels and exploring the seabed. It’s a great place to show off your water sport skills.

Day 3 : Orient Bay →Gustavia

17 nautical miles, 4.5 hours sailing time

On this third day of sailing, sail towards the main port of Saint-Barthélémy. Gustavia is a picturesque village rich in history located on the south coast of the island. This stop will be dedicated to shopping and good restaurants.

Finally, we recommend that you go to the island and walk to the Fort Gustav lighthouse. Once there, you can enjoy the breathtaking view. This town has a characteristic architecture, which you can observe by visiting Dinzey House, Our Lady of the Assumption Church and Wall House.

Day 4: Gustavia → Anse de Colombier

4 nautical miles, 1 hour sailing time

Now head to Anse de Colombier. In the heart of the Leeward Islands, this is the wildest island of your charter itinerary.

We recommend that you go diving in the south of the bay, where you can get to see some turtles and rays, which are ocassionally present in these waters. You can also take one of the trails surrounded by flowers and cacti.

Please note: there are no pontoons for the dinghy in this cove.

Day 5: Colombier Cove → Philipsburg

14 nautical miles, 3.5 hours sailing time

We now head for Philipsburg, the famous Dutch capital of St. Martin. We suggest you take a stroll through the capital. During this walk you can go shopping on Front Street or relax on Great Bay Beach.

Where anchoring is concerned, it is best to spend the night at the big bay.

Day 6: Philipsburg → Road Bay

25 nautical miles, 6.5 hours sailing time

On this sixth day of sailing, head to the port of the British island of Anguilla: Road Bay. This island is synonymous with relaxation.

Take a tour of the island to enjoy its incredible beaches and dine at Johnno’s, one of the best ambience bars in the port.

As far as anchoring is concerned, you can anchor at the bay. However, you should avoid anchoring near the ferry dock.

Day 7: Road Bay → Crocus Bay

4 nautical miles, 2 hours sailing time

For this last stopover, head to Crocus Bay. After an 8 nautical mile sail, a stretch of white sandy beaches, translucent water and a heavenly seabed await you. Here you can try your hand at snorkelling, if you haven’t done so already!

This cruise to Saint Martin from Marigot is coming to an end. It’s time to make the last 2 hour crossing back to Marigot. This is your chance to enjoy one last view of the sunset over the sea in this magnificent part of the world. Once you arrive in Marigot, don’t forget to refuel your boat, and check out with the skipper or the owner.

We hope that this sailing charter made you want to rent a boat in St Martin and feel the Caribbean magic.

🌿By completing this route entirely under sail you will cover 122 km and save 13 litres of fuel.

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