St Maarten – The yachting capital of the Caribbean

The small island of St Maarten became one of the hotspots of the yachting scene in the Caribbean, despite being split into two parts, French and Dutch. The tiny island offers a stunning backdrop for the world’s largest superyachts, with Simpson bay being one of the few natural shelters in the area. The European language used on the island naturally made it a port of call for some of the finest vessels. The proximity to St Bart’s and exceptional cruising grounds surrounding the island also make it exceptionally desirable for the elite travellers and yacht crew alike.

The Simpson Bay Lagoon, which may also be spelt Simson Bay Lagoon or simply referred to as The Great Pond, is one of the largest inland lagoons in the West Indies of the Caribbean. It is also known by the spelling Simson Bay Lagoon. On the island of Saint Martin is where you will find it. The lagoon serves as a dividing line in the middle of the island, delineating the territory that is French and that which is Dutch. Home to one of the largest resorts on the island, with over 300 accommodation options as well as multiple marines, the bay is one of the most important parts of the island. Multiple marinas can be found in the bay, including the IGY Marina of Isla del Sol and the Simpson Bay Yacht Club.

The island of St Maarten is ideally located within a short cruise of Anguilla and St Barts, two of the yachting hotspots in the Caribbean. The island offers plenty of beaches and coves, ideal for the yachts to drop anchor and for the guests to enjoy the warm Caribbean winter weather. With plenty of vibrant beach clubs and fine dining options, St Maarten is one of the more civilized islands in the Caribbean, compared to the more natural St Vincent for example.

Yacht services in the Caribbean can be scarce and provisioning a yacht in St Barts for example can be a challenge. However, with a large commercial airport, provisioning a yacht in St Maarten isn’t as much of a challenge. With plenty of international flights landing on the island due to the sheer number of tourists’ accommodations, shipping products over to the island can be arranged. The same goes for maintenance work and repairs. While the locals do have some knowledge, the ability to fly parts over rapidly and carry some work on the spot dramatically helps with yachting operations.

St Maarten became a yachting hotspot of the West Indies rather naturally, with all the correct factors align to ensure a smooth experience for yachties. With a great sheltered bay to moor the vessel, stunning cruising grounds for the guest to enjoy and plenty of service options, the island is a natural hub for yachting.