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Tahiti Yacht Charter

Essential Information


Address & Map

Base Address

Sunsail Raiatea
Apooiti Marina
98735 Uturoa
Polynésie Française


Our Tahiti base is located in Raiatea, called the The Sacred Island, as it was once at the heart of ancient Polynesia. Our base is at Marina Apooiti, less than 3 miles from the town of Uturoa. The base is located in the middle of the Leeward Islands, the northwestern group of French Polynesia, and is located just two minutes from the airport.


Base Open Hours

Our base is open all year around. The office hours are from 7.30-5pm.

Base/Shore Facilities

Amenities include a shower facility, briefing room, restaurants, dive centre, Internet, public phone, water, fuel, weather forecast. Supermarkets are located in Uturoa, 10 minutes by taxi and 30 minutes by boat.

A restaurant situated on the marina propose you breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

You will find complete facilities at the marina; toilets, washbasins and showers. They are near the Sunsail office. Open 24 hours a day. Please ask the Sunsail staff for the key to access them.

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Arrival & Departure

Time Difference

Raiatea is GMT behind 10 hours


After a stop in the international airport of Papeete-Tahiti, you will take a plane with a local company on to Raiatea. Facilities at Papeete-Tahiti include several gift and pearl boutiques, a flower shop, car rental, restaurants, internet points, duty free shop, money exchange and a bank.


You can pre-book a minivan or taxi from North Uturoa Airport to the Marina. Alternatively take a taxi to the base, a journey of approximately 5 minutes.

  • Mini Van: 350 CFP per person.
  • Taxi: 1,500 CFP per taxi for max 4 passengers.
  • Bus: 5,000 CFP for 20 or more passengers.

Please provide us with your flight information prior to departure so that we may schedule a transfer for you from the airport to the base. Payment is due to the driver locally upon arrival.


We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

Passport and Visas

For more information about regulations please see here

Customs and Immigration

On arrival, you will be required to show your passport, completed Immigration card (distributed on the aircraft) and your return ticket. Going through Immigration, Customs and Baggage Collection can take up to an hour.

Duty free allowances are similar to those in the EU. Airlines will assume no liability for perishable articles, e.g. food, which may also be confiscated by Customs.

No Airport Departure Tax or Taxes/Customs Charges apply.

On Arrival

Most clients land around 0800 hrs and fly out again around 1750 hrs, during base opening hours. If your arrival is earlier or later we can arrange for you to be met by our customer service staff.

Out of Hour’s Arrival procedure

In the evening a short briefing is arranged for overnight.  A full briefing is given the following day.

On Departure

Disembarkation is at 0900hrs.  This is the mandatory time when the boat must be returned and ready for debriefing and checks. If you have booked an early morning flight on the day your charter is ending, it is preferable you return to port in the middle of the afternoon the day before to carry out these formalities.

Before disembarkation please collect a debrief form from reception. The debrief form is to let us know if you have encountered any problems with the boat or broken anything during the trip, this enables us to rectify problems for the next charter.

In addition to filling in forms we also require you to bag dirty laundry and leave in the cockpit, empty all cupboards and fridges of food and throw away, return snorkel gear and any lifejackets borrowed from reception and ensure that the boat is handed back to Sunsail in a clean and tidy state.  We reserve the right to charge for boats left less than shipshape.

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Sailing Information

Raiatea is a Level 2 sailing area

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

Sailing Licences

Although no sailing licences are required for cruising in Raiatea 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 Skipper and 1st Mate will be required to fill in a Sailing CV to confirm that you have the necessary skills to sailing in this region.

Cruising Permits & Taxes

Cruising permits are not required in Tahiti

Night Time Sailing

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

Cruising Area Limits

This information will be provided in the chart briefing, however for passages to the islands of Raiatea, Bora Bora, Huahine and Tahaa the base may ask you to sign a waiver confirming your experience inmaking such long passages. Passing to the south of Raiatea (Passe Nao Nao) is prohibited.

Mooring Fees and Taxes

All moorings in the area belong either to restaurants, charter companies or similar and are usually for their clients. As a guest you may use them free of charge otherwise call the owner to ask for permission. In most places you will anchor.
For more information about new moorings policy please see here. Moored buoys price is 1,500 cfp/night.

Area & Sailing

More information on the sailing in this area.

Charts & Pilot Book

Charts and pilot books can be from the UK chandler Kelvin Hughes by contacting them direct on 02380 634911 or

Skippered Charter Information

Sailing to Tuamotus is only permitted when there is a Sunsail skipper on board & cannot be done at all during the months of November, December, January, February & March.

The skipper’s time is booked from 12:00pm to 12:00pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved him for the first day of your charter and have a 6:00pm start, he will use this time to ensure he is happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you have reserved him for a later date on your charter he will start at 12:00pm on that day.

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

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the checkout skipper’s time is booked from 6:00pm to 6:00pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day. This 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. It is suggested that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his time with you on the yacht. It is also suggested that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover…anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper will be required to give you as much information as you require concerning the yacht and its systems, sailing skills and navigation in general.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and are therefore your responsibility. It is suggested that you discuss this on the first day with the skipper and establish whether you will give the skipper cash for meals, whether you have included him in your provisioning or whether you will accommodate him as part of the group for meals ashore.

The skipper must have his own cabin. We prefer not to put the skipper in the bow due to the shared heads and size of the cabin. If you expect him 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 skipper’s it is your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay for his expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him back to the base.

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

More information on Skippered Charter Options.


Your yacht will be provided with a full tank of fuel at the start of your charter and you will be required to pre-pay for your fuel with your holiday balance. If extra fuel is required you will need to return to Uturoa (Raiatea) on the mainland to refill.He'll cost you 1.50€ by liter but attention the price is very evolutionary.

Cool Boxes

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

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Banks & Money Exchange


The Pacific Franc is the common money in French Polynesia.
Euros and US Dollars are accepted throughout the Leeward Islands.


In the main town of Uturoa (5km from the base) you will find several banks each with ATM’s.
Opening Hours: 7:30 am - 11:45 am and 1:30 pm - 15:45 pm

Credit Card Information

Visa and MasterCard are  accepted in most of the larger restaurants and supermarkets.

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General Information


The official languages of the Raiatea Tahitian and French.
English is spoken in the tourist areas.

Cost of living in the Raiatea

Prices are in general higher than average. For example a meal in a restaurant will cost between 2000 Fcp and 6000 Fcp (16 US$/50US$).


Bora Bora Yacht Club
Farepiti, Cote de Mer
BP 162,
Vaitape 98730,
French Polynesia
689 67 77 77
VHF channel 16 and converse on channel 69

The Yacht Club is situated just north east from the entrance of the pass in Bora Bora. There is an array of services on offer including delicious waterside dining, bar, live music weekends,  mooring buoys, water, Wi-Fi, rubbish disposal, hot showers, bicycles,  laundry, book ex-change, and boutique.


Tipping is standard and expected in all restaurants / bars and for other services undertaken during your holiday. The rule of thumb is generally 10-15% of the amount charged. Some establishments automatically add this onto the bill.


There is an excellent central market in downtown Uturoa, located between the docking area and the main road going through downtown Uturoa. You'll find inexpensive produce, wonderful fruit and vegetables. Markets are open 6 days a week with limited hours on Sunday. Monday through Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6:00pm and Sunday 7:00am to 12:00am

Beside the ship dock "Gare Maritime Building" is a shopping centre with a couple of restaurants, boutiques, jewellery shops and an 'Arts and Crafts Village' where you will find  hand painted dresses and pareos, woven hats and bags, woodcarvings and shell jewellery.

A Post Office is located in Uturoa 5 KM from the base.  Monday to Friday: from 7.30am to 3.00pm during week time and from 8.00am to 10.00am during weekends.  
Stamps, post cards, letterbox are available at the base.

VAT is included in prices, accommodation taxes exist for hotels but not in charters.


Sunset Beach - is located by the base and comprises 22 bungalows.
Kite boarding, snorkelling and scuba diving can be arranged here.
PK 2 , Apooiti Bay
B.P. 397, 98735 Uturoa - Raiatea
Telephone- (689)
Fax- (689) 66.33.08



Raiatea Lodge hotel
PK 8.5 , West Coast

Telephone - (689)



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Electrical, Phones & Music


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

Mobile phones

The VINI networks everywhere around and if you have an extension for your own mobile phone you can use it in French Polynesia. Otherwise you can buy a SIM card to have a local number.
There is a mobile phone provided on every boat with a certain amount of credit.  When you arrive back at the base you need to pay for the credit that has been used. 

Internet Connectivity

Internet access is available at the base. There are two internet cafes near the Marina. Huahini and Bora Bora also have internet cafes available. You can also find WiFi zones on each island.


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 I-trip or FM radio transmitter.

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The Leeward Islands have many activities to offer such as scuba diving, snorkelling, tours of islands in 4-wheel drives, deep sea fishing, visits to vanilla plantations, black pearl farms to visit, maraes (holy places), horseback riding & trekking.


Tahiti Pearl Regatta takes place in May over 4 days. This handicap race with non-spinnaker divisions is open to all charter boats. There are legs from Raiatea to Tahaa and Bora-Bora.


Hawaiki Nui Vaa’ is the biggest local canoe race with around 100 canoes participating each year. It is a 3 days race held each year around end October and a nice typical event to see. A lot of sailing boats follow this race each year.

Dancing & Singing

“July” (Tiurai) is a month of festivities with dancing and a singing contest on all islands.


Nemo World- Bora Bora Diving centre
Tel: 67 77 85 Fax: 67 77 85

Mahana Dive Club
Tel: 73 07 17 or 68 76 32 Fax: 68 76 63

Hemisphere Sub - located on the Marina

Contact: Farid and Julien at the Marina Apooiti

Tel: 00 689 40 66 12 49

Fax: (689) 66 28 63



We have a range of snorkelling gear which you may wish to use. We are limited on children’s sizes so if you have your own you may wish to  bring them with you.

Car hire

Foreign and International licenses accepted. All the main car rental companies are present at the airport. You will find small car rental companies that offer very competitive daily rates.

  • Avis /Tahiti Tel: 689 41 93 93
  • Europcar /Tahiti Tel: 689 45 24 24
  • Europcar /RAIATEA Location tel: 689 66 34 06 - Near to the airport of Raiatea
  • Garage Motu Tapu/RAIATEA tel: 689 66 33 09
  • Hertz Tel: (689) 40 66 35 35 at the airport of Raiatea

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Provisioning is available in this location.This destination has a service of provisioning. You can command in advance your provisioning .More information on provisioning.

The command must be made at the latest four weeks before the departure of the cruise. All the yacht have refrigerators and freezers, you will have to make sure the battery charge by turning the engine or engines every day at least 3 hours per day, the solar panels installed on the bimini are not enough.

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Health & Safety

Illness or Injury

If you are taken sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip please have a member of your party contact the Sunsail base manager as soon as possible.

If you will need to make a travel insurance claim please contact your claim insurer’s emergency medical service immediately. Obtain receipts for any medication, treatment or transport you have to pay for and submit with your claim.


All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets harnesses we leave it up to you to decide when personal safety equipment should be worn.
We have a limited supply of children’s life jackets (age 4+ only) if you have your own children’s life jacket we would encourage you to bring it along.

We suggest that children who are not strong swimmers should not be allowed in a dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and that they should wear a buoyancy aid or harness when on deck.

Children under the age of 16yrs should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.

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