We booked through Bryan but two days before departure he communicated that there was a malfunction with his boat that would not be repaired on time. He had however already made arrangements with another charter company and just wanted to confirm that we were ok with this.
So even if it was a last minute change Bryan had it covered and we ended up spending two nights with a great captain called Mike. He was super respectful, kept a low profile and did all that he could to adapt to our needs.
In the end we were terrible sea people so we asked to make the trip 2 nights instead of 3 which I guess complicated things a bit for Bryan since he made arrangements through another company. In the end however we go a 80% refund for the last day which I consider fair since it was a last minute cancelation on our side. Bryan also met up with us at the Airport to personally make the refund in person which I see as something very positive.
We used the sailboat as an adventurous option to get from Koh Kood to Koh Chang something I could definitely recommend and if you are more experienced sailors than us you will for sure enjoy cruising between the islands for a longer time as well.
There were a number of problems with our Boat charter.
1 We were not told of the pick-up point, we were told transport would be arranged. We ended up having to arrange our own transport last minute. This delayed us significantly at expence.
2 We paid for 3 nights – only 2 night were organised and this was not communicated to the skipper. The skipper was not happy about this, did not have enough fuel & not enough supplies. We booked to go to Koh Kood we didn’t get the chance due to your mistake.
3 Change in skipper was not communicated. We booked the trip on the reviews for Bryan. We understand that Bryan said he is sick but Kevin said he has been the skipper since January and was not aware of Bryans sickness. With such an important change this should have been communicated.
4 The beds were not all available. Our teenagers were expecting their own cabin with my husband and I to stay in the galley area. However this was clearly the skippers home as he had the aft cabin and his washing hanging all off the boat with his stuff everywhere. He did offer to vacate the cabin at 10.30pm at night and then said he didn’t know where he was going to sleep as they had only couples before and this was not an issue. I had to share with my daughter and my husband with my son so Kevin could keep his cabin and have somewhere to sleep. This should be made clear on Tripadvisor we thought the Skipper would sleep on land or in the cockpit with a bed.
5 Kevin took us to Koh Wai & Koh Mak on the 1st day. He had no charts and seemed only familiar with these places. He told us we should get off the boat and spend time exploring Koh Mak. We were really keen to sail and explore some of the islands snorkel spots by boat so after doing my own research & Under a lot of duress & complaining he took us to Koh Ranyang Nok on the 2nd day. He said he needed to get back to Koh Mak by 5pm as he had a skype call. He made derogatory comments to us and would not sail only motored. we insisted to sail -He did attempt to put up the main sail but it would only go up 1/4 way! He said it wasn't working.
On the 3rd day he offered to take us to Koh Wai again to the same anchoring point. In the meantime our friends were on their 5th snorkel spot by going with BB DIVERS.
As we had already explored the reef thoroughly on the 1st day we declined.
6 Kevin was unprofessional, on the 1st day we met him he was drinking beer and he continued all day. He also just helped himself to my husbands large bottles of beer. On the first night he stayed up until after 1am- maybe later. On 2nd day he drank all day from 10.30am he dropped us back at the boat at 10.30pm then went back to Koh Mak to continue drinking and woke my husband up at 4am in the galley kitchen. On Friday we had just had enough we waited for him to get up (again) so he could drop us to land so we could get a drink and some breakfast. He settled himself at the bar. At 11.30am we asked to leave Koh Mak. He complained about just being given a free beer and was going to have to leave it.
7 Kevin said we would head straight back to Salakphet. We asked to go to Bang Bao (as I knew there was not much to do at Salakphet) he initially agreed then said he didn’t have enough fuel. We arrived at 2pm with 2 teenagers with little to do. You should know that a storm blew up just as we were getting into Salakphet- I had seen it coming an hour before, Kevin had no clue but with drinking all night and with little sleep he hadn’t checked the wind forecast.
8 I could go on about his attitude and snide comments. At one point, I had to say ‘just stop speaking’. As he was complaining that by going to Ranyang Nok we would get hungry/ we could hit a rock/ it could be too shallow etc.
9 Safety I asked Kevin to run through safety with us all (especially for the kids) he looked at me blankly and said can they swim?
10 No buoyancy aids- the dinghy deflated regularly and had to be pumped up every time. The engine on the dinghy was tricky to start and conked out during use many times.
11 Anchor system broken- Kevin was using a wire to connect with the switch to lower and raise the anchor
12 Deck in need of repair- sealant and cork lifting on many areas this is a trip hazard- on the first day my son tripped and sliced off 5mm off the end of his toe- luckily we are both in the medical profession and knew how to stop the bleed/prevent infection etc Kevin laughed and said it was just a scratch and offered us some tissue. This was not helpful. There was no 1st aid.
13 There no wifi internet, no Gopro, no drone, no music. Kevin didn’t know how to turn some of the lights on- didn’t know how to get any music going. The Seats for the cockpit were waterlogged so Kevin put them on deck to dry which meant we sat on the cork which was very rough and hard. (they still were not dry when we left)
14 Kevin was reluctant to get out the canoe-we begged him to get it out but then he made such a fuss about it I just told him to put it away.
15 Food, snacks & water. There was not enough fresh water I had to buy some and get the kids hydrated when on land. The snacks 1 packet of crisps first day, 1 packet pringles 2nd day –to share. Breakfast 1st day –I was up for 3 hours the kids for 2hours then Kevin got up at 9am. When he got up hung over ue offered us coffee and breakfast, it was the worst breakfast I have ever seen burnt and disgusting. Luckily I had some snack bars for my children.
We really wanted to leave at tis point, No phone reception and no wifi we realised we were stranded.
On the 2nd breakfast we asked to be taken to land for it- again waiting for Kevin to get up with a hangover at 930am. A boat with no curtains which is fine but it does mean we were awake from 6am- Kevin from 9.30am too far from shore to swim so we were stranded on board.
when we got to land we tried to hook up to wifi and find somewhere safe to stay but because of the New Year everywhere was booked.
We have had such an amazing holiday prior to these prior to this trip, these 3 days were hell. We realised we were stranded with this alcoholic man. No accommodation to go to on an island with no phone reception. We thought about calling trip advisor or the management but realised they would not be able to help us and then the skipper could get nasty.
We wanted to sail –not motor everywhere (there was opportunity with the wind in the right direction) and do some snorkelling around these amazing Islands by private charter we thought the skipper would be able to take us to places off the usual tourist track. To places more quiet and tranquil. Instead we went to Koh Wai with 8 other boats full of tourists on their day tour. Koh Mak is lovely but this anchoring point it was just buzzing with people and if we wanted this we could have got a speedboat here and stayed in a luxury hotel with aircon. Such a shame as there was so much opportunity to explore these beautiful islands which is why we booked a charter to have this freedom.
I did my coastal skipper many years ago and am now a very keen sea kayaker. These are very different waters but the principles are the same-check and plan your route- using charts so you know where the hazards are. Check the weather and wind. Know your currents and tides. Our Skipper DID NOT DO THIS. He just set the auto pilot.
we complained about the trip when we got off the boat. We asked for a refund but we were only offered to repeat the trip. I don't think we will ever have the faith to do something like that again. We live in the UK and we are not planning a trip back to Thailand so declined the offer. But not completing the 3 day trip e.g. only going to 2 island and not getting the use of the 3rd cabin as said in the description plus the alcoholic captain you would think they would have given us a refund.
What A difference from A normal production Boat like jenneau. This is a racer with luxury cruising. We went for a week and did all the islands. Food was great and the service outstanding. Will for sure return.
Over night on the Siren!⛵️ We had an amazing trip with Brian in the koh Mak area. Despite strong winds the captain opened the jib and main sail and took us to some special places. Beautiful beaches and a mangrove forrest, snorkeling and glow in the dark sea creatures at night. A chartered ship meant it was only us on the boat and it was totally worth it. We ended up doing one overnight with a 2 year old and 3 adults. Best time ever! ⛵️
We had a one day sailing trip with family. 10 people including 4 children. Bryan was helpful and very kind to us. We appreciated a lot sailing, snorkeling, swimming and so many nice views of beaches, islands, sunset etc...
Key memory of our one week visit to koh chang!
Strongly recommend if you hesitate