Transfers and arriving
We arrived the morning of the charter and proceeded directly to Suncharter ‘s base at Palma’s Royal Nautical Club Marina. Taxi (25 Euros in 2016) from the airport was about 20 minutes costing.
The SunCharter base is about a 15 minute walk from the marina entrance not far from the fuel dock. A small restaurant and market are the only facilities other than the marina’s shower, WC and laundry near the SunCharter’s office.
Having arrived early morning we decided to drop off our luggage and tour the waterfront of Palma. Fortunately, La Seu Cathedral, the architectural gem of Mallorca was only about a 30 minute walk along the waterfront from SunCharter’s base. We took the tour (7 euros in 2016) to kill some time before lunch. The tour was well worth the hour we spent.
This trip we chartered from Suncharter , a German company that has many bases around the Mediterranean. Big Boy, a Beneteau Sun Odyssey 44i, was our home for the next two weeks. We’d be cruising in comfort with 4 cabins, an electric flush head, two refrigerators, a solar panel to supplement auxiliary power charging and roller furling sails.
It was a bit hectic at the base as the Suncharter staff was turning every boat for high season clientele. Once our checkout was scheduled, Berta was very friendly and efficient. Unlike other charter bases, there was no formal area briefing, but, upon request, a charter captain did spend some time with us. His focus was local weather for the crossing to Menorca and, upon request, provided a few anchorage insights, not nearly as informative as most other charter bases.
Unfortunately, Big Boy gave us some problems:
- outhaul traveler rail dislodged requiring us to bypass the traveler block. This changed the furling angle for the mainsail and, eventually, jammed the sail inside the mast.
- anchor became ineffective as years of corrosion of the fluke’s angle stop finally gave way preventing the anchor from staying open to set
- electric head jammed by strand of hair wrapped around the macerator
- the windlass was very slow and appeared to be on its last days
Since the more severe problems were discovered on Menorca, Suncharter didn’t have the means to service Big Boy until we returned to Mallorca. At Porto Pollenca on Mallorca the SunCharter tech was prompt and effective at replacing the anchor and clearing the electric head problem. There wasn’t much he could do about the traveler or anchor windlass.
In the future will perform a more thorough inspection of the furling rigging, anchor, and windless at checkout