Summer Departures Special
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The Moorings/Sunsail

The Moorings v. Sunsail: Explained

They are two of the largest names in the yacht charter industry, and yet the relationship between The Moorings and Sunsail remains a mystery even for many seasoned charter veterans. Here, we aim to put to rest many questions about these two well-known brands and help determine which charter brand is the right fit for you. 

“So… Does The Moorings Own Sunsail?” 

We hear it all the time, at boat shows, at events, and over the phone. There is a misconception that The Moorings owns or “bought out” Sunsail. Not quite. Once upon a time, The Moorings and Sunsail were two entirely separate, competing entities. The Moorings was established in the US in 1969, launching charter operations in the British Virgin Islands. Sunsail was founded a few years later in 1974 in the UK, specializing in sailing charters in Greece. Over time, both The Moorings and Sunsail expanded to offer sailing vacations in over 20 destinations all over the world.  

In the 2000’s, both The Moorings and Sunsail were eventually purchased by the same parent company, and operated under one umbrella. Today, both brands continue to be operated by one parent company, and many facets of the business from Sales & Marketing to our Operations teams are responsible for managing both brands. 

Because of The Moorings’ brand-dominance in North America, and Sunsail’s brand dominance in Europe, it was decided to retain the separate brands due to the deep loyalties that each enjoys among their customer bases, rather than combine the two under a new name.

“So… Sunsail is just old Moorings Boats, Right?” 

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sunsail is its own brand, with its own fleet managed independently from The Moorings fleet. Sunsail yachts, similar to The Moorings, are in the charter fleet for a period of roughly 5-7 years, and have similar age classifications: Under 1 year old, 1-3 Years of Age, and 3+ Years old. Sunsail classifies each age group as Premier Plus, Premier, or Classic, while The Moorings classifies each group as Exclusive Plus, Exclusive, and Club. Ultimately, you are just as likely to find a brand-new or 1 year old sailboat with Sunsail as you are with The Moorings.  

Because Sunsail is part of the same business group as The Moorings, Sunsail also enjoys the exclusive partnership with Leopard Catamarans, who supply the vast majority of sailing catamarans for both brands – custom-designed for optimal comfort and entertainment while on charter.  

“Is the Sunsail Base as Nice as The Moorings Charter Base?” 

They are one and the same! Over time, many facets of The Moorings and Sunsail operations have been consolidated, so today when you charter in the British Virgin Islands, or Croatia, or Tahiti, you arrive to the same marina whether you charter with The Moorings or Sunsail. Sunsail customers therefore experience all the wonderful amenities Moorings customers enjoy. 

“So What’s the Difference Between The Moorings and Sunsail?” 

The primary difference between The Moorings and Sunsail lies in their product offerings. Sunsail prides itself on one thing: sailing charters. One of the brand’s slogans is “For Sailors, By Sailors”, and we take that to heart. We craft sailing vacations in the greatest sailing destinations in the world for passionate sailors from all walks of life. Whether it’s on a bareboat sailing charter, or one of Sunsail’s signature Flotillas, you will be sailing

The Moorings by contrast offers a much wider range of charter products. Its core product remains the popular Bareboat sailing charters that Sunsail also offers, but The Moorings also offers charters aboard a custom-designed fleet of Power Catamarans, as well as a fleet of all-inclusive Crewed yachts with Captain & Chef. These alternative products set The Moorings apart and make it appealing to a much wider potential audience beyond the hardcore sailing crowd. This is part of the reason it is so widely known – it is simply more relevant to a wider audience and can be marketed to more people.  

The Moorings is also intended to be the premier charter company anywhere in the world. Customers can expect to receive a slightly elevated level of service and more amenities included upfront. In contrast, Sunsail is geared towards more experienced boaters and allows for slightly more flexibility/customization in what you include on your charter, which can allow for some added cost savings. 

Which one is Right for You? 

Ultimately, whether you charter with The Moorings or Sunsail, our aim remains the same – to provide you, your friends, and your family with the best vacation experience you’ll be reminiscing about for years to come. Our knowledgeable Vacation Planners have real-world experience chartering with both brands and can help lead you in the right direction.  

Contact us and get your charter journey started today. Whichever brand you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the charter experience of a lifetime. 


Ian Pedersen

Plan Your Dream Vacation