Winning on Water


It doesn’t take much to enjoy yourself in the water on Maui. A $4 floatie from the ABC Store, some SPF, and game on!

But some ways are better than others.

S/V Nova, for example, a 42′ foot private charter sailing yacht, is most assuredly one of those ways. No offense, apartment pool. But… you know.


Winning on Water

If ever asked whether or not you’re interested in joining a snorkeling tour aboard a private sailboat on Maui, the answer is “hell yes.”

Our group arrived at Maalaea Harbor a little after 9am and were warmly welcomed aboard the S/V Nova by Captain Anna, who’s been on the water for the last 15 years in scenic areas like French Polynesia, Florida, the Marshall Islands, Puget Sound, and of course where she is from, Maui. Not only is she lifeguard-certified, PADI Scuba Certified and CPR certified, but she’s also a really radical woman, and clearly knows sailing like the back of her hand. And the front of her hand, too. Basically, you can trust in Captain Anna.

Maui boat

Captain Makana, the first mate, was extremely helpful in getting us aboard the boat, showing us the ropes (literally and figuratively), and even prepared us a delicious breakfast snacks. Yum!

What’s extra fun is the fact that Makana was born and raised in Hana and is now nearly related to Captain Anna as their siblings are to be married. He used to be a professional surfer, and has traveled the world competing in surfing.  The captain’s a private charter fishing boat in Alaska during the summers and sails around Maui in the winters.


The S/V Nova


One of the best things about the S/V Nova is that it maxes out at 6 guests, the perfect option for groups of friends and family members who would rather enjoy a more private, custom experience for only slightly more money than the average big boat tour. In my opinion, this is one of the best deals on Maui, and one that is highlighted by the fantastically sideways ride (see: sailboat on extremely windy Maui day) aboard the S/V Nova.

Maui Hawaii boats

The sailboat itself has it all – 2 bathrooms, kitchen area, icebox, plenty of seating, snorkel gear, you name it. If you can’t find something you need or want aboard the S/V Nova, you may, in fact, be extremely high maintenance. True story.


During our tour, we were served breakfast and lunch, beverages, and taken for a beautiful sail along the coast of South Maui before heading back to sail along the West Maui Mountains, ending at an area near Olowalu for scenic snorkeling (gear included). We particularly enjoyed snorkeling in an area that was completely empty except for us – yet another thing you won’t find on larger snorkel boat cruises.


Available Tours


While we decided to partake in the 4-hour private sail and snorkeling tour ($2200 for up to 6 passengers), Captain Anna offers just about every kind of private sailing tour you’d want, including sunset sailing, whale watching during winter months, and even inter-island charters, where you get to cross the open water and see other islands from the water (weather dependent).

sailing tours in Maui

The crew served up delicious cocktails (it is byob, make sure to give the boat a call for specialty mixers), and the spread of yummy pupus was just what we needed on a hot Maui day. The service from Captain Anna and Captain Makana went above and beyond, and I really appreciate their laid-back yet professional demeanor.

From everything that I’ve experienced aboard the S/V Nova, this is what it means to be winning on water. I recommend you give it a try for yourself.


To read more about tour options or book a private charter, please visit Maui Custom Charters or call (808) 874-1110. Mahalo for reading!

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