NOVA – Private Maui Sailing Yacht
Last Update on: November 13, 2021

Sail Maui with Maui Custom Charters

On any given Maui day, there’s usually one thing you can almost always count on: the presence of the persistent tradewinds. These easterly winds blow about 80% of the time, rain or shine. For the crew at Maui Custom Charters, life revolves around these breezes.

private Maui sailing

Maui Custom Charters hosts private sailing excursions out of Ma’alaea Harbor aboard their sleek 42′ sailboat, Nova. While a quick internet search of private Maui sailing excursions might yield a slew of results, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more impressive and experienced charter business than Maui Custom Charters.

Owners Mike and Tina are both born and raised Maui residents and have decades of private charter experience under their belt. After years of personally hosting customized, small-group excursions, they have become experts in the trade of hospitality and sharing the ocean and the island they love with guests. While primarily working behind the scenes today, they have cultivated a team of accomplished sailors to crew the Nova. Operations manager and master captain Anna was also born and raised on Maui in sleepy Hana town. An expert at navigating Maui’s fierce winds, Anna has been working on the water since 2007 and has a degree in marine science. If there is one thing that sets Maui Custom Charters apart from the pack, it is that they are one of the few female-run, 100% locally owned and operated charter businesses on Maui.


The Boat

To simply call Nova a ‘boat’ seems sacrilege. Sleek and spacious, this sailboat is a 42′ Catalina MKII, widely considered a leader in comfort and cruise performance. Catalina MKIIs are renowned for their design and can reach impressive speeds while maintaining a smooth ride. When it comes to sailing on Maui, a smooth ride is a definite bonus.

Nova sailboat

Nova comes equipped with amenities like a roomy cabin, onboard head, lots of storage space, and a kitchen with a stove, refrigerator, and sink. This allows the crew to whip up tasty appetizers and pupus for their guests, complimentary aboard each of Nova’s charters. While the boat isn’t stocked with alcohol, guests are welcome to bring their own, and the kitchen is loaded with plenty of glassware.


The Cruises

Four Hour Private Snorkel/Sail

Home to miles of vibrant coral reefs and thousands of species of tropical fish, snorkeling graces the list of most Maui visitors’ itineraries. However, the snorkeling secret is indeed out, and there’s no greater evidence of this than aboard the jam-packed tour boats that frequent the island’s more popular snorkel spots.

Maui snorkeling boat

Rather than jockeying with strangers on a crammed tour boat for views of breaching whales or attempting to share a crowded snorkel spot with 200 other people, this private snorkel/sail excursion offers a much more personalized, laid back experience. Nova can accommodate up to six passengers, which means you’ll have the undivided attention of the crew (who will feel more like friends by the end of the day).

There are two morning departure options for this excursion, 7 am, or 8 am. After clearing the harbor, this excursion travels along the sheer Pali cliffs, which form secluded, protected coves that just happen to be home to some of the best snorkeling on the island and is a favorite stomping ground for green sea turtles.

This excursion includes a light breakfast and lunch, non-alcoholic beverages, snorkel gear, and a guided tour from the crew. As passionate sailors and ocean lovers, they are more than happy to give you sailing tips or snorkeling instructions.  Learn more about this private Maui snorkel sail.

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Custom Private Charter

As much as one might dream, owning a beautiful sailboat with a slip on Maui just isn’t in the cards for us all. Decidedly, the next best thing is a private custom charter aboard the Nova. It’s hard to imagine a better day than being on the ocean off Maui aboard a gorgeous sailboat with a lively crew at your disposal.

private Maui charter

This custom charter is precisely that- custom. The adventure is yours to create. Whether you picture yourself exploring several of Maui’s invitingly pristine reefs, fishing, watching for whales, enjoying a sunset sail, or all of the above, it’s all possible aboard Nova. This elegant sailboat has hosted celebrations from weddings to birthday parties and everything in between.

Private charters range from two to twelve hours and can accommodate up to six guests. Charters over four hours include a deli-style lunch and breakfast.  Learn more about their Private custom charters.

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Two Hour Private Sunset Sail

If there’s one thing any Maui sailor can attest to, it’s the magnificence of being on the ocean as the sun goes down. It’s no secret that Maui plays host to some of the most stunning sunsets on the planet, but when viewed from the sea, it’s downright ethereal.

Maui sunset sail

Having hosted countless proposals and anniversaries, it’s clear that this cruise appeals to the romantics or, frankly, anyone who appreciates a good sunset. The crew aboard Nova has seen the likes of birthday parties and bachelorette parties as well.

Pro tip: pack a bottle of champagne, and raise a glass at sunset.  Learn more about the private Maui sunset charter.

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Private Whale Watch

From mid-December to mid-April, humpback whales take up residence in Hawaii’s warm waters. These giant part-time residents journey from Alaska to Hawaii to mate, give birth, and nurse their young away from the frigid arctic waters. Also, from December to April, an entire industry in the Hawaiian Islands awakens to give both visitors and residents a closer look at these gentle giants. It’s whale season, folks.

Maui whale watch

There are countless tour boats that host whale watches out of several different harbors around the island. Most of the larger boats depart out of Ma’alaea Harbor, and you’ll see camera-toting guests packed elbow to elbow as they head out to sea. While whale sightings are almost guaranteed during peak season, competing with a hundred other guests for the best views can hinder the experience.

However, when you have free reign of a 42′ sailboat, gone are the days of pushing through throngs of people and stretching your neck for a view. Aboard Nova, every seat is the best seat in the house. This three-hour whale watch sails outside Ma’alaea Bay, one of the most densely populated areas for humpback whales in the state. What’s more, the crew aboard Nova are avid sailors and prefer using the wind to power the boat. Other large tour boats use noisy propellers that can disturb the whales.  Learn more about Nova’s whale watch tour.

One thing is sure, spending time on the water while on Maui is an indisputable must. With the help of an expert crew, a luxurious sailboat, and only your closest friends and family along for the ride, a private charter aboard the Nova is sure to elevate your sailing experience.