This is not an easy question to answer. Some very experienced Captains can handle a boat by themselves of say 90' in non stressful conditions and calm weather
. If something happens and a major OH S..t happens, even three or four on board isn't enough.
With Experience (a lot), my "opinion" is a boat from 36 to say 50' would be a maximum. Again with Calm weather
and NO OH S..ts I really think 65' by yourself is a real stretch.
First get some school
: US Power Squadron, US Coast Guard Ax, Many Universities have night classes
, a private Captain's School
(you will not be able to have your Captain's until you have experience but the school will be valuable). On line schools (I do not recommend this as being with others is a major assist in learning). First book to purchase
is Chapman pilot and seamanship. then if you can stay interested,purchase a medium/hard book such as Dutton's Navigation
and piloting. (this book is NOT a light weight read). STUDY it do not just skim. Stay away from the heavy weight stuff such as Bowditch (2 Vol), until you have a few years experience and can plow through the first two books
Now for some experience: If you have the money
, go off season and charter
a crewed boat (sail or power - what ever you are interested in). Make sure that the Captain
understands that you are interested in him teaching you for the entire trip including boat handling. (some will NOT be interested in being a full time teacher!).
Try some University Sailing schools or University Boating
Capt. Rich Wittig
Licensed master 37 years.