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Old 20-01-2014, 13:54   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Chicago
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Ready to Bareboat?

Hello all,

My name is Max and I just joined Cruisers Forum. A brief background: I learned to sail at summer camp, which I attended for 4-6 weeks per summer for about 8 years, sailing a wide variety of boats (sunfish to 16 foot lake hulls)every chance I could get. I got my own boat when I turned 13, so I spent every moment possible sailing my Hobie 14 Turbo (+jib) on a lake in Indiana until I went off to college. Bottom line, many many days of sailing experience in my past, but all on smaller boats on a lake.

After a 15 year drought of no sailing, a friend renewed my interest by taking me out in Lake Michigan on his Tartan (can't remember the size- maybe a 28 or 32 foot?), which I quickly realized I could sale much better than he This led to my wife(never sailed, but loves water & the idea of sailing) and I researching certifications and bareboat chartering, realizing it would be a perfect vacation option for us and resulting in her getting me sailing school for the holidays last month.

My question is: If I took the 5-Day RYA Day Skipper Practical Course (thinking about doing Sunsail, Port Solent) after studying the theory part at home- online, RYA books, etc.- would the two of us be able to bareboat in BVI or similar? I feel comfortable teaching my wife as we go along on our bareboat charter, but I don't know how a charter company would feel since it would just be the two of us onboard(which is what we find so attractive- the chance for it to be just the two of us!). Since we like our privacy, having to hire a captain would be a deal killer for us and we aren't really attracted to flotillas.

Thanks in advance for your great advice,


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Old 20-01-2014, 14:02   #2
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Re: Ready to Bareboat?

It's my understanding that if a charter company may choose to put a captain on board for a couple hours first thing to evaluate your competence. If you take a practical sailing course that covers skippering cruising sailboats you should be ok. You'll need to know how to anchor (it's not that hard) and when and how to reef. You should be fine.

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Old 20-01-2014, 14:06   #3
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Re: Ready to Bareboat?

Hi, Max, and welcome. This question appears on a recurring basis. The appropriate answer would be to contact a couple of charter companies, and simply ask them. Many of them have applications and information on their websites. They'd know better than we do!
Stu Jackson
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Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
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Old 20-01-2014, 14:18   #4
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Re: Ready to Bareboat?

Thanks Mattt and Stu for your input.

Mattt: I totally understand the charter company may want to go out for a quick jaunt with us to make sure we will take care of their boat, which is totally fine by us.

Stu: Great idea to reach out to them, which I will do. However, I wanted to have a skeptic's approach to this, fearing that the charter company might say, "oh yeah- you'll be good to go", only for us to get there and they want to send a captain with us. Just wanted to reach out to people who had "been there, done that" to hear their experiences.
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Old 20-01-2014, 18:48   #5
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Depends on the charter company. It is totally their call. From what I've seen in the BVI if the credit card transaction clears you are good to go. Other companies/venues might be a bit more discerning.
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Old 29-01-2014, 07:38   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Panama City Fl
Boat: Sea Ray Sundancer 300
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Re: Ready to Bareboat?

I don't know your situation, but I don't want to be in the situation of teaching my wife sailing...........

We owned and sailed several boats over the years, but the wife usually sat back and enjoyed the cruise while I sailed. She would take the helm, handle sheets while tacking etc, but I did the captain thing.

I decided to take the whole crew (wife, daughter and me) through the whole learn to cruise course with Colgate. We did the keelboat on Sanibel, then later the other two at BVI. We had a captain, but on a 51' boat you can still find a lot of privacy.

IMHO, this beats two people (one inexperienced) on a strange boat in new waters getting into a stressful situation and escalating into a shouting match. Talk about killing the romance......

The last day of the cruise you take te boat out by yourself for the night, great way to end the trip.

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