Originally Posted by nial
The charter companies in the Virgin Islands
often insist on taking a skipper along for the first day or two if you want to charter a bigger boat than you have ever captained before. Anyone have experience of this? If the skipper has nothing better to do for the rest of that week are you stuck with him? It's totally his call whether to go or stay, right? I'd appreciate any experiences.
In order of your questions----
I have quite a bit of experience. A few times a year I do go out as a Capt for a VI based charter company.
Very rarely is more than a day or two needed to confirm the guest is capable of safely handling the vessel and the systems. The length of time needed is solely dependent on the skills of the guest. Along with their ability to learn information that may be new to them. There are some real advantages to having a skipper for a day.
It is ultimately my decision as to whether I feel a guest is capable to be left alone. If I see an area that needs improvement I will make that known and suggest we work on it. It's up to the guest what they want to do next. Put in some effort and gain a skill or crack another beer
and stare at the water
. The guest makes that decision and in doing so, directly determines how much time they will be paying to have a Capt along.
I appreciate your perspective in not wishing to spend thousands of dollars on a vacation
with a stranger who you have to pay for. From the charter company perspective, and their more importantly the insurance
company, they are looking at a resume to determine whether they should send you out on a vessel that may be worth a million bucks. Yes people's resumes don't always correspond with their abilities once on the water
. I see that all the time. I've been with people who don't have a single
certificate and are on a boat that is twice the size of anything they've ever skippered, turn out to be excellent mariners. Unfortunately I've also been with folks who have a binder full of documentation
indicating their accomplishments who struggle to put a boat into the wind
and raise the main!!!
These are my opinions, from my personal experiences mostly with one charter company.
Feel free to send me a PM if you are interested in additional information or suggestions.
Enjoy your trip.