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Old 24-06-2011, 15:33   #1
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Charter Company Skippers

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.
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Old 24-06-2011, 15:39   #2
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Re: charter company skippers

Yes, it is his call and at your expense. Although I have known some charterers who after getting the Captain on board want to keep him for the duration. He is often an invaluable source of knowledge about the "best and most interesting" stops and places to sail. And he takes over when you feel like kicking back with a cocktail to enjoy the view and ride.
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Old 25-06-2011, 08:59   #3
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Re: charter company skippers

My girlfriend won't let us bareboat charter. Something about me getting into a "captain mode" So we always go with a Captain and cook. Which is fine with me. I get to enjoy a nice cold beer or rum drink whenever I want and don't have to worry about fixing anything from the head to the engine on an unfamiliar boat. The Captain has the local knowledge and worry and I have all the fun!
http://biankablog.blogspot.com/2011/...ves-day-1.html
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Old 26-06-2011, 07:52   #4
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Quote:
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.
nial
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.
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Old 02-07-2011, 18:01   #5
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Re: charter company skippers

I have 7 charters under my belt and never have had a problem with the charter companies. My resume reflects reality. I always make a point of discussing my experience with the right rep from the charter company in advance, and also understand that the minute that I show up at the dock they are checking you out as or more closely then you are checking their boat out. I get the crew out of the way for the check-out, pay close attention, and ask thoughtful questions, to 1) make sure I know the boat, 2) which in turn assures them that I will be careful with their boat. I took a number of years off of chartering when the kids were growing up. When my wife and I booked a charter with Sunsail out of St Martin I raised my concerns with the staff at the base in advance of the charter. We had owned a 17 foot daysailer in the interem and the charter staff replied that the find that good sailing experience on smaller boats (without auxillary power) teaches you more sailing skill then many days motering around on a charter boat. Hope that helps.
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