Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-02-2014, 11:12   #1
Registered User
 
Macblaze's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Edmonton/PNW
Boat: Hunter 386
Posts: 433
Boat length and chartering

Why do charter companies always ask that you have experience in a given boat size?

Is it really that much harder to sail a 42 footer than a 32 footer? I've been in a different boat size every time I have chartered — from 32 to 42 in both power and sail — and frankly, other than docking, which is terrifying no matter what boat size and always seems easier in a bigger boat (since they give you a bigger slip), I can't really say length has made as much of a difference to the experience as things like lazy jacks vs in mast furling or figuring out the reefing system. But they never ask about those before hand...

Hell, the damn 12' dingy with center console caused me more grief than the extra 10' of boat.

(Oh, and they totally failed to ask if I had ever used a sail drive. All that practice using prop walk gone to waste.... :-)
__________________

__________________
Macblaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2014, 11:37   #2
Registered User
 
JK n Smitty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hingham, MA
Boat: Catalina 310
Posts: 637
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post
Why do charter companies always ask that you have experience in a given boat size?

...other than docking, which is terrifying no matter what boat size
I think you hit it right there. Picking up a mooring isn't really any different, same with the sailing. But docking is where they probably see the most damage on boats they charter.

And not to sound like a jerk, but if you think docking is terrifying you're not practicing enough. Its no big deal. You have to dock every time you use your boat (if your in a slip). Practice until it becomes second nature. Just like reefing the mainsail, heaving to, setting an anchor, etc. It's just another boat skill that can be learned with practice.

Where are you chartering?

Fair winds,

Jesse
__________________

__________________
http://svsmitty.wordpress.com/
JK n Smitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-02-2014, 11:54   #3
Registered User
 
Macblaze's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Edmonton/PNW
Boat: Hunter 386
Posts: 433
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
And not to sound like a jerk, but if you think docking is terrifying you're not practicing enough. Its no big deal. You have to dock every time you use your boat (if your in a slip). Practice until it becomes second nature. Just like reefing the mainsail, heaving to, setting an anchor, etc. It's just another boat skill that can be learned with practice.
Huh, and I was just starting to feel better about myself based on this thread (So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress)

It's been a real challenge balancing learning vs enjoying. We are still trying to find the sweet spot (power vs sail, luxury vs bare bones) and have been hopping around from boat to boat. We spend a good hour or so each time doing touch and goes, but eventually we just want to get out and enjoy what our hard earned money has bought us.

It's one of the reasons I really wish I lived near water and could afford to buy a boat. a couple of weeks a year just doesn't build the muscle memory...

Bruce

Oh, and its all been in the Gulf Islands so far...
__________________
Macblaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 06:31   #4
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,953
Images: 6
Re: Boat length and chartering

One other comment... Though the charter companies ask you what size boat you have sailed before, I have always found them willing to let me charter a step or two up from that. For instance, the first time I chartered from Sunsail down in Tortola, the largest boat I had sailed up to that time was a 32-footer. They had no problem letting me take out a 36' boat, with no requirement for a captain for a day, or anything else like that.

My next charter after that one was again with Sunsail (so maybe they had a little more confidence in me, who knows?) and my wife and I, along with another couple who had never done any sailing, chartered a 39' boat. Since then I have chartered boats up to 44' in length, and again, no one has ever insisted that I take a captain for a day, or anything else like that.

So, don't think that they will refuse to charter you a boat any larger than the largest one that you have sailed before. You can easily work your way up to much larger boats. Having said that, I suspect that if I went to some charter company with no experience in a boat larger than 27', and wanted to charter a 50-footer, they might have some trepidation. But reasonable steps up and I have always found them very accommodating.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 06:55   #5
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post

Is it really that much harder to sail a 42 footer than a 32 footer?
No it is not.

Even better is to try and hop a 50 footer for a day or two and you, again, will see everything is the same.

I think driving a big boat makes driving smaller boats more easy. You cant be as intimidated on a 32 after youve just docked a 50.

Next time you are chartering see if they can give you a test sail on a big boat, or maybe see if theres a discount going...

The most I get annoyed is reading threads on here where people tell boat buyers to buy small. Thats crazy imho. Much better and easier to sail a bigger boat. If there was any truth to smaller boats being better we would not have seen this constant increase, over the years, of average boat size.

Have fun!

Mark
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 07:19   #6
Registered User
 
Sailing Cowboy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Home Port: West Palm Beach, Live: Seattle
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 473
Posts: 315
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
No it is not.

Even better is to try and hop a 50 footer for a day or two and you, again, will see everything is the same.

I think driving a big boat makes driving smaller boats more easy. You cant be as intimidated on a 32 after youve just docked a 50.

Next time you are chartering see if they can give you a test sail on a big boat, or maybe see if theres a discount going...

The most I get annoyed is reading threads on here where people tell boat buyers to buy small. Thats crazy imho. Much better and easier to sail a bigger boat. If there was any truth to smaller boats being better we would not have seen this constant increase, over the years, of average boat size.

Have fun!

Mark
Good post. I just, as in a week ago, moved up from a 31 to a 461. Sea trials the end of this month for the first time with it. I have had a 42 power with twin screws years ago and had no problems. Yes i do know twin screws is a cake walk compared to single screw prop walk on a sail boat. Then I read posts you refer too of posters suggesting to stay in the 37 range and wonder what am I missing? I guess I will find out. Thanks for the positive encouragement.
__________________
IYT Yachtmaster Offshore Sail & Power Instructor
ICC Certificate of Competency Instructor
Sailing Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 08:59   #7
Registered User
 
JK n Smitty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hingham, MA
Boat: Catalina 310
Posts: 637
Re: Boat length and chartering

Sorry, didn't mean to come off negative. Just was trying to say you shouldn't be terrified by docking. Just be calm, do some practice and don't stress it.

On sizes from Charter companies, we chartered from Sunsails in Tortolla. I own a 31 footer and have sailed on much larger including being at the helm during docking. We submitted our sailing resume and they let me have unlimited length on monohulls but wanted me to take a captain out for a catamaran. We took a 43 footer for us and another couple. Great boat. The only places we docked were Spanish Town (couldn't use the moorings at the Baths due to swell so we docked and taxied over) and Bitter End. Our big night out so the women wanted to be on a dock so they could get a little dressed up. Most places you can only get moorings anyways. But both of these marinas had big wide slips and docking was easy. The hardest place to dock was the charter base in Tortolla and they will send someone out to your boat to dock it for you if you want.

Don't sweat it, take what ever boat they will let you have and you will have the time of your life.
__________________
http://svsmitty.wordpress.com/
JK n Smitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 10:18   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,880
Re: Boat length and chartering

I never took it as that's the exact length you are qualified for but to get a rough idea of you experience.

If the biggest boat you've handled is a 20' ponton boat rental, they might be a little hesitant to hand you the keys to a 50' boat but if you have a 35' crusing boat back home, the idea of handing you the keys to a 45' boat is probably no big deal if you otherwise seem capable.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 10:42   #9
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Boat length and chartering

Can't speak for other Charter companies but at our club the primary concern is can you get it in and out of the slip and you have to demonstrate that you can to a staff member before you can take the boat out.

The second concern is are you (and your crew) capable of hoisting and manipulating the sails on a much larger boat than what you are used to.

At some point whether one knows how to sail is no longer the primary issue. Bigger boats are inherently harder to trim, reef, and manipulate.
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 11:38   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Jupiter FL
Boat: temporarily boatless...
Posts: 723
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
No it is not.

Even better is to try and hop a 50 footer for a day or two and you, again, will see everything is the same.

I think driving a big boat makes driving smaller boats more easy. You cant be as intimidated on a 32 after youve just docked a 50.

Next time you are chartering see if they can give you a test sail on a big boat, or maybe see if theres a discount going...

The most I get annoyed is reading threads on here where people tell boat buyers to buy small. Thats crazy imho. Much better and easier to sail a bigger boat. If there was any truth to smaller boats being better we would not have seen this constant increase, over the years, of average boat size.

Have fun!

Mark
Yep. I like big boats and I cannot lie (to paraphrase Sir Mix-a-lot). One of the only reasons to charter is to have the opportunity to sail a bigger boat than I can afford. But docking is harder, setting and trimming sails is a little harder (if they're manual), everything else is easier and better, imho.
__________________
pete33458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 12:40   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,440
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
The most I get annoyed is reading threads on here where people tell boat buyers to buy small. Thats crazy imho. Much better and easier to sail a bigger boat. If there was any truth to smaller boats being better we would not have seen this constant increase, over the years, of average boat size.
I disagree. The reasons that I advise smaller boats for beginners are:

- less expensive to buy
- less expensive to maintain
- less expensive to store
- systems are often simpler
- easier to handle.

Bigger boats are:

- bigger
- more expensive
- more effort to maintain
- more complex
- more effort to sail.

The biggest problem with boating is that people don't use their boats. Even with experience, my opinion is that it's easier to launch or return on a smaller boat. While I do believe that a 40+ foot, 20,000 lb full keel boat can be single handed, my opinion is that it's more difficult to dock/un-dock, as well as to sail.

Here's a gratuitous motorcycle example. I used to have a Honda. When I went motorcycling, I'd start it and be on the road in 30 seconds. Now I have a Harley. It takes 5 minutes. Sometimes now I just take the car because of the extra hassle.

That's why I advise people who are new to the sport to set their sights a little smaller. Frankly, it's just a lot cheaper. They can always move up, and it's a lot easier to sell a smaller, cheaper boat than a larger, more expensive one. Less of their net worth is tied up in it. Having more boat than you need is also having more expense than you need. Isn't sailing all about efficiency?

The reason we see bigger and bigger boats isn't because we need them, it's because people have more money, or at least the perception of it. Or maybe it's because there are more boats and they're not going anywhere...
---------------------------------------------

Now, on chartering:

If you're chartering, of course, you can right-size the boat for the crew who are going.

I think you can easily make the case to charter a boat 25% or so larger than you're used to, depending on your experience and comfort level. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but not insurmountable at all.

If you charter a boat that's a lot bigger, you're going to probably have some awkward moments. You'll be learning in real time how to handle a larger boat than you're used to.
__________________
letsgetsailing3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 13:17   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,880
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I disagree. The reasons that I advise smaller boats for beginners are:

- less expensive to buy
- less expensive to maintain
- less expensive to store
- systems are often simpler
- easier to handle.

Bigger boats are:

- bigger
- more expensive
- more effort to maintain
- more complex
- more effort to sail.

The biggest problem with boating is that people don't use their boats. Even with experience, my opinion is that it's easier to launch or return on a smaller boat. While I do believe that a 40+ foot, 20,000 lb full keel boat can be single handed, my opinion is that it's more difficult to dock/un-dock, as well as to sail.

Here's a gratuitous motorcycle example. I used to have a Honda. When I went motorcycling, I'd start it and be on the road in 30 seconds. Now I have a Harley. It takes 5 minutes. Sometimes now I just take the car because of the extra hassle.

That's why I advise people who are new to the sport to set their sights a little smaller. Frankly, it's just a lot cheaper. They can always move up, and it's a lot easier to sell a smaller, cheaper boat than a larger, more expensive one. Less of their net worth is tied up in it. Having more boat than you need is also having more expense than you need. Isn't sailing all about efficiency?

The reason we see bigger and bigger boats isn't because we need them, it's because people have more money, or at least the perception of it. Or maybe it's because there are more boats and they're not going anywhere...
---------------------------------------------

Now, on chartering:

If you're chartering, of course, you can right-size the boat for the crew who are going.

I think you can easily make the case to charter a boat 25% or so larger than you're used to, depending on your experience and comfort level. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but not insurmountable at all.

If you charter a boat that's a lot bigger, you're going to probably have some awkward moments. You'll be learning in real time how to handle a larger boat than you're used to.
2x

and if you've ever watched the boats at a marina that actually leave the slip, we find the smaller the boat, the more it gets used. It's probably that the owners of the really big boats are too busy working to pay for them.

As mentioned, charting is a whole different ball game.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 15:29   #13
Registered User
 
JK n Smitty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hingham, MA
Boat: Catalina 310
Posts: 637
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I disagree. The reasons that I advise smaller boats for beginners are:

- less expensive to buy
- less expensive to maintain
- less expensive to store
- systems are often simpler
- easier to handle.

Bigger boats are:

- bigger
- more expensive
- more effort to maintain
- more complex
- more effort to sail.

The biggest problem with boating is that people don't use their boats. Even with experience, my opinion is that it's easier to launch or return on a smaller boat. While I do believe that a 40+ foot, 20,000 lb full keel boat can be single handed, my opinion is that it's more difficult to dock/un-dock, as well as to sail.

Here's a gratuitous motorcycle example. I used to have a Honda. When I went motorcycling, I'd start it and be on the road in 30 seconds. Now I have a Harley. It takes 5 minutes. Sometimes now I just take the car because of the extra hassle.

That's why I advise people who are new to the sport to set their sights a little smaller. Frankly, it's just a lot cheaper. They can always move up, and it's a lot easier to sell a smaller, cheaper boat than a larger, more expensive one. Less of their net worth is tied up in it. Having more boat than you need is also having more expense than you need. Isn't sailing all about efficiency?

The reason we see bigger and bigger boats isn't because we need them, it's because people have more money, or at least the perception of it. Or maybe it's because there are more boats and they're not going anywhere...
I think the big issue is your definition of big and small in terms of sail boats. I agree with Mark that when you hear people say you need to start with a low 20s boat or smaller, its kind of crazy. Starting on a low to mid 30s is fine and more realistic to what it would be like when you head out cruising. You don't need to start by messing with no head room, porta potties over heads, etc.

If someone said to start learning on a 45 footer, I would have a different opinion.
__________________
http://svsmitty.wordpress.com/
JK n Smitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 19:01   #14
Registered User
 
northoceanbeach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: California
Boat: Cape Dory 28
Posts: 445
Re: Boat length and chartering

Just curious. About what's a 35 footer cost per week?
__________________
northoceanbeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-02-2014, 19:06   #15
Registered User
 
Macblaze's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Edmonton/PNW
Boat: Hunter 386
Posts: 433
Re: Boat length and chartering

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Just curious. About what's a 35 footer cost per week?
$2700 cdn at peak?

Beneteau 34 Yacht Charters Vancouver Island BC Canada
__________________

__________________
Macblaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charter

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.