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Old 02-08-2005, 00:40   #1
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Chartering a bare boat... how do I prove I'm worthy?

I'm a new sailor and a ways away from being able to charter a boat. I'd like to charter something out of Duluth or Bayfield and do the Apostle Islands in a year or 2. maybe charter a few different boats so I can get some idea of what kind of boat I'd like to OWN before going the next step. But... how do I demonstrate sufficient competence to persuade them to rent me a boat that's worth 100K?

What kind of documentation, experience, certifications, etc., are these charter companies going to be looking for?

I'm in kind of a chicken-n-egg situation... need experience, but can't get it until I have it...

thanks

Thaddeus
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:21   #2
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resume

Most charter companies ask for a resume of your experience and courses taken. They will also ask about the experience of your crew. They are in the business of chartering boats and will charter them to most anybody. They do not own the boats and need to maximize the weeks chartered. If you have little experience they might ask you to take the boat to the gas dock to guage your expertise. If you are really inexperienced they might require you to take a skipper for a few days. It would be helpful if you do have some experience. Do you feel you're competent enough to handle the boat you're chartering?
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:28   #3
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I have very little experience with sail and am wondering how to get it so I can graduate upward...
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:51   #4
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yachy clubs

Go to your nearest yacht club and sign up as a crew member, they're always looking for crew.
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:13   #5
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Good idea!

Any others?

Thaddeus
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:03   #6
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you may also find there are inexpensive sailing clubs open to the public. their mission is to introduce people to sailing. these organizations will teach, let you crew, let you skipper on a variety of boats.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:25   #7
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Cash is good

I have made inquiries in the past and most charter companies have not required documentation. My ownership of a boat was the major question and the ability to pay. I have never been asked for any certifications.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:34   #8
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bareboat time...

Thaddeus,

Small world!! I got my bareboat certification at Port Superior marina just south of Bayfield a bunch of years ago and am heading there next month for a 3 day trip around the Apostles with friends.

The quick way would be to pay someone to show you (on their boat or a rented charter boat) how to; dock, anchor, reef sail, …etc… in a span of a few hours, or however long it takes you to feel comfortable.

I would be happy to let you get some time at the wheel of a 37' Ranger in the marina If you were in Bayfield on the 18th of August, and we had an hour or 2 at the end of the charter.

Let me know.

Bob.w.deeg (at) mail.sprint.com

Bob...

p.s. If nothing else I could talk to the charter folks there (on your behalf) explain your situation and see if they might need any help with deliveries and such this summer/fall.

Deliveries are a great way to get experience fast.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:19   #9
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Charter Requirements

I'm from the other side of the world, and it would seem that there is little difference in the way charter companies operate.

I have chartered from a company who took my word for it I could sail with no other information required; (lucky for them I could).

However, most will require some form of evidence to show a level of competence.

Most will also conduct a briefing/orientation session where it will become obvious to them quickly your level of knowledge or experience. "Talk the talk" and they will feel comfortable in letting you take the boat.

Good luck

Fair winds

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Old 03-08-2005, 13:54   #10
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Twenty years ago my wife and I lived in the Arizona desert and we both wanted to go sailing. We had both sailed a little in the past, as crew on firends small boats.

We decided to take a couple of classes in San Diego. Since we already knew the very basics we first took a two day costal navigation class. We liked it so much we went back for a three day bare boat chartering course from the same instructor.

Both of these were on 35-40 foot boats typical of charterboats and gave us confidence we could at least manage one on a short trip with the support of a charter base. For our first charter we went to the BVI. The moorings had asked us to fill out a form showing our experience. Don't discount showing any skills that demonstate your abilities and good judgement. I am/was a pilot and showing this indicates knowledge of weather, navigation and the ability to exercise good judgement. Even with that, they told us they would keep the option of sending us with a captain at our cost.

Once we arrived at the base, we went through an orientation and after loading our stuff on the boat (a 32 footer) we were assigned a "captain" for check out. This went very poorly. He seemed little interested in helping us get oriented. We had been traveling for too many hours the day before and gotten in late. The next day my back was killing me (I had to have surgery a few months later) and I was exhausted. The "captain" was asking me simple questions in the island version of English and with severe brain fade I could not answer about half of them. I managed to get away from the dock just fine and got the sails set without too many issues. After sailing him around for an hour he asked me to drop him off at a near by dock. He let us spend the week on our own, but not without a few choice words about "not knowing how to sail" and "lying about our experience." Later I realized that if he had not let us go he would have been stuck with us for the week and he did not seem to have much interest in that.

After a couple of beers and a good nights rest I was feeling much better the next day. And it was a good thing since we managed to find a black polypro line that was firmly attached to the bottom. It was in the middle of a pass between two islands and we found it by getting it wrapped around our prop. There's nothing like going over the side with a knife on your second day of vacation!

Woody
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Old 03-08-2005, 17:25   #11
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All the suggestions about how to get experience are good ones. If you want an actual certificate showing you've passed certain qualifications, you could sign up for lessons with an outfit which teaches Basic Keelboat, then Basic Coastal Cruising, then Bareoat Charter captain (in that order). The American Sailing Association (ASA) and the U S Sailing Association (USSA) both do this. The ASA is a bit more cruising-oriented, the USSA is more racing oriented. Google either one and you'll find lots of places who do this teaching.

It costs money (naturally) but is good experience. The Basic course may be much of what you already know, but once you have a Charter captian certificate, I'd think any charter outfit would accept this without much further questioning. They might even accept the Basic Keelboat or Cruising certificates.

Years ago, there were no certifications other than maybe a Coast Guard license. Now everyone's into certificates for everything.

Full disclosure here: I am a part-time instructor in an ASA Basic Keelboat program here in New Orleans. I'm not trying to push it on you, but it's an option you might look at.
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Old 03-08-2005, 17:46   #12
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bareboat cert

Forgot to add this; at Superior Charters to get the bareboat certification all you need to do is rent a sailboat and a captain for a half day to prove what you know.

They will want to see a sailing resume beforehand, but that doesn’t mean that the resume needs a long list of sailing/boating experience.

If you can prove (on the water) that you know how to handle a $100,000 boat, they will give you the cert.
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Old 03-08-2005, 18:13   #13
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Not so sure on cert

We just spent the last 6 months in the Windward islands where chartering is big. As someone who lives on their boat year round we experinced many charter boats coming and going.

I can't belive that the charter companies take the resume very seriously. Almost as a rule we have seen some of the worst boat handling skills. From anchoring, setting sails, maintaining watch, and general operation.

There were so many bad operators (including charter boat captains, but that is another story) that as cruisers we would cooridante anchoring to prevent or reduce the charter boats from passing through the anchorage or anchoring near us.

Daily we had to call or visit anchoring boats to get them to move. you don't need to anchor so that you are 25 ft from my bow. Yes that close.. We were glad to leave the windwards and will probably never go back.

I belive that the credit card is more important than the sailing resume.
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Old 05-08-2005, 00:12   #14
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Re: bareboat time...

Quote:
bobola once whispered in the wind:
Thaddeus,

Small world!! I got my bareboat certification at Port Superior marina just south of Bayfield a bunch of years ago and am heading there next month for a 3 day trip around the Apostles with friends.

The quick way would be to pay someone to show you (on their boat or a rented charter boat) how to; dock, anchor, reef sail, …etc… in a span of a few hours, or however long it takes you to feel comfortable.

I would be happy to let you get some time at the wheel of a 37' Ranger in the marina If you were in Bayfield on the 18th of August, and we had an hour or 2 at the end of the charter.

Let me know.

Bob.w.deeg (at) mail.sprint.com

Bob...

p.s. If nothing else I could talk to the charter folks there (on your behalf) explain your situation and see if they might need any help with deliveries and such this summer/fall.

Deliveries are a great way to get experience fast.
That's a mighty generous offer, Bob! Unfortunately I won't be able to take you up on it. But the thought is VERY much appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:29   #15
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Bobola is much too modest to say so, but in addition to having been a long-time live-aboard cruiser on his own boat, and a frequent charterer - he has also crewed (engineer) aboard a fairly well-known 63 Foot (sailing) Yacht.
Not of much use in the Apostles, he's also one of the best coconut/mango men I've encountered.
I sure miss those buckets of fruit ...
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