I own a boat and I charter.
I charter to sail in places I haven't been and on boats I haven't sailed but am interested in.
- Distance - I always overestimate how "far" we will roam in a 3 or 5 day charter. No big deal. Float plans can adapt.
- I have always had a checkout the first time at a place (probably insurance
driven) even though I have sent my sailing resume (with pictures of me skippering) in advance. Checkouts have always been 1 1/2 or so and include undocking, 3 types of u-turns (3-point, u turn and prop walk pirouette), hoisting tacking and gybing, reefing and docking
. Sometimes they ask about crossing and passing situation, "Is that guy on port or starboard, who has "right of way" etc. Plus a check out on systems including gas bottles.
- I try to stay away from "tight" situations. The crew is often inexperienced, the line layout unfamiliar, boat performance unfamiliar, rigging
unknown (don't push it to the limit)
- waters are unknown - local knowledge of tides, submerged hazards and wind
behaviors (due to shore terrain) is not known.
Now if you sail your waters you probably know the charter boats and can spot me. I don't know who is chartering and who is not.
I just presume everyone is a threat, local sailors can be idiots too, and stay out of people's way.
My last charter was in SFO. On our return to Sausolito we were beating out channel between angel island and the mainland. The "fleet" (from berkely?) was having a race
and we beat in against 30 boats under spinnaker
heading up channel towards Berkeley.
I can tell you there was a lot of variation in experience in that fleet. I started the engine
and left it in idle.
This was a precaution against someone doing something stupid and me needing to take evasive action.
Don't always presume the charter skipper
is the idiot.