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Old 11-07-2010, 22:10   #1
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Intro to Cruising Charter

Hey all,

I'd like to introduce my wife to cruising and think a good way would be a short charter out of Florida for a few nights. Living in the midwest we have limited experience with this and I'm looking for advice on how to make this a positive experience.

Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2010, 22:54   #2
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Welcome aboard Trickle!
Find a place of interest in Florida - look around on the web, e-mail and talk to the people and don’t be afraid to ask them any questions about your concerns if any-Get about a dozen referrals and check them all out-I suggest you get a Catamaran , -I think it may be hard to find a charter only for a few nights, it’s usually a week thing- good luck!
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Old 11-07-2010, 23:28   #3
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A friend and his wife are doing a 3 night-4 day on-board ASA course in Thailand. I thnk it is a cool way to intro to sailing. If you both hate it at least you have something to hang on the wall.
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Old 13-07-2010, 20:00   #4
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I would suggest picking a spot where the land-side activities equal the water activities for a starter. And an exotic location is a really good idea. For those without "round the world" finances I would suggest the British Virgins and the US Virgins. Language is a major comfort factor to someone new to cruising. The ability to sail in gentle waters between the various Virgin Islands mixed with swimming/snorkeling opportunities. Alternating with great shore-side shopping, walking, restaurants, etc., allows the distaff side to be very gradually introduced to living on a boat - and - what cruising is really about, going places and seeing new things. That is all assuming that she is not an avid "sailor" and only is interested in the on-water aspects. But even there the Virgins offer plenty of rail in the water sails without straying out into the sometimes nasty oceans.
- - Bottom line, introduce her to the "benefits" of cruising and minimize the chances of "pucker/terror" opportunities. Once the "great" aspects are thoroughly ingrained then the "not great" times will be tolerated more so as to arrive at more great times.
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Old 16-07-2010, 15:19   #5
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Pacific Northwest

Ok, I admit a bias but if you're in the middle of the continent you might want to consider the Pacific Northwest as an alternative to Florida. Far less crowded, beautiful scenery, wildlife galore. Both the US side and the Canadian inside passage are very 'user friendly' for a novice sailor. And if you choose to go a bit north the water actually gets warmer and you can swim off the boat in the summer (basically Comox north).

Whichever you choose I hope you have a great time.
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Old 16-07-2010, 17:27   #6
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I am a wife. I love surprises, but I also know my judgement about these things is waaay better than my hubby's. And I speak on behalf of all womankind! Suggest it to her, and then let her chose the location/company/boat you use etc.
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Old 29-07-2010, 07:02   #7
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Hmmmm, some questions, has she sailed before?? How about, been on a smal boat before? Does she get sea sick easy?

But, I looked at a few of the full charters in the carabian, nice stuff if you can take the $$ hit for it.

My neighbor talked his wive of 15 yrs to go to Austrailia and rent a Bene 31 for a week and sail along the great barrior reef. They came back, and are on their 2nd sail boat... a little one to start and now a bigger one. They are well on their way.

A great first experience can give the green light from the wife, if all goes well.
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Old 30-07-2010, 07:44   #8
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I second what osirissail said. I'm also from the midwest and I think spending a little extra to get yourself down to the Virgin Islands is money well spent. There are many good companies to choose from, the weather is most always great and the water is so much nicer than you'll find in SE Florida.
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Old 30-07-2010, 09:45   #9
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I second what osirissail said.
I'll third it!

My wife and I honeymooned in St. Thomas 9 years ago. Took a 27' power boat out for a day. 2nd trip to the area was 2 years ago. We went to St. John and took a 27' power boat again for the day and went around the north side of Tortola to the Baths, spent a couple hours and then came back via the south side stopping at the Indian's.

I'd always thought of sailing at some point and it was that trip that made me pull the trigger. Last year we chartered a 47' Catamaran with the Moorings. We had 6 friends join us to keep the costs reasonable.

This year, we're doing it again and I've now decided that my wife and I will eventually move off of land and onto a boat. We just need to wait a few more years before we are ready.

Like any experience, I think everyone involved needs to be interested and ready to do it. Then you need to do it in the best way possible to ensure a success. My wife thought she would NEVER have an interest in scuba diving again, but after our trip last year she expressed interested. She took a weekend course at home and we completed her certification in Key West. She loved it and can't wait to dive on our trip now.

BVI is a great place to charter for the first time and to even sail for the first time. Lot's of short sails between locations (although you could do longer ones) and lots of great stuff to see.

I hope whatever you do that you have a great time!
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Old 30-07-2010, 13:54   #10
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Let's be clear about the difference between "cruising" and "sailing" - as this is a cruising forum.
- - Introducing her to "cruising" means that only the two of you are on the boat (unless you bring your own children) and you are interested in "journeying" to different islands, beaches, snorkeling sites to see and experience what is there. The boat is only the means of transportation and substitutes for your "land home." You settle in and eat, sleep and relax in between doing the things I mentioned above. (If you are alone without the kids then there are some "unmentionable" things you can also do.)
- - "Sailing" is the thrill, joy of operating the sailboat to the maximum efficiency possible while daylight and acceptable weather permits. Before sundown you anchor/take a mooring/ etc. and then kickback, relax and talk about the great "sailing" that day and what you want to do tomorrow. Shore-side and swimming/snorkeling activities are not a priority and unusually forsaken unless the weather not acceptable to go "sailing."
- - When chartering a sailboat in the Virgins or anywhere else you will see many of the folks "sailing" and others "cruising." Normally the power yachts are always into cruising whereas the sailboats are a mixed collection of sailing and cruising. If cruising is your intention then a heavy stable very comfortable boat is what you want to rent. The "sailors" want the high performance sailboat.
- - So if your intention is to introduce her to the "cruising" world on either a sail or power yacht - then don't be putting the "rail in the water" and screaming about trimming the sails, etc., etc. Just be clear with her which you are intending and see what her enjoyment or comfort is with either. Of course, you can mix some "sailing" with "cruising" but the intent of cruising is definitely different. It is a "living on a boat" experience and getting to lay back and "smell the roses" type of situation.
- - However, she may like the "sailing" better than the "cruising" so be prepared to switch gears. Just be prepared to explain the differences in the two choices so she does not think that "cruising" is just long distance racing."
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Old 30-07-2010, 16:01   #11
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - Introducing her to "cruising" means that only the two of you are on the boat (unless you bring your own children) and you are interested in "journeying" to different islands, beaches, snorkeling sites to see and experience what is there. The boat is only the means of transportation and substitutes for your "land home." You settle in and eat, sleep and relax in between doing the things I mentioned above. (If you are alone without the kids then there are some "unmentionable" things you can also do.)
I disagree with that. Why can't you cruise with other people? The trip we took last year was a cruising vacation and we had 8 people on board. Aside from what I highlighted, our trip met your definition perfectly.

It's a great way to try out "cruising" on a bigger boat (read catamaran) without breaking the bank.
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Old 30-07-2010, 20:12   #12
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It is strictly a matter of personal definitions. A bareboat charter for a week or two or less is a vacation "cruise" much like being on a Carnival Cruiser Line ship except you are doing all the work. And you will be very soon returning to your land life. Much like a week or two in the Grand Titons camping and hiking does not make you a mountain dweller.
- - Life on board a bareboat charter is not the laid back open ended (or year or two sabbatical) cruise through the islands and coastal countries of the various oceans. You are living in a "rented efficiency" hotel suite for a very short period of time.
- - The presence on board of a group of friends is fun and a fabulous way to enjoy and share the vacation and share the expenses. But they are a constant distraction from the real life of living in your own floating "home" day in and day out. Renting a sea-side house with some friends is not the same as living in your own home.
- - Bareboat chartering is a really valuable way to gain experience and knowledge of different boats and how to operate them. From these experiences you will find out whether living on a boat - albeit for a very short time - is fun and something you might want to do more of - or - something you cannot wait to end so you can get back to your land life. That is a very important process to undertake before actually cutting your ties with land, selling/leasing the house, getting rid of your "land" habits and conveniences and embarking on a whole new different way of life.
- - Cruising is not for everyone - in fact, it is for very few people and even fewer couples. Forums like this one can give you hints and suggestions and a feeling for the differences between the two life-styles. That will go a long way to help you decide if you really, really want to head off into the "mountains to live for years or forever."
- - IMHO - bareboat chartering should be a required prelude to making the leap into the cruising world. There is so much to learn and so much to experience in the safer environment of bareboat chartering that is critical to your success if you chose to go ahead and buy your own boat and sail into the sunset.
- - Boat selection is one of the critical decisions to make and by bareboat chartering as many different types of boats as possible you will arrive at a good idea of which of the 100's of types of boats fits your needs and desires.
- - Living in miniature self contained environment "capsule" that never stops moving/rolling/pitching is a whole new experience (unless you live in California). Cooking, cleaning, washing, water consumption, and dealing with different cultures and governments and repairs/parts supply problems are all a constant part of cruising. In bareboat chartering most all that is taken care of by the charter company. You only experience the "icing" on the cake rather than the crust and dirty cake plate.
- - So bareboat chartering will give you can get a "taste" of life on a boat, but the whole experience of cruising is 100 times more complex - and - a thousand times more enjoyable and rewarding - if you are the kind of person/couple that is into that style of life.
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