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Old 02-10-2015, 13:14   #1
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Path to first bareboat charter

Hi everyone,

My first post here, glad to be part of the forums.

I completed ASA 101 in July and 103 in September (PNW - Seattle).
Never sailed before, sailing kind of did not exist as an option in my mind, but once the idea was planted in my mind this summer, I got hooked. (you know the story - can't stop reading about sailing etc..)

I joined my local club where I took lessons and am planning to attend their monthly flotillas, maybe take the boat out myself (problem - at the moment I don't know anyone that would go out with me, but hopefully that will be fixed with time) a couple of times during Fall/Winter, then try to join local weekly races on regular basis to get more sailing in Spring/Fall., Hopefully this will give me enough experience to be able to take ASA 104 in a year or so. After that continue sailing within a club and eventually bareboat charter.

Not so much racing (although I did not try it yet, so who knows), more of a cruising family type of thing. Long term goal currently is to be able to bareboat charter in BVIs with my family. Kids are 8 and 10 now.

1. Will I have enough experience to take ASA 104 in year? I want to make it meaningful, not just finish the course to get a paper where it says I passed the test.

2. Does 1.5-2.5 years sounds as a good timeline to start bareboat chartering assuming sailing as frequently as I described? My family can learn the basics, but I need to be able to skipper well, because my wife at the moment is not willing to take classes. Kid are willing, but they are kids

3. What are other good places for bareboat chartering for beginners besides BVIs? Based on what I heard I'll start there, but what are the alternatives?

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Old 03-10-2015, 08:23   #2
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Re: Path to first bareboat charter

1. The ASA suggested prerequisite for the 104 is 80 hours on the water, however long that might take to accumulate. I suspect you will not want to wait a full year if you start sailing regularly.

I'm sure you will find people in your club who want to sail with you. I assume they have a message board of some sort or facebook page which facilitates club members getting together for daysails, etc.

If your club has a small boat (ours has a Capri 22), I would suggest you go out as often as you can and single hand the little sucker.

Everything else will take care of itself.

2. As far as I'm concerned, the most difficult parts of bareboat chartering (from a well established charter company with adequate support in case something breaks) are safety, rules of the road, navigation, mooring, and anchoring. If you can handle all that, you're probably good to go.

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Old 03-10-2015, 14:15   #3
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Re: Path to first bareboat charter

Welcome to the world of sailing! It sounds like you are off to a good start! The more time you are able to get on the water the more experience and confidence you will build. I agree that you probably won't want to wait a year once you get started!

One option is a live aboard course like the ones we offer in the Grenadines. You will live aboard the boat and sail from island to island as you learn and build your experience. Not a bad way to get yourself ready to charter. If you are sailing at Seattle Sailing, say hi to the Sailing Director Scott for us and ask him about sailing with LTD Sailing!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about live aboard sailing courses or chartering in the Caribbean.

Beam winds,

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Old 05-10-2015, 07:04   #4
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Re: Path to first bareboat charter

Honestly, the sailing in the BVI is dead simple and the charter companies know that. That is why the term "credit card captain" even exists. Because if you have a credit card with a reasonable limit, that's about all the qualification that you need.

My guess is that most of the charter companies in the BVI would be willing to let you take one of their boats with only the course and experience you already have. And in all likelihood, that would be plenty. They might want you to take a captain with you for the first day, just so that he can see that you know the bow from the stern, and can pick up a mooring without running into any other boats.
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Old 15-11-2015, 15:18   #5
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Re: Path to first bareboat charter

And when you start looking for locations don't forget to look closer to home - Vancouver Island offers some interesting possibilities. (And you'll find the $CDN dirt cheap at the moment.)
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