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Old 21-10-2021, 07:18   #1
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Looking for advice first time sailing charter

This will be first time charter sailing vacation for my wife and I. I would appreciate any input you think helpful in our search. Some details

Monohull ideally something in a size similar to something a couple interested in liveaboard cruising might eventually purchase to give a real idea of what that would be like

We are not experienced on anything bigger than a sunfish so will have to have a captain. We dont need / want additional crew as we hope to actively take part in the sailing (is that reasonable) as well as meal prep , housekeeping etc. Is such a charter possible that ties sailing certification into the bargain?

December through mid march is prob only window if time that we would be able to make this work currently. To try and ensure good weather that prob limits destination to areas further south right?

7 - 10 days in duration

I would think Caribbean as we have to get there and coming from central Canada

I am thinking going with only ourselves is prob going to make this a very costly proposition but we would prefer that. Possibly try to convince some likeminded friends to join if its the only way to make it financially feasible. Most of the crewed charter info i find online tends to be 3 cabin boats so fair bit bigger and therefore more costly.

Not looking for nightlife but rather the opposite. Love snorkelling, paddle boarding, sailing dinghys just to give you an idea of what we like to do. Secluded areas preferred to busy. We are in our early 50’s

Any advice or suggestions for a couple in our position trying to pursue the possibility of eventual ownership and living aboard?

Thank you
Martin
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Old 21-10-2021, 07:44   #2
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

I would look into a live-aboard sailing course. My wife and I did our ASA certifications on a week long charter trip out of La Paz, MX a couple of years ago through Nautilus Sailing School and had a very good experience. We are of a similar age and situation as you describe.
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Old 21-10-2021, 13:02   #3
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Looking for advice first time sailing charter

Disclaimer: Iím only familiar with the RYA system so my comments are based on that.

You could contact a sailing school and see if they will run a Competent Crew or Day Skipper (depending on what youíre up to) live-aboard course for just the two of you.
I assume you would have to pay a surcharge as most schools have 5 or so students on board.

Youíll get 5 days living aboard with a fully qualified instructor, youíll walk out with internationally-recognised quals and youíll spend 5 days doing everything required to live on a boat for 5 days.

Edit: oops - just noticed that jlandrum posted a very similar comment!
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Old 21-10-2021, 13:22   #4
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https://www.sunsail.co.uk/destinatio...sailing-school

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Old 21-10-2021, 13:49   #5
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

Or join a flotilla , they’ll take anyone with cash, no need for a “ captain
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Old 21-10-2021, 19:00   #6
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

The BVIs are great for getting on your first bareboat charter. Moorings or Sunday. Take some courses online at NauticEd, or similar, then go try out your knowledge!
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Old 22-10-2021, 08:23   #7
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

As others have suggested the BVI has calm waters and sailing schools where a Captain can accompany you. Excellent way to start sailing.
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Old 22-10-2021, 08:34   #8
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

I would also recommend a week long liveaboard course.

I'd be inclined not to worry about the other students that may be with you, everyone is in it for the same reason, you'll all likely get along.

It's not a grueling boot camp, it's a really fun experience, with plenty of time for non-sailing activities like you mentioned.

If you do a course, I highly recommend that before the course, you study the material to the point you're sick of it, it will make your experience much more about the fun aspects rather than the book learning. Same with knots.
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Old 22-10-2021, 09:00   #9
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

I'm going to make a different recommendation. How about sailing school first, and then do your own bareboat charter. BVIs is a great recommendation. I'd also recommend the Spanish Virgins, charter out of Puerto Rico. Easier to get to, and less crowded. Since "night life" isn't high on your list, you will love the Spanish Versions.
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Old 22-10-2021, 09:53   #10
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

Agree. Get your quals first and then do the Seychelles. Sunsail Charters
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Old 22-10-2021, 09:56   #11
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

There are a number of companies offering CABINS on a shared yacht. I recommend the Virgin Islands - excellent sailing, lots of places to visit, and an experienced selection of operators.

If you prefer your boat and a Captain, I suggest a smaller Catamaran out of St. Thomas rather than Tortola - same approximate selection of boats and easy provisioning plus you board directly from the aircraft with a short cab ride - rather than having to overnight and take a ferry to the BVIs where the better sailing exists. St Thomas is a very short trip to Christmas Island for excellent snorkeling the first night in protected waters. From there, there are a number of good sails to check into customs in BVIs - I suggest aiming toward Foxy's with customs about 100 yards from a good dinner stop with lots of very fine beach just next door. I recommend a catamaran because the captain has his own hull and your family has their privacy. Really a fine trip - don't skip the Baths, have a lobster in Anegada and your captain will give you lots of moorig practice without the grief of making mooring reservations. Enjoy
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Old 22-10-2021, 10:01   #12
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

I just chartered for the first time, although have been sailing for >50 years.
The boat was a Jeanneau 39i and was perfect size for a couple. Interior very comfortable with every amenity. Sailing was very easy. That being said, I think to try and sail that boat any distance without prior experience would be a huge mistake. I had to reef and unreef a couple of times, deal with anchoring, changing wind, navigation, etc.

Sailing, especially cruising, is not something you learn in a week. I agree with the folks who say take sailing classes, either group or private. Then charter a bareboat cruiser for a long weekend and stay close to port. Repeat, extending the length and breadth of the cruise. As you get more experience you will feel confident and be competent to deal with more and more potential problems. Read everything you can find about sailing in general, systems maintenance and cruising. Reading about how others solved problems is a lot easier than trying to solve them de novo on your own while in the midst of a **** show.

There are many accounts of people with no or little experience taking boats across oceans. They are the very lucky fools who were courting disaster without knowing it.
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Old 22-10-2021, 10:12   #13
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

If you wish to become certified while there I recommend seeing if you can aquire an ICC. Recognized everywhere I've been so far (Canada, the UK, USA, Croatia, Turkey, Europe). If you have time before leaving Canada try to take and pass a VHF radio operators course which you will require everywhere you bareboat. Very basic, very easy but handy.Take your Canadian boaters card along just in case you can find a use for it other than scraping ice off a windshield. You might be able to present it as proof you are eligible to take the ICC training and exam - a slight chance only. I found ASA courses, while useful, unrecognised in Europe. If you can find an RYA (UK) course, it is recognized everywhere and it's far better than the US or Canadian ones. Good luck, have fun but learn all the terms, at least four knots starting with a bowline and learn the fundamentals of sailing, which way to wrap a sheet around a winch, how to keep your fingers out of it BEFORE you go. You'll have a lot more fun and your skipper might even put up a sail once in awhile. And don't scare the cr*p out of your wife or your idea of becoming a sailor might not work out so well. Cheers.
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Old 22-10-2021, 10:16   #14
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

"don't scare the cr*p out of your wife or your idea of becoming a sailor might not work out so well"

This is the most important piece of advice. Also don't show her photos of half naked women in the South Pacific Islands. Your cruising would be severely limited.
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Old 22-10-2021, 10:47   #15
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Re: Looking for advice first time sailing charter

If you do a skippered charter, make sure your wife realises she will be living on a boat in close quarters with a complete stranger for a week. Do not assume she realises this already or you will spend your week day sailing from the same port so the skipper can go back home every night. Guess how I know...
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