Hire me, I'm already here.
I work part time for a charter company doing pre-sail briefings along with taking boats off the dock with charter guests to confirm thay they can handle the boat and operate the sails. There are repeat customer that come back and hire a capt for their first day every charter so that they can be refreshed on anchoring, picking up mooring balls, docking and sailing in general. I've much more respect for their conservative approach than the yahoos that show up, brag about all their experience from 30 years ago, and then can't figure out how to unfurl a headsail!! Egos are a funny thing. The biggest ones always seem to encounter the most problems!
That you even think about potentially imperfect situations before you find yourself in them makes you wiser than most, IMHO! Jackdales thoughts are very good so I won't bother to repeat them. In general, sail like a Boy Scout, be prepared...
I'm not exactly sure where I am going with this post, but here goes anyway. My wife and I have done all of the certifications through bareboat (coastal nav as well for me) and have had several successful charters. Still, whenever my next charter is getting close I start to get a bit nervous. I start dwelling on things like, "What if we don't get a mooring ball and have to anchor?", "What if I miss a marker and end up on a reef?", "What if we get caught in a particularly strong squall half way to Anededa?", "What if they ask me to back into the slip or squeeze in between two boats at the fuel dock (typically between an Oyster and a Swan with my luck)?", "What if they run out of lobster at the Anegeda Reef Hotel?". Even though this is all stuff I have practiced and experienced, they are also things that I try to avoid. Do any of you charterers have these concerns as well?
In reality, I feel that I am pretty well trained and experienced (relatively speaking) and exceedingly cautious. Still, when you only charter once every two or three years and don't own a boat at home, not everything can be retained and there is a bit of skills re-acquisitioning period that has to happen. I think my biggest fear is getting to a moorage late, finding that it is full and being forced to anchor in a crowded anchorage. I've anchored a handful of times and it is always nerve-wracking for me, though I have never had any issues. I also don't enjoy pulling into a slip at a crowded marina, so I generally try to be conservative on the water and fuel usage to minimize that. Compared to some other charterers I've seen I think I am actually a quite competent charterer. I guess I just have a strong sense of responsibility and realize that I am responsible for someone's half million dollar boat as well as the boats around me.
Anyone care to offer their tips to getting over their charter anxiety? Or share stories of how you were anxious and how things ended up working out fine (or not)? I guess this thread is part encouragement and educational and part entertainment.
Have at it.