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CaribDream 06-19-2013 01:07 PM

Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
My wife and I are looking into booking our first BVI bareboat charter for Nov 2014.

A little about us and our "resume":
- 10+ years owning/operating 20ish foot powerboats
- 3 crewed BVI charters
- 1 Florida Keys crewed charter to obtain our ASA 101 (basic keelboat), ASA 103 (coastal cruising), and 104 (bareboat) certifications with Island Dreamer Sailing School (private one-on-one instruction)
- I will also have my ASA 105 (coastal navigation) cert
- By 2014 we will have had 2 seasons of sailing our centerboard sloop on LI Sound

Given this, even though we are somewhat new to sailing on our own, I am fairly confident in our skills especially with a year of sailing between now and then including a crewed bvi charter this fall. However, we all know how much different it all feels once you are out there alone vs pouring over charts in the living room. I feel very confident, but I know we aren't experts by any stretch. Even though we are Bareboat Certified I booked the crewed charter this fall to act as a bareboat "dry run" - ie. Getting more helm hours with a crew watching over me.

What can I expect being that this is will be our first bareboat as far as the actual booking and departure goes? Will charter companies allow us on a 36-40 foot monohull? I have been looking at Sunsail, but lately I'm looking at TMM , Horizon, and BVI Yacht charters.

FarCry 06-19-2013 03:30 PM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaribDream (Post 1046199)
My wife and I are looking into booking our first BVI bareboat charter for Nov 2014.

A little about us and our "resume":
- 10+ years owning/operating 20ish foot powerboats
- 3 crewed BVI charters
- 1 Florida Keys crewed charter to obtain our ASA 101 (basic keelboat), ASA 103 (coastal cruising), and 104 (bareboat) certifications with Island Dreamer Sailing School (private one-on-one instruction)
- I will also have my ASA 105 (coastal navigation) cert
- By 2014 we will have had 2 seasons of sailing our centerboard sloop on LI Sound

Given this, even though we are somewhat new to sailing on our own, I am fairly confident in our skills especially with a year of sailing between now and then including a crewed bvi charter this fall. However, we all know how much different it all feels once you are out there alone vs pouring over charts in the living room. I feel very confident, but I know we aren't experts by any stretch. Even though we are Bareboat Certified I booked the crewed charter this fall to act as a bareboat "dry run" - ie. Getting more helm hours with a crew watching over me.

What can I expect being that this is will be our first bareboat as far as the actual booking and departure goes? Will charter companies allow us on a 36-40 foot monohull? I have been looking at Sunsail, but lately I'm looking at TMM , Horizon, and BVI Yacht charters.

The sarcastic answer would be-Do you have a functioning credit card with an available balance? If so, you will be fine.

The accurate answer is-Ask the companies directly. From experience I would be surprised if the companies you listed would not allow you to go. If you have the tiniest doubt in your skills or abilities I always suggest arranging a skipper for your first day. It will cost between $150-$200 and will help make you more comfortable relieving the stress of getting started on a "different" boat. In the grand scheme of your vacation, considering the cost of airfare, boat rental, food etc. it is a very small fraction of your total cost. Typically local capts will give you very good itinerary suggestions based on the forecast weather conditions and be able to guide you to any local events, or perhaps more importantly, away from them!!!

Think it over and do enjoy your trip.:D

Minnewaska 06-20-2013 07:12 AM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Most will charter you a boat the day you walk out of ASA104. If you've been to BVI 3 or 4 times by then, that also great reduces the concern.

If I was in your position, I would feel ready to go right now. This may be more about your confidence level than theirs.

Another option is to use a broker, like Ed Hamilton, in Tortola. Explain it all to them and have them clear you with the outfit they find best suits your needs.

Keep at it and enjoy.

CaribDream 06-20-2013 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnewaska:1046681
Most will charter you a boat the day you walk out of ASA104. If you've been to BVI 3 or 4 times by then, that also great reduces the concern.

If I was in your position, I would feel ready to go right now. This may be more about your confidence level than theirs.

Another option is to use a broker, like Ed Hamilton, in Tortola. Explain it all to them and have them clear you with the outfit they find best suits your needs.

Keep at it and enjoy.

Thanks for this. I am a very cautious person. I feel fully confident in my ability to charter right now - but right now I'm sitting in an office chair. By next fall I'll have another year of sailing under my belt and more training. That video "Ode to the credit card captain" haunts me. I don't want to be "that guy". While I find it very hard to see how that guy made soooooo many horrible mistakes, I know how things can spiral. Again - I don't wanna be "that guy".

I am actually working with my broker whom I have used for the past 3 years to book my crewed bvi charters. She works with TMM, Conch, BVI Yacht Charters, etc. If I end up going with Sunsail I'll probably book on my own. One captain I know strongly urges first time bareboaters to charter something smaller (30ish foot). However I am liking what I see from TMM and those are 40-43 foot which is what we trained on. Decision s decisions.

jwing 06-20-2013 09:54 AM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
You are good to go, man; stop worrying.

I've bareboat chartered all over the Caribbean with far less experience than you have and no sailing lessons/certifications at all. The BVI is extremely sailing-friendly. Get the bigger boat!

Here are my tips:

1) Try to share the charter with a couple of friends. Having two more pairs of eyes and hands aboard will relieve a lot of work/stress on you and your wife. Sometimes my friends and I play captain-of-the-day. One person is the captain and must make the sailing decisions. In return, the crew serves the captain at his command, including making sandwiches, serving cold beers, etc.

2) The charter company will have a meeting with the captain. Have at least one other person beside yourself there. Even though you are eager to leave the marina, PAY ATTENTION. Also, have all of your crew PAY ATTENTION during the boat walk-through.

3) Don't worry, you'll have a blast!

CaribDream 06-20-2013 10:36 AM

Wow. I feel a heckuva lot better with these responses. We would love to take another couple with us but we don't know anyone else that sails, so anyone that came with us would be passenger-only. At least my wife can back me up and she is ASA 104 too.

jwing 06-20-2013 11:12 AM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Another tip: get good at picking up a mooring buoy. I suppose one person can do it and certainly two people can do it easy enough, but when we come late into a crowded anchorage, we like one person at helm, one working the hook, and a third person at the bow, facing back and communicating steering/throttling instructions to the helm. It's difficult for a person who is facing forward and bent over the rail trying to snag a buoy to communicate with somebody at the helm.

This is an example of how non-sailing crew can make your trip less stressful. Anyone can be the person calling out the mooring directions. Also, anyone can hook a ball, drop an anchor, hoist a sail, winch a sheet, make a sandwhich, drive a dinghy, etc. All this stuff is fun for a non-sailor. Every trip I've done has included people who have never sailed and two things happen:

1) After a few days, they are capable and expected to perform all crew duties;
2) They all say that it was the best week of their lives.

Keep in mind: charter boats are rigged specifically to be novice-friendly.

Minnewaska 06-20-2013 12:33 PM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaribDream (Post 1046733)
.....That video "Ode to the credit card captain" haunts me. I don't want to be "that guy". While I find it very hard to see how that guy made soooooo many horrible mistakes, I know how things can spiral. Again - I don't wanna be "that guy".......

I've seen that video. Wow!

I would be willing to guarantee that skipper did not take ASA104 and was shown how to properly anchor or pick up a mooring. (Or they were drink) Moorings are most common and really worth "vacation" dollars anyway.

Just don't force things. I you don't get it the first time, you go around and try again. You will never see anyone in that mooring field ever again! No need to be self conscious.

Neosec 06-28-2013 05:52 PM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Quote:

What can I expect being that this is will be our first bareboat as far as the actual booking and departure goes? Will charter companies allow us on a 36-40 foot monohull? I have been looking at Sunsail, but lately I'm looking at TMM , Horizon, and BVI Yacht charters.
I was wondering the same thing just a day ago so I called a Charter company explained my minimal experience (5 bareboat charters off the Cali coast for day sailing after taking the multi-week course to get "certified") and was told I'd be good to since I'd bareboat chartered before. If I had any concerns then a half day with a skipper would bring me up to speed no problem. Mind you I was looking at a 36' Lagoon Cat. That said I have aviation experience, flying (only about 40 hrs with solos) and navigation. Also operated quite a bit of heavy equipment so dealing with the inertia of many moving tonnes is not totally foreign to me. Sounds to me like you'll be good to go and have a great time. But what do I know, I'm a noob :D

Edit: Watched that video... LOL Just wow. I suspect that'll buff right out. :D

Options409 07-02-2013 02:06 AM

Re: Our first bareboat charter BVI 2014
 
Some advice... Do not get conned into pre-paying for fuel. They will tell you that it's hard to refuel, it's not.

A charter coy wanted to charge me 150 EURO for prepaid fuel. Which is way more than a tank of diesel. In the end we used about 50 EUR of fuel in 3 weeks.

There is plenty of breeze and refueling at the end of the charter is possible.


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