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post #31 of 58 Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Sure. I like the idea of a smaller company, better or more individualized service (could be debated either way I suppose). I also like that they offered better prices than the other options I found (40 foot for the same price or less than others 36 foot), while offering free wi-fi which runs about $300ish per week with other companies. On the particular boat we chose, I liked the dual helm and shallow draft. I also prefer to have a dedicated chart plotter. I don't want to use an iPad for a plotter as I just don't wanna worry about it flying around the cockpit by accident.

TMM also offers a 10% return customer discount which is very attractive. I wish they had a 36... Shorter than 36 looks a little too claustrophobic for our taste and lack the lounging room in the cockpit that we have become accustomed to.
Very solid answer. Big difference when going to the 40. (roomy,comfort)

Come on up; you can take my boat for a spin.
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post #32 of 58 Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Agreed. This year on our crewed BVI charter we were on a Jeanneau 46. What an amazing difference from the Morgan we trained on. I really enjoyed the Jeanneau and how much more responsive she was. Our captain knew we were doing one last crewed charter as a bareboat primer and let us do everything we wanted. As much as I really liked the Jeanneau, I'm glad we trained on the Morgan and experienced that too.
Most people that have only sailed older boats trip over themselves when they sail a newer Bene/Jene. They find the controls and maneuverability unbelievable.
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post #33 of 58 Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Agree for the most part. But think Oyster, Hylas, and other premium boats
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post #34 of 58 Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

The first time you get behind the wheel of that big boat and it is all about you and your wife on the foredeck I suspect you will be more than a little nervous I know I am the first day of every season.

The enormity of the responsibility hits you all at once.
If something happens then you will have a mark on your name that will be hard to erase.

You could just go with the flow maybe with an agreement that the captain can be dropped off after the first day if he is not needed.
The idea that they are going to double cross you with a captain you don't need or want is probably a worry about nothing. That is not in their best interests.

You seem to be working hard at becoming a better sailor. You never know you may like the captain so much and may be learning so much you may even have a better time with him on board at least for a little while.

I have the asa 101,103,104 and went back for Captains OUVP and ASA instructors 201,203,204 and 205 and if they wanted me to take a captain for or day or so I would be pleased and you better believe I would get my $200 worth out of the guy. People like that you can learn an awful lot from. I would squeeze the guy dry.

I don't know about your wife but when I'm sailing with my wife due to some health issues I have to assume I'm on my own at any given moment. It is just more relaxing when I know I have someone else to help especially if it is on a boat that is new to me.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.

Last edited by davidpm; 12-18-2013 at 09:10 PM.
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post #35 of 58 Old 12-18-2013 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by benesailor:1231049
Very solid answer. Big difference when going to the 40. (roomy,comfort)

Come on up; you can take my boat for a spin.
Boy would I love that! This whole experience is making me wonder if I am biting off too much. I feel like I can handle the 40 but now I'm second guessing. Frustrating.

Go sailing now my brother,
It's later than you think.

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post #36 of 58 Old 12-18-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

In the BVIs you do not need a shallow draft, I would think a deeper draft is better in the trades. The water is deep with most anchorages easily accessible for a 6 ft draft boat. Only places you will need less than 7ft draft is for white bay on Jost and anegada. With your experience you will probably not be cleared for anegada anyway. There are a lot of charterers you do not know how to anchor, sail with way too much canvass up, and do not know what a traveler is for, so like others have said if you have the paperwork to show basic competency plus a good credit card you are golden. I have never chartered from TMM, but years ago I did take a look at their boats as I was considering a saga, and they had one for charter. I didn't charter it nor did I buy a saga, but my impression was that their boats wre not as well maintained as the better known charter companies and I have some horror stories about one if these better known companies. My experience has been that the only charter companies that are serious about valid capabilities are island yachts out of red hook, and voyage out of west end, the others it is basic ASA and a credit card.
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post #37 of 58 Old 12-19-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
I was thinking the same thing. I hold all the ASA's as well, yet, i own a 40 foot boat. If you came to me with your resume and asked for a week on my 40 footer i would ask for a serious check ride. I think that if you had asked for a 30 footer they probably wouldn't blink. Going from 30 to 40 boat is a jump.
Given that you had crewed several times i would take this into account. Some letters of recommendation from the Captains of the crewed boats might help as well. IE Docking, mooring and sail skills.
Ownership of a similar boat that one wishes to charter and experience on it trump all the certificates that one can possibly earn. Let me share my last experience with a certified ASA instructor from about 3 weeks ago. NO, I am not knocking ASA in any way but rather what happens when lack of practical "big" boat experience meets paper certifications.

I was hired to do a one day familiarity trip by the charterer on a 44' Jeanneau. The charterer is a recently certified ASA instructor who sails regularly and teaches at an inland lake on 20' keelboats. Being a cautious guy with his family on board, he requested a skipper for the day to get used to handling a boat much larger than he was used to. He had zero ego and was an absolute sponge absorbing info about new to him systems like the generator and A/C systems. I asked if he would like to do the safety briefing before departing the dock to which he eagerly agreed. I listened and added info as needed but overall he was very thorough covering MOB, fire extinguishers, life jackets etc. He handled the boat pretty well once we had left the dock. During lunch I asked if there were any specific things he would like to cover that I hadn't already. He asked for a surprise MOB at some point to see how his crew would handle it. Most of his crew had sailed with him, one gentleman had never sailed before... The instructor's daughter was at the helm doing an excellent job sailing upwind in choppy conditions. When everyone was focused on a turtle ahead on the starboard side, I tossed a PFD out the port aft and let it get out about 50yds before yelling man overboard!!! I immediately said that I lost sight of them but they are in an orange life jacket (my subtle signal for others to spot them and maintain a visual, at this point I lay hands on the horseshoe life ring so it is not tossed) and started a stopwatch. At this point the non-sailor/boater immediately pointed and said that he sees the MOB. This guy was a machine, he never stopped pointing throughout the "ordeal". Next we did nothing...30 seconds still doing 8kts away and we did...nothing...1 minute into in and no actions taken. I finally said that I really didn't want to loose the life jacket and directly asked the charterer what his intentions were before I took over the helm and got the PFD myself! Granted now we are 200-300 yards away making 7-8kts, the course still hasn't been changed, no words other than mine have been spoken! The charterer finally snapped out of it and had his daughter change course which soon had us in irons and then more or less hove to. We are now 2:30 into this and haven't really even begun to proceed towards the MOB. Eventually I suggested the best helmsperson take the helm. The charterer took the helm and began instructing the crew to ease some sheets off winches and eventually got the boat moving generally toward the MOB. 4:00 into it we have done some sort of a convoluted figure 8 and are coming into the PFD on a near beam reach making nearly 9kts. After repeatedly hinting that we are carrying a LOT of speed a crewmember is sent to the rail to grab the PFD. The wake from the bow wave literally shot the PFD away from the hull as we flew by. Strike 1 at about 5:00. A real figure 8 is immediately attempted but made too tight to get within 20' of the MOB. Strike 2 at about 6:30. Charterer learns from his mistakes and makes a perfect approach nearly stalling the boat on the MOB while furling sails. MOB is recovered stopwatch indicates just under 9 minutes. The person with the least amount of experience on the boat has never once stopped pointing at the MOB and finally lets his arm down. Five hours earlier he didn't know what a MOB was or what to do about it. Clearly he was paying attention during the thorough safety briefing at the dock. Get that guy a beer!

During the charterer's safety briefing at the dock regarding MOB procedures he seemed to be repeating a section of a manual verbatim. I interjected numerous other options to consider rather than, or in addition to, sailing the standard figure 8 such as:
Hit the MOB button on the chartplotter
Start the engine and quickly furl sails, motor back to retrieve MOB
Hop in the dinghy and get the MOB

Reviewing the drill, all agreed it was an unacceptable amount of time to get close to retrieving a MOB. The charterer said his mind went blank. He'd never had a non-planned MOB drill. He was used to the smaller, slower, more nimble keel boats on the lake. He wasn't used to the wind speed or sea state we were in. He never considered putting the most skilled person at the helm before it was suggested to him. He'd never been on a boat with a "real plotter" and forgot to even consider hitting the MOB button. He was used to sailing boats without motors or that had very small kicker motors and never thought to use the 75hp that was available to him.

I know this gentleman is NOT typical of the very skilled ASA instructors I have been around. Despite all of his credentials, he clearly did not have the experience necessary to handle an unplanned fake emergency on a 44' boat with moderately experienced crew (they had only been on small lake boats too). Since this event is still fresh in my mind I thought this a good chance to pass it on. These are the sorts of things that keep me awake at night whenever I OK a charter guest who struggles a little on a sailcheck.

Last edited by FarCry; 12-19-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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post #38 of 58 Old 12-19-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
...We are both ASA Basic Keelboat (101), Coatal Cruising (103), and Bareboat (104) certified. I went on to earn my ASA Navigation (105) certification as well. We have done 4 crewed charters, 3 in the BVI and 1 in the Florida keys.
Certs are good, but have you actually done any sailing charters with any kind of similar boat where you have been fully in charge?

By that I mean, rent and provision a 30-40 foot boat, brief the crew, do all the checkout stuff, nav the routes, sail it around, deligate roles, dock/anchor/moor it, manage the battery state, deal with the heads etc, then clean and return ir?

If not, that is what the charter company is cautious about. Certs are good, and they demonstrate academic knowledge and seriousness, but experience counts too. Frankly, classes are easy becuase being on a boat with a bunch of other students and instuctors all working hard and demonstraiting skills is very different than sailing with friends and family on your own.

If your resume doent show experience, that is the problem.
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post #39 of 58 Old 12-19-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
He was used to sailing boats without motors or that had very small kicker motors and never thought to use the 75hp that was available to him.
There was a Safety of Life at Sea report on recreational boats published some years ago that captured hundreds of real incidents and what went wrong. Time after time in the flurry of events, starting the engine resulted in wrapping a line around the prop. Now there is crew in the water "over there" and a stuck boat. It's easy to say "make sure all lines are clear" but the reality is that doesn't happen. Sailing back to the MOB should be the first course of action.
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post #40 of 58 Old 12-19-2013
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Re: Experience required to bareboat?

We've chartered with various companies in the BVI's including TMM. Our experience (yours may vary, and this data is a few years old) is that TMM gets slightly older boats than the Moorings and offers them at lower cost than same. This creates some additional risk of maintenance issues, and we've had some, but they generally do a good job. If you charter enough, you will experience a maintenance issue no matter what company you charter from. They are boats just like the ones we own, but used harder.

I recall on our first visit to TMM, they actually took us out for a test sail. We did a couple of tacks and returned to the dock. I remember thinking, good for them actually testing skill level independent of our resume which involved multiple cruising boat ownerships at that time. You see some pretty scary things done on charter boats in the BVI's, and most companies don't appear to check skill levels at all. Other posters are right, you can charter a boat in the BVI's with much less experience than yours.

I'd call them up at the base in the BVI's, talk about my concerns, and ask if you can take the skipper out with you for one day if all is going well, and volunteer that its fine with you if the skipper stays longer if it isn't. See how they react. I suspect they'll have no problem, and you'll be on your way after a day.
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