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Old 12-20-2007
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Making sure you are ready!!

Just wondering what the large companies(sunsail, moorings, footloose) or even smaller companies for that matter, do to ensure that you are ready to bareboat when you arrive. Do they actually make sure you can sail, or just swipe your card and send you off. I would like to think that they would rate your ability and make sure you won't be of any harm to yourself and others.
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Old 12-20-2007
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They have you first fill out a sailing resume. If that looks good...they approve you and when you arrive, you go over your boat with their "captain"...based on his evaluation of your knowledge he may raise a red flag, in which case a captain may be assigned to your boat until such time as the are sure you can handle it. This is in the contract fine print and it may cost you 200 a day or more if a captain needs to be assigned.
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Old 12-20-2007
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From what I understand (not having bareboated), they will often take a checkride with you and then let you out. They will make sure you can leave the dock, raise the sails, MAYBE drop an anchor (though not usually from what I hear) and get back on the dock. They will also quiz you some. If you give them a warm fuzzy feeling, you're good, otherwise they will send a cap'n out with you (as Cam mentioned).
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Old 02-02-2008
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Bare Boat Charter

You the Charterer are responsible.
You submit a resume and sign that you are competent, you leave your driving licence, credit card details and a large security deposit. By this you are taking responsibility for any loss or damage. No diference really from renting a car from the airport.
Some companies will give you a checkout ride if they suspect you are not comfortable.
Its not the best situation, but they are trying to make a living.

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Old 02-03-2008
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They can also key in on specific items in that resume - sailing certifications or boat ownership, size of boats you normally sail (vs charter selection). sailing area (vs charter loc), if you have chartered with the same co before (track record). Like Cam mentioned, you get "evaluated" during your pre-charter time with the boat & also during the Chart briefing where you are expected to describe your voyage plans & discuss with the legs/anchorages after they give an overview. As the size & cost of boat goes up, the tighter the scrutiny. The base staff has the final say not the sales person on the phone/net.

BTW - You can certainly arrange a pre-charter sail to make sure You are comfortable with a particular boat ie; 1st time on a Cat. Or have a Captain on board for the 1st day or so if you want to make sure you get off to a smooth start............costs & how it works may vary

Last edited by Chuteman; 02-03-2008 at 01:24 PM. Reason: added BTW
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Old 02-03-2008
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The last time I chartered was a long time ago, but I talked with the Moorings person at the Chicago Strictly Sail show, who said the procedure is the same. Their charter agreement specifies that they have the right to have you checked out by an experienced skipper. If you pass, you can sail the boat yourself. If not, then you're obliged to hire one of their skippers to accompany you. The Moorings said they don't charge for the checkout sail, but if you aren't approved, they'll charge, of course, for the hired skipper who will acccompany you. I always "tipped" my checkout skippers. They aren't hard to satisfy, but they aren't going to let fools or incompetents take out their expensive boats alone. "Back in the day" when I was chartering, I thought of the checkout sail as an opportunity to learn something new. For example, I asked one checkout skipper to show me how to back a sailboat into a slip, and he was glad to do so. Whenever I chartered a boat, I always thought of some boat handling skill that I wanted to learn, to make the most of the opportunity.
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Old 02-04-2008
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My first Charter was a couple of years ago out of Anacortes Washington. When I reserved the boat I had to send in a sailing resume and take a class the morning of our trip that showed us the charts we would need, any regulations that we needed to know about the area and the places to avoid. We then meet a fellow down at the boat who went over all of the systems and where emergency gear was located. I then had to pull the boat out of the slip, motor out of the harbor, make a few maneuvers and then bring it back to the slip and dock. It was a little nerve racking at first going from a 17' ODay Daysailer with no motor to a 28' Bristol Channel Cutter with an inboard engine, but after a day I was like an old pro.
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