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  #11  
Old 09-30-2009
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Thanks for the advice this is what I have found

First off, I should have pointed out is I am both poverty stricken and cheap.

With these constraints this is what I have found. Some of these schools are shockingly expensive, $2-4K for a rating. Likewise their charter prices are beyond my scope. Airfare to the Caribbean and a weeks charter is just not in the cards for me. For that much money I would buy the 25 foot boats I have been looking at, even though I still may.

Some schools are quite reasonable. I figure these are similar to renting a boat for a few days and having someone sail with me to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, then giving me a rating at the end.

Two schools that have peaked my interest are
"Anacortes Yacht Charter" that will get me up through Bareboating for under $1000. For a little more I can sail in Mexico with "Sail San Carlos" and spend a week onboard in Baja.

For anyone else interested, there is a similar thread going in the "learning to sail" forum, where I got some more info as well.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2009
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My wife and I took a couple of the ASA courses but I'm not sure of the value of them, other than you can get some docking practice. We chartered a boat in the BVIs, and they didn't even ask about certifications, they just asked for a resume and a check out sail. If you don't do well on the check out sail (and as a previous poster stated, the bar is low) you have to hire a captain. We own a 35 footer and still had to have the check out sail; after about 5 minutes and a couple of tacks they let us on our way.

I think the charter companies look at certifications this way: The only people that would spend thousands of dollars to learn how to handle a boat are people that don't know how to handle a boat. You have to prove you can handle a boat, not just show them a paid-for piece of paper that says you can.
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Old 10-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garymcg View Post
I think the charter companies look at certifications this way: The only people that would spend thousands of dollars to learn how to handle a boat are people that don't know how to handle a boat. You have to prove you can handle a boat, not just show them a paid-for piece of paper that says you can.
That depends at least somewhat on the company. The Moorings did not require a check sail from us, after we got the USSailing cert from Offshore. I don't know if they would have treated us the same if we had gone to a different class. The Offshore course was taught in the BVIs on a Moorings boat, so it was sort of like we were repeat customers.
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2009
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I took ASA through 104 here in Texas many years ago. Years later I bought a Catalina 27 and sailed it on our local lake for about 12 months. I then filled out a sailing resume with the charter companies. They all were happy to let me charter. When I got down there they pretty much just tossed me the keys. No checkout sail or skills check. From watching the other people leaving the dock at the same time, it was clear I was one of the most experienced people leaving that day. Some of these people looked like they have never maneuvered a boat under power before, but the charter company was completely unfazed. I also heard quite a few people on Channel 16 with comments like "how do we raise the main?" Basically, the bar seems pretty low. I think your standards for yourself are probably higher than theirs.
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
Basically, the bar seems pretty low. I think your standards for yourself are probably higher than theirs.
Yep I try to set my standards higher than average, but there has got to be somewhat out there thinking the same thing that is below average. I challenged the basic keel boat rating 20 years ago and passed it. Funny considering I had only sailed hobie cats till then.

I must be getting more conservative in my old age that I would not just pencil whip my resume and bluff my way onto a boat. I read the fist 100 pages of Annapolis book of seamanship and did not learn much This summer was the first day I sailed in 4 years, so I am a bit rusty and with snow in the mountains nearby my season is soon over. Subjects I need to brush up on before I can even attempt to bluff my way onto a boat.

Rules of the road.
Docking and Anchoring
Man overboard Skills
Motoring

One of the charter companies I have talked to near Seattle wanted experience in similar sized boats and experience with tidal affected waters. My last charter was a Catalina 30 in 1990 in SOCAL, is that recent enough for you. Maybe I can hire a captain to spend a day teaching me how to dock.

PS: I wish I could live in Austin for the winter.
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Old 10-12-2009
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chartering

If you plan on chartering in Croatia, aside from a resume of experience that passes the carter companies muster, two people on board have to have a Restricted Operators Certificate (Marine) which is a VHF license in any other language. Not sure about Turkey or Greece which will be our next destination.

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Old 10-12-2009
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Thanks Lee,
I'll keep that in mind. Right now I only get 10 days vacation a year so foreign sailing trips are out of the question.

Its funny you mentioned the Restricted Radio license. It so happens I do have one of those. My company made me get one and even made me pay for it myself. I resisted till I got threatening letters from the main office. In 3+ years with the company I have never been asked to go overseas, and never expect to. The biggest joke about it was I just needed to fill out a form online and give them my credit card and I have the license. Unfortunately it is for aviation, not sure if there is a different license needed for marine.
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Old 10-12-2009
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I did ASA thru 104, plus had some day chartering experience locally, in Texas, before I tried chartering elsewhere. I have never had anyone turn me down yet for chartering. I think they look for experience, but consider ASA certification as some good experience.
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Old 10-15-2009
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I was never certified to bareboat charter, but had experience on several different types of boats as crew. I had been co-captain on a catamaran charter, then did my first charter as captain on a catamaran in the Florida Keys. By the time I started chartering in the BVI I had been a boat owner on Lake Superior for two years and had no questions asked at the charter base. I agree with the prior posts that charter companies are more interested in the sailing resume than the certifications. Not all charter companies require a checkout sail (Moorings and Sunsail come to mind.)

Now I'm a certified ASA instructor and USCG licensed captain. By the way, you don't have to take ASA 105 to learn navigation. You will learn basic coastal navigation in the ASA bareboat charter (104) class. And yes, if you already know how to sail you don't have to take Basic Keelboat. You can "challenge" any ASA level if you have the experience. I was surprised how becoming an instructor filled in the gaps of my knowledge.

Most charter companies will do a boat briefing with you to familiarize you with the boat's systems. You will do an inventory of the boat before taking her out. That's when you should look for the through hulls and ask our boat briefer to fill in the details.
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Old 10-15-2009
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Thanks Gail

Thanks Gail,
My new plan is to study my extensive library and challenge as many ratings as I can. Then hire a captain to spend a day with me docking, anchoring, reefing and anything else he can think of I should practice, then hopefully take out a boat for a week.

My sailing skills exceed what my resume shows. I have a lot of time on big boats 30-38 feet but not as captain. The rating would be just to have something to show to the charter companies to make it easier on both them and me. Plus being land locked it would be a way to expand my sailing resume.

The navigation should not be a problem, as I am a commercial pilot (no not airline pilot, anyone who flies for a living is a commercial pilot). I manage to find my way each day without a GPS. I know how to use one, if I can remember how that is, but most of our planes are not so equipped. Navigating at 7 knots should be a little easier than 260.
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