Join Date: Nov 2010
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I hope you have a wonderful time! We just chartered a Beneteau 40 from BVIYC last month for our first charter and had a great time.
The engine cooling system heated the hot water for showers, etc., which was nice -- we had hot water whenever the engine was running and for a while afterward too (there is a small hot water tank).
I would plan to have to run the engine around 1.5-3 hours a day to keep things charged up.
Some other free advice (take it for what you will): if you get there the night before, inspect all the lights, winches and self-tailers, radio (including cockpit radio remote -- can get corroded), and make a list of anything that seems confusing / burnt out / worn out / broken.
In our experience the next morning they were more than happy to go up the mast and change any light bulbs or repair anything we pointed out. Also skim the owner's manual they put on board.
During the boat tour, don't be afraid to ask any questions you might have about the location of the through-hulls and plumping valves and the emergency fuel shut-off, etc. etc. They are happy to answer these questions.
We had some trouble filling up the water tanks -- the aft water tank overflow on our boat didn't come out the vent as it was supposed to, but rather overflowed into the engine bilge. This is basically the back 1/3 of the cabin. It doesn't drain into the bilge because they don't want oil and oily waste to get pumped overboard. Of course I did not realize it was separate from the bilge, so we were left with a lot of gallons of water in these compartments that we ended up bailing manually out the companionway because the bilge pump didn't seem to be draining it (duh). If I had understood that all I had to do was move the water over one compartment to the real bilge (something BVIYC was happy to explain when I finally sucked in my pride and called them), it would have saved some hassle!
So, long story short -- please don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure you understand the electrical, plumbing, etc. systems. You won't regret it when you are out sailing and have a "mystery."
Best, and have a great time (from another 1-time charterer),