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Old 10-03-2011
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In order to bareboat charter...

I've owned a catalina 30 for 5 years and had a great time with it. I'm interested in chartering in the carribean. What will I need to do to do so? Do I need to show a company a certain number of years of boat ownership? a certain number of prior charters? or will I only be able to charter with a captain.?
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Old 10-03-2011
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Do you have a pulse?

All kidding aside, your 5 years with the C30 should be fine. Boater safety classes also help.

I have witnessed some very inexperienced people on charter boats. They either lied or the charter companies just want the $$$. I think the latter considering the boat briefing is supposed to weed out the liars.

When getting you briefing, listen and take notes. Ask questions too. Do no try to brag or show the staff how much of an expert you are. This will get you a captain for your first night for sure.
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Last edited by Tim R.; 10-03-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 10-03-2011
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The answer depends on the charter company. We're doing a Sunsail charter (our first) in April. They have a place on their website where you can submit your sailing experience (they're interested in sailing experience not boat ownership) and see if you are eligible to charter without hiring a captain. I found their bar extremely low.

One person in our group has only done lake sailing and he is allowed to captain a chartered boat. He decided against it.

That said, you will still have to demonstrate that you can dock the boat and use the electronics. If they don't feel that you are proficient enough, you'll have to hire a captain for at least a couple hours to bring you up to speed before they'll let you go out alone.
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THanks guys. That's so helpful. We've done a Power & Sail Squadron boating course, and passed the Canadian Powerboat operator's card licence,, and both have restricted marine operator's licence (for the VHF).
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Old 10-03-2011
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As stated previously it really depends which company you choose to go with. Some just need to confirm your credit card is working while others require you to show some basic skills. By basic I mean the ability to drive the boat under power, put up sails and be able to tack a couple of times successfully. I do charter briefings on the weekends and couldn't agree more with Treilly's comments. Feel free to PM me for any further information.

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I have one year great lake sailing on a 33 keel boat. Certification similar to ASA 103 (?). I've been told I'm pretty much good to go.

Although here's a question. And this will surely wrinkle a few feathers, lol! I have only used a furling main. How hard will it be to learn to raise and reef a traditional sail? From the looks of it, most charter boats have traditional mains.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
Although here's a question. And this will surely wrinkle a few feathers, lol! I have only used a furling main. How hard will it be to learn to raise and reef a traditional sail? From the looks of it, most charter boats have traditional mains.
The hardest part I've found is completely lowering the main underway and folding it down on top of the boom.

Center the main. Heading into the wind helps so that the main flutters and the tension is released. Have the helmsman put the boat in neutral or if you must go forward, go as slowly as possible. The helmsman should keep a lookout and alert whoever is lowering the main to any approaching wakes so he or she isn't knocked off balance and if the boat has to turn into a large wake (which means the wind will fill in the sail). When going on deck, don't forget the sail ties. If just reefing the sail this will be when you tie the reefing lines (if equipped) rather than take it all the way down. Some boats are equipped with a hook that attaches to the leading edge of the sail to keep it in position while you tie the lines.

It's easier to reef the main before raising it completely. If you know that the wind is strong before leaving the mooring/anchorage/dock, tie the reefing lines before you leave.
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Last edited by DRFerron; 10-04-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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When I first chartered in the Caribbean, my sailing resume was even skinnier than Equitas', but I was still allowed to charter (Sunsail)
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Old 10-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
The hardest part I've found is completely lowering the main underway and folding it down on top of the mast.

Center the main. Heading into the wind helps so that the main flutters and the tension is released. Have the helmsman put the boat in neutral or if you must go forward, go as slowly as possible. The helmsman should keep a lookout and alert whoever is lowering the main to any approaching wakes so he or she isn't knocked off balance and if the boat has to turn into a large wake (which means the wind will fill in the sail). When going on deck, don't forget the sail ties. If just reefing the sail this will be when you tie the reefing lines (if equipped) rather than take it all the way down. Some boats are equipped with a hook that attaches to the leading edge of the sail to keep it in position while you tie the lines.

It's easier to reef the main before raising it completely. If you know that the wind is strong before leaving the mooring/anchorage/dock, tie the reefing lines before you leave.

I've never had much luck folding the sail against the mast and have taken the easier route of just letting gravity put it on the boom instead.

Back to Ninefingers. There are many monohull sailboats in the Virgin Islands area that have have furling mains. The ones with conventional mains pretty much all have sailbags and lazyjacks on the boom. Many you don't have to even leave the cockpit to raise or lower the main. Either way it's not hard to do after seeing it done once. As Drferron says, just make sure you are into the wind, especially with full battens and lazyjacks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarCry View Post
I've never had much luck folding the sail against the mast and have taken the easier route of just letting gravity put it on the boom instead.
Good catch, thanks. And I was probably sober, too.
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