Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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Re: Help a rookie figure out how to bareboat charter
To reiterate, no certification is necessary. Yes, ASA 104 is nice to have, and will be considered plenty adequate by any charter company that I know of, but it is by no means necessary. Your experience on your own boat will be more than enough for most charter companies.
The BVIs are great. Sunsail/Moorings also has a base out of the Abacos, Bahamas, which might be cheaper for you to get to.
Basically, the cheapest time of year is the time when no one else wants to go on a charter because it is hot, wind is finicky, and the chance of hurricanes exists. I prefer the "shoulder" seasons, in late spring or early fall, when the chance of hurricane is down, the weather is a little cooler, and the winds are a bit more predictable, but the prices are still lower than in the high winter season.