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Cody_Stl 04-29-2019 08:35 AM

First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..

My wife and I are seriously considering sailing as an early retirement, but we live no where near an ocean! We live in Missouri and already have our vacation planned for this year. BUT, we are really looking for some like minded individuals who are already sailing/cruising to take us out and show us the ropes (pun intended). As I understand it the Caribbean/Bahama cruising season is winter/outside hurricane season? If so, we would LOVE to find someone and make plans to go on a cruise with them aboard their vessel late this winter (preferably after the new year).

The cost of chartering a boat is just ridiculous, and though we plan on getting our first sailing class out of the way this summer hopefully, we would be nowhere near wanting to take a boat cruising on our own(experience wise). We are fast learners and eager to work, so we would quickly be able to help and do work on board to pull our weight!

We are NOT looking for a free ride by any means either! We would be willing and happy to pay for food, fuel, entertainment? Whatever takes the burden off and makes having company for a short while worth it. I'm sure these costs, along with our own transportation costs, would still be far below the cost of chartering a captained excursion+ provisioning, transportation, entertainment, etc.

We are looking to learn, though we won't burden you with questions if they are getting old! We are also just looking to see how we like/tolerate being on a boat for a significant period of time. We would be able to take off from work for probably a little over 2 weeks, so the excursion can't be too crazy long as we have to account for travel time. Someone based in Florida would be fantastic, allowing us to drive in, and drive back out further reducing our cost (and freeing our purse strings even more for fun and food for all on board) :-)

We are only 7 short years from an empty nest and able to cast off our Missouri lines. I am 35, wife is 30 years of age. We are both in good physical condition. We both work in Public Safety, like meeting new people, easy to get along with (our job kind of requires it), we like movies/shows, boating(river jet boating currently), camping, hiking, dining, cooking, occasional theater productions, among many other things/interests! Oh, and I am a pretty mean cook, so I can cook for ya too!

So, will you help us to experience sailing and decide if this dream is for us? We hope you can! email me with any questions or to start making these grand plans!

Or if anyone can help us experience sailing/point is in a direction without the $4k+ price tag of just a bareboat charter...we would be greatly appreciative.

[email protected]


Cody & Jaime

SanderO 04-29-2019 09:03 AM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
Welcome.... Interesting proposition. However, I can't see you'll find many takers for a number of reasons. Here are a few.

Most cruisers who are not chartering are not legally allowed to take people for hire. So the money exchange thing enters murky legal waters.

I don't think most cruisers would need the cash your prepared to pay... paying your way. They've pretty much worked out their finances.

Most cruisers are leery about taking anyone who has no experience on their boat for anything but a day sail. You as crew is an unknown... will be be helpful? Will you be "in the way" or require attention or be a distraction? Will you need to be "entertained" or watched for any number of reasons? And of course being on a small boat for a week or two requires you get on with the crew or passengers. It's like... inviting strangers to spend a week in your vacation home. People invite friends... not strangers.

Cruisers will worry that you may break something... or hurt yourself... so there will be orientation class... to be on their boat. For many this is a worry... more than a pleasure. Charter boats are providing a paid for service and all of this goes with the territory.

Cruising boats are generally of a size... usually without accommodation for several guests... they're small to begin with and can be crowded. While there may be places for sleeping a group.. it starts to feel very crowded fast.

Being landlocked makes it hard to find a sailor to befriend who might take you out for some day sails. They might want company... or appreciate helpful crew. I haven't a clue how you can make such friendships from where you are or even if you lived at the seaside. Possible but difficult. But sure older sailors might appreciate young strong help.

You're in a tough place... interested in sailing with little access. A structured learn to sail program might be the way to go... Take a holiday... learn to sail... get on some boats.

Good luck!

MarkofSeaLife 04-29-2019 09:05 AM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
Pity you are not in London taday as I sail for France tomorrow.

Good luck 🙂

MarkofSeaLife 04-29-2019 09:09 AM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
BTW reasonable cost sharing is allowed before its called a charter.


I vastly prefer people who can't sail as crew :)

But each to their own and YYGYMWVASDFTER or whatever that acronym is :wink

Cody_Stl 04-29-2019 02:51 PM

Thank you for the replies folks. I know we are asking a lot and it's a long shot for sure. We split vacation homes/lodging every year with friends and other couples we spend time with. We are super easy to get along with...but I know it's hard to get someone to take that chance. Especially with no experience sailing. We could end up spending half the time seas sick! Lol So we know it's a long shot...we just don't wanna spend $5-10k on a charted & captained one week trip to get our feet wet. I'll remain hopeful and keep posting here and there...hope there are more MarkofSeaLifes out there, possibly in the united states area 😊


gulfsail 04-29-2019 02:54 PM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
I'd recommend a cruising class.

You get your feet wet, learn something, and find out if you like it all at the same time.

22catcapri 04-29-2019 06:07 PM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
Although my wife and I are much older, we opted for a basic keelboat class one November with Offshore Sailing (after we bought our "yacht"), and bareboat cruising/basic cruising classes the next fall. The instruction, plus many days on our Colorado reservoir, served us well. We now have three Carib charters under our belt and more charters to come. Good luck!

JimMcGee 04-29-2019 06:37 PM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
My wife and I were about your age when we got into sailing. We did a two day introduction to sailing course that taught us just enough to be dangerous in a daysailer.

If you're giving serious thought to liveaboard cruising you might consider a "cruising" course. Spring and fall are great times to take a course in Annapolis (there are several good schools there) or in the winter in Florida (again there are several good schools with the Offshore Sailing School being very good).

The advantage of a class over trying to learn from a random person is the instructor will be following a course that will give you a firm grounding in the basics. There will be no yelling and instructors are good at making sure you BOTH learn. Offshore Sailing School has a Fast Track to Cruising Course. Prices will vary with the time of year.

For something low key there's the Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo. They do ASA 101 courses up to Coastal Cruising courses. Their boats are a little older (so less expensive) and like most things in the Keys they're probably a little more laid back.

Whatever you decide I'd recommend not taking a course until you are close to buying a boat, even if that boat is a small daysailer. You'll forget a lot of what you learn if you don't use it.

There's a VERY active sailing community around you in St Louis including some local sailing schools in places like Creve Coeur Lake.

Good luck with whatever you decide

hellosailor 04-30-2019 06:11 PM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
"BTW reasonable cost sharing is allowed before its called a charter."
The USCG issued their clarification on that around 1990. If the folks have a pre-existing relationship, and the payment is *entirely* voluntary, it is not a charter. If the folks don't know you form clear statement but "charter" will be considered. Similarly, if you each toss 1000$ in a "cruising kitty car" and pull form it as the trip goes on, that's not clarified. A conservative captain, and friends who want to ensure there is no problem, will do what they always did: After the trip is over, they'll all VOLUNTARILY kick in to the kitty, fuel the boat, whatever they're going to do.
But it all has to be voluntary, all the way to the end, to keep it perfectly clear of the "charter" landmines. If you take the money from strangers up front...risky business in the US legal system.

Don L 04-30-2019 07:01 PM

Re: First Timers Looking for a Short Trip..
Oh "rules" and crap be damn. We are semi lonely and wouldn't mind having an interested couple along for a week. We are currently in Ft Myers Fl heading slowly up to New Orleans and then Texas, we don't over plan (sometimes we barely plan).

If flexible and interested send me a PM for your dates and I'll let you know what I think our plans might be in that time frame and you can decide if you are interested.

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