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Welcome to the SailNet Chartering Message Board where you can discuss destinations and boats in distant locales that may be calling you. Here you can query other sailors by starting a new topic or responding to a current discussion, or search the contents of the Message Boards for items of interest. If you have any questions or suggestions contact us at [email protected]

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Discussion Starter #2
Some time between January and March of 2001 my wife and I, plus another sailing couple, would like to charter a bareboat from the east coast of Florida to the Bahamas. We would like to travel with a group of boaters that have made the trip before, and who know the best spots to visit. We would appreciate any input on where to charter and how to get together with a group.
Thanks,
Rick and Pam
 

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Winters are a little chilly in the Bahamas and there are typical storms that may surprise you in the passage either way. How much OFFSHORE experience do you have before you consider this charter?

I would strongly recommend flying to the Abacos and chartering a boat there. It will save you days and much aggravation and frustration for the non-sailors in your party. If you encounter rough weather, you may succeed in turning people off to the sport. On the other hand if you have offshore experience, are a good navigator, been in rough weather, and have a crew who do not object to standing watch and have their sea legs, try it.

There are companies in Miami and Ft Lauderdale who will charter you a boat (if you have 2 qualified sailors). That is why I would strongly recommend speaking to a charter broker who will ask you about 30 questions before making recommendations on companies, boats, etc., based on your experience, age and personalities of crew, and so on. I think you will find this information invaluable and probably you will save money as well.

Personally, I would not go in the dead of Winter to the Bahamas. It is not as warm as you think, if you look at the Florida Winter temperatures. Unless you object to the cost or time to fly, I would strongly recommend the British Virgin Islands first and especially that time of year.

Although I have been a charter broker for 29 years, I would be happy to give you more unbiased information if you would like it.

Good luck and have a wonderful time.

Randy Schweitzer
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you look in the message board on "Leeward Islands" I posted info on the BVI as well as Leeward Islands.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Randy,
Thanks for the return mail. My wife and I only have about a years experience, and no real offshore time. However, the other couple we are going with are both sailors, with the husband having offshore training and about 17 years experience.
We are looking for a warm and comfortable sail where we can do some exploring and enjoy the native life, to a limit of course.
How would you suggest we get started in finding a good charter company, the best price, and best location for a 10-14 vacation away from the cold of the northeast?
The other couple sail a catamaran, and we sail a 37'' monohull. All can handle a boat, but have not had storm experience (except Sal, the other husband) Both Sal and I can navigate well with paper charts and GPS.
Any thoughts will be appreciated.
Rick
 

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My family wants to do some sailing over christmas. We have family in San Diego, Ca but I want to go where the likelihood of good winds/weather is the highest. I have chartered/daysailed in San diego before and the winds were not consistant. We have charterd in the US Virgin Islands and of course, the winds and weather was wonderful. Can anybody tell me about any area in So Calif or Baja of Mexico with very high likelihood of good winds/weather over xmas?
 

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Just about the best sailing you''re going to find in the world at that time of year is the BVI''s. The wind is full and predictable during the winter. Temperatures will be in the upper 80''s during the day and 70 at night. You''ll find great anchorages, snorkeling, scuba diving, beach bars, and friendly people everywhere.
We started chartering a couple of times a year about 11 years ago. We got hooked and bought a boat 4 years ago, which we keep with Barecat Charters. Give the BVI a try, there''s no place like it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
CHARTERING IN So. California
Without the inland deserts heating up in the Winter, there is not the same stronger afternoon breezes you find Spring through Fall. Having sailed in S.Ca. for the past 45 years, my suggestion for better wind is to charter out of Long Beach or Marina del Rey. If you were qualified and wanted to do multi-day, Catalina Island is only a 3-4 hour beam reach.

Santa Barbara (90 mi N. of LA also has protected waters and a gorgeous backdrop for daysailing. Again, if interested in multi-day the CA Channel Islands are gorgeous and uncrowded. I just sold the SB Sailing Center (www.sbsailctr.com) and they have a wide range of boats from 21-42''.

In CA many of the charter companies primarily are charter company clubs and do not rent to the public; however, some do. I would browse the web under SAN DIEGO SAILING, LONG BEACH SAILING, ETC. to find sources and details.

If you ever want first hand, unbiased knowledge on the Virgins or other destinations please drop me a note. I have been a charter broker for 29 years and work with all companies worldwide and am knowledgeable about destinations, boats, etc.. Good luck. Randy
 

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Does anyone know of a good school where you can learn how to handle a large yacht?
I have a friend who is interested in learning to sail and I advised him of taking a U.S Coast Guard Approved course and then becoming familiar with handling a small craft, then sailing with others then perhaps taking a navigation course. He wants to get right into the larger boats but I am afraid that would be unsafe for a beginner. Any thought? I recommended the Annapolis Sailing School for a start. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pa but can travel to any destination.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Charter a beautifully renovated Atlantic 49'' directly from the Owner to the Greek islands!
http://users.otenet.gr/~sailwus/index2.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It is just as easy to learn how to sail a large boat as it is to sail a small boat. In some ways, it is easier, because the larger boat is more forgiving, ie it does not respond as rapidly to sail and wind change as does a small boat. The systems are more complex on the larger boat, but are not that hard to learn
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would highly recomend the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship. They are ASA, but you don''t have to take the test to take the classes. The owner Tom T also teaches the two different navigation classes in PA.
www.mdschool.com

Good Luck

John_/)_/)_/)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Your friend would do well to contact the "Moraine Sailing Club" out of Pittsburgh, Pa. They sail on Lake Arthur, 30 minutes north of "Da''Burgh". They maintain a fleet of four "Flying Scot" class boats and several Sunfish. There are members that personally own larger Catalina''s and such in the 25'' to 30'' range, and sometimes look for crew for daysails on the lake. I joined the club this year. $225.00 a year gets you use of all club boats AND small craft certification TRAINING. (Red Cross small boat training/cert). Certified members may use the club boats at any time, boats are reserved online prior to use. Great club, at your pace learning, weekly racing. I highly recommend the club. Start small, learn BIG !
 
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