Getting aboard your bareboat charter is the goal when you get your ASA sailing certifications. Where do you begin? For many, it is a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands so we decided to share a couple of itineraries with you to help in your planning process. If you are ready to charter a bareboat excursion, this is a good way to start. If you are thinking about expanding your sailing knowledge and need a carrot dangled out in front of you, this is it.
Typical sailors who have taken ASA 101, ASA 103, and ASA 104 begin thinking about a sailing vacation, and we just want to help you get underway.
Sail the British Virgin Islands on a Bareboat Charter.
As if you need another reason to drop anchor in St. Barth we suggest these five reasons to sail your bareboat charter boat to this gem of an island that is the South of France in the heart of the Caribbean. Close your eyes and you’ll hear France all around you, lift a fork and you’ll taste the cuisine and walk through the luxury shopping boutiques and you’ll swear you are on the Champs Elysee. Caribbean vibe meets French culture all with a hint of island style and you get luxurious St. Barth.
You don’t need a megayacht to have a good time in St. Barth, but it doesn’t hurt.
So you are ready for the big bareboat sailing vacation. All of your certifications are in order and you cannot wait to toss the lines, raise the sails and embark on a sailing vacation where you are the captain.
That is the ultimate goal of the American Sailing Association, to get sailors out on the water sailing safely and confidently in all conditions. A great charter experience is truly the reward of a superior sailing education.
So before you go, take a look at a few of our last minute tips to keep in mind as you set off for your dream trip.
You’ll ask yourself if you need a watermaker or if air conditioning is important or even if you want a full-sized refrigerator onboard the boat you are going to charter. The truth is when you decide to take a sailing vacation aboard a sailing vessel that you will call home for a week or two you’ll be surprised by just how much you think you need.
Choosing the right boat for your sailing charter can be simple as you really only need to think about four basic questions :
How many people?
How big of a boat?
What type of boat?
How much do you want to spend?
Who Are You Taking on Your Sailing Charter Vacation?
If you decide to take a quaint sailing vacation with just you and your significant other you might find that a small monohull is more than adequate for your sailing vacation. If your crew consists of children, mother-in-laws and sailing newbies you may want to consider a large catamaran that boasts space enough for everyone’s needs and personalities.
When you are taking more than your immediate family ask questions about the number of berths and the number of heads. Also, is your group the type that will need more or less privacy? Will kids share a berth or sleep the saloon?
Spending a week on the boat? The need for space and privacy will be magnified if the group does not normally live in the same household.
Size of Boat
The bigger the boat the more hands you will need to be active crew. Even though charter boats have all the required bells and whistles that make sailing easier, if a boat is much larger there will be a need for more experienced and willing crew members. You can expect most boats over 36 feet to have twin steering stations that allow for easy passage from the cockpit to a swim platform carved into the transom. Most handling will be done from the cockpit.
If this is your first charter consider a smaller boat and fewer people so that you have less crew with which to deal.
There are a few things to remember when dealing with the size of a boat. A larger and therefore heavier boat requires more skill to maneuver and takes practice. The crew will be required to work with larger anchors and dock lines and that requires more muscle power.
Type of Boat
The choice is between a monohull and a catamaran. Simply put it is between the roomier accommodations and increased privacy of a catamaran and the generally smaller layout of a monohull. Two boats of the same length will vary significantly on the beam and will sail vastly differently.
Does your crew enjoy the feeling of heeling and cutting through the swells or is the condominium on the water what your group is going for? With two boats of the same 43-foot length a catamaran will provide more generous living space – with four cabins, each with its own head – than a monohull. However, it is also a bigger boat to maneuver under power and sail.
Cost is a factor in how you choose your boat for a sailing vacation. Catamarans on average will be more expensive relative to your sailing location. Size, quality, features, and amenities all play a role, as do location and season. Establish upfront how your group will share the charter and incidental expenses.
Remember: If a deal is too good to be true…it probably is. Don’t risk your vacation on a cheap charter.
There comes a moment when you are sprawled out on a beautiful beach and you look out at the ocean and see a sailboat and you wish you had opted for some time on the water. That doesn’t happen to you? Ok, we’re actually talking to those of you who see the sailboat and want to go sailing. Why not learn to sail while on vacation?
The way a person becomes a solid sailor is about as varied as anything there is. Some learn from their great grand pappy; maybe others buy a boat and figure it out on their own. There are endless paths towards the final goal of becoming a competent sea-dog, but obviously we here at ASA, have a path we advocate that we believe is most effective. That path revolves around the concept of acquiring knowledge and skill from a trained certified professional, then utilizing what’s been learned in a real-world environment. And when it comes to late-stage core fundamental training, we believe participating in flotillas is an excellent idea.
Here at ASA, we’re always thinking of all the various avenues folks can access the sport of sailing that we enjoy so much. We keep an eye on youth and collegiate sailing, the racing scene, world and local cruising and of course chartering. The latter, we find, is something many sailors aspire to and for good reason. It’s really fun, fulfilling and most often utterly fascinating. All that said; we understand that chartering is a big step and can be expensive and maybe a mite intimidating. It can involve foreign waters on an unfamiliar boat, maybe language barriers, and a good amount of responsibility insuring everyone stays safe while you’re leading the voyage.