One of my favorite sailing things to do is charter a boat for several days and sail somewhere that my cell phone doesn’t work. Well, at least I pretend it doesn’t work anyway. On the face of it, chartering a sailboat doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. You’re just paying someone for the use of their boat. But in reality, what it takes to actually get them to let you do that, and what it takes to then go sailing and live on a boat for three, four even 7 days or more, is pretty involved. So here are some of the things you should know about doing a Bareboat Charter:
Have a sailing resume. Include any certifications you have, but also include your past trips, even when others may have been the credit card on file.
Choose your sailing partners carefully. There is a saying that the size of the boat shrinks 1 foot, per person, per day.
Don’t wing it. Plan meals, plan destinations, plan alternate destinations, plan slack time to be flexible with, all together with your cruising partners.
Inspect the boat thoroughly. Almost all boats have something that is wonky. Take the time to go through your boat checkout checklist before loading it up.
Keep your gear in your cabin. Only you should have to deal with your stuff. It will make everyone happy if you are able to “move into” your space on the boat.
Make sure everyone knows how to use the head. If the head stops working, your boat trip is over; at least until it is repaired.
HAVE FUN! With all this planning, don’t forget that if you are having a great time and want to do more at a particular location, adjust! You’re on Boat Time after all!
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