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If you’ve been on a crewed or cabin yacht charter, then you’ve probably become as addicted to sailing as the team at LateSail! Although you’ll have first-hand experience of a great sailing vacation, you could challenge yourself a little further by becoming your own captain and booking a bareboat charter. You’ll need some formal learning and practise, but then you can charter your own boat and enjoy a totally private sailing experience.
Here are the top five reasons why bareboating is so liberating:
You and your crew members will be the only ones on the boat calling all the shots, so you can really make the trip your own. You can research and develop the schedule, plan your activities and even change your minds during the trip if you want to stay longer in one location…the options are endless!
Without a crew on board, think of all the cabins on your boat that you can use for you and your guests. You can have the place to yourself without having to feel like a guest on someone else’s boat.
You will save money being your own captain and cutting out the cost of the crew, not to mention the gratuity and extra meals. All of this can add up to a big saving on a charter, which gives you more funds for the bar and food kitty!
Crews work hard to make guests feel as comfortable as possible, but nothing compares to feeling alone on your own boat. You can kick back, relax and be your wild sailor self when you are in charge.
Once you learn how to skipper, you can start taking your sailing adventures all over the globe, exploring new places at the helm of your own yacht.
Best bareboat novice location?
I suggest starting your bareboating adventures in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, or the Ionian in Greece. With its easy sailing conditions and sailor-oriented atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to get a feel for it and practice your skills in forgiving conditions.
What do you need to do to sail in the BVIs or Greece?
First you have to learn to sail and we recommend taking some local courses. The American Sailing Association is a great resource to take classes get certified. Or in the UK, contact the Royal Yachting Association .
After you’ve got some qualifications, you need experience. In the Caribbean, you must complete a sailing resume in order to charter a boat as a skipper. This will show your experience as captain on similar sized boats. In the Mediterranean having a license is essential, the ASA International Proficiency Certificate, or RYA Day Skipper Practical or International Certificate of Competence (ICC) are acceptable. If you are not sure, speak to one of the LateSail Team for more advice on the best courses to take.
For your very first charter, it’s always best to hire a “check-out” captain, this is a professional captain who comes aboard with you for the first few hours or however long you need until you feel comfortable with the boat. There are also opportunities in a number of destinations to hire an ASA or RYA qualified skipper, where you go on a private week-long charter with them so you have your certifications by the end of the trip.
If you’re someone who likes to stay a bit more active while on vacation, this is a fun and stimulating way to get some real hands-on sailing experience.