Thinking about a Sailing Vacation?
Perhaps you are a little intimidated by the process? Don’t worry, here are all the facts.
But first, a fun slideshow from us.
First off, you need to know that there is nothing more fun than a sailing vacation. And, if you can think of something more fun, then you can probably do it on a sailing vacation.
Second off, it is relatively easy to do but there are some things you need to know.
What is a Charter? And What is “Bareboat”?
A charter is just a fancy word for rent. So when you charter, you’re renting a boat. Typically, it refers to a longer period of time such as renting a boat for a week or more.
Bareboat is a strange word, but it means you captain the boat yourself.
So going on a charter essentially means going to a sailing destination like the Caribbean, Mediterranean or the Pacific and renting a 28 foot to 50 foot sailboat for about a week or two. You can sail it with you as the captain (Bareboat) or you can hire a captain (and/or a cook). Often times hiring a captain is a good way to go even if you are experienced because the captain is a local and knows all the cool places to go. A cook is also a great idea relieve yourself of cooking; plus, they are experienced at whipping up some culinary delights in a cramped galley (kitchen).
What comes with the Boat?
Pretty much everything you need comes with the boat – it is not “bare”. That’s why above we said it was a strange word. You will be supplied with:
- a dinghy,
- a dinghy engine (except some places in the Mediterranean; you should double check that – there is sometimes a $100 extra fee),
- fuel for the dinghy motor
- towels, sheets, and pillows
- sails (haa haa)
- propane gas for the galley
- cooler – usually
- a couple of starter bags of ice (except the Med)
- a bottle of rum (Caribbean) – if you are lucky
- topped up tanks of water (semi-drinkable at a pinch – best to provision for drinking water)
- charts (maps)
The boat comes with a refrigerator and freezer, toilets, showers, hand basins, and cushions to sit on. Essentially everything except food and sundries.
This depends on your budget.
- Newer boats that are less than 3 years old are really really nice (but are more expensive)
- 5 years old start to show their age a bit
- 8-10 are sometimes getting a bit ratty
- 12 years old or more is really hit or miss depending on the charter company
Some charter companies really look after their boats and some don’t; you have to rely on their social reputation if you’re going after one older than say about 7 years.
Provisioning means buying all your groceries for the trip. Some yacht charter companies will provide this service for you (at a premium). Many times marina grocery stores have a website and are set up to deliver the groceries to your boat on the day of your arrival. Riteway.com in the BVI is a good example.
Here is a great article we wrote on provisioning:
Even if you own a boat, chartering a boat is the ideal way go see other beautiful parts of our planet. The cost of about $5k on the outset might seem expensive. But that is your walk away cost. Once you are done – you’re done with cost. Everyone that owns a boat knows that the purchase price is just the start of the costs of a boat. With chartering, you wipe your hands clean when you step off the dock.
With Chartering, this year you can go to the Caribbean, and next year go to the Mediterranean, then the Pacific the following year. You’re not tied to a place.
With Chartering, your hotel and entertainment costs are included and many times you eat on board so you’re not paying restaurant prices for food.
When you add it all up, it is a relatively inexpensive vacation. ESPECIALLY if you grab a bunch of friends and all split the cost. In that case, you can get it down to about $100 per day per person.
Qualifications to Bareboat Charter
Except for a few countries, mostly in the Mediterranean, you don’t need a formal license to bareboat charter (captain your own boat). Don’t believe any sailing associations who say you must have one. What you do need, however, is a good sailing resume. Yacht charter companies will check your resume prior to letting you take the boat.
A good rule of thumb is that yacht charter companies require about 50 days of sailing experience, 25 of which as master of the vessel and some of that experience on a vessel within 10 feet of your regular experience. You should have some set of formal sailing theory knowledge
Responsibility wise, formal sailing theory knowledge is essential. You should know these (and more):
- All the rules of giveway for all situations for all vessels you might encounter
- Colors and shapes of navigation marks including Cardinal marks
- The IALA-A and IALA-B Lateral Mark system
- Coastal Navigation
- Electronic Navigation
- Anchoring and Mooring techniques
- Sail trim and reefing
- Crew overboard retrieval
- Maneuvering a large boat under power in tight marinas
- Boat systems, including electricity system and water/wastewater systems
- Storm management
- Weather forecasting
NauticEd has an extensive Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses for $175 that covers all this and more.
Additionally, NauticEd has a FREE electronic resume and logbook system that helps sailors build an acceptable resume for yacht charter companies. It produces a realtime
There are so many to list. Each of the countries below have multiple ports of sail (locations). You could literally take a sailing vacation every year for 100 years and not go to the same place ever. A favorite starter location is the British Virgin Islands where the sailing is easy, the water is warm, there are few hazards, the navigation is mostly by sight, and there is a great selection of yacht charter companies to choose from.
Some of the more well-known destinations include:
- The British Virgin Islands
- Puerto Rico
- St Martin
- St Lucia
- The Grenadines
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
Don’t be intimidated by going to an unknown location. The charter company base there will give you a very good chart briefing before you go and tell you about lots of cool places and sometimes even their favorite restaurants.
NauticEd has developed a very good chart briefing for the British Virgin Islands.
If you are a bit rusty on Navigation by Charts or Electronic Navigation, built into the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of course is a comprehensive Coastal Navigation course and an Electronic Navigation course.
Some companies carry insurance so that you max out of pocket is about $1000 or so. But some companies have a much higher deductible that can be as much as $5000. You can buy down this deductible to $1k or so by paying an extra $50 or so per day. It is a good idea to know this prior to chartering and making the reservation. When we quote our charter prices to clients we always include the buy down extra insurance cost. While 99.9% of the time there is no accident – it is still possible and paying a few extra hundred while on vacation for piece of mind is just a good idea.
It is a good idea to discuss with your friends the “what if” scenario? It is a big burden on the Captain (you) if there was an unforeseen accident. Are you going to pay the $5000 deductible or are you going to surprise your friends? It is better to buy down the insurance and have eery one agree to split the lower deductible cost.
Catamaran vs monohull
As Captain, you are pretty excited to sail a nice big boat and feel her heel over, but if you want to do this again you’d better make sure your crew does not get sea sick.
Catamarans are fantastic for a sailing vacations and help in reducing seasickness. The galley area is at the same level as the cockpit and so while under sail it is easy for crew members to go in and out of the galley without getting seasick. The boat does not heel over and this also reduces the likelihood of the crew getting seasick.
Catamarans are more expensive but you can also put more people on them to reduce the per person expense. True, Catamarans don’t point as high into the wind as monohull but it is only a few degrees off and besides you’re on vacation.
Some people are intimidated by the size of a catamaran but as long as you are an experienced sailor, you should not have too much problem. NauticEd provides a great Catamaran Conversion Course to help understand the differences. Catamarans are actually more maneuverable under power than a monohull because of the two engines; one in each hull.
Don’t too quickly discount a Catamaran. You and your crew will have a lot of fun.
Captained vs bareboat
This is you hiring a captain (usually about $200 per day) or you doing the skippering yourself. If this is your first time ever, don’t be embarrassed that you hired a captain. You’ll actually have a better time, you’ll probably go to all the secret hideaway spots that only the locals know about, you’ll be able to helm the boat whenever you want and you will pick up a lot of extra sailing tips from a professional.
You will need to charter a boat with a separate cabin for the captain. They will not sleep on the main salon couch.
A kayak and or SUP (standup paddle board) is almost a must.
Length of Time
Manytimes you can book for the number of days you want with a minimum of 6. In the Mediterranean, you have to book in multiples of 1 week starting on Saturdays. Most other places you can start and finish when you want.
Sure, a luxury but the benefits… If you are going to the Mediterranean, don’t get one because most evenings you will be dining in the local villages and soaking up the culture.
General price range?
Week prices very with location and size of boat and age of boat and season and … but here is a general idea.
- Monohull 37 feet (good for 4 crew) about $2500
- Monohull 40 feet (good for 6 crew) about $3500
- Monohull 45 feet (good for 8 crew) about $4500
- Catamaran 38 feet (good for 6 – 8 crew) about $500
- Catamaran 40 feet (good for 8 crew) about $6500
- Catamaran 45 feet (good for 6 – 8 crew) about $7500
When should you book?
See this blog article – we created a really good infographic on when to book based on season and location
Best Times to Book a Yacht Charter
What to take
On time on the way to charter a boat in the BVI, the airlines lost one of the crew members luggage. At the store at the marina he bought a new pair of swimming togs, a tooth brush and a couple of teeshirts. Since he was only staying with us for 4 days that sufficed him for the time.
Essentially, you need bring nothing. Here are a few items to think about bringing from home:
- Little 12v dc to 110/220v AC inverter with USB outlets if you want to charge iPod, cell phone, camera battery etc that need 110/220 volts. (Some boats do have inverters or generators but do you really want the noise of a generator just to charge a cell phone?)
- A 12-volt splitter and 12v USB plugs. This allows multiple 12-volt plugs to allow multiple devices to be charging at one time. Very important if you’re taking more than a few people on the trip. Everyone thinks their cell phone/iPod is more important than everyone else’s. You’re a hero when you pull one of these devices out of the bag.
- European to American style plug adapter. (Many charter boats are made in Europe and thus have round style ac plugs. Check this but most of your chargers these days take 230 or 110 volts input so you’ll just need an adapter and not necessarily a transformer)
- iPod and 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm audio jack cable
- Tablet loaded with Navionics chart for your location. Many charter boats have a GPS. Some don’t and some will be broken when you arrive or will break sometime during the trip
- Cruising Guide and Anchorage Guide (not really necessary because the charter company will provide)
- A local area travel guide like Frommers etc.
- Many times the charter co. will provide masks, snorkels and fins, however if you bring your own you’re guaranteed to have a good set.
- Digital camera with extra memory sticks.
- Cheap little hand towels. The charter co. will give each person two towels for the whole week. So these little towels can serve as face and hand towels and then finally as floor wiping towels.
- Book of knots and a short piece of line – for the entertainment of the crew.
- Deck of cards.
- Other Fun stuff – we really have fun on our charters and we get into the mood. One time we took a Grinch suit.
Who to Take
Being on a boat for a week is a personality magnifier.
- Grumpy people get grumpier
- Drama people create maximum drama
- Drunks get drunker
- Happy people create more happiness
If this is your first time, even if you’re accomplished sailor you can hire a captain with no shame and actually have a better time. But you don’t need to – it is relatively easy to do it yourself. You should just be an experienced sailor and know what you are doing in and around a boat and the ocean.
Consider the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses
Experience wise, a good gauge is to have about 50 days of sailing experience; 25 of which as master of the vessel and some good skippering experience on a boat within 10 feet of what you are chartering. Anything less and the charter company will (should) turn you down as a competent skipper.
Good luck out there and have a ball.
NauticEd can find the best boats and the best prices across all the companies
NauticEd is an agent for all the yacht charter companies worldwide. We can find you the best prices and best boats. Chances are that we have been to that location so talk to us about which place is more fun and what not to miss when you are there. We don’t charge you a fee.
Inquire about taking a bareboat charter sailing vacation
A student asked this question “How does heeling angle create an airfoil shape in the sails”. He was using SeaTalks nanoforum that we have on every page of our sailing courses.
So my first thought was Huh? What the heck is he talking about? Then I remembered that I wrote that. So it must be true, right?
Well, it is true – sort of. On very, very and I mean very, light wind sailing days, the sail just hangs down because there is not enough wind to push the sail out to create any shape in the sail. But if you heel the boat over …
I’ll explain with a story: He is how we won a sailing race one day. About halfway through the race, the wind died. Dead, non-existent, nothing, nada. The whole fleet was becalmed. Our tactician lit a cigarette and watch the smoke go straight up in the air – but it turned slightly to starboard as it rose. He asked all of us to quietly and without any obvious commotion so as not to alert the other boats – to move to the starboard side of the boat to heel it over. The sail draped out the starboard side accordingly. This gave the sail just enough shape to move us foward every so slightly – seemingly drifting. But moving none the less through a bewildered fleet. We move out in front enough so that as the wind came back we were far enough out to hold our position and win the race.
So – heeling angle DOES create an airfoil shape!
At NauticEd we have our list of Favorite RYA practical sailing training schools and we are sharing it with you here.
NauticEd is a provider of the RYA Day Skipper Theory course online to students worldwide. Technically we are called an RYA shore based training school and thus being a provider of the theory, we want to push our students who have passed the RYA Day Skipper course out to quality RYA schools.
We highly Recommend doing practical sailing training at an RYA School. The RYA school can issue the much sort after International Certificate of Competence which is the United Nations created International Sailing License (the ICC).
They can issue the ICC in either of two ways.
(1) A one-day assessment of theory knowledge and practical skills (pretty grueling and you’d better know your theory. We recommend you take and pass the NauticEd RYA Day Skipper Course OR the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses. Don’t wing it – you will fail.)
(2) Do the 5-day on-the-water RYA Day Skipper practical course. A prerequisite of this is the NauticEd RYA Day Skipper online theory course. Once you pass the RYA Day Skipper Course, you automatically qualify for the ICC.
We recommend the 5-day course. Why? Because you are guaranteed to enjoy it and learn some tips even if you are an old dog.
British Virgin Islands
- Tortola: Sunsail (although not listed on their site, they are an RYA School. Talk to us at NauticEd and we can facilitate the training)
Oh and just FYI, there are 500 RYA Sailing Training Schools worldwide.
With all of these schools, NauticEd can make the arrangements for you and consult with you if you have enough experience to pass the ICC assessment or if you should take the 5-day course. Either way, contact us.
Good news today everyone!
The NauticEd blog has been awarded as being in the top 40 of sailing blogs in the world. Today we are sitting at #13.
Here is the letter from the founder of Feedspot who does this ranking.
Hi NauticEd Team,
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog NauticEd has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 40 Sailing Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 40 Sailing Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the following badge on your blog.
Maneuvering your gorgeous sailboat under power in the marina is one of the more important skills to learn. Wind, current and tight spaces can be very intimidating and not knowing all the tricks can lead to expensive mistakes as well as serious ego damage.
NauticEd‘s new paper book titled “Maneuver and Dock Your Sailboat Under Power” is now available on Amazon for just $9.91. We highly recommend it.
The book is loaded with all the scenarios you will encounter and covers topics such as: momentum, prop walk, tight turns, using spring lines, leaving the dock, returning to the dock, high winds and current, and the elusive Mediterranean Mooring.
We have extracted an excerpt that will help you get into a tight space on a teehead.
Springing On and In
Coming up to a Tee-head is a situation where you need to spring on. The need for accuracy in your maneuver is heightened when the space is tight. Here is an animation of a boat doing this.
Spring on Animation
And here are the forces and moment diagrams.
Spring-on Force Diagram
After you make your plan, ensure dock lines are made ready and (very important) that the crew are told exactly which direction to cleat the boat when they get off. In high winds things can go south very quickly. Ensure dock lines are prepared outside of the life-lines. This is a common mistake and a huge time waster at a critical point in the maneuver.
Plan to get the bow of the boat cleated to the dock as shown, and then spring the boat in.
In this exercise to spring in means; once the bow-line is cleated to the dock, you simply turn the wheel away from the dock and apply forward thrust. The water force on the rudder moves the aft of the boat laterally to the dock.
The innovation that we like in this book is that throughout the book are QR codes as shown in the image above. When reading the book you simply scan the QR code with your phone. The book then comes alive with real animations and video.
NauticEd Maneuvering Under Power Book
Buy NauticEd’s Maneuver and Dock your Sailboat Under Power on Amazon for $9.91
UPDATE: For Now Amazon has sold out of this book – here is the link to get it on Barnes and Noble
View all the NauticEd Sailing Books here
One of our NauticEd students (Doug) called us today asking where to go on a sailing vacation. In particular, he was asking about Tonga or Tahiti. He had been to the Caribbean plenty of times and was looking for something a little different. He’d heard that we were pretty knowledgeable on this.
Doug was right – we’ve been to both locations and have plenty of advice. So here is a summary of our conversation.
Both places provide completely different experience.
First Tonga: Tonga, located 250 miles East of Fiji and 1200 miles NNE of New Zealand, in the pacific, is a wonderful remote experience. The Island you go to for sailing is Vava’ u which is its own archipelago about 150 miles north of the main Tonga capital island of Tongatapu. The yacht charter fleets in Vava’u are small and so there are not many yachts around. Most of the yachts there are world cruisers.
Where Is Tonga
The islands themselves are mostly uninhabited. So your experience is mostly to yourselves and a few whale watching tourists. There is no reprovisioning in the islands so you have to stock up before you head out, but everything is pretty close so, to drop back mid week is not a biggy.
The islands are low-lying and close together so there are no great sailing distances you need to do in a day. Rather the days are more spent with a few hours of sailing then exploring, snorkeling and relaxing on the beaches.
Navigating is not hard but you will be a little challenged. With no distinguishing land features on each island, it is difficult to easily point at an island and immediately know what it is – you have to follow along on the chart as you go. Of course, GPS is the savior of this but you always need to monitor where you are because the reefs are numerous. GPS can be up to 100 feet (30 meters) off from reality so give everything a wide berth. There is about a 6 ft (2 meters) tide. This is usually not an issue except for one lagoon inside Hunga Island whereby you must only enter which has to be done 2 hours either side of high tide.
Hunga Island Entrance
Marina’s Cave is a must. The entrance is underwater about 10 feet down and the swim is about 30 feet long under the water to the cave to come up in an air pocket. Easy but… not for the faint at heart. At certain lighting conditions, it is pretty spectacular inside. When there is a swell, the pressurizing and de-pressurizing of the cave causes a mist and de-mist oscillating condition inside – freaky.
The humpback whales start arriving around the Vava’u islands late June and early July and there are plenty among the islands by mid-July and into August.
Snorkeling is awesome, as the coral is untouched by pollution or over diving.
Best coral ever
The sail over to Kenutu island to the east of the archipelago was through a very difficult patch of reef. But it was worth it to take a hike on the island and see the pacific waves crashing into the island wall.
Plan on a week minimum but a 10 day charter is recommended. There is plenty to do and see and in just one week we ran out of time trying to see it all.
The Tongan people are overly friendly and welcoming. Some of the Villages will put on a Luau if you give advance notice which can be done through the sailing base manager.
The Charter base in Vava’u is Moorings/Sunsail and in operated by my friend Shane Walker – a fellow Kiwi. Shane is a great guy and also runs the local resort there called Tongan Beach Resort. Stay there for a few nights either side of your charter.
Getting there is easy(ish). Fiji Airways now go direct from Fiji to Vava’u twice per week.
Overall – a bareboat yacht charter sailing vacation in Vava’u, Tonga is not to be missed in this lifetime. It is one of the more remote places you can go.
NauticEd staff can book this trip for you and give you advice on the kind of sailing/navigation experience you need. Make an inquiry on this page.
Tahiti: 1200 miles further east of Tonga is French Polynesia, known by many as Tahiti which is the main island of the entire French Polynesia archipelago. The sailing area is more done out of the island of Raiatea. So you fly into Pape’ete (on Tahiti Island) from where ever and then take a puddle jumper 300 miles NW to Raiatea.
With a weeklong sailing venture, you’ll spend 1/2 of the time around Raiatea and the island of Tahaa, a few miles to the north. Both of which lie in the same giant Lagoon area. Then the rest of time you’ll probably pop 20 miles north west over to the famous Bora Bora and the stunning Lagoon surrounding the awe inspiring volcano of Bora Bora.
An absolute highlight on Bora Bora was the Coral River. It is a place where the water flows into the Lagoon through the reef. You jump in and float through the reef checking out the most colorful fish and coral you have ever seen. You end up inside the Lagoon then run back along the path to do it all over again.
Coral River Bora Bora
But, anywhere throughout the entire week, you will experience many snorkeling spots where the coral and fish are spectacular.
Navigation is easy – but you need to keep constant watch on where you are. Coral reefs come from 80 feet deep up to 3 feet in a wall. You can easily run aground.
French Polynesia, like most of the world, uses Cardinal Marks for indicating safe water.
West Cardinal Mark
(Safe Water to the West)
But also the locals use sticks to indicate not so safe water.
Sticks As Navigation Marks
The sail from Tahaa to Bora Bora is easy and the volcano of Bora Bora becomes really impressive as you close in on it. The Lagoon around Bora Bora produces the most gorgeous water colors. Obviously there are a ton of really nice resorts and restaurants to stop at.
Getting there is easy. There are daily flights to Papeete and onto Raiatea.
In Tahiti, we chartered with Dream Yacht Charter. Overall, the Tahiti experience is also not to be missed in this lifetime. Here is another blog on sailing in Tahiti/French Polynesia
Doug, our student, was asking which one? Which one? Tahiti or Tonga? He has two older teenagers he wants to take. So my answer was both, one trip this year and one next. Bora Bora has brand bragging rights in terms of brand because everyone wants to go to Bora Bora, but for showing teenages a place on this planet that is vastly untouched, I suggested the Kingdom of Tonga first.
NauticEd are agents for both Tahiti and Tonga yacht charter locations as well as most other sailing destinations world wide.
Make an inquiry on this page.
NauticEd is the world’s more advanced sailing education and certification company. Yacht charter companies worldwide accept the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Resume and Certification. We specialize in helping people realize their sailing vacation dreams. You can do it!
Get started with two free sailing courses now
Boat Sharing Article by Grant Headifen: Director of Education for NauticEd.
So I always get questions like this “How can I get time logged into my logbook when I don’t own a boat?” There are heaps of ways including friend’s boats and yacht clubs and boat share clubs and fractional membership companies. But there is another one that most people miss out on …
Here is how to get a free boat
Preamble: In 2001, I started SailTime – it is a fractional sharing membership program for sailboats. I grew it out to 30 franchises worldwide. We put 160 boats into the fleet in 5 years. It was the fastest growing dealership of boat sales in the word. We put over 3000 members into our program each paying $500-$600 per month for 1/8th access to the boat via a world first boat sharing software program. I sold the company to the franchise owners in 2007. Whence upon I started NauticEd. While operating SailTime, I had found a massively unserved niche in the market – no one was teaching people how to sail using high-tech multimedia courses and quality practical sailing schools all backed by software. No one! And even today – NauticEd is the only high tech sailing education company in the world. But I digress…
The Crux: Now-a-days, I, along with my friend, operate a single Beneteau 373 “Siyagruva” on Lake Travis with friends being our members and helping defray the costs of the boat – I mean why pay for 100% of a boat when most of the time it sits lonely in the water, right? It is a personal use boat – not a school boat.
Last weekend, I was doing the numbers on the boat with my friend and a revelation hit me. While I ran SailTime as a for profit company, he is running the boat as a “defray the costs with minor profit company”. Wow, why doesn’t everyone do this? Well not every one because that wouldn’t work but think about this – for thousands (yes thousands) of years, people have been sharing boats.
So here is a scenario that anyone can consider:
Let’s say you (or you and a friend) have access to $100k (Home equity, stocks etc) (you can buy a nice second hand boat for $100). In this market – that money will cost you about 4% on home equity or $4k per year (tax deductible).
A slip will cost about $600 per month. Insurance will cost about $500 per month and maintenance about $4000 per year. That adds up to about $22k per year or so including the cost of money.
Now if you have 4 members paying $500 per month that is $2000 per month or $24000 per year. That’s a slight profit. If you’re running a for profit business, you can qualify for a lot of tax benefits. Here is a HUGE one – in the USA, check out IRS code section 179 whereby you can depreciate the first 50% of the cost of the equipment in the first year. So all that Tax you paid last year from your personal job income – can be gained back and used to pay down the $100 k you borrowed. You can adjust all the numbers as you see fit on size and cost of the boat.
So in a sense – after a couple of years, you don’t have a money cost any more and you are making $4000 to say $6000 per year. Even if you did not get fancy with the tax, you at least have a free boat. Note: be careful with tax and depreciation and personal use of a company asset. Get some good accounting advice on that.
(Note: With depreciation, if you depreciate something to nothing, when you sell it you will need to pay capital gains tax on the sales price of the asset – speak to your accountant. It is no big deal really because you gained the money up front and paid it back at the end.)
How do you get 4 members? Well, that is simple – just put an ad on Craigslist and Facebook. It is completely realistic, at SailTime we sold people on sharing the boat with 7 others at a higher cost. The nicer the boat, the easier is the sale. How do you manage 4 members regarding scheduling time? Whatever you do don’t draw up a rotation schedule – that sucks. It means that everyone gets only 20% of the time on the boat. Instead use a scheduler calendar and we happen to have the best in the world – how do I know? Because I developed it when running SailTime for 6 years. In fact, it is essentially what they use but it is better because I made some improvements to it. When you use scheduling software it means that everyone has access to about 90% of the time on the boat each – it is based on that no one uses the boat for all of their allocation.
Here is a link to our boat scheduling software.
We also have membership agreements that you can use that are available inside the software.
You can even use a check-on check-off form for each member so that you can track maintenance requests and boat condition remotely. Go to www.jotform.com
Our selfish advice … make sure all your members are at least Skipper Rank Level II (for bigger boats) (Skipper Small Keelboat Level II for smaller boats) on NauticEd so that they are properly trained up. Once I had a potential member call me and say they had Basic Sailing 101 certification – that was not enough. I wanted to make sure that they at least had proper knowledge and proper experience. Having a 101 certification isn’t enough. Skipper Rank Level II means they have passed the NauticEd Skipper and Maneuvering Under Power courses and have sailed at least 25 days with 13 of those being Master of the vessel on a boat greater than 25 feet. For a really nice boat you might require Level III which is 50 days.
Anyway – I’m just sayin – if you want a really nice free boat … It is literally as simple as that.
Oh and here is another way to take advantage of something like this. Call a friend who has a boat and ask them to share it for a monthly fee. They’ll probably appreciate the break on monthly costs.
Global Director of Education
NauticEd International Sailing Education
NauticEd is the world’s most advanced sailing education and certification company accepted by yacht charter companies worldwide.
Check out all our Sailing Courses and globally accepted sailing certification and resume
Learn Sailboat Giveway Rules and Cure Boredom at the Same Time.
Here is a fun sailing game you can play ol’ school like when stuck on an airplane with a sailing buddy. It’s kinda like the old Race Car Vector Grid game but better ’cause it’s sailing. If you can drag your kids off the iPad, give it a go with them as well.
If you like this game LIKE it over there —>
Sailing Vector Game
Here is an example of a basic course layout.
Sailing Vector Game grid example course
And here is a blank sheet to create your own courses
Sailing Vector Game grid blank
Take a piece of Math Grid Paper. At the bottom left draw a horizontal start line approx. 6 squares across.
Draw the wind direction directly down the page. Lay out a course. For example, first buoy to windward, then second buoy across the page to the right, then 3rd buoy to leeward close to the bottom right of the page then back to first buoy then back through the start finish gate. Label the buoys Port or Starboard meaning the side of the boat all boats must leave the buoy to when rounding. Draw in some menacing islands.
Here is an example of a game played which takes about 20 minutes.
A game played
Playing the Game
Read the rules through a few times. You’ll start to get it after a while. Pay particular attention to allowable maneuvers and giveway rules.
- Boats move by vectors in the grid denoted as Upwind and Downwind and or across wind on Starboard or across wind on Port.
- Upwind is listed as U, downwind is listed as D. Across wind is listed as S(starboard) or P (port). E.g 1U:2S means the boat moves 1 square towards the wind and 2 squares to the left (boat on starboard)
- Boats can only maneuver by increasing or decreasing the previous vector by maximum of 1 in only 1 of the Upwind/Downwind or Port/Starboard directions. However, if both vectors equal then the boat can accelerate or decelerate by 1 up AND by 1 cross.
- At anytime the minimum move will be at least 1 square.
- Loose two turns for repairs if you hit an island or go off the board.
Upwind and Tacking Maneuvers
- Boats can not move more than 45 deg into the wind i.e. the Up vector number can not be more than the cross wind vector number.
- A boat can tack through the wind at anytime. When the boat tacks the next starting vector is 1U:1(S or P)
Upwind and tacking examples:
1U:1S can accelerate to 2U:2S then to 3U:3S then to 4U:4S
2U:2S can decelerate to 1U:1S
2U:2S can turn to 1U:2S or 2U:3S
3U:3S can tack to 1U:1P
1U:1S tacks to 1U:1P
0U:3S tacks to 1U:1P
5D:3P tacks to 1U:1S
2U:1S is invalid because it is too close to the wind i.e upwind vector is greater than crosswind vector
Downwind and gybing maneuvers
- A boat can go in any downwind direction, but the down vector can not be more than 3 greater than the cross vector because of reduced apparent wind. i.e. 3D:0S, 4D:1P, 5D:2P are valid whereas 4D:0S, 5D:1S are not valid
- A boat can gybe between S and P but each time it will loose speed by 1 in each direction. i.e. 3D:3S gybe goes to 2D:2P on the opposite tack setting. If the crosswind vector is 1, then it remains at 1 on the other gybe setting. e.g. 3D:1S gybe results in 2D1P
- When going directly downwind i.e. 0(S orP) a gybe reduces the downwind by 1 but the 0 across remains 0. Thus, a gybe from 3D:0S will go to 2D:0P
- When on a beam reach e.g. 0D:3P a gybe causes the boat to decelerate 1 in the cross direction but angles downwind by 1. e.g. 0D:3P gybes to 1D:2S
- 1D:1S gybes to 1D:1P and vice versa
Downwind and gybing examples:
4D:1S gybe goes to 3D:1P
5D:2S gybe goes to 4D:1P
3D:0S gybe goes to 2D:0P
4D:1S can slow to 3D:1S
4D:1S can not accelerate to 5D:1S
0D:3S gybe goes to 1D:2S
3U:3S gybe goes to 2D:2P
1U:1S gybe goes to 1D:1P
- Players start anywhere they select but 1 square downwind from the start line
- Players can not be on or pass the start line until after their 4th turn
- A Players first move is either 1S or 1P
- No violation of the giveway rules prior to start
- A boat on Port can not come close abeam or forward of another boat’s position on starboard at anytime during its maneuver. Close is defined by all positions 1(U or D)1:1(S or P) relative to the starboard boat’s position that are abeam or forward.
- When on the same tack, a windward boat can not land on any possible position of the leeward’s boat next landing position.
- A Port boat can not land on any possible position of a starboard’s boat next landing position.
- No boat can make a maneuver to force another boat to leave the page.
- No boat may land on another boat’s current position.
NauticEd Finds Sailing Virgins Sailing School
Only ten years ago America’s Cup contenders achieved around 13 knots boat speed. Now they are achieving close to 45 knots – in just ten years! Sailors in such a competition used to wear deck vests. Now they need body armor. Sailing is changing, fast.
Sailing Virgins is a sailing school born in this new environment: cool, fun, fast, and highly professional. With its core market of 20-40 year old adventurous professionals, the Sailing Virgins group quickly realized they would require a learning platform that suited the demanding lifestyles of people who don’t have a lot of free time and EXPECT 21st century cloud-based and App-based eLearning.
That’s why NauticEd and Sailing Virgins Work Well Together
As soon as a Sailing Virgins client signs up for a course, they are given online access to the NauticEd courses and can begin the theory component. No books; everything web and app based.
Then when students arrive at the Tortola, British Virgin Islands-based sailing school, they get straight on the boat and start sailing using their theory knowledge they have already gained (and passed the tests). Thus, exam day, which normally takes out most of a precious sailing day, is no longer a thing. When in the BVI it’s all about sailing – gaining confidence and competence (and a fair bit of partying).
Courses are one week in duration, starting on a Sunday morning and finishing on a Saturday at lunchtime. There are three streams; Awesome Crew (for people who are figuring out the basics), Bareboat Charter Master (for people who want to charter their own boats) and Advanced Coastal (for people wishing to do longer sails and work in the industry). The calendar of courses is shown here (https://sailingvirgins.com/calendar-20162017/)
What does a typical day look like for a student in this Tortola, BVI Sailing School?
Waking up in a bay, a pre-breakfast swim off the back of the boat is a good idea. Then it’s coffee, breakfast, and a talk about the day. The instructor, using teaching methods refined in aviation training, has a mandate to balance professional teaching methods with keeping things fun.
What about the instructors?
All Sailing Virgins instructors have done time either skippering, route managing and/or instructing for sailing phenomenon The Yacht Week. They are fun, young, smart, professional, and hand selected. They have instructor certifications from the most revered sailing associations in the world. They can’t help but bring a little of the Yacht Week spirit into their courses. What they are definitely NOT are crusty ol’ sailors with a bearded boat.
How do you get there?
What is the best way to reach the Virgin Islands? In Canada and the US there are direct flights from major east coast cities to St Thomas (STT). These include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Newark and Philadelphia. Other US cities (including Los Angeles and other west coast cities) can typically reach St Thomas with one connection.
From St Thomas it is an easy one hour ferry to West End, Tortola. Then you have arrived in the home of Sailing Virgins. Their base, at the Fish n Lime, is literally a walk from the ferry terminal. The Fish n Lime also has accommodation for anyone wishing to spend time before and after their course on land.
If you would like to know more about the courses offered by Sailing Virgins, click here. For a free e-book from them titled “How To Become A Professional Skipper” click here.
Welcome on board Sailing Virgins to the NauticEd Platform – your clients are going to love the whole experience.
Just for practice – solve the following problem on the Long Island Sound Chart. This is the chart that we use in the NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course.
At 2245 your GPS fixes your position at LAT 41 deg 01.75′ N and LONG 72 deg 48.40′ W. You are steering course 086 deg psc at a speed of 6.0 knots. At 2400 you fix your position at LAT 41 deg 04.2′ N and LONG 72 deg 38.85′ W. What were your set and drift?
Use the following
(1) Here is a pdf of the chart for you to work on
(2) On the chart, the variation is 14 deg W
(3) Since the problem says psc (per ships compass) we need to account of the ships compass deviation. In the NauticEd Coastal Navigation course exercises we used the following table.
Ships Compass Deviation Table
Set up the TVMDC table
Thus, your True heading on the chart is 074 deg T. Your water speed along this line is as given is 6 knots.
The time difference is 1 hour and 15 minutes = 1.25 hours. Thus in 1 hour and 15 minutes, you would travel 7.5 nautical miles.
Scribe a line 7.5 nm from the origin along 074 deg T line. This is your water position. The ground position is described by the GPS coords. Draw a line from your water position to the ground position. This is your 1.25 hour long current vector. It is headed due north and is 0.5 nm long. Since this happened in 1.25 hours the current speed is .5/1.25 = 0.4 nm/hr (knots).
- Set (or Direction) is 0 deg T
- Drift (or Rate) is 0.4 knots
Note: Current is always expressed in deg True and always expressed in the direction it is heading whereas wind is expressed as where it comes from. Note and remember the difference – important.
No Cheating – do the problem first – here is the answer plot
Here is the real answer plot.