This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s Bareboat Charter Course, a comprehensive online course that equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. The Bareboat Charter course is part of the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses, fully preparing you for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

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Getting Familiar with the Charter Boat

Prior to releasing the boat to you, the charter company will give you a reasonably extensive walk through the boat. This is your chance to ask questions and our advice is to ask a lot. Don’t be afraid that the charter company will think you are too inexperienced. They do want you to take the boat out so it’s unlikely that they will stop you at this point. However, they also want the boat back (in one piece). So the worst case is they will send a captain out with you for the first few hours just to check you out. So ask ask ask away! On the high seas, knowledge is life. One time (at band camp) in St. Maarten we’d forgotten to ask where the windlass reset switch was. We had to pull the anchor chain up by hand for two days until someone found the reset switch. Durh!

The following sections will lead you through most parts of the boat and give you an overall feeling that you’ll know what to expect and be able to handle it all. It will help you out with a few McGyverisms. Here’s one below just for fun!

the hook


We were in Baja heading to Isla San Francisco on a 42ft Moorings Catamaran and the wind was a stiff 25 knots. The main outhaul line breaks about 2 miles short. We quickly douse the main sail and continue on with the jib. We anchored in the beautiful bay called The Hook. Forensic analysis of the outhaul situation revealed not such a great situation. We were 2 days into a week-long trip and 25 miles from base. The outhaul line was broken and the two ends were down inside the boom. Impossible to reach! Sailing without the main for the rest of the week was not an option for me. We took the broom handle and taped a fishing hook to it. This was just long enough to reach the broken line and the fishing hook was perfect to snag into the line. We pulled it through and a few minutes later we were back up and ready to run. I don’t think the crew ever really understood that without that McGyver fix the trip would not have been so enjoyable.


You can learn more in the Bareboat Charter Online Course....

The Bareboat Charter online sailing course is your go-to resource for planning an unforgettable sailing vacation. This comprehensive online course equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. Upgrade to the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses to fully prepare for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

Source: Bareboat Charter
Topic: Bareboat Chartering
Authors: Ed Mapes, USCG Captain Master Mariner. Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.