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What Charter Companies Say About Certification

Your concern about certification to bareboat charter is a question we hear often. It is a popular belief that charter companies require a certificate of course completion before they will let their sailboats out. Practically speaking, if I were a charter company, I would want those that were taking my expensive boat away from the dock to be competent too.
Our research has shown that charter companies are much more interested in a “sailing resume” than a certificate from ASA or Bonneville.  They will usually have you fill out a form detailing your sailing experience and will provide a skipper for a half-day or so, to familiarize you with the boat if they feel they need to.

Along those same lines, a couple of our dock mates went to the Sea of Abaco to charter, and that company didn’t ask for any credentials. No resume or certification. A short conversation with potential customers can reveal all the information needed.

The objective of our “Learn to Sail” programs, (Basic, Intermediate and Advanced) is to qualify folks to sail on distant oceans. Many of those that have successfully completed our courses, have gone on to charter bare boats, purchase their own boats or continue to move up to more advanced sailing skills.  The ASA students that have gone through our programs all have the same evaluation: “the courses [ASA] were good, but a lot of important information was verbalized and more actual hands on experience would have been preferred.” Those same students say they wished they would have been able to practice forereaching in strong winds, experience night sailing, or actually reef underway (practice makes perfect) etc. We cover safe boat handling procedures until you feel you have command of the maneuver.

We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

Visit Moorings site to see what they say about qualifications:

“No formal certification is required for most of our destinations.”
Lin Crook of TMM Yacht Charters says, "On-water time is much more valuable to us than coursework credentials."
Taken from SAIL Magazine article May 2013

Slip Aweigh Yacht Charters in the BVI says,

“You don’t need a license or a school card.  Experience is usually the best teacher.”

Margo at Slip Aweigh can also let you know which companies in the BVI are reputable.

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