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September 22, 2011


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I have not done this and have no tips, but this is totally my dream. I'm looking to get a sailing certification soon, and want to rent boats locally for recreation thereafter, but I'd absolutely love to go spend a week or 2 sailing the Caribbean in a 40-foot boat once I get some experience.

Vacationing on a boat? Count me in!! This sounds great!

A friend did this. Four families on a nice boat on a fishing-oriented trip somewhere in either northern Minnesota or Canada (if I remember correctly). They LOVED it.

I believe that he said it came out at about the same cost as a cabin on a lake in the same area.

I did this! In the 1990's out in Seattle, I rented a large sailboat with 7 other graduate students for a week. We sailed up into the Straits of Juan de Fuca (Canada) and back. I think the rental cost was something about $800 per person--around $6500 in 1991.

It was really an adventure, but looking back now I think we were not aware of the potential dangers! I'm not sure I would do this again.

The Straits are really beautiful but are also home to major shipping traffic that smaller craft have to avoid, thousands of tiny islands and shoals, channels and currents that make navigation treacherous, and water that is very cold making survival problematic if you capsize. Also storms are common. A couple of my friends were experienced sailors and I guess they had some charts and things and had thought it through--I sure didn't--I was just along for the ride.

But we had a problem with the boat's motor not being in good condition--typical rental I guess. The motor failed altogether one night as we were trying to navigate against the wind around a point, during a storm. We couldn't make it around the point, or to any harbor, with just sails in the gale, so we dropped anchor and, after waiting in the dark for about 4 hours on a bucking boat in 30 foot seas for the storm to die down (it didn't), we finally had to radio for rescue by the coast guard. Thankfully the radio worked at least and they came and towed us in to safety. Besides the danger it put us in, it took us 2 days to get the motor repaired before we could going again.

If I ever did this again, it better be a really new boat! Hiring at least one crew member with the boat would be a good idea too.

I have not tried to rent a boat, but I have been on both Caribbean and Bahamas cruises. I don't go for too much adventure so I think I would prefer it rather than the boat experience.


Regarding the boat vacation article, I had heard some things several year ago, that may be worth noting:

(First my background is from San Diego, California and several people charter boats (with crews) and travel Baja) (Apparently, there are lots of storms and boats get lost/destroyed //people missing all the time)

-Of course, plan your itinerary, and study the weather patterns for the journey and the time of the year;
-Get references from Charter operators (I don't know how you would do this, perhaps there is a licensing bureau and word of mouth) and determine if they are truly qualified to perform the journey;
-Become familiar with territorial boundaries, if traveling in waters that are foreign;
-Try to find out about pirate activity in the area of intended travel;
-Notify a good friend and/or attorney about the trip and itinerary, should you not be heard from and check in and out with them;
-Take time and research travel in the area, ask around, there have got to be societies or clubs that frequent the travel and get information about your intended journey;
-Find out about food storage and quantity of food and water, medications, and other;
-Get ready to have a good time.

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