A bareboat charter means the charterer, as Captain, is solely responsible for the safe operation of the vessel, including all aspects of navigation, anchoring, docking, and controlling the vessel under sail or power. Key West is considered an advanced sailing destination and for the safety of other passengers and the vessel, it is vital the charterer have sufficient experience aboard vessels of a similar size & type as what you are seeking to hire. We also require there be one other person aboard to act as first mate, with enough boating experience to handle the vessel in the event the Captain is injured or goes overboard.
All of our bareboat charters have a 5 day/4 night minimum which is the ideal amount of time to experience one of our Florida Keys sailing itineraries.
Am I qualified for bareboat charter?
The Florida Keys is considered an advanced sailing destination, offering great natural beauty in sometimes rare peaceful isolation. There are almost exclusively anchorages in our cruising grounds subject to tidal changes and currents, including open anchorages in the Westerly Island groups.
Our bareboat charter application will help us evaluate your sailing experience to establish your skill level, and that of your first mate, as suitable to these conditions. This application should be filled out in full, providing as much information as possible to validate your skills and experience. Please submit the requested documents together in order to complete the application process. No booking should be considered confirmed until this application has been approved by the reviewing Charter Base Manager. You may be contacted directly to answer any questions they may have.
Bareboat Charter General Qualifications & Requirements
•30 days or 400 miles in the last three years as named Captain on an equivalent size & type of yacht(s).
•ASA, US Sail, RYA or ICC certification to an equivalent Bareboat Charter level for Monohull & Multi Hull for Catamaran.
•Physically capable of handling the vessel in all situations & conditions (i.e. Managing sails, lines & anchor).
•Must have a qualified First Mate who completes a Crew Resume for approval.
•Must present a valid US driver’s license, or International Passport to verify identity and DOB.
•We reserve the right to approve your application on the condition of having a Check-Out Captain aboard for the first day (or more) at your expense, which would be agreed to in advance as a condition of approval.
•For applicants under the age of 30 or over 74 additional crew requirements may apply.
Don’t be discouraged if your experience isn’t quite strong enough yet. We offer several ways to assist charterers to meet the requirements. As well as being able to offer an ASA instructor accompany you on your bareboat charter so you can achieve your ASA Sailing Certifications, we can also arrange a one or two day refresher for an experienced mariner that might need to get familiar with some of the more advanced systems on newer boats, or just brush up on skills if it’s been awhile. These programs are very flexible and can be personalized to each charter guest.
Download our Captains Application:
Captains Application for Sailing Vessels
First Mate’s Application for Sailing Vessels
Sail with confidence
During the charter check-in process, which takes approximately 2½ hours, you will receive a very comprehensive yacht systems orientation, inventory review, safety briefing, and a chart briefing of the cruising area to ensure you are comfortable with your float plan and the vessel. It is required that the Captain & First Mate arrive at the same time and attend the vessel check -in.
Optional Orientation cruise
If you are chartering a manufacturer of boat for the first time and would like to do a short orientation sail to familiarize yourself with all the systems and equipment while under way, we highly recommend an orientation sail with a Captain familiar with your sailing vessel. It takes about an hour and they charge $150.00. This is an excellent way to do a shake down sail to make sure you can enjoy your vessel with confidence. This must be booked in advance to ensure there is a Captain available. This is not intended to teach boat handling skills.