I have a question for all you sailors out there. One of the big reasons my wife and I want to move to the Virgin Islands (STX) is so we can learn to sail. There seem to be quite a few outfits that offer sailing instruction. One that caught my eye is Offshore Sailing School (based out of Tortola). Specifically I want to get through the Bareboat Charter phase.
My questions are:
1. Would you recommend this company to get our sailing instruction?
2. Is this type of dedicated school the most economical and timely way to become qualified to charter a sailboat?
3. We plan to be living on STX starting in the Spring of 2008. Would we be better served to use a school on STX (if one is available)?
4. Should we reserve something ahead of time or wait until we arrive and arrange the details once we are settled in?
Offshore Sailing school is a pretty big outfit. They are here on the mainland and are a good way to get certified. The best way to figure out what you need to bareboat is to go to the moorings charter company, just google it and it will come up. They will let you know what is required to captain one of their boats.
As far as doing it down there, well everything is more expensive on the islands mon! If you can get some good instruction before you move down that would be best. You can get your captains license fairly easy with some classroom time and paid instruction and that will at least get you on your way. The best way to get ocean time, find some friends with boats down at the docks and buy lots of beer! It worked for me. Hope this helped!
Thanks for the tips...
Harlan, I'm in Las Vegas currently, so learning will have to wait until I land in STX. It sounds like I should probably see what I discover after I arrive.
Dntw8up, I was looking at the "Fast Track to Cruise" program, which basically gets you to bareboat charter in 2-3 weeks. So the plan was to stay in Tortola (or on the boat) for those few weeks.
I would probably rather learn in STX if the training is good. Nebraskan, it looks like the Jones Maritime link is down. I keep getting a "dns_server_failure" error. The yacht club looks interesting...
Don't forget you can always get some good essentials with small boats. Some of the best sailors in the world started out dinghy racing. There is always a class of 420s or lazers or something like that to teach you the basics, check with a local lake marina and they probably have them for rent. Lake sailing is just as good!