Bareboat

Our five day cruise will cover everything you will need to know to successfully charter a yacht in the Caribbean.

 

Please email sscsailing@gmail.com to schedule.

The cost for the Bareboat class and certification is $1,990*.

*Many couples have done this course together. Often, one member is primarily along for the ride, and not participating in the drills. If so, the cost per couple is $2,600 for the forward stateroom, $2,400 for an aft stateroom.

Please read before signing up  Payments, Cancellation and Refund Policy

Are you interested in doing a bareboat charter and experiencing a variety of the Caribbean Islands? If so, our Bareboat Class will give you all the needed skills.  We offer classes in the third week of January, February and March.  The March class includes big boat racing experience at the St. Thomas International Regatta or the BVI Spring Regatta.  The class is taught on our 2014 VAr 37, which offers a comfortable 3 stateroom interior, combined with 2 single berths in the main salon.  This Yacht is well equipped with gear like the latest B&G electronics, a send/recieve AIS system, Epirb and a Lifesling set up with an easy hoisting system designed for use by a person of virtually any level of strength.  An explanation of the system written by Martin van Breems was covered in Sail Magazine;  http://www.sailmagazine.com/cruising/cruising-tips/manoverboard-practice-techniques/

 As you would expect in a yacht which earned a podium finish in the 2016 Newport Bermuda Race, her performance is outstanding.  Nothing like learning in a boat which can actually sail!

Yachting World in the September 2014 issue reviewed 3 boats, a VAr 37, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 37 and a Bavaria Cruiser 37.
“What immediately set the test boats apart was the difference in speed and pointing ability of the Varianta (VAr in the US) particularily against the Bavaria.  She smoked the other 2 yachts upwind, despite having a fixed prop – we had to keep luffing up to let the other 2 catch up for the benefit of the photographer.”
“The Varianta (VAr) was easily the most rewarding boat to sail, not because she felt like a raceboat, but because she was so well-balanced, so light on the helm and so easy to feel on the wheel.”

Topics include

  • Clearing in and out of Foreign Ports
  • Inspecting the boat, rigging and systems
  • Man overboard drills with a Life Sling
  • Diesel and ships systems servicing
  • Trip planning, supplies & provisioning
  • Eyeball and GPS navigation, dead reckoning, bearings
  • Night sailing / watches
  • Preparing for 18-25 knots of wind
  • Anchoring techniques including Med Moor
  • Storing and deploying a dinghy
  • Single line docking, bow, stern in & alongside
  • Call for dates, destinations, itinerary

 

Our 2017 dates, with sample itineraries follows;

Regatta Program
January 2017, Board Saturday 14th, return to St Thomas on Thursday the 19th.

February 2017, Board Sunday 12th, return to St Thomas on Saturday the 18th.

March 2017, Board Sunday 19th, return to St Thomas on Saturday the 25th.  This program will include a long weekend of racing, with the following preliminary plan.

Sunday  Fly in to St Thomas and head to VAruna, which will be at Independance Boatyard. We will provision her Sunday afternoon, run through a checkout of Varuna,  review the procedures, practice docking, then sail off to the Cowpet Bay, where VAr has a mooring at the St Thomas Yacht Club.

Monday  Run through a checkout of Varuna, review the procedures, then sail off to the West end of St John.  We will visit 4-5 harbors on the way over.   The first leg will be St Thomas YC  to Christmas Cove, Great St James island at the SE tip of St Thomas where we will practice anchoring.  The second leg will be to Honeymoon Beach, St John, where we will pick up a mooring and have lunch.  The 3rd leg will be to Cinnamon Bay, with a 4th leg to Maho Bay where we will spend the night.

Tuesday  We will sail to Sopers Hole, BVI, clearing into the BVI’s.   We will then proceed towards Tortola and will visit Moorings or Sunsail.   Next stop will be the Baths at Virgin Gorda where we will have an afternoon lunch and a swim.  With the light at our back, we will proceed to Virgin Gorda Sound and spend the night.

Wednesday    We will sail on somewhat of an open water passage to Jost Van Dyke, then clear back out of the BVI. Next we will head across to St John, and clear back in to the US at Cruz Bay then sail around St John, stopping at Reef Bay.

Thursday   Back to St Thomas to remove extra gear and retrovision for the racing.  We will be on the Yacht Club by 10am.  Then we head out for some race practice, and sail back to St Thomas Yacht Club for the regatta check in.  All race participants should arrive by Friday morning at the latest.  If you can arrive by 11am you can participate in the tune up race.

Friday-Sunday  Three days of some of the best racing and most enjoyable parties you will ever experience!

Virgin Island Program
Sunday   Fly in to St Thomas and head to VAruna, which will be at Independance Boatyard. We will provision her Sunday afternoon, run through a checkout of Varuna,  review the procedures, practice docking, then sail off to the Cowpet Bay, where VAr has a mooring at the St Thomas Yacht Club.

Monday   Run through a checkout of Varuna, review the procedures, then sail off.  We will visit 4-5 harbors on the way over.   The first leg will be St Thomas YC  to Christmas Cove, Great St James island at the SE tip of St Thomas where we will practice anchoring.  The second leg will be to Honeymoon Beach, St John, where we will pick up a mooring and have lunch.  The 3rd leg will be to Cinnamon Bay, with a 4th leg to Maho Bay where we will spend the night.

Tuesday  We will sail to Sopers Hole, BVI, clearing into the BVI’s.   We will then proceed towards Tortola and will visit Moorings or Sunsail.   Next stop will be the Baths at Virgin Gorda where we will have an afternoon lunch and a swim.  With the light at our back, we will proceed to Virgin Gorda Sound and spend the night.

Wednesday We will sail thru Gorda Sound, then head off to Anegada, the remote Virgin Island all the way to the East when the afternoon sun allows

Thursday  We will sail on somewhat of an open water passage to Jost Van Dyke, where we clear back out of the BVI. Next we will head across to St John, and clear back in to the US at Cruz Bay then sail around St John, spending the night at Reef Bay or Lameshur Bay just around the corner.

Friday  After a hike up to the Petroglyphs and some time to explore Reef Bay, ruins of the last working sugar mill, we head to the East End of St John, visiting 2 more harbors and ending up anchored at Coral Bay for dinner at Skinny Legs, a St John institution.

Saturday   We sail back to Independance Boat Yard for a clean up and final debrief, then pack up and head off!

Saba / St Barts Program
Sunday   Fly in to St Thomas and head to VAruna, which will be at Independance Boatyard. We will provision her Sunday afternoon, run through a checkout of Varuna,  review the procedures, practice docking, then sail off to the Cowpet Bay, where VAr has a mooring at the St Thomas Yacht Club.

Monday   Run through a checkout of Varuna, review the procedures, then sail off to the West end of St John.  We will visit 4-5 harbors on the way over.   The first leg will be St Thomas YC  to Christmas Cove, Great St James island at the SE tip of St Thomas where we will practice anchoring.  The second leg will be to Reef Bay, St John, where we will pick up a mooring and have lunch.  The 3rd leg will be to Coral Bay, with a 4th leg to East End where we will spend the night.

Tuesday   Sail through the British Virgin Islands.  That afternoon / evening, we will head offshore to Saba (Dutch), about 100NM away. Will be an upwind passage, often in 20+ knots of wind. 2-hour watch schedule 12-6.

Wednesday   Clear into Saba in the AM, tour Island, few hours shore leave (incredible hiking), then sail off to St Barts (French) for the evening and clear in. Enjoy a lovely French diner!  This harbor requires classic Med Mooring.

Thursday   Morning shore leave to explore this lovely island. Sail back to St John, grabbing a mooring at Maho Bay for the evening.

Friday   Clear back into the US at Cruz Bay.  The second leg will be to Honeymoon Beach, St John, where we will pick up a mooring and have lunch.  The 3rd leg will be to Cinnamon Bay where we will spend the night.

Saturday   We sail back to Independence Boat Yard for a clean up and final debrief, then pack up and head off!

Note: The cost for the Bareboat class and certification is $1,990. This does not include food (about $100 per person for food and beverage onboard). One breakfast, one lunch, and two dinners will be taken ashore. You will also pay the customs entry fees per harbor (about $40 per person), and any dockage charges, fuel costs, and other running expenses will be split up and paid for by the crew just as it would be on a charter. The fee does include race entry fees and other costs relating to the regatta.

January 2017 Class Testimonials

“As relatively new sailors in Portland harbor, my wife and I often team up with another couple who are friends of ours who also have a small sailboat.  After one particularly good sail, we talked about cruising the coast of Maine or in the Caribbean.  Though much can be learned hands on, we all felt a course would be the prudent path to take.  Heidi did some initial research and found Sound Sailing Center in Connecticut.  When we looked into the options, Heidi confirmed the reputation and I jumped at the idea of warm sailing in the winter in the Caribbean.  After a few phone calls, our flights were booked.

The lessons and week of sailing could not have been better.  Martin is a top notch sailor who not only knows his Sailing but is a true teacher. He explained how to do things, when to do them and why.  We spent the week sailing, practicing mob drills, reeling, and studying for the cruising exams.  But never was there a dull moment or a time when we weren’t learning.  We also found time to explore, snorkel and enjoy the sunsets.  Our partners who did not complete the course were less “on duty” but also were part the crew, helped sail, learned a lot, and enjoyed themselves.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to do any serious sailboat cruising.  My understanding of sailing a larger monohull, sailboat navigation, diesel engines and docking has grown by leaps and bounds.  And it all happens in the warmth of the Caribbean on what I considered a vacation.  Take the plunge and I promise, you won’t regret it and you will become a much better sailor for life.Thank you Martin!” -Tom

“I was thrilled to find Sound Sailing Center’s website offering the Bareboat course in the Virgin Islands. A few calls later and it became clear that it was the perfect course for us and you were able to accommodate our schedule. Martin and Kelcy were so helpful in meeting our needs and answering our questions throughout the whole booking process.

When we arrived in St. Thomas, you greeted us warmly at the boat, and proceeded to teach us everything we needed to know – and more! – to confidently sail anywhere. Thank you!

Some of the highlights from last week that I will always treasure…the perfect night we moored in Reef Bay and saw the luminescent jellyfish…LOTS of man overboard/ reefing/ mooring/ anchoring drills (I can do these in my sleep now!)…docking practice at St. Thomas Yacht Club…early morning navigation lessons on deck…picking songs from your crazy long iphone playlist…threading the needle between Lovango and Congo Cays…drinks on deck at sunset, and SO much more. In all seriousness, Martin, I have no doubt you’re one of the best sailors in the world and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from you last week. Thank you for being such a great host, teacher, companion, and coach, but most of all, for believing in us and helping us become more competent and confident sailors.” -Heidi