Bareboat

Our Five day / four night class plus 3 days of Racing will cover what you need to successfully charter a yacht in the Caribbean.

SSC Bareboat Class in 2024 –  Monday April 1 to Thursday, April 4th and Monday, April 8th

Please email sscsailing@gmail.com to schedule.

Class :                             BVI Spring Regatta racing:
April 1-4th, April 8th      April 5th-7th

The cost for the Bareboat class and certification is $2,940 (non members).

Many couples have done this course together.  If one member is primarily along for the ride, and not participating in the drills, the cost per couple is $3,800 for the forward stateroom or $3,600 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.  The 2024 class includes big boat racing experience at the BVI Spring Regatta.  The class is taught on our Jeanneau 409, which offers a comfortable 3 stateroom interior with 2 heads, combined a double berth in the main salon.  This Yacht is well equipped with gear like the latest Raymarine electronics, a large solar array 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

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Topics include

  • Clearing in and out of Foreign Ports
  • Extensive docking practice (partly done in CT waters)
  • Inspecting the boat, rigging and systems
  • Man overboard drills with a Life Sling
  • Diesel and ships systems inspecting / 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 more information and a registration form

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Our 2024 dates, with sample itineraries follows;

Regatta Program

We offer our normal 4 day Bareboat program, combined with the BVI Spring Regatta for $2,940.   This class starts Monday, April 1st, with racing on the 5th to the 7th (which can be done separately from the class, and is always a popular event).  In 2017 we won our class! On Monday the 8th we head back to the STYC and wrap things up.

Prep Class    We normally host a prep session in advance of the regular class to review docking, reefing, and other basic skills.  This prep session is taught in CT, typically a few days in advance.  It is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 23rd with the backup day Saturday March 30th

Monday  Fly in to St Thomas and head to Tatihou, which will be at the St Thomas Yacht Club.. We will provision her Monday afternoon, run through a checkout,  review the procedures, practice docking, review the procedures, and work on the Navigation.  We sail off to St John.  We will visit 4-5 harbors on the way over.   Typically, the first leg will be from the St Thomas YC  to Little St James island at the SE tip of St Thomas where we will practice anchoring.  The second leg will be to Great Cruz Bay or Fish Bay, St John.  The 3rd leg will be to Reef Bay, with a 4th leg to Salt Pond where we will spend the night.

Tuesday We sail off to St John and visit 4-5 harbors.   Typically, the first leg will be from the St Thomas YC  to Little St James island at the SE tip of St Thomas where we will practice anchoring.  The second leg will be to Great Cruz Bay or Fish Bay, St John.  The 3rd leg will be to Reef Bay, with a 4th leg to Salt Pond where we will spend the night. will start off visiting a few more harbors at the eastern end of St John, where anchoring is allowed, and where we can practice drills like anchoring with 2 anchors.  Round Bay is exactly the kind of harbor where 2 anchors should be used, given the dramatic wind shifts due to the high hills.

Wednesday & Thursday  Back to the north side of St John, where we visit the amazing harbors of Francis, Cinnamon, Hawknest and Caneel   We normally do an extended night passage on Weds Evening to Thursday Morning.  By Thursday afternoon we are at the Nanny Cay Marina for Race Prep and some fun parties!

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

Monday   We head back to St Thomas and wrap up the Class by Noon so you can catch an afternoon flight home.

Saba / St Barts Program (not scheduled presently)

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 the St Thomas Yacht Club for a clean up and final debrief, then pack up and head off!

Note: The cost for the Bareboat class and certification is $2,200. 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.

Class Testimonials

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“The lessons and week of sailing could not have been better.”

“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 mono hull, 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

“…the perfect night we moored in Reef Bay and saw the luminescent jellyfish”

“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