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Bareboat Sailing- Letter from the skipper to the crew


Below you will find an email from skipper to his crew a few weeks before a bareboat sailing trip in USVI.  This may give you some good ideas of things to rember as both Skipper and Crew.


From: The Skipper To: The Crew Subject: USVI - Important info and requests

Hey Peeps,

Our folder for the trip:

Here are some initial request for individuals:

  1. Jimmy/ Ken – Can you all take the lead on provisioning?
    1. Will you want people to bring coolers, or are you good with provisioning everything locally?
    2. The Dream Yacht charter provisioning option is in our google drive folder.
  2. Jessica – Can you take the lead on activities? Snorkel spots, diving options, hiking options, cool bars, solid lunch/dinner restaurants, etc?
  3. Davidsons- will bring Zip Ties, Clothes Pins, First Aid Kit, 550 Cord, Nav Tablet, Speakers, and an empty cooler.
  4. The Jones will bring Micro Fiber Clothes, Caeser salad bowl , and possibly a cooler with meat.
    1. For the cooler I have found luggage straps work better than ratchet straps: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KS7B0QC/

This is a good little refresher/primer on things you’ll want to know/learn: https://www.sailonline.com/boat-charter/helpful-files-a-resources/briefing-your-charter-crew

Attached is a packing list from the American Sailing Association.

It would be helpful for everyone to know a few knots (ideally in your sleep). You will be asked to tie knots, and nobody wants to feel foolish if you have to ask someone else to do it every time!

  1. Cleat Hitch
    1. https://www.animatedknots.com/cleat-hitch-knot-dock-line
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBqsF72xNSU– More Detail
  2. Bowline
    1. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qdt0KjlLP30?start=42&end=80&version=3– Many videos or tutorials have you create the loop towards you, but that’s almost never done. I’m always tying to something so the loop needs to be going away from me like in this video.
  3. Rolling Hitch or Clove Hitch
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbfSFz40esQ
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeKCatk9KIg&feature=youtu.be&t=47
    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek5QIDFi8BU&feature=youtu.be&t=42
  4. Picking up a mooring ball
    1. If this kid can do it…anyone should be able to! https://youtu.be/nua19Zy9t3s?t=47

Also, knowing how to toss a line to a dockhand would be wise: https://youtu.be/jDM2wztnu14 - The only thing I’d change about this video is, the dockhands will expect you to pull in the slack to the boat. They’ll tie off to the dock, and you’ll need to pull in.

BBA also has some additional info for you- https://bareboatadvisor.com/category/blog/

Our boat: https://www.bareboatadvisor.com/bali-4-3/

Once we land in USVI we will:

  1. Check-in with Dream Yacht Charters and find our boat.
  2. Take a tour of the boat as a group.
  3. Store all of our provisions so they are accessible and won’t get destroyed sailing.
  4. Discuss the next day’s itinerary.
  5. Spend the night on the boat in the marina.

A typical day:

Get up, make coffee/breakfast, and chill for a bit.

  1. Pull up anchor around 10am and make our way to the next location.
  2. Arrive at new location and anchor by midafternoon. Lunch then or while sailing.
  3. Spend time chilling on the boat, floating/swimming, or going ashore in the dingy.
  4. Have dinner on the boat or ashore at a restaurant. (All restaurants are casual.)
  5. Discuss the next day’s itinerary.
  6. Hang out until people go to bed.

Last Day:

  1. Need to return the boat by 10am.
  2. Pack all of our personal “stuff”
  3. Put all bedding in the pillow cases.
  4. Throw away all open and unused food.
  5. Put any unopened food on the main table.
  6. I will do a boat check-in.
  7. Depart for the airport.

Some additional thoughts:

  • SEASICKNESS– If you aren’t positive you’ll be fine, get the patches. You need a prescription but any doctor will give you one. All of the other meds put people to sleep. Bring whatever you want, but know that being seasick will ruin your trip.
  • You’ll want to pack a duffel bag, not a suitcase. There’s no place to store a suitcase on the boat.
  • Ensure you have reef-safe sunscreen.I’d suggest SPF 30. If you go less you’ll probably burn. The sun there is no joke and you’ll be in it all day.
  • Many people love having a hatto keep you out of the sun. It may be windy, so ensure it won’t blow off easily.
  • You’ll want shoes that can get soaked and be fine. Flip flops, boat shoes, and water shoesare good choices
  • Dry bagsare a good idea – Some examples
  • DON’T OVER PACK! You’ll wear trunks/swimsuitsfor almost everything. I made the mistake of overpacking on my first 3+ trips. So annoying. You’ll probably wear a shirt for an hour or two a day and a shirt for dinner. You’ll probably never wear socks, jeans, or other heavy bullshit.
  • The highs will be ~84 (feels hotter with the sun) and the lows will be ~72 (feels cool in the wind at night). You may want a light jacket.
  • DO NOT bring wet clothes or towels used for saltwater to your cabin or bathroom. It will smell like nasty feet in no time. Hang that stuff on the lifelines to dry.
  • You should bring a couple of pairs of polarized sunglasses. Don’t waste your time with non-polarized on the water. All Maui Jims and Costa are polarized. Other brands may or may not be. You may want a strap, so you don’t lose them when you bend over to tie a line. Bring multiple pairsjust in case.
  • Bring a backup battery packto charge your phone and such. The AC plugs won’t work with the generator off. I like this company’s stuff: https://www.omnicharge.co/products/omni-mobile-25600/
  • Plan to drink a lot of water. Some people like to bring Gatorade or Poweraid powder.
  • Bring a pair of sailing gloves. Don’t cheap out. Get Gill or Harken.
  • I recommend bringing your own snorkel and mask. A dry snorkel and well-fitting mask makes the whole situation better. Only bring flippers if you plan to scuba. They have snorkel fins on the boat.
  • Skin dries out in the salt and sun. Lip balm and something for your hands and feet would be wise.
  • Bring a few hundred dollars in cash. Some times places/people won’t take cards. 300-500 is probably enough.
  • This is not a hotel. You’ll need soap, shampoo, etc.
  • The boat will have bath towels, linens, and pillows. You may want your own pillow.
  • You will need a beach towel. I suggest the microfiber ones. They pack MUCH smaller. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A4ZXX6S/
  • You’ll probably want an insulated cup/koozies, etc. Drinks warm up quickly.
  • Tech Shirts and Rash Guards are a good idea. Cotton is horrible in the heat and humidity. Consider some short and long sleeve and something tight-fitting if you want to wear one for snorkeling.
  • Ear Plugs may be a good idea if your bunkmate snores!
  • I’m not sure what Wifi and cellular look like but check with your cell phone carrier and see what your options are.

I think that’s everything you’ll need to know for now. I’ll plan to have a more solid float plan soon.