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Old 01-23-2019, 02:51 AM   #1
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City: Florida
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Bareboat charters.

Hello all, after lurking while, first post.

My wife and I are in our 40's and looking at buying a cruising trawler some day. Although we have never been on one.

I am a Master on large OSV's with oceans ratings and all the other stuff that goes along with that license. So, lots of boating experience from John boats and single screw Shamrocks and Island Hoppers, to 300'+ Z-Drive vessels.

Anyway, we were looking at a bareboat charter in SW Florida to see if we enjoyed the trawler thing.

Has anyone had any experience with South West Florida Yacht Charters? (or others in that area).

Are bareboat charters a good thing in general or are the boats junk that make for a miserable experience?

Just curious to hear experiences, opinions, and recommendations for this type of thing.

Thanks for your responses. Have a good day.

C.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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City: Cape Coral, FL
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I boat in SW Florida out of Cape Coral. The owners of SW Fl Yacht Charters are member of my club, Useppa Island Club. As a result, those who charter one of their fleet have guest access to the marina at Useppa and I've been able to look at their boats.

In my experience looking at the boats and talking to the customers, they look like a top-notch operation. The boats seem clean, new, well-maintained, and well-equipped. Never heard a complaint from the 3-4 folks I've spoken to over the years.

If you're cruising in the Charlotte Harbor area between Ft. Myers and Gasparilla, you'll have heavy traffic on the ICW. Lots of very fast, big, expensive boats casting huge wakes, often with no understanding of passing protocol, or how to use that mysterious VHF thingy on their flying bridge. Keep you head on a swivel and don't assume the idiot that is pointing straight at you will change course to avoid a collision. Have seen more than one boat cruise by on auto pilot with the skipper turned backwards in the pilot seat chatting with his guests.

Also, keep an eye on the depth sounder throughout this area. 10 feet under the keel is "deep" water.

Useppa is a good stop. So is the South Seas Marina. A good anchorage is Pelican Bay inside of Cayo Costa state park. If you hit Captiva, don't miss "The Bubble Room" for dinner.

Feel free to DM me for my number if you'd like more advice on the area.

Cheers!

Dave
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I completely understand the idiot factor of some boaters.

We enjoy driving to Venice and diving for sharks teeth and just enjoying the area. I see that the inlet is the northern limit so we may head that way if we do this. Or maybe up then back. Who knows. For 20+ years running boats someone has always ordered me to go someplace or be there at a certain time so just mucking around sounds nice.

Thanks again for the info. Looking forward to hear more.

C.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:44 AM   #4
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We were considering moving from sail to power about 8 years ago. SW Fla had a Mainship similar to the ones we were considering. Chartered it for a week and confirmed that it would work for us. SW Fla was a fine operation to deal with.

So, for us, chartering was a useful way to explore before buying and SW Fla was good to deal with.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:48 AM   #5
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We chartered with them last summer for the same reason. Wife and I loved it and we have since purchased our cruising boat. SWF Yachts was great!
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:59 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Sounds like allot of fun. Nice to hear there is a good operation for this type of thing.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:34 AM   #7
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Years ago we chartered a boat from SW Florida - was very happy with the experience.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:05 AM   #8
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I believe that most charter companies that have been in business for awhile make certain their boats are in top notch condition. At least that's what I see in the PNW.
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