Chesapeake Bareboat Resources?
I'm new here and I'm sure this question has been addressed in different ways in these forums, but I find searching old threads in forums to be tedious and the results won't necessarily answer my particular inquiry.
Simply put, I'm wondering whether some of you can refer me to good bareboat charter outfits for cruising the Chesapeake, primarily in the Annapolis/St. Michaels (and north to Baltimore) region. The background which follows is of course more detailed in order to get just the right recommendations.
Years ago when I lived in the Pacific Northwest I dreamed of doing a trawler rental for a vacation. The dream went into hibernation for a couple decades. Now I'm married with two boys, 16 & 12, living on the (inland) East Coast, and the dream is back, and I hope to do this this summer with my family plus my brother and his wife.
Experience as a captain: none (unless you count canoes and a one-man "Sunflower" sailboat).
Education with and experience on boats of various types and in various situations: I'll let you judge.
While in high school I lived on the headwaters of the Severn River in Maryland and got acquainted with boating then. My dad had a small Penn Yan sportfisherman and he made all four of his kids take a multi-week (6-8 I believe) Power Squadron boating course. It was very extensive. I got a 97 or 98% on the final exam. I believe if I took the same exam today with no study I could still pull off a high 'C'. This isn't bragging—I just have good retention abilities.
Anyhow, we boated on the Severn and the Bay often over four years ('76-'80), though to be honest my dad was a control freak, so he never really handed the wheel over to me. And this is part of the reason for wanting to do this vacation, to be the captain myself on those waters. My brother is likewise jazzed about doing this. It's not just the nostalgia, though. I really can't think of a better get-away-from-it-all vacation (besides wilderness backpacking—and my family wouldn't be up for that!). And I can see this being just the first of many.
Since my high school years I've had some more experience on the Chesapeake in a sailboat, been on charter fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico, lake-boating here and there, drift-boating the rapids on the Deschutes in central Oregon, and crewing on a 36' sailing yacht on the Columbia near Portland, and in the Pacific from Astoria to Newport, OR.
My brother is a Major, USMC, Ret., and had some at sea training, so between the two of us, I think we can handle this.
Based on this, I know that a charter company would still require us to hire a captain for at least a day, if not more. I'm more than good with that. I would require it even if a company didn't.
Finally, I did see the thread here about Bluegoose Charters and the likelihood they're out of business. I sent an email inquiry this AM. Other than that, any recommendations?