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Old 11-18-2019, 02:44 PM   #1
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Renting a Trawler

Having NO experience with motor boats over 17’ I am interested in renting a trawler to experience something as close a possible to what I think I want to buy to do the Great Loop. I thinking older fiberglass with bow thruster or twin engine. No bigger that necessary.

I found Does anyone have any recommendations how and were to rent?

So far I have found a few places that rent trawlers by the day or week but not a lot and I have no idea what to look for in the fine print.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:10 PM   #2
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There are many charter companies that charter a variety of trawlers. Typically these companies require that you are proficient in operating the type of boat you're chartering. If you're not, they typically offer captains or courses you can take before they hand over the keys.

My Ranger Tug is in charter at Anacortes WA, one of the premier cruising grounds of the country. My charter company offers everything from a check-out outing with a captain, to your first full day with a captain, to intensive courses. One way or another, they can get you on a boat. One of the draws of my Ranger is that it's only 27 feet, but has bow/stern thrusters and all the features of a bigger trawler, so the experience requirements to take it are typically less stringent that with bigger trawlers.

Now if what you're looking for is a simple rental between the boat owner and yourself, you'll want to assure that everything is up to snuff with insurance. This can be difficult. I did allow a friend to use my Ranger, but my insurance company had to approve his boating resume and add him to the policy.
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:24 PM   #3
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Toki is correct. No charter company will let one of their boats go out without knowing you know to handle it. You are going to need some training first, and it won't be free.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:34 PM   #4
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What type of qualifications would they want and how would they vet your claimed qualifications?

Unless you took a course from the people renting you the boat it would be hard verify you actually had experience on a boat or learned anything from it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:40 PM   #5
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How about le boat? They're trawler-ish and require no experience.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:48 PM   #6
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Florida. South West Yacht Charters. They have a cruising school and will help you get started. They are on the inter coastal.
https://www.swfyachts.com/
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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In the case of my charter company, they look at previous boats you've captained and/or owned, boating hours, certifications and formal training, that sort of thing. Yes, I suppose you could fake all that, but they'll also observe you very carefully during the check-out, including docking. If you have very little experience, it will show there.

And here's the big one: a HUGE part of the charter business is insurance (I pay a fortune for that). If you have any incidences out on the water, the first place the insurance company will look is the charterers experience. If it comes to light that you falsified that boating resume, you'd be in deep financial pucky.

Here's another way to look at it: if you're serious about buying a trawler and doing the great loop, the cost of proper training is a drop in the bucket compared to the opther costs you'll incur. Why wouldn't you do it?
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:28 PM   #8
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San Juan Yachting has power courses and power charter.
Powerboat Instruction
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:48 PM   #9
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South West Yacht Charters consistently gets high marks on TF. Great place to start; good area to cruise during the winter.

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Old 11-18-2019, 06:05 PM   #10
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We chartered for a week at Southwest Florida Yachts when we started looking for a cruising boat. It was a Mainship 40 and we enjoyed it thoroughly. Learned a lot about what we did and didn't like/need. Some of what we learned was not what we expected so it was very worthwhile.
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Old 11-21-2019, 09:56 PM   #11
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The San Juan Yachting and Southwest Florida Yachts introductory classes sound like great introductions to trawling. I’ve checked out both websites and both look interesting. Next step is to get the admiral to buy in! Any comments from TF members that have been on these intro classes or recommendations as to other schools? Finally, if you get the certification for successfully passing the test and the class, will that be honored at other charter companies as being qualified?
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:16 PM   #12
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Arroyojon,

My advice would be to select the charter company you want to charter through (based on location, boat inventory, price, reputation etc.) and work with them on the necessary training. You'll save a bundle versus doing the training and chartering with different outfits. For example, my charter company has a program where a training captain will join you for the first full day of your charter. On the way to your first nights destination, you'll receive a full day of 1 on 1 training. They've found that by the time you arrive at the destination, charterers are usually fully proficient in boat ops, navigation etc. Then the captain catches the ferry back and you're on your own for the rest of the week. All you pay for is the captain's time for the day. I believe most charter companies have arrangements like this.

Regarding your second question, once you've had this training and a full week of chartering under your belt, this goes on your boating resume and will typically enable you to charter at other companies.
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Old 11-21-2019, 11:33 PM   #13
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Toki, thanks for your input. Is there a website that lists full service (boat and instructors) instruction including your website?
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Old 11-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #14
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Arroyojon,

Here's the web page that discusses the training offered by the charter company my Ranger is with: Ship Harbor Yacht Charters - Bareboat Training

But like I said, I think most charter companies, especially around here, offer similar training programs in conjunction with their charters.
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Old 11-22-2019, 12:45 PM   #15
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If I were in your shoes, and being in NY, I’d probably wait till spring and rent a LeBoat trawler up on the Rideau Canal in Canada to get a taste of the slow, safe and protected cruising. The boats are pretty much figured out in their design for comfort, handling, accessibility and fun. Most have Nanni-Peachment hydraulic drives which may not be the most efficient, but are fully forgiving with newbee operators. A 6 MPH cruise on the Rideau is just what the doctor ordered for a relaxed beginning and lends a good assortment of experiences including easy locking.

Plenty of YouTube videos on cruising the Rideau.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:00 PM   #16
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Good advice from danderer and Healhustler. Le Boat has been around and does a lot of charters and absolutely agree the Rideau would be a good learning experience.
I havent been aboard their boats but have looked at their layouts online. Worth contacting them for info. If you do it please report back as others will be interested and benefit.
As a start a boating course from Americas Boating Club - AKA US Sail & Power Squadrons - would also provide learning and start to build a portfolio of experience and earn you a NY boaters card that's accepted in Canada. Many local chapters now offer several on-the-water courses.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:42 PM   #17
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I agree with Larry. We chartered a Le Boat to cruise the Canal Du Midi in the south of France, and they are foolproof. We also cruised the Rideau Canal with our own 43' trawler
and it is not only an easy cruise, but it is beautiful. Le Boat has just recently started the charter business there and our experience with them in France was very good.
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Old 11-24-2019, 06:46 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input. In my research there seem to be several outfits that offer certification at the end of the training charter and after passing an exam. Is there one certification that is better than others in terms of being widely accepted for future charters at different charter companies?
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Old 11-24-2019, 07:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdkChris View Post
Having NO experience with motor boats over 17’ I am interested in renting a trawler to experience something as close a possible to what I think I want to buy to do the Great Loop. I thinking older fiberglass with bow thruster or twin engine. No bigger that necessary.

I found Does anyone have any recommendations how and were to rent?

So far I have found a few places that rent trawlers by the day or week but not a lot and I have no idea what to look for in the fine print.
You need some experience handling a larger vessel before you head off. Course work is good but boat handling in real conditions, wind, current, and practice docking are very important.

The mass of a trawler takes some getting used to. Despite the fact that I had experience with a 30’ sailboat the mass of a trawler is quite different. It’s possible to do, but having a captain aboard for at least a few days will help you with your confidence.
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