Originally Posted by ADS
I am located 125 miles from the closest harbor (Ventura, Ca) with the desire to become a boater. How does one become qualified or sufficiently trained to charter a small trawler. I have no applicable experience other than with a small inboard/outboard ski boat that I bought 40 years ago. Do I have to buy a boat before I can even learn how to run it? There appear to be numerous "captains" available for a fee to teach me how to operate the boat. I expect to have costs, but it seems a bit expensive to FIRST BUY then LEARN. I guess my basic question is how do you get started in this "boating thing".
This is my introduction -- this is my howdy to everyone. I will enjoy reading the post and hope to obtain some commentary re my desire for Southern CA coastal boating. The most attractive boat to me seems to be the trailerable trawler, single diesel powered, and outfitted for a comfortable 2 to 7 day cruise. BUT, do I have to buy one to try one? Thanks in advance. ADS
A number of years ago, my then girl friend and I took a course up in Anacortes, WA. It was a weekend course to run single screw trawler (Grand Banks 36). They sent us a chartering book to read before we arrived, then they went over the book in a classroom for a couple of hours on Friday afternoon before we spent the night on the boat. We already had our boater education card.
The main reason we took the course was that I wanted to get my now wife into boating with me. I have boated my entire life, yet she had not boated much at all. She wasn't sure if she would like it and I am smart enough to not be her first instructor. Saturday was spent running the boat around the marina... docking, docking, docking... then we went out to anchor a few times and pick up a mooring ball. Sunday was spend running around the San Juan Islands navigating. Picked up a mooring ball for lunch then ran around the Islands again. We were then done and came away with a bare boat certificate to be able to charter down the road. There were other groups doing the same thing that weekend. Those others then continued on the week without a captain training once they could show they could handle the boat they were on.
The same thing can be done in a number of locations up and down the California coast. Make a few calls to charter companies. If they say they don't train, ask them who does. They will know. It was a bit tricky for me to find a trawler training charter company. Sail training is pretty easy to find. Normally, if they charter power boats, they will train on them also.
Good luck in you adventure. I know you will enjoy it.