Bareboat Yacht Charters Blog

New bareboat base in California

New bareboat base featuring racing sailboats to open in San Francisco, California in June 2012 - contact for more information

We are thrilled to announce that a new bareboat base will open this summer in San Francisco, California.

Our partners at Sunsail will open a base on the United States West Coast for the very first time – in San Francisco, California in June 2012.   A brand new matched fleet of Beneteau First 40s will be introduced in the hopes of securing competitive racing bareboat charters.

This is a new product portfolio for Sunsail and will place greater emphasis on racing, corporate hospitality / special events, and team-building programs.   Traditional California bareboat sailing vacations and sailing school activities are also planned.

Euromonitor International ranks San Francisco as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.  Beginning in June, both tourist and local residents can explore the region in a whole new way – on a luxury sailing charter.

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California - one of the many sightseeing excursions bareboat sailors can experience in California

The San Francisco Bay area is a beautiful, natural harbor bordered by steep rolling hills and famous manmade landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the prison fortress on Alcatraz Island.  Once ashore, sailors can visit the famous crooked Lombard Street, eat in Chinatown, and stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf.

An added attraction to the area is its close proximity to the Napa Valley region, with its many vineyards and redwood forests.  An extended sailing itinerary could include stops in Benicia, Petaluma, and Napa Valley.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800-BAREBOAT and parent company 1-800 Yacht Charters notes the unique sailing conditions of the area.  “You’ll find consistent wind patterns in the enclosed waters of San Francisco Bay.  The spirited winds, along with constant cool temperatures and sunny afternoons make this an ideal location for both sailboat racing and corporate incentive yacht charters.”

The new base will be located the eclectic artist enclave community of Sausalito. The Sausalito waterfront is a quick 30-minute sail from the Golden Gate Bridge, offering spectacular views of the bridge and San Francisco.

Beneteau First 40 San Francisco California

New bareboat base in San Francisco, California features Beneteau First sailing yachts

The fleet will include 8 brand new First 40s. Built by Beneteau and designed by Farr Yacht Design, the First 40 bareboat is a thoroughbred sailing yacht, ideal for racing, cruising, and learning how to sail.  In 2009 the First 40 was selected as Crossover Boat of the Year by Sailing World Magazine.

The 3 cabin/1 head layout offers both comfort and space without compromising performance. Amenities include asymmetric spinnaker, bowsprit, chart plotter, autopilot, electric head, and heating.


To arrange your first US west coast sailing vacation, contact the bareboat specialists at

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Are you qualified to sail a bareboat without crew?

Are you qualified to sail a bareboat without crew?

As yacht charter consultants, the most common question we are asked is, “what qualifications are required to take a bareboat yacht charter vacation?”

Almost all reputable bareboat charter fleets around the world have the same criteria for determining a client’s bareboat qualifications. Whether planning a Caribbean yacht charter or a Mediterranean yacht charter, no formal certification of any kind is required to charter from most major fleets. Qualification is based primarily on your sailing experience.

For clients with little or no sailing experience, enrollment in a learn-to-sail sailing certification program is recommended. Many programs offer courses leading up to actual bareboat certification.

Most charter fleets will accept a certificate as proof that the customer is qualified to charter a sailing yacht. In some cases, the fleet will require a customer to pay for an instructional skipper to join the charter for a day or two. This check-out skipper is placed onboard to insure the newly-certified sailor is ready for his or her first yacht charter vacation.

The most widely recognized bareboat sailing certification designation in the United States is the American Sailing Association (ASA). ASA certification is honored by almost all barefoot fleets around the world.

Here is an overview of the typical, three-part program offered at most ASA sailing schools:

    A combination of classroom training and actual sailing experiences.
    Normally offered over a two to three day period, the course focuses on basic
    sailboat terminology, rules of the road, on-the-water safety, sail handling
    skills, knot tying, and VHF radio procedures.Expect to pay approximately $400.00 per person for this initial course. No
    experience is required to enroll.
    A two to three day program involving both classroom and hands-on sailing
    training. Students practice keelboat sailing skills, cover course plotting,
    and learn United State Coast Guard requirements. The course also involves
    interpreting marine weather forecasts, anchoring techniques, and docking
    under power. Prerequisite: Basic Keelboat Sailing CertificationTypical prices for this intermediate course range from $450.00 to $550.00
    per person.
    This two to three day course involves a small amount of classroom work,
    combined with extensive, hands-on sailing, including an overnight anchorage.
    Coursework covers boat systems, maintenance procedures, GPS operation,
    navigation, boarding etiquette, trip planning, and docking.  Sailing instruction
    is normally taught onboard 35′ – 43′ cruise-equipped sailboats.
    Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing and Basic Coastal Cruising CertificationsExpect to pay approximately $500.00 to $600.00 per person for this course.

Check your local yellow page directory for the name of the nearest sailing school.

You can also go online to the Yellow Pages, which link to other yellow page directories around the country.

You’ll also find advertisements for sailing schools in magazines such as “Sail” and “Cruising World.”

For more information, contact 1-800-BAREBOAT at

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