Why even write a blog post about who to bring on a bareboat charter with you,,,,,ALL of YOUR friends are awesome,,,,,right?
I really wanted to go bareboat cruising with my family this season as a retirement gift and share that with lots of my friends,,,,,but I want to make sure to speak with them again when we all get back,,,,thus the reason for this post. See,,,,I’ve been pretty foolish with letting my guard down around the wrong people in the past, so I want to vacation with people now who know me and the family and accept us for who we are. And, I accept them for who they are. Be careful getting on a sailboat or powerboat as a bareboat unless you know and accept the dynamics and understand it might some work to keep things straight.
First,,,,the friends dynamic. No matter what, there might be some financial stuff involved, especially if you’re the organizer. Take a deep breath and accept it. My advice is not to be pushy and everything will work itself out,,,,or find new folks to vacation with. Make sure EVERYONE is clear on costs,,,,CLEAR ON COSTS. If not,,,,there might be resentment or jealousy or other stuff. I’m not into all this, so I take a deep breath and try to explain clearly. The friends dynamic also involves those friends you invited who didn’t accept or those friends you didn’t invite for one reason or another,,,,,damn Facebook! No better way to handle this than to take a deep breath and tell that friend that you didn’t invite them,,,,there’s no more room on the boat. My real advice here is to invite friends who know you and your family well enough that THEY can have a good time despite you and your bratty kids. One of the friends I invited this time has spent the last two Fourth of July’s with us on our boat,,,,and when he’s had enough,,,,he just wanders off for some fresh air and some rum! Works for all of us. Of course, there’s also the dynamic of friends who have different action sets than you do,,,,you know,,,,I describe them as the loungers or the action junkies. You’re usually different enough that you notice things but you can stand it,,,,but on a very small boat this might become a challenge. If you love to be on the move,,,,,but your friends just want to hit the lounger by the pool and suck on some Mai Tai’s,,,,they may not like the constant movement of a sailboat or powerboat. Or,,,,if you’re looking for relaxation but your friends have planned to skydive, go bare chest brawling with midget’s and then grab a sailfish while diving on one breath,,,,you also might have a challenge on a small bareboat! No matter what, make sure your activities sort of synch up,,,,the worst thing is to feel like you’re personally playing tour guide to a bunch of friends who really just want to sleep in and play in the water.
Second, the financial dynamic. Unless you’re wealthy you may share the cost of a bareboat trip with friends. Get the finances up front and out-of-the-way,,,,then relax and enjoy the sailing!
Lastly, the Captain thing. On a boat,,,,any boat,,,,any size,,,,there’s a Captain/Master/Commander/Person in Charge. I don’t care what name you put on it,,,,someone’s in charge and responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen. Huh,,,,,did I just say that and not get heckled for it,,,,YES and it’s true. Get over it,,,,someone’s got to be the Captain and it might not be you all the time. Yes, if you’re qualified, signed on the dotted line and running the boat,,,,then you’re probably in charge. But that doesn’t mean others can’t also take on that role and allow you to take a deep breath sometimes,,,,but someone is always in charge. Explain this to your friends or take it on faith that they understand,,,,but make sure you understand your role. It’s not Captain Hook dummy,,,,it’s making sure things are safe and sound while the boat runs and you’re navigating safely.
If you want to go bareboating, pick your friends wisely and have a great time,,,,but don’t be afraid to go if you have a chance!