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One aduly and five or six teenagers? #102195
07/06/2016 02:21 PM
07/06/2016 02:21 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
S
snmhanson Offline OP
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snmhanson  Offline OP
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Pacific NW
My son would really like to take some of his friends on a charter. I like the idea of bringing them down to the islands for some fun, as well as to instill some sailing knowledge into them. However, I'm not sure that I'll be able to find any other adults to go with us. Will a charter company work with me with that sort of a crew (one competent adult and up to half a dozen 15 year old kids)? I have a pretty extensive charter history with probably 16-18 charters under my belt, but I typically have my wife on board as first mate. Truth is though that she generally prefers to relax while I take care of the boat and she usually only helps with mooring and anchoring. My son has been with us on a large majority of our charters and is able to handle mooring and anchoring duties while I am at the wheel. Will I have issues trying to charter a boat with myself as the only experienced person on board and five or six 15 year old boys to "help" out?

Thanks,

Matt

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Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: snmhanson] #102196
07/06/2016 02:28 PM
07/06/2016 02:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
hallucination Offline
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hallucination  Offline
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Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
Do you have a credit card? smile

It is amazing what the charter companies will do. A lot depends on the individual charter company. I would say the only impediment to you doing this is:

Are you in a boat of a significantly larger class than what you have done in the past?

and

Do you feel comfortable personally about the situation you are putting yourself into?

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: hallucination] #102197
07/06/2016 03:26 PM
07/06/2016 03:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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St. John, USVI
I'd hire a captain and make life more fun and safer for everyone. Five or six fifteen year old boys are going to take a lot of wrangling.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: hallucination] #102198
07/06/2016 03:27 PM
07/06/2016 03:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,981
Macon, Georgia
GlennA Offline
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GlennA  Offline
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Posts: 10,981
Macon, Georgia
No problem! Do IT! I started out with my son and his Cub Scout friends on a 503 from BVIYC. It got to be a tradition and a lot more fun for me than driving a boat load of adults around the islands. Over the next 10 years the waiting list got so long my son took the ASA courses and we started chartering a pair of 523s from Horizon. (Interesting that he was old enough to charter a boat but was not old enough to rent a car.) Then everybody got married and we had one last cruise before everybody started having babys.


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. - Mark Twain
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: GlennA] #102199
07/06/2016 03:39 PM
07/06/2016 03:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
hallucination Offline
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hallucination  Offline
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annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
One thing I heard a charter operator counseling a person in your position is....

You should rent the boat, but place your son as "Captain" of record, so when he wanted to solo, he could with his friends.

Yes, I too was dumbfounded when I heard this advise.

Again, the charter companies are the least of your worries. Kids come in all shapes. Some are content with doing "bible study" all night, others are interested in other things smile In my little clutch I have one content with word search on the boat, the other is more interested in "other things"

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: hallucination] #102200
07/06/2016 03:49 PM
07/06/2016 03:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 10,981
Macon, Georgia
GlennA Offline
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GlennA  Offline
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Macon, Georgia
I was pleasantly supprised of the change that came over a half dozen 13-14 year old boys once they saw the boat. The same herd of cats that I lost control of in the Atlanta airport suddenly got very responsible when they realized they were going to be the ones sailing that massive 50' boat in the real ocean. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. - Mark Twain
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: GlennA] #102201
07/06/2016 03:53 PM
07/06/2016 03:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 373
dayhiker Offline
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Quote
GlennA said:
I was pleasantly supprised of the change that came over a half dozen 13-14 year old boys once they saw the boat. The same herd of cats that I lost control of in the Atlanta airport suddenly got very responsible when they realized they were going to be the ones sailing that massive 50' boat in the real ocean. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


Both of those posts are awesome. THat is so cool.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: dayhiker] #102202
07/06/2016 04:00 PM
07/06/2016 04:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 987
annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
hallucination Offline
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hallucination  Offline
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annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
We have found that it is a little hard to get the following point across with a bunch of newbies.:

There are times for democracy, and times for dictatorship.

Once they understand that safety is a dictatorship, and everything else is up for discussion, things will go much better.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: hallucination] #102203
07/06/2016 04:18 PM
07/06/2016 04:18 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
At 15 my son was competent to handle a boat. At 25 he got his 50 ton Masters License. At 29, he is back in Colorado, sailing Lake Dillon for fun.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: sail2wind] #102204
07/06/2016 05:11 PM
07/06/2016 05:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 48
FL/NC
F
FLMarine Offline
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FLMarine  Offline
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FL/NC
There is a program down in the BVI that has been going on for a long time that is called Action Quest. They take 10-15 51ft sailboats staff them with two experienced sailors and about 10 14-18 year old kids. They teach them sailing, diving, water skiing, windsurfing, etc.

I was lucky enough to go down twice when I was 14 and 16 to the program and traveled by myself down there each time. I got to go twice because we got special pricing since I was best friends with the son of the owner of the program.

Long story but even with all those teens we all had a blast, were responsible, and learned a ton. I say take the teens, teach them how to sail, and let them handle the boat as much as possible to give them hands on experience.

I plan to take my two step kids down there in two to three years when they get to be 16-17.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: FLMarine] #102205
07/06/2016 05:21 PM
07/06/2016 05:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 845
9 months of the year in Michig...
captmonk Offline
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captmonk  Offline
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Posts: 845
9 months of the year in Michig...
Send them down with us...www.seatrekbvi.com


S/V SeaTrek Explorer
www.seatrekbvi.com
Summer Camp at Sea for jr. high, high school and college age students.
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: captmonk] #102206
07/07/2016 05:41 PM
07/07/2016 05:41 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
S
snmhanson Offline OP
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snmhanson  Offline OP
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Pacific NW
Thanks for all of the replies. Yes, I've got a credit card so I guess all is good. However, I would prefer to be addressed as a debit card captain - just sounds more respectable <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />. In all seriousness, sounds like finding a boat to charter shouldn't be an issue. I am fully comfortable in my own abilities and I've sailed cats up to 50' and monos up to about the same so I guess that box is checked.

Being responsible for the kids is another issue that I need to give a lot of thought to. I think part of what inspired this is seeing the Broadreach and Outwardbound boats on our last charter. My son liked the idea of being on a boat filled with his peers. On the flip side, I remember taking him and his friends to a Great Wolf Lodge for his 10th or 11th birthday. Man was that an adventure. The drive there was a bit out of control, and once we got there thing seemed to get even crazier. Of course they are four years older now and presumably a little more mature. And being in the BVIs on a boat is a completely different environment than being at the Great Wolf insane asylum. Plus, maybe being surrounded by a bunch of 15 y/o kids will bring out a bit of the kid that still lives somewhere inside me. And let's be honest, taking them on this trip would probably move me up a few notches in the cool dad contest.

Matt

Last edited by snmhanson; 07/07/2016 05:44 PM.
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: snmhanson] #102207
07/07/2016 06:30 PM
07/07/2016 06:30 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,771
Maine
Breeze Offline
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Breeze  Offline
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Maine
I admire your thought process.

There is a lot to learn about learning, and about respect, and teen kids need to learn A LOT of that outside of their classrooms yet within sight and smell
of their peers.

Good on you for thinking seriously about this adventure. Let them know up front that it can be the best of times or the worst of times, and since you are one person ( the Captain) and they are x many, most of it will be up to them.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: Breeze] #102208
07/08/2016 10:35 AM
07/08/2016 10:35 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 986
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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USVI
Having done something like what you are considering a few times here are my thoughts.
I had 5 [15/16y.o.] teens on board a schooner for 12 weeks on an E.coast Tall ship tour -- Miami-Halifax and another time in the Great Lakes. Most of the time with 2 adults and a college age team leader for the youth.
It is a 24/7 job! Maintaining any discipline is momentary. Reliance on any one job to be done right is best done one on one with clear instruction and faith. The down below will be a mess and few pieces of boat equipment will be where they belong. They will eat you out of provisions no matter what you start with. Acting in a group they will be fomenting adventures you will not believe. There is a lot of bickering and showing off egos.
You will concerned at all times for their safety - you will yearn for adult conversation - you will not be able to relax with a cocktail - you will be amazed at their reliance on you for all the stuff their Mom does for them - things will fall overboard when left on deck carelessly - cleanliness and ship shape will be a foreign language - frustration will be the order of the day for them and you.

I enjoyed my command and was very proud of my young crew often - in 12 weeks their maturity grew exponentially - instilling pride in new skills and teamwork was satisfying- but my crew wasn't ON Vacation and fun and total freedom for them was rationed as available.
It will take some special circumstances for you to end up being considered as a 'cool dad' and only then if you are somehow able to keep your attitude under control for a whole week amidst raging chaos at times.
Assuring their personal safety will be your main concern - they are young -- and feel bulletproof and prone to be constantly proving it to themselves and their peers.
All that said I hope you take them sailing!!! But your patience will be strained beyond any expectations and there may be young men you will lose any respect for and consider carefully the position you are putting your son in.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: LocalSailor] #102209
07/08/2016 10:49 AM
07/08/2016 10:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 70,559
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Wow, not sure what the OP will decide to do, but there is some sage advice!


Carol Hill
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: Carol_Hill] #102210
07/08/2016 12:58 PM
07/08/2016 12:58 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline OP
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snmhanson  Offline OP
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Pacific NW
Thanks again for the advice. Yes, Local Sailor, those are all things I am thinking about and are generally checks in the "am I crazy?" category. I know full well some of the ideas that these kids think up and how cavalier and/or secretive they can be about their plans. What might be a practical joke or prank in their eyes is sometimes a reckless act of immaturity in reality. Mildly dangerous on land, but potentially life threatening on a boat. Also, it is scary how invincible they think they are and disappointing at how narcissistic they can be at times. Before putting this plan into motion I would have to have a sit down with the kids and parents and make it clear what is expected of them. I'd also let them know that my last resort would be to end the trip early if I feel their behavior is threatening the safety of them or anyone else - or if they can't maintain a basic level of respect for me and others. Maybe I could sail to St. Thomas and put the offending character(s) on a plane home so that it wouldn't ruin the trip for the rest of the crew. Not sure, but there would have to be some sort of contingency plan. Good point about me having to be their mother for a week. That is one perspective I didn't really think about too much, and I know they all rely on their mothers quite a bit for the bulk of their needs. Maybe it will be good for them to have to tough it out for a week without the indulgences that they receive at home.

That said, giving them the the opportunity to experience sailing in the BVIs and letting them see a life from a different perspective without constant electronics and social media is a pretty powerful argument in the "screw it, let's go" category. If there is one thing I hate it is complacency and I think getting them away from the comfort of their home could be enlightening. It seems that at this age they think that they know everything, when in reality what they know is based mostly on media and their peer group. It would be very satisfying to give them just a glimpse of what else is out there. I really think they'd be able to get it together for the most part and be a functioning part of the crew. Keeping them busy sailing the boat and with shore based activities might keep them from getting too preoccupied and engaged in non-constructive behavior. It's a gamble and it could be a miserable week for me, but it also could be a very rewarding week for both them and myself.

Matt

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: snmhanson] #102211
07/08/2016 02:52 PM
07/08/2016 02:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,282
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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When I was a kid, I'd always want some friends over to help with a chore or when the parents were gone. Dad had a good way of explaining how those things go. "No son! A boy is a boy. Two boys are half a boy..and three boys are no boy at all"
He was pretty much correct. Getting of the plane last night there were a number of about 14-15 yr old Boy Scouts . A half a dozen were setting two rows behind us. They were quite "uninhibited" . When getting ready to deplane two of them came charging past us bulling their way down the aisle, ran into a lady holding an infant a few aisles up. There were parents outside with a sign welcoming back troop such and such. Not sure I'd want that bunch back. smile. Capt Monk, has a system of dealing with this taxing bunch. Saw them at Savannah bay a couple times during our trip. kids were learning scuba diving, paying attention and respecting the instructors. It helps a lot I'm sure not being related to any of them and they not being quite sure if they won't be set home or denied participation in events if they don't behave.

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: snmhanson] #102212
07/08/2016 03:56 PM
07/08/2016 03:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 625
MD, USA
polaris Offline
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I wouldn't be as worried about the charter company as about the safety of you, your crew and the boat. I recall a post about a charter where the single experienced person onboard was suddenly disabled and the boat sailed itself into the Atlantic because no one else onboard could take down the sails, start the engine, turnaround, etc. (He eventually came to and gave directions)

I have chartered with many newbies BUT ALWAYS with at least a first mate completely capable of taking the boat back to base.


Polaris
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: polaris] #102213
07/08/2016 05:58 PM
07/08/2016 05:58 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline OP
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Yes, that is my primary concern - the safety of the crew and those around us, with that of the boat being a close second. My son has sailed with us quite a bit and I've been working with him on the basics. If this trip happens we would have pre-trip meetings to go over basic safety. One of the first orders of business once we get on the boat (aside from proper use of a marine head) would be to show them how to get the engines running and the sails down in case something happens to me, how to ease/release the sheets to de-power the boat, and how to use the VHF radio to call for help if necessary. We would also go over items such as MOB procedures and other pertinent safety requirements. I would try to get them involved in running the boat right off the bat so that they would be more helpful in the day to day sailing as well as in the event of an emergency. Of course I would be very conservative in terms of not taking any unnecessary risks that might result in me being out of commission. Maybe hiring a captain for a day or two would be a good way to be able to get going and still teach them some basic skills. We do have other options as well in terms of bringing experienced people along which we might consider. We also own a Moore 24 here at home where I could do some basic safety instruction before we leave and get them comfortable on a boat. They'd just have to realize the difference between a smaller boat like the Moore which can be man-handled, versus a large cat where proper technique is necessary. Maybe a few of them would want to take an ASA course or two before heading down.

One thing I'll add is that all of these kids are quite involved in action sports and grew up windsurfing and kiteboarding. Some of them have done a bit of dinghy sailing as well. They are capable and smart kids who are familiar with wind related sports and I'm reasonably sure they could get up to speed pretty quickly on the basics of handling a boat. Not to say I would in any way trust them to sail the boat themselves or that they already have the skills to sail a boat, but I think with a little bit of initial coaching they could come together and figure things out if it came down to it. That said, if I thought there was a reasonable chance of putting them in that situation I wouldn't even be considering this trip.

Matt

Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: snmhanson] #102214
07/08/2016 07:04 PM
07/08/2016 07:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 469
Apex, NC
agrimsrud Offline
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I don't think you're crazy at all. Sounds like you've thought through it pretty carefully and the boys have some ok past experiences. If you teach them how to take down the sails, start the engine and use the VHF I think your're good to go. Sounds like a great experience for those boys and I'm sure they will have fond memories for a lifetime. I would do it.


Life's short - sail more!
Re: One aduly and five or six teenagers? [Re: agrimsrud] #102215
07/10/2016 08:57 AM
07/10/2016 08:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 986
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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If anyone hasn't read my previous post above it is the background for my thought here.

I would have felt confident my crew of teenagers could have done quite well by themselves solving the problem and operating all aspects of the vessel if I had become incapacitated or even just fell overboard BUT I probably would have drowned or died of old age before the argument among them about who would be the designated Captain in charge was resolved.

Last edited by LocalSailor; 07/10/2016 09:00 AM.

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