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Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance #315472
03/12/2024 03:28 PM
03/12/2024 03:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2024
Posts: 2
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Icehousecat Offline OP
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Icehousecat  Offline OP
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The family and I are looking forward to a bare boat power cat charter in the BVI's this summer and looking for some feedback. I've been boating for many years and have reasonable experience running larger twin engine inboard boats but rarely large power cats like the one we have chartered this summer. I use to own a 31' Bertram for running offshore fishing and have a number of hours on a 33' Sea Ray but have never owned a large catamaran. I have chartered similar power cats in the past but at this point it has been about 8 years since the last time and I had additional adults to assist with departing and arriving at port for which I won't have for this upcoming trip. It will be my wife and two sons that are 9yr and 13yrs old. I happen to live near the Chesapeake bay so my first question is does anyone have recommendations for a 1 or 2 day power cat charter with a captain on the Chesapeake that I could hire to work off some of the dust off prior to my trip? I can't imagine that a couple hours over 1 or 2 days wouldn't get me back to full proficiency and confidence.

My second question is around additional support departing and arriving back to charter base. We will be on the water for 8 days and will be using strictly mooring balls for overnight and no plans to put into a slip. Is it strange to request the charter company to assist with getting the boat out of port and back in at the end of the charter? I'm not concerned necessarily about pulling up to T Pier of fuel dock but I'm less confident about pulling into small slip and similar with such a large beam. Overall not terribly huge at 43' long but still harder then a sea ray and I'm not expecting much support from the family to fend off obstacles. Not that you have much luck with that on a boat this size but it helps to put the fenders in the right spot.

Thank you for the input!

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Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315475
03/12/2024 03:43 PM
03/12/2024 03:43 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 118
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Rush Offline
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My experience has been that all charter companies are happy to assist you in getting off the dock and will bring you back in as well. You will likely want a check out captain for the first day (or the charter company may require that).

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Rush] #315485
03/12/2024 05:39 PM
03/12/2024 05:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 943
Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Georgia & South Carolina
Originally Posted by Rush
My experience has been that all charter companies are happy to assist you in getting off the dock and will bring you back in as well. You will likely want a check out captain for the first day (or the charter company may require that).

I totally agree. Most charter companies would offer, especially given your crew limitations.

I would point out that picking up the mooring ball is likely the biggest issue you will have. I would suggest having the 9 yr old as "POINTER" an to continuously point to the ball so you can maneuver and keep the ball stationary at the bow (off center). I stress the pointer is the key to this and the 13 yo will quickly become adept at picking up the ball and with your wife, they can each run a line back to the cleat...

You, as the skipper, must keep in mind "SLOW is PRO" for all of this... Aisles, if your wife is competent in maneuvering the boat using throttles only, we find it easier for me to be at the bow and my wife to be at the helm.(With widely spaced engine on cats, this is primary method to turn or spin boat at iddle speeds (less than 2-3 knots).

You could request a check out skipper for a couple hours to have you and crew practice this, but you have more experience than many.. and more importantly , you understand the issues.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315494
03/12/2024 08:29 PM
03/12/2024 08:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 184
Lake Tara, GA
Standrea Offline
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Standrea  Offline
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Lake Tara, GA
Agreed. Get a captain your first day and have him walk through mooring procedures with you, your wife, and 13 year old son. Most charter companies will take your boat out of the marina for you and when you come back in usually you'll pull up the fuel dock they will take it back in from there.

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315501
03/12/2024 09:27 PM
03/12/2024 09:27 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 256
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steve74 Offline
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I know where you are. We started doing these trips in 2016 when my daughters were 11 and 13, and my wife had very little boating experience. We have also been on a Moorings 43PC the last 5 trips.

Send me a PM with your number if you’d like to talk. It seems like you have a lot of boating experience - as did I when we started - but we have still learned a lot. I’m happy to share some things or try to answer any questions you may have.

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315523
03/13/2024 08:57 AM
03/13/2024 08:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,117
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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Something to keep in mind. Lately I see more people get in trouble dropping off the ball verses picking up the ball. Someone needs to keep the ball in sight until you are well clear. Brief your crew on that point. Watched a boat last trip take a boaty ball right between the hulls on departure. Very lucky they didn’t get it in a prop.
Sailing cats depending on model also need a somewhat different pickup up approach. I always bring the ball up under the right crossbar not the middle and keep the ball to my right on approach. With some sailing helms you can keep the ball in sight much longer doing that and it’s actually easier for the deck crew rather than working around the forestay.
One last thing, for the love of god don’t run one line from the starboard cleat through the mooring line eye to the port cleat. You will chaff the mooring Loop and might just find yourself adrift.

Last edited by GeorgeC1; 03/13/2024 09:01 AM.
Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315541
03/13/2024 11:15 AM
03/13/2024 11:15 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,957
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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St. John, USVI
Check out Waypoints. They have bases in Annapolis, USVI, and BVI.

https://waypoints.com/destinations/annapolis-md/

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Grenada
Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: RickG] #315706
03/16/2024 11:15 AM
03/16/2024 11:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2024
Posts: 2
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Icehousecat Offline OP
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Icehousecat  Offline OP
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Thank you for all the great feedback. I've reached out to Waypoint on the Chesapeake to get some hours with their captain. I can also bring the family so they can become more comfortable with the mooring process before we are on island. I want to knock out any insecurities with the process ahead of time so it cuts back on the anxiety for everyone while on vacation.

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315798
03/17/2024 04:28 PM
03/17/2024 04:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 325
Hilton Head, SC
Steve27 Offline
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Steve27  Offline
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Hilton Head, SC
I have chartered many Powerboats from 48 to 53 ft over the years. I know the charter company with get you in and out of the slips if you need. I can give you some advice that is critical to success. These cats usually have very light or touchy throttles. Slow and steady is your friend. I literally lightly tap the throttles with the back of my fingers to get the boat to slowly start moving forward out of the slip. Watch your port and starboard corners aft and once you are in the middle of the channel or just before slip into neutral. I rarely touch the wheel when in tight quarters or in a marina. I oppose the throttles to turn the boat and then put on in neutral or back off once the boat has turned 90 degrees in the channel and then move them forward at maybe 1/4 throttle. New PC have a bow thruster that you can use in short burst to move the bow around. Once straight you can now move forward and steer. as you head out of the harbor. remember SLOW and Go! Throttles are light, so make all movements easy and deliberate. You will get the hang of it quickly. You will LOVE how these Powercats respond and how easy to drive. What dates are you headed down and who are you chartering with? We will be out of the Moorings with a July 5th overnight on the boat and pushing off the morning of July 6th for 7 days. Will be on a 464PC.


Cruising the local waters here in SC and GA. Love the BVIs and miss the Tradewinds!
Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315801
03/17/2024 04:37 PM
03/17/2024 04:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,398
Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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which powercat has bow thruster? 534?

as you say "slow is pro"

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #315896
03/18/2024 06:21 PM
03/18/2024 06:21 PM
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 29
Earth. Occasionally above.
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Skytrucker Offline
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Earth. Occasionally above.
Yep, I’d agree with the statement that all companies are more than willing to help on and off. They understand you’re not AS familiar with this boat, and this dock, etc…

I was pulling into the harbor fully prepared to dock myself, and as I was maneuvering into the slip area, a dingy pulled alongside, and nearly instantly there was a dock hand standing next to me at the helm, “you got it, or you want me to?” Better to let them dent the boat than ruin your holiday!
You’re going to have a lot going on with family and friends and having a great time in the islands - no shame in handing over the hardest part of the week to the guys who do it a hundred times a day! Watch them work, it’s a thing of beauty to see them maneuver so gracefully and easily!


-

There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: bailau] #315902
03/18/2024 08:03 PM
03/18/2024 08:03 PM
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Posts: 256
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steve74 Offline
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Evidently the new 46 Moorings PC has a bow thruster. However, from what I hear from a 46 owner, the thrusters may not be operational while the boat is being used for charter. He said he didn't know if the Moorings would ultimately connect it - but it wasn't connected on his first charter on his boat. Thank goodness they aren't really needed anyway on a PC.

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: bailau] #316136
03/20/2024 07:42 PM
03/20/2024 07:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 325
Hilton Head, SC
Steve27 Offline
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Steve27  Offline
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Hilton Head, SC
Originally Posted by bailau
which powercat has bow thruster? 534?

as you say "slow is pro"


The new Powerboat 464 and 534s have them. Also yes they are connected and operational.


Cruising the local waters here in SC and GA. Love the BVIs and miss the Tradewinds!
Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Icehousecat] #316141
03/20/2024 08:06 PM
03/20/2024 08:06 PM
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Posts: 1,175
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MIDiver Offline
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The mooring fields are about to get a lot more interesting……

Re: Charter Port Departure and Arrival Assistance [Re: Steve27] #316167
03/21/2024 07:36 AM
03/21/2024 07:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,398
Washington DC
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bailau Offline
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Originally Posted by Steve27
Originally Posted by bailau
which powercat has bow thruster? 534?

as you say "slow is pro"


The new Powerboat 464 and 534s have them. Also yes they are connected and operational.


Interesting...the beam is almost 50% of the length so really not needed as they turn on a dime and you can move it laterally easily by setting the wheel 80% to the opposite direction you want to walk the boat in and using the shifters in opposite directions with forward being the direction you want to walk towards


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