It is important to choose the most reliable craft if you want to enjoy your “bareboat” adventure. For beginners, said boats belong to the modern category and measure from 30 to 50 feet. These vessels have been manufactured and fine-tuned for different sailing conditions.
The first step in choosing a houseboat is to determine the type and size of boat. Then, look for a charter firm through the web or by asking for referrals from people you trust. Provide specifications and indicate your preferences so the charterer can help you in making a decision. Clients without any experience in sailing must hire a skipper and crew to navigate the houseboat. However, this will entail additional expenses aside from the rental, fuel and port fees.
Make sure that the boat has one or two wind scoops. This mechanism is used for ventilation purposes although some modern vessels are fitted with air conditioning units. Inspect the boat’s basic gear and see if it is fitted with safety equipment, communications devices, navigation implements and fundamental tools. You may have to rent a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit if you want one.
Most charter companies provide cellular phones along with VHF (Very High Frequency) transmitters. This can be used for personal calls provided you pay for activation and usage. You can also request for diving paraphernalia such as snorkel, fins, mask, and oxygen tank. However, it is advisable to bring your own because rentals are quite expensive. Besides, the equipment may not match your measurements.
The houseboat usually has a fridge and ice chest for canned and bottled beverages. Make sure that you confirm this with the charter company before you sign a contract. Incidentally, review terms and conditions of your agreement to see if everything is in order. You will need to pay a deposit of at least 50 percent while the balance should be settled before sailing out. Inquire about insurance coverage. This is essential for any sea voyage in case of accidents.
Travel light. Bring only essential such as light and warm clothes, towels, swim wear, first-aid kits, sunshades and wide brim hats. Blankets and bed linen are usually provided by the charterer. Prepare a schedule so that you do not waste time and make sure that you enjoy every minute of your houseboat escapade. Remember that this cruise is relatively expensive so make sure that the entire journey will be very memorable.