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Owners, training and certifications

Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by olderboater, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,734
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I was curious in opinions regarding owner training. We have hired professional captains, but my wife and I also intend to have them train us and also go through formal training programs and go for certification along the way. In no way do we intend to replace the captains but we do want to operate our boats as well and get comfortable and proficient in all phases. Our experience has been on smaller boats and inland waters. While we know we have to build the experience before we can get licensed, we intend to take a 100 Ton Master course very soon. While we don't intend to target commercial or hazardous material hauling or towing, we do see many courses we think will benefit us over time. A couple we wouldn't have thought of involve first aid, medical care at sea, and emergency procedures. We also have no desire to become engineers or mechanically expert, we will want to be educated on the basic equipment and get some essential knowledge.

    Our love of the water isn't being treated like royalty or taken care of in every way. We love boating. We love being on the water. We love the freedom. And we love exploring new waters. It's out intent to become the most proficient laypersons we can. We've read more stories of other's experiences than you can imagine and we dream of the West Coast one year, of the Great Loop sometime, and of an Atlantic crossing. But when we do cross the Atlantic, we don't want to just be passengers. We want to spend time in the Pilothouse under the supervision of a Captain, navigating, keeping watch, piloting.

    Now one day we may do a little fishing or a little sailing but when it comes to those we have no desire to do the hard part. Fishing, you take us there and tell us what to do. Sailing, we may want to experience the feeling but we have no plans or desires to do the work.

    So, feel free to fire away. Are our plans insane? Recommendations? How have others done it.
  2. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    CT
    Some more information would be helpful. How much boating experience do you have already? What size boat do you currently own? Money can buy you a lot of what you're looking for, but I'd like to hear more about your current experience before judging the validity of you dreams.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    5,734
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Experience, boats

    Experience. 30+ years of boating on lakes. Boats have included jets, outboards, inboard/outboards, inboards. Sizes have only gone up to 30 feet though. Most have been single engines but last 7 years has been with twins. Speeds to 60 mph. However, no ocean or offshore experience other than as a passenger.

    Wife has 10 years experience but her skills are equal to mine.

    I would also put some value on our reading. This includes stories written by boaters of their trips which have taught us some of what one faces in different areas. Also, fantasy trips where we have actually used routes we'd chart on our computers, looking at water depths, challenges, marinas. Familiarizing ourselves with some of the things we would like to do and other things we would not.

    Boats are to be determined and I did use the plural intentionally. We actually found out Captains or really our Managers prior to purchasing a boat as we wanted their input. We've learned a lot there and our first boat is going to be a Riva. We're having it surveyed now, even though it's a new boat. We're a bit of boating fanatics at this point and been very fortunate so will have at least three boats for different purposes. The Riva initially will be captained but ultimately it's one we would hope to become proficient enough that we'd make day trips and overnighters on our own.

    Meanwhile at the upper end we're looking for something in the 100' range. Obviously, we'd never use it without professional captains and crew. I'll start other threads asking opinions on some of the models we're considering. While I say we've narrowed it down to three manufacturers, that doesn't sound so narrow until you realize we've considered and analyzed every boat brand in this range. Those we're considering are Westport, Hargrave and Ocean Alexander (but only the OA's manufactured by Christiansen.)

    We anticipate spending 180 to 240 days a year boating away from home. Of the days we're at home we anticipate we'll actually get out on the water another 40 to 50 days even if only for a couple of hours some days. I know that sounds like a lot but we've lived on a lake the last 7 years and we've spent nearly every day of every vacation boating, at least 40 weekends a year, and when it's still day light in the evening (about 7 months a year), we get out on the water at least once a week. We've explored every part of this lake many times and always knew retirement would simply require a bigger body of water. At first that dream was the Tennessee River, but then it got bigger than that.

    We always dreamed about this life, just never expected it possible. However, we've been blessed by some good fortune and decided to follow our dreams.

    Now while we will discuss boating very openly, we are also very private persons so will not discuss ourselves personally at least at this time. We have to ask simply that you respect our reasons we feel compelled to keep some things private and withhold them.