Bareboat Charters


QUESTIONS? CALL US 415-543-7333

Spinnaker Sailing offers bareboat charters to qualified sailors, both members and non-members. Please read the information below to learn how you can charter with us on beautiful San Francisco Bay.

We also offer our unique TimeShare Sailing program which is the best alternative to boat ownership. 7 monthly uses for one flat fee!

All students of Spinnaker Sailing's classes get qualified as part of the learning process.

As part of learning with us, we make sure you are 100% prepared and more importantly, 100% confident of your skills on San Francisco Bay

Yes, we DO offer bareboat charters to Qualifed Sailors who didn't go through their sailing instruction with us. 

If you've checked around San Francisco Bay you've probably found out every other company doesn't offer bareboat charters to non-members of that company's sailing club. San Francisco Bay is notoriously difficult to sail. The combination of high winds, fast currents and huge ships all around you make SF Bay a sailors mecca, for those with the right skills, or a sailors nightmare for those without.

Fear not, for our checkout fee of $300 we'll get you checked out and make sure you're ready for the Bay. Please note: The checkout process is two-fold. If you are ASA or US Sailing Certified send us a copy of your logbook including certifications and you won't have to take the written exams. If you're not, be prepared to take two written exams before we will even schedule you for the on-water checkout. EVERYONE takes the on-water checkout. There's no other way to prove your skills than for one of our captains to witness you underway. The written and on-water can't be done on the same day!

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  • The insurance company requires 8 hours of skippering experience every 60 days to stay current. If you don't have that, you will probably have take a private lesson prior to checking out so you can pass this test. 
  • As the on water test requires a 100% passing grade to qualify, the point at which you don't pass a skill, we head back to the dock and the test is over. There is no instruction as part of the checkout test. We do offer private lessons which is a great way to tune up prior to taking the on-water test.
  • The checkout process is NOT certification. It is just to prove your skills to us so our insurance company will underwrite your sailing. We do offer the ASA certification process. This takes much longer and requires additional fees to the American Sailing Association. Ask us for more info on getting certified.
  • Expect the written tests to take approximately 2 hours. There are two test for each level of checkout.
  • The on-water checkout test can run from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on your skills.
  • You will sign a charter agreement and post a damage deposit for the boat you are checking out on. The deposit ranges from $3000 - $6000 depending on the boat. Any and ALL damage you created while checking out is your responsiblity up to the level of deposit. Over that level the insurance company pays.
  • If you don't pass the written exams, you fail the checkout and we won't schedule the on-water portion.
  • Here's the summary of what you will be tested on. If you're chartering boats up to 27' you'll need to know up through the BCC (ASA 103) level of testing. Over 27' and you'll be tested all the way through ICC (ASA 104)
  • Written exams and on-water exams never happen on the same day. We can't keep a captain on standby as some people fail the written exam, thus failing the checkout.

  • Passing Requirements
    • Written Exams 80%
    • On-Water Exam 100% (yes, you need to know 100% of how to setup up the boat, operate the engine, dock the boat, raise sails, MOB, etc. If you think about it, knowing 100% of this skills makes sense to an insurance company writing you a million dollar check...they want to make sure you don't have to cash it.)
  • The point at which you fail anything during the on-water test, we head back to the dock. There is no instructional component to the checkout test.

The Procedure

Please completely and accurately fill out this document- Sailing Resume and email it back to us HERE. One we recieve this, we will contact you with the insurance company's requirements for the next step in the checkout, usually a written exam or if you are already certified to the appropriate level, the on-water test.

Private Lesson Prior to Checkout?

This is a great option for those who've never sailed SF Bay but have loads of sailing experience and perhaps are even certified elsewhere. We will pair you with one of our outstanding captains who will make sure you are 100% up to speed on all the skills before your checkout. If you fall short, they'll be honest and suggest a path for you to follow towards checkout or certification. Minimum of 3 hours ($110/hr) plus prorated boat costs.

Alternative to Checkout?  Here's a link to our Skippered Charter Page. Call with any questions 415-543-7333

Yes, how about a skippered charter. There are a few advantages to this:

  • You don't have to post a damage deposit as our US Coast Guard certifed Captain is in charge.
  • You can sail the boat as much or as little as you want
  • It can be a GREAT learning experience. Take advantage of the Captain's experience and skill
  • At the end of the charter, you simply step off the boat. The Captain pumps the holding tank, docks the boat and cleans her up.
  • Saves Time and costs nearly the same as a non-member bareboat charter.

Sailing often?

Think about joining the sailing club. Members save $300 on a single day's charter aboard one of our J/105's versus the non-member price. Members have many other priviledges too. For further details about the club, visit our Sailing Club page.

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Weekday Rates (member rate on left in yellow)

Andrews 21 + 4 $160 / na $200 / 320
Andrews 21 (w/furler) + 4 175 / na 210 / 335
Santana 22 ("Que Apel") + 4 190 / na 230 / 355
J/80 ++ 5 250 / na 300 / 480
J/105 "Racer X" ++ 6 400 / na 500 / 800
Mainship 30 Motoryacht +++ 8 500 / na 650 / 1040

+ Basic Coastal Cruising Certification Required
++ Intermediate Coastal Cruising Certification Required
+++ Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification Required 

Weekend Rates (member rate on left in yellow)

Andrews 21 + 4 na / na $240 / 385 $450
Andrews 21 (w/furler) + 4 na / na 260 / 415 475
Santana 22 ("Que Apel") + 4 na / na 285 / 440 495
J/80 ++ 5 na / na 360 / 575 650
J/105 "Racer X" ++ 6 na / na 600 / 960 1080
Mainship 30 Mtryacht +++ 8 na / na 800 / 1280 1450

+ Basic Coastal Cruising Certification Required
++ Intermediate Coastal Cruising Certification Required
+++ Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification Required 




REGISTRATION - Full Payment is required in advance in order to confirm enrollment in any class. Payments can be made in cash, check or credit card, in person or on the phone.

WHAT TO BRING - Students should dress appropriate for the weather. Proper attire includes soft-soled tennis or deck shoes (NO BLACK SOLES PLEASE). Sunscreen, Hats and glasses are a great idea. Dress in Layers and warmly. Foulies are suggested for Basic Coastal Cruising and Beyond.

CLUB DUES - Members of the club have dues of $65/mo.

LEARN TO SAIL GUARANTEE - A free makeup class is provide for any student who fails to meet the required objectives for certification. Students must have attended each scheduled class and taken all prerequisite classes at Spinnaker Sailing within the past 3 months. Make-up must be same level.

MAKE-UPS - Students are encouraged to attend all of their classes as scheduled. If regular class times are inconvenient, private instruction should be arranged. Makeup classes are available if the student has given Spinnaker at least 72 hours notice and another similar class has space available. Makeup Fee is $100/per day.

CLASS CANCELLATIONS - 7 Days notice is required for reschedule or full refund. $100 day reschedule fee if we receive less than 7 days notice and there are no refunds inside of 7 days. .

COURSE MATERIALS - Cost of books, ASA certification tracking & certification tests are extra if you choose to get certified, which we strongly suggest