Frequently Asked Questions
Why Choose Island Dreamer Sailing School for your ASA Certification?
Our live aboard classes anchor in a new place in the Florida Keys every night. You will be totally immersed in the cruising lifestyle, getting instruction from both of our “Couple Captain” Instructors. Our couples classes are private charters, you have your own cabin and head complete with shower. We also do our best to accommodate your schedule, allowing you to pick your own charter dates. So that you can focus on learning about sailing we will do most of the provisioning, cooking, and meal cleanup, while still giving you the knowledge to do it when sailing on your own. Day Classes in Downtown Miami also available.
What does it cost for couples ASA Certification Class?
Lessons are included in all our live aboard charter rates along with meals and all boat expenses. Our charges are based on days on the water, it generally is possible to stay on the boat with us the night of your arrival and your last night with for a small extra charge (dinners those nights are not included but South Beach Restaurants are close by). Depending on your experience we like to plan 2 to 3 days for each ASA level, quicker time frames are possible with a “challenge”. ASA Certifications include books and membership (for 101) in ASA.
What city do I fly to?
Miami Airport is 15 minutes from our homeport and we provide transportation from the airport.
Where do we go during the trip?
Where we go during the trip depends totally on the weather and your specific preferences. We will be exploring Biscayne Bay, the ocean side of the Keys (Atlantic Ocean/Florida Straits) and the bay side of the Keys (Gulf of Mexico/Florida Bay). These areas offer a variety of places to be comfortable in almost all weather conditions.
What kind of activities are available?
Use of our fishing tackle and motorized dinghy is included with your charter. Other activities available include snorkeling, swimming, hiking, beach combing, enjoying a cold drink at a beach bar, people watching or relaxing on deck while under sail.
Are children welcome?
We enjoy children of all ages and will tailor your trip to their abilities and ages. If need be, we can babysit while you visit island locations.
What is the weather going to be like?
Winter temperatures vary from unusual but possible 50°F in the evenings, to 80°F during the day, with varying wind speeds and a humid climate. Water temperatures in winter dip from the normal upper 79-76 down to 70°. Spring and fall most times the temperature is ranges from 80°F to 70°F A wool shirt under a rain jacket is advisable during chilly, wet days on the water. When packing for your charter, please keep these factors in mind.
Summer temperatures vary from 85°F to 95°F night and day, with high humidity, light breezes and afternoon rain squalls. The water temperature averages 84° in Summer. Dress lightly and have rain and sun protection.
Does the yacht have air conditioning?
Air conditioning is not required while at anchor because of the consistent breezes found in the Keys on the water. Each stateroom is equipped with overhead hatches and fans. There is plenty of ventilation and air flow.
What if I have special dietary needs?
Please let us know about food preferences or any allergies you may have. We can accommodate almost everyone. In case of significant dietary restrictions, please let us know. You may need to bring additional supplies with you.
What do I bring?
Living on a boat is a unique, laid-back experience. Not much will be required. Here are some suggestions:
Duffle bags or soft-sided suitcases only. No hard-sided suitcases.
White soled shoes, athletic shoes or deck shoes.
Sandals or flip flops for the beach, restaurants and bars.
Light, casual clothing for dining out including shorts and sport shirts or sun dresses.
The Florida sun is hot. Bring plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and hats.
Several swim suits.
All medications you require.
Prescription eyeglasses. Bring your extra pair.
Travel size toiletries. Soap, shampoo and toothpaste are provided but you may want your favourite brand.
Ipod and favourite CD’s and DVD’s. Your Ipod can be plugged into our stereo and we have some CD's and DVD's on board.
Snorkeling gear. We have some equipment; but to insure the best fit, you should bring your own. Otherwise, we can take you to a rental shop in Miami.
Where can I buy those cool Island Dreamer embroidered shirts?
Do I need a fishing license?
No. You don’t need a fishing license. It is included in the charter.
How do I make a reservation?
Reservations can be made via phone or email. We accept credit cards. Our preferred form of contact is by email as we are often out sailing. Once a reservation has been made we will send you a contract to complete. A 50% non-refundable deposit is due at booking. The remaining 50% is due 14 days before the yacht leaves on your charter.
What extras are payable in addition to the charter fee?
It is customary to leave a 10-20% gratuity for the crew. Also, we generally anchor at the end of the day; but if you would like to spend the night at a marina dock, the dockage fees will be your responsibility. In addition, please bring your own beer, wine and liquor. Upon request we will be happy to take you to the store at the start of your trip. Furthermore, your charter may be subject to Florida sales tax.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cancel your charter, the fees are not refundable unless the yacht is re-booked by another party. If we are able to re-book for the same dates, your deposit will be refunded less a 10% fee. If you need to change your booking dates instead of canceling, a fee may be charged.
What if my trip gets canceled due to a hurricane?
Hurricane season begins June 1 and continues through November 30. In the event of extreme weather conditions, the captain will make the final decision regarding whether to continue with the charter or to seek shelter on the mainland. In the case of a cancellation due to extreme weather conditions, fees will be refunded based on the percentage of the program canceled.
Island Dreamer Sailing is not able to refund any fees related to meals, lodging or transportation incurred as a result of an evacuation. These expenses remain the responsibility of the participants. We strongly recommend trip insurance to cover your travel expenses.