Q: What’s a “Bare Boat Charter?”

A: Bareboat means you are the operator and have the freedom to set your own schedule and itinerary. It's your boat for the length of your charter! We will suggest locations to provision your cruise, to dock at night, the sights to see, and events not to be missed.

Q: Do I need a special ‘license’ to operate a Cruise-USA trawler?

A: No license is required to operate your rental vessel. Sound, basic boat handling skills are all that's needed. You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, and familiarize yourselves with the characteristics of the Nomad before you set out on your cruise.

Q: Can I operate the boat by myself?

A: If all you had to do was cruise, one person could do it. It is easier and more fun to make your way down the canal and through the locks with another person.

Q: How do I get through a lock?

A: “Locking through” as it is called, is a feature of cruising on the Canals of America. This can be easily handled by two people - one at the helm and the other to handle the lines. Lock operators are friendly and most are willing to assist.
See our slide presentation, “Locking’s a Lark” on this site, to preview the fun.

Q: Do I need previous boating experience?

A: Basic power boat handling experience is needed. Outboard or outdrive power boats would be the most beneficial type of experience, but if you have operated a power boat with about 50 hp, you will have no difficulty. We provide a user-friendly orientation ride with each charter, and allow you and your mate to become familiar with the ease of operation of the Nomad trawler. If you would prefer extra "practice" in the Nomad, you can purchase personalized on-the-water instruction for an additional fee.

Q: Can we take more than two people?

A: You can ‘manage’ three, but the boats are specifically designed for two adults. If you have another couple, it may be just as much fun to hire a second boat! Call us with your requirement and let us help you find the best cruising option for you.

Q: How fast can we go?

A: The 10-mph speed limit on the canal insures a safe, delightful vacation experience. At this speed, you’re traveling with everybody else. There is no speeding or wakes allowed on the waterway. The fun of travel by boat is measured by your “time spent on the water!” This speed allows time to enjoy the scenery, and to "cruise" the canal.

Q: How far will we travel?

A: With an average speed of 8-10 miles per hour, plus time spent "locking through", you will most likely travel about 25 miles per day. Our customers often stop to enjoy the numerous canal-side experiences along the way. Some cruisers like the time underway, others like the stops. It's up to you, and you can change that priority daily.

Q: What is there to do along the way?

A: You are free to set your own pace and schedule, or we can provide a wonderful itinerary that includes restaurants, shopping, bed and breakfasts and shore-side activities. Each cruise is unique, and we encourage you to make notes in the boat's log. We'll give you a copy of your notes, to reference next year, and we'll add them to our cruise guide to share with other cruisers. Local area attraction information, and schedules, as well as all charts and navigation information are aboard the Nimble Nomad for your use while underway. You might also take a look at The Erie Canal History Tour.

Q: Can we pay for our Cruise with a credit card?

A: Yes, but we would have to charge an additional fee to cover the cost of credit card transactions. To save you money, we’ve arranged to accept your personal, business or certified check in payment for services.

Q: How do we get around while we are docked?

A: Most amenities are within walking distance of the docks on the canal. For anything further, most of our customers simply call a taxi, using their cell phone or a local pay phone. Most of the frequently-called numbers, including taxis, will be in the Cruise-USA on-board guide. Cabbies in the towns and villages along the canal are usually fountains of local information, they're delighted to accommodate you, and their fares are very reasonable.

Q: Can we bring our pets?

A: If your pets are traveling with you, we can suggest local kennels for them while you’re cruising. We have pets too, but find they can be uneasy while we're out and about on cruising trips. Ours "go on vacation" too, at a local kennel near our home while we're away. They're more comfortable, and vacations are more relaxing, if they are closer to home, and in familiar surroundings. Being near their regular vet, in case they need attention, always makes us feel better while we're away.




"Best vacation of my life"
            ...Bob K

“Booking a great adventure was as easy as picking up
the phone”  
...Ron H

“Our vessel was well prepared and perfectly suited to a great vacation on 3 separate charters"
...Steve B


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