Welcome to Barefoot Offshore Sailing School

BAREFOOT OFFSHORE SAILING SCHOOL St Vincent’s premier only sailing school and most active in the Eastern Caribbean, is owned and operated by the Barnard family who have been sailing the waters of the Grenadines for 3 generations. This background gives us the distinct and unusual advantage of insight and local knowledge that most charter companies, no matter how experienced, simply cannot offer.

Barefoot Offshore Sailing School is not a large organization. We don’t have a hundred yachts in our fleet (we’ve actually limited our bareboat fleet size to 25 yachts), we don’t have 60-page glossy brochures and you won’t see our full-page colour advertisements in all the yachting magazines. The fact is that most of our guests hear about us by word of mouth, or are repeat customers who have already sailed with us or are people who have been recommended to us by others.

We insist on a highly personalised service – and many of our guests are surprised to discover that such a “small” charter outfit offers facilities normally associated with so-called “premium companies” – including a  waterfront restaurant and bar,  small boutique hotel, water-sports equipment centre, full-service sail loft and canvas shop, engineering workshop, boutique, provisioning service, taxi service and free Wi-Fi throughout our property.

Our full-service charter base, just a 20-minute drive from St Vincent’s Argyle International Airport, is at Blue Lagoon, the best protected harbour on St Vincent’s south coast. Bequia, northernmost of the Grenadines, is just 5 miles over the water and the islands of Battowia, Baliceaux and Mustique are visible from the surrounding hills.

Meet the B.O.S.S Team

Barefoot Yacht Charters and BOSS is owned and run by yachtsmen, one of whom is a former America’s Cup sailor whose family has lived here in St Vincent & The Grenadines for many generations.

The School Director is Christine (“Chris”) Burfield who hails from the UK and has sailed for most of her life, including running crewed charter yachts in the Caribbean for the past 20 years, together with her husband Duff who is our General Manager.

Our team, some of whom have been with us for many years, are not only certified American Sailing Association Instructors,  but also folks who know the islands intimately and are able to get along with folks of all ages and from all walks of life.

Alessandro Manfredi

Alessandro Manfredi

ASA Instructor

Living life at sea has always been a dream for me until a few years ago, when I decided to quit my journalist job in Italy to turn my passion into a profession. I have spent the last 5 years delivering and chartering yachts across Australia, South East Asia, Europe and the Caribbean sailing over 25,000 Miles!
I really enjoy teaching fellow sailors how to be safe and have fun out there!

James Slater

James Slater

ASA Instructor

I was born in Guyana and after working in the diamond and mineral mining industry there, came to live in St Vincent and the Grenadines 20 years ago – and in these beautiful cruising grounds, I’ve been able to spend time living my passion for sailing.

After many years skippering charter yachts of many sizes for different companies here, I decided to hook up with B.O.S.S. which is the most prominent sailing school in this region, and, after passing my ASA Instructor qualifications, I became a full-time Instructor with them.

Other than sailing, I love music and art – I paint, tattoo and create local artworks by hand.

Chris May

Chris May

ASA Instrcutor

After sailing on Lasers and 420s, I really got hooked the first time I sailed on a keelboat, a 40’ Cheoy Lee that my Navy ROTC unit rescued from a Customs storage yard after seizure. No self-tailing winches, no electronics, kerosene stove, but my oh my was the sailing sweet. I did my first offshore trip on Majestic and went on to command the Sailing Company before getting my commission and moving on to much larger ships. After leaving active duty as navigator on USS Nassau (LHA 4), I took groups on bareboat charters in the Caribbean, some of whom are now my best friends.

After several short summers racing on Lake Michigan, I decided to move to the Caribbean where my time on the water wouldn’t be limited to a few months, and scuba diving doesn’t require a drysuit. Now I live on my sailboat Troubadour, where I have time to practice my guitar and ukulele when I’m not teaching sailing.

Marc Castel

Marc Castel

ASA Instructor

I started my sailing career as an avid racer, but I discovered my love for cruising and instructing when I spent a summer teaching teenagers on liveaboard boats in the BVI in 2007. Since then, I’ve taken an interest in sailing as a platform for travel and a way to live a simpler life that is more compatible with nature.

After getting married in 2015, my wife and I decided to buy an old boat to fix up and sail down to the Caribbean. We sailed down the east coast of the US, through the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico and to the Virgin Islands. We now sail between the Virgin Islands and the Grenadines, while I work as a sailing instructor and boat technician and my wife works as an ICU nurse.

Vincent Mattiola

Vincent Mattiola

ASA Instrcutor

"Growing up in the northeast USA racing Hobie cats as a kid, my love for sailing solidified early. When I got to college, my university didn’t have a sailing club, so I brought my Hobie out to Pittsburgh, PA and started getting friends out on the water. I guess this is where I discovered my passion for teaching sailing, and started to understand how well sailing skills can translate into real-life skills too. After studying in New Zealand for a bit, I got into racing bigger boats, then spent some time cruising and learning the ASA system with a salty uncle in Florida.

I‘ve learned that teaching sailing is one of the most phenomenal ways to inspire people to take charge of their lives and their environment. It’s with this passion that I approach all my instructing - whether it‘s with kids, teenagers, or older generations alike. I’m incredibly excited to be part of the B.O.S.S. family in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and love embracing the gorgeous natural environment, pristine sailing grounds, and pure adventure of these islands. "