How to find skipper, who will sail my chartered yacht?

If you have decided to rent a yacht but are not qualified to operate it, you are probably wondering how to find a professional skipper. There are several answers.

Local skipper

The simplest solution is to rent a yacht together with the skipper. When chartering a yacht, you just point out that you are interested in hiring a skipper …and that’s it! The skipper will be waiting for you on the spot.

It is important to know that normally we are to bear the cost of boarding the skipper during the cruise in addition to the fee for renting him. We must also remember that the skipper has to sleep somewhere and therefore he must be included in the number of places to sleep on the yacht.

Hiring a skipper together with the yacht has a number of advantages: the skipper knows the yacht and its surroundings well. He is an invaluable guide to the local tourist attractions and restaurants, he knows very well which marinas and shops to recommend. He will also tell us what we can do in individual ports: where we can dive, where to rent a bike, etc. This solution also simplifies the procedure of taking over and returning the yacht, because the yacht manager knows the skipper well.

The disadvantages of such a solution include the high price of such services and a possible language barrier (professional skippers usually speak English, German and local language). Since the skipper accompanies us most of the time, it is good to be able to communicate freely with him.

The price of such a skipper is usually EUR 700 – 1100 per week + boarding costs.

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Skipper from your country

The second solution is to look for a skipper through advertisements,online databases and charter agencies. You can find a skipper from your country, with more or less experience, who will suit your needs. It is good to meet the skipper before making a decision, see if you like the particular one and check if he knows things, if he makes a good impression and if the conversation is going well – let’s face it we will eventually spend full days sailing with him. It is good to discuss with the him the issues of liability for possible damages that may arise during the voyage, as well as to agree on the details of insurance, both for the crew and the skipper himself, and the legality of work in the country. The best time to meet is before the opening of the season, because during the “hot season”, good skippers are mostly at sea.

The advantage of this is a little lower costs and no problems with communicating in a foreign language. If we explain to ourselves at the beginning what we and the skipper’s expectations are and how the issue of liability for possible damage will look like, this is quite a good and beneficial solution. This relationship can also develop into friendship if everyone integrates.

The cost of such a solution is around EUR 500 – 700 + food costs + the skipper’s travel costs.

Skipper among friends

We can also look for a person with permissions among our friends who would like to come with us and lead the chartered yacht. The advantages of such a solution can be described briefly: we know the skipper, so we will certainly get along well. In that case, the price issues are very negotiable. Usually, you cover the costs of the skipper’s arrival and stay on the yacht. It is necessary to make sure that the person you are sailing with has the necessary experience and is insured. You should also clarify your liability for possible damages at the beginning

The advantage here is that you are sailing with someone you know and not a stranger. Unfortunately, in the event of problems, we can put relationships at risk, although this does not happen very often. Usually that means good fun and great interaction with the crew.

Skipper ‘for free’

During the holiday season you will also find a wide range of different kinds of people willing to sail a yacht in exchange for just a possibility to sail and board the yacht. These are mostly students and various kinds of freelancers. Undoubtedly this is the cheapest solution, but what if there are problems? It is difficult to answer this question, so such a step may turn out to be risky.

Which one to choose?

If you decide to sail with your own skipper, check his experience, whether he knows the region you are to sail in, whether he is insured and whether he knows English (or the language of the country you are to sail in). Before you sail, meet with your skipper and see how you get along. First of all, you will have to find out what your expectations are and what you will do if a problem arises (e.g. damage to the yacht through the fault of the crew member or damage to the yacht through the fault of the skipper).

Finally, it should also be said that, as a rule, sailors are open and friendly people with a great sense of humour. That is why finding a suitable skipper is not so difficult.

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