“Skipper’s manual”, how to behave during a cruise with a skipper.
Yacht charter with a skipper is the option most often chosen by those who do not have the necessary licenses to steer a yacht, but also by those who want to spend their holidays purely relaxing and unwinding, without worrying about navigation or technical issues of sailing. Booking a yacht with a skipper is very easy, but before doing so, it is advisable to find out something about the nature of his work and the rules that prevail on the yacht. What is the skipper responsible for? What should the relationship with the skipper be like? Who is the skipper?
What is the skipper responsible for?
The skipper is the person we hire to steer and operate the yacht during the voyage. His or her job involves a number of responsibilities and is primarily concerned with ensuring the safety of all crew members. In addition to this, he is responsible for the technical maintenance of the yacht and, of course, steering it while sailing. His job is to get the crew to the place they want to go, such as a particular marina or bay. The skipper thus fulfils the crew’s expectations, but they must be realistic to fulfil and not compromise safety. It is worth knowing that, although his responsibility is very broad, it does not cover everything. If we wantonly or even unintentionally break something on the yacht as a result of not following his instructions, the responsibility falls on us. As a person with experience and knowledge of the place where he or she is sailing, the skipper often also suggests an itinerary based on the wishes of the crew, offers advice on sights to see or on tried and tested restaurants and pubs.
Responsibilities of the crew to the skipper
If you have never sailed with a skipper before, it is good to know a few rules. First of all, there is only one skipper, while the crew consists of at least several people. Sometimes, therefore, he or she inevitably needs our help, e.g. during manoeuvres that cannot be done alone. If you want to do nothing at all and not worry about your duties on board, you can consider hiring a professional crew, i.e. a skipper with an assistant or several assistants who will take care of everything for you. However, as long as we are sailing with the skipper himself, we should listen to him and follow his instructions without getting into unnecessary discussions, bearing in mind that everything he does is for our safety (even if it sometimes seems unreasonable to us!). It should be remembered that custom dictates that the comfort of the skipper should be as important as that of the crew. Due to his many other duties on the yacht, the skipper also does not take part in the galley watch – meals are prepared for him by the crew, when they also cook for themselves. It is also customary for the skipper not to bear any of the costs of the voyage – so he does not contribute to the communal drop for marinas and food. When the crew goes to eat in a restaurant they also pay the skipper’s bill.
Understanding the role of the skipper on a cruise and establishing clear rules for working with them in advance allows us to keep things clear and avoid some awkwardness. It’s simply a matter of learning good habits with the sole aim of keeping us as safe as possible on the water. Skippers are usually very open, friendly and cheerful people, and their participation in the cruise only works out in our favour. Thanks to them, we can see more interesting places and focus on relaxation and fun.