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The Skipper – Who are they and what do they do?

So you’re interested in going on a sailing holiday but don’t have the necessary qualifications? Maybe you’ve never actually been on a yacht before but it has been a lifelong wish? Not to worry – your skipper will have you covered!


Who is the skipper?

The skipper (aka the Captain of the yacht) is responsible for the navigation and actual sailing of the yacht. They are there to handle the yacht for you, are responsible for the guest and crew safety, as well as being able to recommend routes, and amazing unearthed places to visit, to put down anchor and discover.


Why hire a skipper?

The beauty of being able to hire a skipper, is that it opens up the possibility of a sailing holiday to just about anyone who is interested in it, without you having to gain any necessary qualifications to actually sail the yacht yourself. From their experience at sea, and their knowledge of the local areas, they will be able to guide you to incredible spots that they have discovered along their way, as well as providing you with the peace of mind that you are in safe hands.


How does a skippered sailing holiday work?

Your skipper would be required to sleep onboard the yacht with you, whether in one of the guest cabins (if you are chartering a smaller yacht) or else in a crew cabins (on a larger yacht). In addition to this, it is your responsibility to ensure that they have 3 meals a day catered for, whether you provide them with meals when preparing your own food, or else in some cases you can also give them a daily allowance so that they can cater for themselves. It is also customary to have the skipper join your for one or 2 meals during your charter – but this is not obligatory!


What the skipper DOES do:

  • Maintains communication with you throughout your trip so you are aware of the itinerary at all times.
  • Allows you the flexibility of creating your own itinerary (within reason and weather dependent, of course!) whilst providing you with great recommendations.
  • Cares for the boat.
  • Takes responsibility of the guests and crew safety
  • Teach you to sail – if you feel up to it!
  • Acts as your guide and friend during your charter!


What the skipper does NOT do:

  • Cleans the interior of the yacht.
  • Does the cooking or shopping for the yacht.
  • Acts as babysitter onboard the yacht.


Skipper Preferences

Before your charter, we will send you a ‘Skipper Preference’ document to fill out. Here you will be able to let us know of any needs or wishes that you have with regards to the skipper allocated to your charter. Whether you want a male or female skipper, one who speaks a certain language, or just to let us know how involved you want your skipper to be and the level of privacy you require – this will be your chance! We will then notify the base of your wishes, so that they can make sure you get the perfect match.


How much does is cost to hire a Skipper?

You can expect your skippers fee to be anywhere between USD 150 to EUR 150 per day. This does, of course, vary from country to country. Please do remember that this fee does not include the skipper’s food. It is also customary to tip the skipper at the end of your charter – this can be anywhere between 10% of the skipper’s fee, to 10% of the charter fee – this is entirely up to you and if you feel that they deserve it!


Our skippers are always selected for their professionalism and up to date qualifications. If a skippered charter sounds like something you would enjoy, get in touch with us to find out more!


Photo credit: Quarterdeck