Skippered sailing holidays explained

Skippered sailing holidays explained

 What is a skippered yacht charter?

Enjoy your yacht charter even more, with a seasoned skipper at the helm!

If you are new to sailing, or if you just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, then hiring a skipper is a great choice. A skippered yacht charter is nothing more than a bareboat charter, just with the addition of a professional skipper. It’s the perfect blend of laid-back luxury.

 Why are skippered sailing holidays a great choice? 

There are so many advantages to skippered yacht charters, that Yacht4Less often advises that even highly adept, certified sailors should have a skipper on board. This helps create a relaxing and luxurious feeling, shifting the worry and responsibility to an experienced professional and allowing you to fully enjoy your holiday! While sailing is an extremely enjoyable experience and provides such a fun and active holiday, it can be nice to take a load off and just enjoy the scenery passing you by.

Skipper's Role Onboard

A friendly and professional skipper will captain your vessel for the duration of the charter. He will take care of all the safety, technical and operational aspects of sailing, and act as a kind of tour guide for you and your loved ones.

The yacht skipper will be your source of local knowledge, as they have sailed these locales extensively and are very personally familiar with the destinations. This is ideal if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Having spent months or years cruising in a particular area, they’ll be well-informed on everything; from the currents, tides, and moorings, to the best restaurants, activities, and sightseeing - you’ll be in good hands.

Your skipper can be as interactive or as unobtrusive as you’d like. As a professional, your skipper is adept at blending into social settings or blending into the scenery.

With the help of a professional skipper, you can let them take the lead or you can work alongside them, learning from them and sharing the sailing duties. This is a great option for newer sailors, as you could essentially have a week-long sailing lesson aboard your very own charter. They’ll show you the ins-and-outs of sailing, and impart plenty of tips and wisdom.

Skippered charters are really popular within the yachting industry and often times clients build an interpersonal relationship with skippers, staying friends for long after a charter has ended. This sort of relationship is great, as you can ask for the same skipper for the next charter, making sure you’ll enjoy the trip.

Planning the Itinerary on a Skippered Yacht Charter

A skipper is a certified, professional sailor that can create comprehensive itineraries, and take you through challenging weather conditions and sailing courses with ease.

On your first day, or prior to arrival, the Skipper will ask about any preferences for the itinerary.

This is a good opportunity to discuss how you envision your charter. Mention details such as any areas you’d like to visit, or places to avoid, or particular instructions.

For example, if you’d like to stay away from heavy crowds, your skipper can plan a custom itinerary around your needs. While itineraries are mapped in advance, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to them!

Even with a planned route, you can still be spontaneous if the mood strikes; your skipper should be open to amending the plans as you go along. It’s important to note that all itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions, as safety is a top priority.

Assisted Sailing

One option that Yacht4Less offers is a package called “assisted sailing.” With this arrangement, you’ll have a skipper for a few hours on the first day, or for one to two days at the beginning of the charter.

This service helps familiarize sailors with the boat and the area, and we recommend it for anyone who feels they need a little refresher course. However, this option has limited availability and is dependant on location.

Normally, Mediterranean charters require hiring a skipper for the full week, even if they are only onboard part of the time, for example, four out of the seven days. Consult with your Yacht4Less charter broker to learn what options are available to you.

 Things to keep in mind when hiring a skipper

When you are chartering with a skipper, there are a few distinctive things you should note about the logistics.

If you have a skipper onboard, you must provide accommodations and provisioning for that individual. When selecting a yacht and planning out your food for the charter, make sure to account for an extra head - this might influence how many cabins you’ll need and what sort of food you buy.

Skipper’s require their own cabin. This can in the form of a bow cabin, but if the boat does not have any bow cabins, then the skipper will have to sleep in a double. Certainly, ask your skipper about any allergies or dietary restrictions when provisioning. A well-stocked yacht will be greatly appreciated. Also - If desired, some people will take their skippers with them when they have land-based meals as well. This is by no means obligatory, but can sometimes be quite enjoyable for the party!

Tipping is another thing that you should plan into your budget. Your destination will determine whether a tip is obligatory or optional. For Caribbean charters, a tip is expected and required. While tipping is not necessary in the Mediterranean, it is always appreciated. If you’re satisfied with your skipper’s service, a tip of 10-20% of the charter cost would be the norm.

Skippers can cost around 150-250 EUR per day, depending on the sailing destination and current price lists. Ask your Yacht4Less charter team about skippered charters in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or Asia Pacific.

When you think about it, a skippered yacht charter is really the best of both worlds. You get all the convenience and luxury of a crewed yacht charter but on a different scale. Skippered charters are great for all sorts of sailors, but at the end of the day - they’re best for those who love sailing and adventuring but also want to relax and slow down.

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