First and foremost, congratulations on your decision to take a sailing break! You’ll like it. Second, particularly if you’re new to sailing, you’ll want to go sailing with a skipper.
You inquire, “What is a skipper?” Here’s a fast rundown of what it means: A skipper — or captain, if you prefer — is the person in charge of a voyage. They’re in charge of the ships, as well as the comfort and protection of the passengers.
Although the word “skipper” can fit into a neat little description, the complexity of what a skipper does is quite broad… and impressive.
What is the role of a skipper?
A skipper on a chartered yacht will have the requisite qualifications, training, experience, and license to captain the vessel legally and safely (or flotilla, in the case of a group sailing holiday).
Here’s an example of what a skipper does in that role:
- Keeping everyone safe: Beginning when you check in at the marina, the skipper ensures that everyone on board is aware of and observes safety protocols; they’ll also know what to do in emergency situations such as hurricanes.
- Preparing for the trip to the destinations: The skipper will select the best time and course for sailing from one destination to another by knowing the currents and keeping on top of weather forecasts.
- Mooring and casting off: The skipper maneuvers the boat into and out of marinas with ease, securing it for the night and releasing it the next morning.
- Navigating the boat: It takes a lot of skill to get a boat to go where you want it to go, from using a chartplotter to deciding the wind direction, changing the boat’s heading, and trimming the sails.
- Observance of maritime rules and local regulations: You don’t want a fine to ruin your sailing vacation, particularly if you weren’t aware you were violating any laws.
- How to use the equipment: Today’s boats are fitted with advanced safety and navigational equipment, as well as the necessities such as the engine and water tank (and, of course, the bells and whistles that make for a memorable experience); the skipper understands how to operate and maintain each component.
- Recommending local attractions: A skipper will send you exclusive knowledge on the best restaurants, the most secluded beaches, and any other off-the-beaten-path attractions.
How do I book a skippered boat?
If you don’t have your own boating license, sailing with a skipper is pretty much the only way to go on a boating trip.
When entering your dates, destination, and number of guests for your boat vacation on SkipperCity, check the “I need a skipper” box. (Keep in mind that the skipper must be included in the total number of passengers on your trip!)
What are the steps to being a skipper?
It’s a satisfying job to be a skipper, particularly if you enjoy sailing. Naturally, becoming a skipper necessitates previous experience, as well as rigorous preparation and certifications.
It’s much easier to acquire a boating license, allowing you to sail without a skipper. In that case, the criteria are determined by your state or region, but you’ll usually need to take a course, pass a test, and pay a fee.
Last thought: Sailing with a skipper is a great way to spend a boat vacation.
Although having a stranger join your family or friends on sailing vacation might seem uncomfortable at first, it doesn’t have to be!
The skipper’s job is to keep you safe while also ensuring that you have an amazing time.