Skippered sailing holidays

What Is A Skipper?

A skipper is typically a captain, that’s in command of a boat. Most skippers, with their professional sailing experience, have excellent knowledge of the local area and are capable of making recommendations on the best places to visit and fun things to do or see. Skippered yacht charter holidays are hence a perfect option for those who have little or no sailing skills or have never sailed before.

How Does A Skippered Yacht Work?

If you’ve chartered a bareboat, you’ll most certainly need to hire a skipper who will accompany you throughout the journey. The skipper, in this case, will meet you at the time of checking in to the yacht. He/she will be charged with the responsibility of sailing you to different places on your itinerary for the entire holiday duration.

This gives you the freedom to relax, lounge on the decks and try different activities along the way. You can sunbathe on the deck; relax in a hammock, snorkel or take a swim in the waters, knowing you’ve got someone at the helm.

If you’re a beginner or novice sailor, you can also take time to learn a few basic sailing skills from the skipper, if you are willing. Majority of skippers are always friendly and
will gladly show you how to tie the ropes, steer the boat, anchor the chain and
so much more.

About Sailing Hours and Itinerary

How far you cruise each will depend on the nature of your itinerary. But a skipper will generally sail for 3 to 4 hours a day, typically covering the period between morning and afternoon. He/she will stop at some point along the way for lunch.

In the evening, the skipper will dock the vessel at the destined port or harbor, after which you’ll be free to eat, relax on board or even go out and dine as you please. As for itineraries, the skipper will provide suggestions of the best places to visit, and you’re free to adapt them as they are or request to make slight changes as you please.

The best way to go about it though would be to sit down with your skipper at the beginning of the trip and think through the best route to follow. And if you have specific ideas on the activities (like diving, snorkeling, etc.) that you would wish to engage in along the way, the best you can do is ask for recommendations from the skipper.

Do You Need Qualification To Sail On A Skippered Yacht?

Most skippers are usually experienced and have suitable permissions and insurance to cruise various boats. So, as a charterer, you do not need to have any prior sailing experience. While it may sometimes be necessary to help the skipper on the deck do the docking, for instance, it does not require any sophisticated knowledge. In fact, that’s a perfect opportunity for you to learn a few skills if you’ve never sailed before.

What Skippered Yacht Options to Choose From?

The type of boat you choose to go for is entirely up to you. It all depends on your preference and what you expect for your holiday. But it is important to keep in mind that your skipper needs a cabin to sleep or rest in during the journey.

Having said that, here the main options to consider:

Sailing Yacht

If your desire is to sail the seas on a boat that’s propelled partly or entirely by sails, then a sailing yacht would be a perfect choice for you. Most people opt for this type of boat because of the sheer romanticism of cruising under traditional sails and/or the peace and quiet that comes with it. More sailing yachts currently in the market are also well-equipped and feature decent accommodation and deck space for guests to enjoy. Hence exploring the seas with such vessels is as beautiful and it is convenient.

Sailing yacht on the water


A catamaran can be a sublime option to you if massive saloon, deck and accommodation space is what you’re looking for. Aside from being super spacious, they tend to be stable too, since they are multi-hulled. Further, they come with shallow drafts, meaning you can explore and anchor even in the shallowest of waters. With lots of lounging space, trampolines and swim platforms, catamarans just offer more fun opportunities onboard compared to their sailing yacht counterparts.

Attire Ideas for yacht party

Can You Add Crew on a Skippered Yacht?

A skippered charter works almost the same way as a bareboat charter in that you have to care for the holiday all by yourself. That means you’ll need to organize for provisions including food, drinks, toiletries, cleaning products and more, before embarking on the journey. Keeping in mind the many tasks that await you on board like cleaning, preparing snacks and drinks plus shopping for more provisions, you may need to hire a hostess or chef to help you out. But remember, each of the additional crew will need a separate cabin to stay.

Cost of Hiring a Skipper

The cost of hiring a skipper will usually vary based on the yacht description and the additional service payable on the charter guide. On average though, a skipper’s payment ranges between €100 and €180 per day, depending on the location.

Is the Skipper Included in the Yacht Charter Price?

Yes, most skippered boats always include skipper service fees in the base charter price. If not included, the charter company will specify that in the listing.

Where Does the Skipper Sleep?

It is not uncommon for the skipper of the yacht to sleep in the salon area. But it is important to understand that every boat has a specified number of people allowed to stay onboard, based on the registered amount of berths. So, when planning to take a skipper with you on a sailing tour, be sure to arrange a cabin for him or her.

The benefits of allocating a full cabin for the skipper are many. Aside from helping the skipper rest adequately, it provides him/her with privacy as well as an ideal place to store his/her personal effects.

What Are the Skipper’s Tasks?

Skippers, with their experience in navigation and sailing, have many organizational, household, technical and nautical duties to fulfill. Some of the most important tasks they carry out include the following:

  • Informing you (the charterer) about the yacht and preferred route and itinerary activities
  • Navigation and sailing
  • Suggesting to you all the hidden gems that can be great to explore along the way
  • Manning the yacht and all its equipment
  • Showing you the basic navigation skills (if you’re interested or willing to learn)
  • Checking in and checking out with the charter company

    Skippered yacht charter

Who is Responsible for Skipper’s Meals?

As a charterer, you’re expected to cover the cost of food for the skipper and hostess, if any. And there are two ways to do it. You can either pay the skipper an average of €35/day in advance for his/her food or simply choose to include the skipper and/or other crew in your meals (even when going to restaurants).

Does the Skipper Speak My Language?

Most skippers always speak English and the language of the country in which they’re sailing. If you wish the skipper to speak your own language, you can always indicate that on the reservation comments and the charter company will try their best to fulfill that.

Skipper on a yacht

Reasons to Charter a Skippered Yacht

With a skippered yacht, you are free to choose any of the stunning destinations you’ve ever dreamt of visiting. You’ll also have the opportunity to craft your own unique itinerary and enjoy as many fun activities as possible as you go along.

The fact that you have the skipper sitting at the helm frees you of the somewhat taxing navigation and sailing tasks, allowing you to sit back and unwind as you cruise on. If you’ve never sailed before, you have the opportunity to learn a few basic navigation skills from the skipper.

The beauty of it all is that the captain (skipper) has in-depth knowledge of the local area and can lead you to all the fun hotspots, including beaches, secluded bays, and cays that you would love to spend time in. So yours will be to explore and enjoy the beauty of various spots you visit.

Who Is a Skippered Yacht-Charter For?

A skippered yacht charter is typically for anyone that’s planning a sailing holiday but has little or no sailing experience. If you would also want to enjoy the freedom of sailing to whatever place you want at any given time, this charter could also be great for you. The privacy provided onboard a skippered boat cannot be overstated too. This means there’s more you can enjoy on such a yacht compared to other charter options.


Now that you’ve learned what skippered yacht charters entail, planning your upcoming sailing holiday should be easy. All you may need to do is book your desired vessel early enough, get all the provisions you need a day or so before embarking and let your skipper guide you through the best spots in the area that you can visit. Otherwise, if you plan your itinerary well, you’ll have a fun, adventurous and memories sailing holiday.

Request Your Skippered Yacht Charter Quote Now

Have you already charter a skippered yacht? If so, you are welcome to share your experience in the comments below.


  1. This was great information on a skippered charter. My family and I are trying to plan a chartered boat cruise. I recently went on a cruise, and it was just too many people, and you really couldn’t enjoy certain things because of the crowds. I like the idea of chartering a boat, but no one going has any boating experience, so we have to get a skippered charter. I like the catamaran the best as it seems like it would rock the least. My son gets sick on boats, so I was thinking this was the best option. Am I correct?

    • Hi Matt,
      Cruise ships are crowded with people, and I personally think it’s difficult to enjoy the trip this way. A skippered yacht will be an ideal sailing holiday for you and your son. And yes, you are absolutely right. Catamaran boats are more stable and comfortable than monohulls and seasickness is much less felt on a catamaran.
      Please, don’t hesitate to contact me with any question, I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day.

  2. Thanks for writing this article on skippered yacht charter holidays and all it entails.i must commend you for a well done job for taking your time to write this article on skippered. Although I do hear about them and have seen how it works but never for once have I go for sailing holiday personally. I will like to try it one of this days.But I will like to ask how many days or months can a skipper be hire

    • Hi there,

      If you have your own boat, you can hire a skipper for as many days as you want. But if you rent a crewed boat through a charter company, the skipper is included in the charter price, and he will navigate the boat for a week, which usually begin on Saturday and end on the following Saturday.

      I hope it helped.

      Please, let me know if you need more info. I’ll be glad to help!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day.

  3. Excellent writeup, been looking forward to a similar adventure. A friend once advised to hire some professional skippers for a half day or more at the beginning of your charter to build your confidence before continuing your sailing holidays without them, if you have not sailed or had to check your sailing experience before continuing bareboat. I still kept the information, and with the one I read here I guess I have more than enough on skippered yacht. Keep up the good work. 

    • Hi Michelle,

      If the charterer doesn’t have enough confidence, then the skipper will sail with him a few hours. It really helps!

      I would go for a skippered yacht too:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day.

  4. Hi Danielle. Thanks to you for this great article about Skippers. I had no idea these guys exits, I guess I haven’t been visiting the waters much. Well I have learnt more than enough from this post today about Skippers and how they work. I love the Catamaran. I can’t wait to sail. Thanks for sharing 

    • Hi there,

      Yes, catamarans boats are beautiful!

      I am glad you’ve learned from this article!

      Don’t hesitate to contact me with any question, I am always happy to help.

      Thank you for the comment and wish you to sail very soon!

  5. I will like to commend you for taking out time to write this article about What Is A Skipper.this very informative, seen that I now know about who a skipper is. And now know how important their roles are.  But I will like to ask and be clarified about this; can a skipper be hired Without footing the bill of his feedings? 

    • Hi Barry,

      You can not hire a skipper without taking care of his food and beverages. He needs a lot of strength to navigate the boat:)

      Let me know if you need more info. I’ll be more than happy to assist!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day.

  6. I must say this is an eye opener; that it does not need to have experience on how to sail a boat before having it, the skipper will do the job, I cannot help but agree with everything that you have written on your website because your articles are very helpful and informative

    • Hi there,

      I am glad you agree with what is written in the article:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a nice day!

  7. I’ve never even considered this until recently my friend suggested this. And I can absolutely see why he enjoyed it so much.

    I mean it feels like such an amazing adventure. To sail. With a pro. Who can also teach you a thing or two about sailing. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do someday (to sail) but it never really occurred to me that it’s so accessible.

    I don’t know, I kinda didn’t expect it to be any more than 180 Euros a day. I do find it very affordable for the experience you get. The additional meal price is good you mentioned but I don’t really consider it as we’re going to eat anyway so you might as well feed the skipper. 🙂

    All in all, this was such an insightful article for me!

    Thank you!

    Cheers, and have a Great One!

    Carpe minutam,


    • Hi Matiss,

      Indeed, sailing is an experience to miss out!

      I am glad this article has inspired you:)

      Let me know if you need any help, I’ll be glad to assist you!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you to sail very soon.

  8. No, I have not already chartered a skippered yacht. Yet. I plan to. 🙂

    I must say, WOW. I loved the article. And I love sailing yachts. There is, as you said, something particularly romantic about them. But apart from that, I did find the article extremely resourceful. What I mean is, you truly managed to answer all the questions that I had about sailing with a skipper.

    I was somewhat reluctant towards it as I wasn’t sure about the little stuff and the fact of whether or not we will be given privacy. It’s good to know that we would. I mean there probably are some very noisy skippers but it’s good to know that generally, that’s not the case. 

    I’m really looking forward to this. 

    And thank you!


    • Hi Rasa,

      There is nothing to worry about, you’ll have as much as privacy as you wish. The skipper will make your trip enjoyable as ever, you can count on this!

      Please, don’t hesitate to contact me with any question. I’ll be glad to help!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

  9. I find it cool when you said that a person that hires a skipper with their yacht charter can help them get more time to relax and snorkel in the water. Reading about this convinced me to book one for my family’s summer vacation this year. Doing this will help everyone enjoy the open sea and feel luxurious in the process.

    • Hi Yoshiko,

      Yes, this what a skipper is all about, make your sailing trip enjoyable.
      I am glad this article has inspired you to sail!
      If you need any help, please let me know. I’ll be more than happy to assist.

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day!


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