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Hiring a Captain

Welcoming a hired Captain onboard for the duration of your trip is exceptionally common and perfectly normal within the world of yacht charter. If you don’t have any formal qualifications, then it is absolutely essential and mandatory to either join a yacht with a Captain or charter a yacht and hire them separately.  Rest assured, we’ll help you with this every step of the way.

Even if you’re an experienced sailor, having a professional on board to guide and assist you, who knows the yacht and local area like the back of their hand and keep a watchful eye over your friends and family, is a great asset and worthy investment. We know all too well how stressful it can be managing a group of people on board who may have little to no experience and are more interested in sunbathing, mixing cocktails and taking in the surroundings. You persist in instructing them, you think they’ve got it, and then it comes to the crunch and panic sets in. You can lose control quickly, and the relaxation, fun and enjoyment are squeezed out of your ‘dream sailing adventure’ and worst still – it could cost you.    

A professional Captain on your yacht takes all that worry away. They’ll remain compos mentis throughout, alcohol-free, and let you enjoy yourself – no holds barred. Typically, they are experts in managing your expectations and understanding the needs of clients quickly. You may want a Captain who is there but no there, doing their job and fading back into the background. Alternatively, you may want them to join in the fun and be part of the team. That’s for you to decide and don’t be shy in asking for what you want.  

Other perks include the shift of liability from you, ‘the paying client’, to the hired Captain. They will have their Skipper Liability Insurance, so if they damage the yacht or otherwise, the cost falls on them. Also, the Captain will perform a walkaround and full health and safety briefing before departing from the marina to make sure everybody knows where everything is, all of the safety procedures are covered, and any special requirements are addressed. Usually, all passengers will have to sign a document as proof it has been completed.  

A Captain’s cost is usually measured as a daily rate, anything from €140 to €300 per day, depending on the yacht’s location, size, and, of course – Covid-19.  

Hiring a Chef

Hiring a professional Chef is almost always best served when working in a team, with a hired Captain You can find many yacht charters listed as ‘Crewed Charters’ or ‘Luxury Crewed Charters’, and these are some of the best sailing experiences available for several reasons; they’re delivering an all-inclusive, full-service luxury charter, they are probably well accustomed to working together, and they live permanently on board, so you know it is going to be a loved, well maintained and homely yacht to experience. As a capable and knowledgeable team, they would also create an exciting sailing itinerary, book and plan any off-yacht and extracurricular activities, and take care of the onboard interior and exterior cleaning and housekeeping.  

However, hiring a Chef doesn’t have to come hand-in-hand with a Captain. You can hire a Chef on their own, on your bareboat yacht charter. Once hired, you would enter dialogue with your Chef close to your charter to discuss your dietary preferences, requirements and things people don’t like to eat. The Chef would almost certainly prefer to know this ahead of time, so they can create a meal plan for the week, plan a shopping list and have your provisions arranged and delivered ahead of your arrival. You can, of course, save this until you arrive, but the process can become messy with the Chef working on the fly, as they say, without any forward preparation or a plan. This structure is best in this situation, and as a result, you will receive the very best your Chef has to offer.

In addition to provisioning, planning and preparing your delicious onboard meals, your Chef or Chef-Stew will take care of the general interior housekeeping, service and clearing, surface and floor cleaning taking out the garbage and, of course, taking care of any mid-week provisioning.  

A Chef’s cost typically ranges from €120 to €260 per day, depending on the size of the yacht, location, Covid-19 and the number of meals and services you wish for them to provide.  

Captain The Yacht Yourself (Bareboat Charter)

As discussed before, to legally and insurably be allowed by the charter provider or owner to Captain one of their vessels, you will need formal sailing qualifications. Usually, this means the Captain should have the RYA Day Skipper, ICC (International Certificate of Competence) or equivalent. Depending on the vessel’s size and the sailing region, you may also need at least one other crew member with experience and confidence, expressed by obtaining the RYA Competent Crew or other basic sail training.  

As a bareboat charter Captain (charters without hired crew), the limit for the vessel’s size you are allowed to hire is usually around 50 ft or 15 metres. Simply put, anything beyond these lengths requires more skill to handle, take up more space, and consequently, any damages suffered are much more expensive and, for these reasons, extra difficult to insure. If you determined to sail on a larger yacht, you could consider hiring a Captain who, no doubt, will be happy to let you take the helm whenever possible. It’s essential that during important manoeuvres such as close quarters handling, mooring in marinas and onto docks, the hired Captain takes control for insurance and liability purposes.  

Insurance and Liability

Any Captain in control of a vessel at sea needs to be protected by insurance. It is not just travel and medical insurance, but by the yacht’s insurance and with their own, personal ‘Skipper Liability Insurance’. To be protected by the yachts’ insurance, you need to have the appropriate licences (as discussed above), and Skipper Liability Insurance protects the Captain against any wrongdoing where they are at fault, such as damaging the yacht in a collision, running aground or otherwise, and being responsible for any damages or injuries to any passengers or otherwise.    

For more information, check out our ‘Yacht Insurance and Liability’ guide.

Check Out A Selection Of Exciting Yacht Charters Below

Jeanneau 44
Monohull
€787 p/p

August 2021 - 7 days Flotilla (Multiple Yachts)
Solo Traveller Friendly
Private Cabin, Shared Yacht + Captain / Chef
8 Guests
4 Cabins
Split, Dalmatian Coast
CROATIA

Ipanema 58
Catamaran
€1,825 p/p (2 min.)

16.01.21 > 23.01.21
By-The-Cabin, Luxury Charter Private Cabin, Shared Yacht
Solo Traveller Friendly
+ Captain / Chef
6 Guests
2 Cabins + Saloon
Le Marin, Martinique
grenadines

Sun Odyssey 389
Monohull
€2,668 p/w

16.01.21 > 23.01.21
Bareboat Charter
Private Whole Yacht
Best Suited For Groups
Captain Licence Required
6 Guests
2 Cabins + Saloon
Tortola, BVI
BVI

Lagoon 46
Catamaran
€12,895 p/w

04.09.21 > 11.09.21
Crewed Charter
Private Whole Yacht
Best Suited For Groups
+ Captain / Chef
8 Guests
4 Cabins
Athens, Saronic Gulf
Greece

Lagoon 620
Catamaran
€30,522 p/w

10.07.21 > 17.07.21 Luxury Crewed Charter
Private Whole Yacht
Best Suited for Groups
+ Captain / Chef / Deck-Stew
10 Guests
5 Cabins
Portisco, Sardinia
ITALY