Plain Sailing

You don’t need to be a sailor!

You don’t need to be a qualified sailor to use - you can charter a yacht with a Skipper to steer the ship, and to let you concentrate on relaxing and having fun!

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One of the most exhilarating things about sailing is the sense of freedom.  You can travel wherever you want, and venture to islands that have delightful bays and beaches which are way beyond the reach of the neanderthal landlubber tourists.  Places where you can be fairly sure where you won’t hear another English accent (beyond your own crew!), and, even if you were a celebrity, where no one would know who you are.

Often the places you end up discovering are all the more beautiful for the tranquillity and peace and quiet, and unspoilt-ness (if that’s a word?), and there’s a sense of smug satisfaction that to get to the anchorage / island / marina required a little out of the ordinary, and a slight swaying from the beaten track. 

Getting a skipper means less responsibility…

But contrary to what some people think, you don’t need a sailing qualification to book or charter a yacht or catamaran at - you can hire a skipper, who will look after and steer the boat for you. 

Getting a skipper will only add about a thousand euro’s to the total cost of a bareboat charter, but means that you can all relax, let someone else take the wheel, and focus on spending quality time with the family or friends you came on holiday with.  With a skipper, anyone can go yachting, and experience sun, sea and sails for themselves.

…but keeping control of the boat

Just because you hire a skipper, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to learn the ropes - almost all skippers are happy to teach you about the yacht or catamaran you’re on, and they’ll gladly accept help in managing the ship – though they’ll retain ultimate responsibility to make sure you don’t crash!

And it also doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to set your own route, and go where you want to go: it’s your holiday, you’re in charge, and the skipper will be taking directions from you.  Tell him where you want to go, and he’ll take you there!  In fact, the skipper will undoubtedly have local knowledge and might well be able to advise you of where the best places to go are.

Where do they eat and sleep?

A couple of other costs involved in getting a skipper include the fact that they’ll need their own cabin (which will mean you might have to charter a yacht slightly bigger than you would otherwise take).  Giving them their own cabin also means that they have somewhere to disappear to in the evenings, to avoid cramping your style.

You’ll also need to make sure that the skipper has something to eat (they’re busy steering the ship, so don’t have time to worry about shopping and such).  That usually just means setting aside an extra portion of whatever you’re eating for the skipper, leaving them some food to prepare themselves, or giving him a few euro’s to go and buy something in the town (It doesn’t mean you have to take him to every Taverna or restaurant you go to, and treat him like one of the family!).

Yachting is for everyone!

So if you’re not qualified, don’t worry – just switch from searching in ‘Bareboat’ to ‘Skippered’ mode, and treat your friends or family to the holiday of a lifetime.  If you try it once, you just might end up doing it every year!