Skippered charters

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Our skipper answers frequently asked questions 

Our skippers can be added to any of our bareboat or flotilla charters for your entire trip or just a day or two, whichever suits you.

Skippers can come in handy and fulfil a number of different roles and should be considered if you don’t have a sailing certificate or if it’s been a good few years since you were at the helm.

You may have a first mate who just prefers sunbathing to getting fenders ready or has too much on their hands, keeping the children occupied.

A skipper can also benefit you if you have been hoisting your own sails for decades and just want a little help and support with some of the more physical aspects of keeping a yacht moving under sail.

Below you’ll find some questions that we asked one of our Sunsail skippers:


Will I always be in charge of your yacht, can you do any sailing?

I will be officially in charge and happy to take the reins for the duration of the trip.

Depending on your level of sailing experience you can do as much or as little as you like, including taking the helm.

My main priority will be keeping everyone safe and providing advice on the best routes to make sure you get the most out of your cruising ground.

Please remember that although I’ll endeavour to keep the yacht looking ship shape and clear of hazards. I am a sailor and not a cleaner, a cook or a maid.

Where do I sleep?

Generally, I’ll need a cabin in the stern to myself so that everyone has a little privacy. I can be flexible and take a bow cabin and in rare situations may even be willing to take the saloon.

Some of my more hard wearing colleagues even enjoy sleeping on deck but, we all still need to be designated a cabin to stow our gear.

If you need me to accommodate to anything other than the norm, then please get this confirmed via a holiday planner before you book your holiday.

What do I eat / how do you feed me?

That’s entirely up to you. If you’re planning to pre-order all of your food online then just count me in and I’ll make do.

If you’re planning to provision when you arrive, just meet with me and have a chat before shopping. I’ll tell you if there are certain things I do or don’t like and let you know if I have any special dietary requirements.

If we all hit it off and you ask me to come to dinner, I may join you, although I may prefer to stay with the yacht and eat aboard. If there’s no food aboard you can give me ‘pocket money’ and I’ll feed myself at a local haunt. No matter what, I will only ever be a phone call away.

What do I do in the evening? 

Again, that’s entirely up to you as every group is different and get on with people in different ways. Rest assured I do this as a profession, so I’m comfortable around people I’ve just met and am adept at reading the social situation.

If it’s your honeymoon for instance I know that you’re going to be planning time as a couple, so I’ll stay with the yacht while you enjoy yourself and pick you up in the dinghy if necessary – Again, I’ll only ever be a phone call away.

On the other hand if you’re a bigger group and you offer to include me I may well join in with whatever you’re planning or thank you for the offer and retire for an early night after a long day’s sailing.

Do we have to tip you?

That is something I leave at your discretion, thought is customary. I would say judge me on the level of my service and if you are able to, then tip me what you think I’ve been worth to you throughout the duration of your charter.

I’ll aim to add as much value to your trip as I possibly can and my main aim is to make sure you have a truly great holiday, while hoping I’ll be a part of what made your experience so great. I’ll readily share my sailing experience and local knowledge with you, all you have to do is ask.

Will you speak English?

Me and my colleagues are a mixed bunch when it comes to nationality. The overwhelming majority of us will speak excellent English and all of us speak English to a level that means your holiday isn’t impeded in any way.

You could get a French national skippering you out in St Martin or find a proud Lancastrian at the helm in Athens. You may find a native Virgin Islander taking you under his wing in Tortola but we’ll all able to speak and understand each other to a high level.

What do I get for my money?

A fully qualified, commercially endorsed and experienced yachtsman, with tonnes of local knowledge to share with you so that you benefit from the best places to moor up, eat out and the best times to visit certain places. I can teach you new things about sailing, help you regain your confidence at the helm, act as a ready pair of hands and handle the heavy lifting for you.


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