Who is the yacht charter skipper?

Discover all the hints and tips you need to know when choosing a skippered yacht charter, which is a natural solution if you do not have the necessary certification  to handle a boat.

Yacht charter vacation is definitely a memorable and enjoyable experience, however if you have never rented a boat before, doing it for the first time can be a bit challenging as there might be some questions you would like to receive answers to before stepping aboard  your desired charter boat. At aBoatTime our target is to ease the process of getting information and make your sailing holiday experience is as pleasant as possible.

One of the issues yacht charter tourists usually have more questions about, is hiring a skipper.
The skipper is a person who has the necessary certification and who is authorized to handle a boat, be it a sailboat, motoryacht, catamaran or a gulet. In addition, the skipper also has to know the sailing area to be able to suggest the best route and attractions to visit.


In order to handle a yacht, skippers must have the appropriate certification. Requirements for this certification can vary among different countries. For example, in Spain, there are three levels of qualification that one can obtain in order to be a yacht charter skipper: Patrón de Embarcaciones de Recreo (also known as PER or Recreational Boat Skipper), Patrón de Yate (Yacht Skipper)  and Capitán de Yate (Yacht Captain). The main difference between these three is the size of the vessel skippers are allowed to operate and the offshore distance at which they can navigate.

At aBoatTime, we always try to take into account client preferences in regards with the skippers’ gender and the language they speak, to make your time on board comfortable and enjoyable.
Normally, only the payment for the boat can be made online, the one for hiring a skipper is paid directly to the fleet upon arrival. The price for the skipper’s services usually is within the range of 120 -150 € per day.

Other costs that you should take into account are the ones related with skipper’s meals. As contracting the skipper is usually considered adding another member to the crew, when buying groceries for your team, you should make sure also your skipper is counted into your meal plan. It doesn’t mean you must pay for the skipper’s meals when eating out, just take care your skipper is provided with food and drinks when being on board.

Another important aspect to remember is that that the skipper needs to rest as well, so when planning your team members’ distribution in the cabins, the skipper will need to have a place where to sleep. In most cases, skippers use of the cabins (if it is a double cabin, the skipper will occupy both places to ensure undisturbed rest). In case there are no cabins available, the skipper will be sleeping  in the convertible saloon. Some boats, usually the larger and more luxury ones (43 feet or more), have smaller individual cabins intended for the use of skippers.

Finally, you should know that, although the skipper’s duty is to follow your wishes regarding the  travel route and time, he/she is fully responsible for the safety of both the crew and the yacht, so in certain situations, especially in bad weather conditions, the skipper will always have the last word in decision making.

If you have any other questions related to boat rental and hiring a sipper for your sailing vacation, visit aBoatTime yacht charter advice page.