You can either rent a boat with or without a skipper. To be able to navigate a boat, you need a license. In the event of a bareboat charter, the client, who is also a skipper, must be in possession of a certificate of competence in order to charter a boat in most countries. Also, in most countries, there is a legal requirement for one member of the crew to be qualified for the operation with the VHF station (possessing the VHF licence).
The license can be obtained in your native country, in which case your picture, official stamp and verification of the state must be included on it. The other possibility is to take an exam in the country where you are spending your sailing vacation, immediately before sailing. The certificate is obtained the same day. If you have no sailing experience at all or if you do not possess an officially recognized sailing licence, you are obliged to hire a skipper.
Even if you have experience in sailing but are not sure in your maneuvering skills we strongly advise you to hire a skipper and have a worry-free holiday. You can also benefit from the local skippers' knowledge - they are well acquainted with sailing conditions in the region you choose to sail in and will be able to suggest the most interesting places for swimming and fun, as well as numerous restaurants.
For those eager to learn more about sailing, a skipper will gladly show you basic sailing techniques and maneuvers, as well as answer all your questions.
Skipper's services are paid separately from the charter fee. You are obliged to pay them (also those of a hostess or a cook), as well as food and drink for the skipper and other crew members.
On gulets, the crew expenses (those of a captain, a sailor and a cook) are already included in the charter fee.
Mega yachts and sailing boats exceeding certain length are chartered exclusively with the crew (provided by the vessel owner), in which case the crew expenses are included in the charter fee.
In most cases a skipper sleeps in the salon area. However, it is strongly recommended to charter a bigger boat and provide the skipper with his own cabin. Since he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the yacht, as well as the security of people on board, he should be well-rested. Apart from that, the guests will have more comfort and a free salon area to hang out.
Every vessel is registered for a certain number of people (the law does not allow this number to be exceeded). If this number does not include a berth in the salon area, the skipper is required to have his own cabin.
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