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  1. Yacht Charter Information
  2. > Hiring a captain

Should We Hire a Captain?

There are several reasons why you might consider hiring a captain for all or part of your BVI sailing or powerboat charter holiday. If any of the reasons listed below apply to you, it might be a good idea to just go ahead and do it from the get go.

Do Any of These Circumstances Apply to You?

Your Sailing Resume

Before your deposit payment can be processed and your charter confirmed, you will be asked to supply a sailing resume outlining all your boating experience and qualifications. The operations manager will review your resume and will make the decision as to whether or not you have sufficient experience to charter a bareboat.

Several things are factored into the operations manager's decision: Although most people are fully aware of their own limitations, some are not. It is the operation managers job to ensure that anyone chartering a bareboat is capable of handling it safely. Sometimes, he is put in the unenviable position of having to advise would-be captains that they have not provided sufficient information to qualify for a bareboat charter and as such, he recommends they hire a captain for all or part of their vacation.

It's not so much a "recommendation" as it is a requirement, if you really want that particular yacht, from that particular company. After all, it is the operations manager who will be left holding the bag and who will ultimately have to deal with the insurance company, should anything happen to the yacht.

Once the ops manager has made his decision, it is final ... unless of course you did not include pertinent info that might help change his perspective.

Should you wish to hire a captain or ASA sailing instructor for all or part of your charter, we will be happy to arrange it for you. Please note that we deal strictly with "bareboat" companies and as such, captains and sailing instructors are hired from a pool of freelance professionals serving the various companies within the BVI charter industry. They are hired on your behalf, specifically for the period requested. Your captain is your employee.

If hiring a captain for your charter and if you plan to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, please notify us at time of booking (or as soon afterwards as possible) so that we may ensure your skipper has the necessary documentation. Some captains may require a visa to travel outside of the territory. If we do not know your plans prior to hiring your skipper, there could "potentially" be a problem.

Different "types" of Captains

Non-Instructional Captain:

Your charter captain is a skilled professional hired to drive the boat, provide information regarding preferred destinations and anchorages and to ensure the safety of the yacht and guests to the best of his/her abilities. I stress the word "professional" because these men and women spend the better part of their lives in the company of strangers who, more often than not, become good friends inside of a week.

Your captain is more than a tour guide or chauffeur. Most charter skippers are very people oriented types and have a sixth sense about when to make themselves scarce and when to interact with your group.

There is little need to be concerned about having a stranger aboard. We always do our best to make certain that your skipper is the best match available for your group provided you make any special requirements known at the time you book your charter.

Fees are $175.00 - $185.00 per day, plus meals.

Check Out & Instructional Skippers:

A check out skipper and an instructional captain are virtually the same thing. The only difference is the duration they will be aboard. A check out captain will only be aboard for 4 or 5 hours. They are just there to make sure you are good to go it alone. An instructional captain will be aboard for whatever length of time you or the operations manager have determined would be optimal.

He will assist you in becoming familiar with the yacht you have hired and how to properly operate its on board systems. He will also make sure you are fully capable of anchoring safely, how to pick up a mooring ball and the tricks to docking your specific boat. He is there for you to pick his brains, brush up on your sailing skills and perhaps learn some new ones. Be sure to make good use of your time!

In most cases, a check out or instructional skipper will cost between $175.00 to $200.00 for a half day and $200.00 for a full 24 hour day. It varies by company. In all cases, you are asked to please provide your captain's meals.

ASA Sailing Instructors:

Your sailing instructor is certified by the American Sailing Association and in most cases has many years of instructional experience under his belt. Please see our ASA Sailing information for more details.

Fees for an ASA Instructor are $200.00 per day, plus meals.


It is common practice to tip your crew between 10 to 20% of their fee based upon services rendered. If you are unhappy with the service received ... tip or don't tip accordingly. In any case, please make sure that the charter company or your yacht charter broker is aware of your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with any crew member.

Scuba Diving

While we may be able to supply a captain who also happens to be a scuba diver, we cannot promise that your captain will agree to dive with you. Unfortunately, legalities are involved. We cannot provide dive guides, dive masters or SCUBA instructors either ... but all of the SCUBA companies can satisfy your needs, as they each offer "rendezvous diving" services specifically for this purpose.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to assist!

A wise man knows one thing - the limits of his knowledge.
... "John Maynard Keynes"

Last updated: Jan 5th 2015
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