Licenses & hiring a skipper

Click here for everything about licenses you'll need for a bareboat rental. And if you need a skipper, we cover that, too (how to hire, average cost & more).
  • Do I need a valid sailing license to book a boat?

    If you’re thinking about renting a boat without a crew (or what we call a ‘bareboat’ charter), you will need a valid sailing licence in most countries (RYA and ICC are recognized internationally) for boats over a certain size and/or horsepower. Not sure if yours is valid in your destination country?

    Here’s a list of accepted nautical licences for the world’s most popular charter destination countries.

    Don’t have a license? No problem! You can still embark on your sea adventure; you’ll just have to hire a skipper to helm your crew. If you have questions, just give our customer support team a shout – they’ll help you navigate those choppy licensing waters.

  • Do I need a skipper?

    Certain boats, particularly larger or more luxurious ones, can only be rented with their captain and crew. If you already know you don’t want to rent such boats, use the filters on our search results page to exclude them.

    Many boats offer the “bareboat" option, meaning you can rent them without a skipper. If you don’t have a boating license, you can hire a skipper as an add-on during the booking process.

    Keep in mind, hiring a skipper comes with an additional cost, which varies based on the size of the boat. Also, you’re expected to provide food and accommodation for the skipper for the length of your rental.

  • What's a bareboat charter?

    A bareboat charter is a crewless boat rental.

    When you book a bareboat, it means you’re setting sail without a skipper. It also means that you – or someone in your party – should know (and be comfortable) sailing and managing the type of boat you book.

    Since you’re responsible for the boat and the safety of everyone on it, most countries require you have a valid sailing license (RYA or ICC equivalent) if you’re booking bareboat.

    If you’d rather relax on your holiday, you can always hire a skipper (available for nearly all boats in our offer) who’ll do most of the work

  • Does the skipper sleep on the boat & where?

    Yes, the skipper sleeps on aboard.

    Usually, they’ll have a dedicated cabin on larger boats, or a berth in the salon on smaller ones.

    But take our suggestion – give one cabin berth to the skipper. You won’t regret it.

    After all, they’re responsible for everyone’s safety, so it’s important they’re well-rested. Also, if they sleep in the salon, this limits your movement after hours (and not wee hours… because skippers go to bed early).

  • Who is responsible for the skipper's meals?

    The skipper’s meals are your responsibility.

    You can share meals on board or give them a meal allowance so they can make their own arrangements.

    In Croatia, for example, it’s customary to share on-board meals with the skipper, and to invite them for dinner (and cover their meal) whenever you’re making a restaurant stop.

  • What's the cost of hiring a skipper?

    Hiring a skipper will run you between €150 and €200 per day for a 12-15 meter (40-50 ft) boat on the Mediterranean. A week’s sailing with a skipper will cost you between 1,050€ and 1,400€.

    Skipper fees are higher for larger boats.

  • Do I have to tip the skipper?

    You don’t have to tip your skipper (or any of the crew), but it’s customary.

    If you’re happy with their work, a tip equal to an extra day’s pay is a good rule of thumb in most destinations.

  • Can I choose our skipper?

    The charter company assigns skippers, but if you have a preference (for example, that the skipper speaks your language), let us know. We’ll do our best to make it happen.

  • Does the skipper speak my language?

    All skippers can chat in English, and some speak other languages too.

    If your group doesn’t speak English (or you’d prefer to communicate in your native language), send us an email after your booking. We’ll coordinate with the charter company to find a skipper who speaks your language.

  • What does a host/hostess do & can I hire one?

    A host/hostess is an extra pair of helping hands on the boat. They help the captain/skipper keep the vessel in ship shape, assist with docking and, depending on your arrangements, make sure that the boat is provisioned.

    You can hire a host/hostess for most boats available on Yachtaris. If this option is not available as an extra, let us know and we’ll coordinate with the charter company to make it happen. However, remember that smaller boats have limited sleeping space. If you’re hiring a skipper, too, then things might get cramped.

    On larger, crewed boats, host/hostess can come as a part of a packaged deal, along with a skipper and a cook.

  • What's the difference between booking bareboat & hiring a skipper?

    Hiring a skipper gets you a pro sailor who will manage and sail the boat for the duration of your trip.

    Sailing bareboat means you’re the captain and the crew. To rent bareboat, you should have experience and a valid sailing license.

  • Can I still sail the boat even if there's a skipper onboard?

    So you want to take the wheel even with a skipper onboard?

    In most cases, this won’t be a problem, especially if you’re an experienced sailor/boater. Even if you’re a beginner, most skippers will be happy to give you a crash course in boat handling and navigation, and stay close by to make sure everything goes smoothly.

  • What is the 'Skipper Instructor Training' that's available as an extra on some boats?

    If you choose this paid extra, your skipper will spend a day teaching you and your crew the basics of boat handling, sailing, and navigation. Think of it as a crash course on managing a sailboat – you’ll learn how to handle the sail, change course, and the basics of sailing in course.

    If you’re renting a sailboat and have no prior experience sailing, this extra will help you find your sea legs faster.

  • Will a skipper teach me boat handling and sailing?,

    Most skippers don’t go into the nitty-gritty of sailing during the time they spend with you.

    When you hire a skipper, you’re hiring them to handle the boat and get you from point A to point B safely. It’s difficult to fit a hands-on course into the itinerary in this case. However, some skippers will go over the basics with you at the start of the journey (ask them before you set sail).

    Looking for a more comprehensive training experience?

    Some charter companies offer a training day with the skipper as a paid extra – Skipper Instructor Training. Give us a shout if you can’t see that extra for your preferred boat – we’ll double-check to see if we can arrange it.