On a bareboat charter, you are the Skipper, and your guests are the crew. Command of a vessel is a task which carries significant responsibility for safety, both in law and in practice. We have one over-riding criteria, and that is the safety of you, your ships' company, and our vessels.
In summary, whilst no particular formal qualifications are necessary, a prospective Skipper must have significant experience in charge of a vessel of a similar size and configuration to that being chartered. By way of amplification, “Significant experience” is normally acquired over a period of years, “in Charge of” refers to being the legal Skipper of vessels, and “of a similar type” refers to your experience being in sailing vessels of a similar size, weight and hull configuration.
We do conduct a substantial briefing on the procedures and equipment in each vessel, and local navigation, but this is designed to mitigate the risks of unfamiliarity with the craft and the area, not to teach the basics; we do not present Bareboat Chartering as an opportunity for Skippers to learn to sail, The Skipper should already be competent in vessel handling, seamanship, navigation, piloting and the ColRegs, and we'll ask all skippers for a declaration to that effect, and an outline of the experience that you've had in our "Skippers Resume". Your insurance coverage of the vessel depends on this being accurate.
There should also be onboard a person designated as First Mate, or Second-in-command. That person should be adult, and capable of basic vessel operations in the event of the incapacitation of the skipper. There must also be at least one person aboard who speaks english fluently.
We'll send you a Skippers Resume form as part of the booking process, and we can use this to establish whether we feel your charter would be a safe proposition, based on your knowledge and experience.