How to Charter a Yacht With No Experience

/ Published in Sailing Tips

How to Charter a Yacht With No Experience

All you need to know about luxury sailing with a skipper

Despite what you may think, you don’t need previous sailing experience to charter a yacht with Navigare Yachting. If you choose, a yacht charter can be a vacation where you don’t have to lift a finger. Just sit back and relax, tropical drink in hand, and enjoy the gorgeous views while savoring the good moments with your friends and family. 

It’s essentially the easiest thing you have ever done, with a huge upside to being your favorite getaway ever! (We hear that all the time from our honored guests.)

But how? You ask. The boat won’t steer itself, right? Not quite. Although self-driving boats might be a thing of the not-too-distant future, today we are here to tell you everything you need to know about hiring a skipper. 


How to book a yacht charter

Once you know the basics of your trip, such as where it will take place (we offer 12 exotic destinations globally), when you will travel, and how many people are in your group, it’s time to book your beautiful private yacht in the exotic destination of your choice. If you’ve never chartered before, we recommend contacting our charter sales team who can assist with questions, make expert recommendations, and guide you through the entire booking process. 

If you prefer to book on your own, you can easily book directly through the online booking platform on our website. Whether you decide to book with or without the assistance of our support team, we recommend checking out our charter blog

Our blog has many useful resources for chartering beginners and experts alike, so we recommend checking it out before your trip. Explore topics such as choosing the right boat, how much to tip your crew, when to sail in top charter destinations, the do’s and don’ts of a yacht charter, good-to-know travel tips, and so much more.

Why hire a skipper?

When you imagine a sailing yacht charter you might picture yourself sweaty and exhausted pulling the ropes or stuck by the steering wheel for hours at a time. This is far from reality. 

Most of our charter guests hire a skipper, either because they don’t have enough sailing experience to sail on their own, or because they simply want to leave the sailing to someone else so they can fully enjoy their vacation. Another purpose of a skipper is to teach the client how to sail; there is a specific type of skipper for this known as an instructional skipper (more about this below). The skipper will serve as your private captain (and local guide). Don’t worry if you have no previous sailing experience, you’ll be in very good hands if you choose to bring a professional skipper along. 

The skipper takes full responsibility for sailing the boat during your entire yacht charter trip, including things like docking, mooring, and anchoring, so you never have to worry about the safety of you and your vessel. Our skippers have robust training and years of experience behind them, so we guarantee that you will be in good hands. On your first day, you will discuss the itinerary with your private skipper, who will do their best to accommodate all of your wishes, time/distance, and weather permitting. 

As mentioned, there are two different types of skippers: the skipper that you hire to sail the boat so that you can sit back and relax and the instructional skipper that you hire for educational purposes who will teach you how to sail. We offer the regular skipper in all of our destinations, but if you wish to have an instructional skipper, it is only offered in the BVI at this time. It’s one of our newest offerings for 2024 offering a truly unique experience where you will earn a sailing certificate at the end of your charter vacation. 

An instructional skippered charter puts you in a position to possibly try a bareboat charter in the future, where you would be your skipper.

There are many benefits of having a hired skipper onboard. In addition to taking you safely where you want to go, they also serve as terrific local guides, giving you recommendations on “secret” lagoons and sand bars and bringing you to their favorite personal spots. 

How to hire a skipper

If at this point you feel that hiring a skipper is the right choice for you, let’s take a step back and look at the booking process. If you book with the help of a charter agent, just tell them you want a skipper and they will add it to your booking. 

If you book online, adding the skipper to your booking is easy. In the checkout step, you can choose from a menu of add-ons, which are extra services that you can add such as water toys or airport transfer. The skipper will be in the crew category at the top. 

Don’t forget that we now offer instructional skippers in the British Virgin Islands. Let your charter agent know if you wish to add this option to your booking or send us an inquiry here

The cost to hire a skipper is typically between $1,370 - $2,170 for a week in Europe or $311 per day ($2,177 per week) in the Caribbean. Additionally, you have to provide food for your crew member, and a customary 15-25% tip at the end of the charter. 

Although this may sound like a lot, keep in mind that the yachts can accommodate large groups; most boats can easily house between 6-10 people. If you split the skipper cost in the Caribbean on 10 people, you would only pay $218 per person plus the tip. Read more about cost breakdowns and tips for a budget-friendly charter on our blog

Additional crew members

In addition to a skipper, consider hiring other professional crew members for your charters such as a host/hostess or a chef to maximize your experience. The host/hostess will typically prepare a breakfast and a light lunch while the chef makes three meals per day if you wish.

Even with this added service, you always have the option to eat ashore at a restaurant for either lunch or dinner if you so prefer. The hostess/chef service is completely optional. Some charter guests simply prefer to cook their meals in the galley or eat most of their meals in restaurants, whereas others prefer to add this service so they can get a luxurious, fully hands-off experience and not worry about anything.

Industry statistics consistently show more and more vacationers are choosing the chartering experience versus standard cruises every year, acknowledging that it offers a highly personalized experience.

Luxury crewed charter

If you want to take your exclusive private yacht charter vacation one step further, we also offer award-winning luxury crewed charters in Greece, Croatia, and the British Virgin Islands. The luxury crewed charter is the yacht charter equivalent of an all-inclusive resort (but so much better) and includes a captain and a chef, in addition to the incredible 54-56 feet luxury catamaran. For more information on what’s included, here is a breakdown

Our luxury crewed charters are only offered on the largest and most lavish yachts in our fleet for ultimate comfort. This is an offer far above the typical yacht charter vacation in terms of service, with no need for a detailed budget plan or provisioning. You pay one all-inclusive price and Naivgare takes care of the rest with our white glove service. 

Each luxury crewed yacht has a designated full-time crew that always works together. Unlike most standard charter teams, these crew members know each yacht intimately and are well-versed in how to best take care of our guests, providing top-notch service and a treasure chest of local expertise that’s on a whole other level. 


As you can see with Navigare, there is no need for sailing experience to charter one of our yachts. You don’t even need to know anything about boats (just how to have fun)! Your skipper will take care of the vessel for you, doing everything from working the ropes, hoisting the sails, steering the yacht, filling up the tanks, and docking. You will also receive a briefing from our base staff upon arrival that will bring you up to speed about everything you need to know for a safe and successful yacht charter trip. 

Apart from seeking assistance with captaining the boat, the level of service you wish to receive is completely up to you. You may choose to add a hostess or chef for added convenience or even go as far as a luxury crewed charter for a completely hands-off experience. Speak with a chartering expert today and begin planning your best vacation yet. 


Since 2001, over 300,000+ charter guests have set sail with Navigare - it’s safe to say that your yachting adventure will be in capable hands. With 12 exotic locations worldwide, the possibilities are endless! Whether you're an experienced sailor or a first-time adventurer, Navigare Yachting opens up a world of exploration, discovery, and sailing that comes with complete peace of mind.

Charter a skippered yacht