Charter Guide to Greece

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Why Charter a Small Yacht

When to Charter

Where to Charter

How to select a Type of Charter

Outline of Services of Each Charter Company

About the Skippers

What to Bring

Weather Charts

Other Things to Consider/Planning your Trip

Working with
the Skipper

Charter Guide Index

Information Request Form

Dealing with the Skippers

For many people who are on their first charter or only have minor experience with chartering a yacht that is skippered by someone else, it can be hard to figure out what exactly the skipper's role is and how to work with him.

I have had a number of clients who have returned from charters who ran into situations where the skipper made decisions that the client was a little disappointed with. Upon talking about it when they returned, they were able to see the point of view of the skipper and because they weren't sure of how to approach the skipper, we were unable to ascertain the reason the skipper took the action himself.

As an example.... when a client returned from a trip they were disappointed because they did not sail as much as they wished they had. They felt that the skipper motored too much and did not sail enough. When I asked about wind direction and speed and mentioned possibilities about why the skipper may have chosen to sail they were in agreement that those reasons could very well have been the reason the motor was used.

We are able to speculate with hindsight, but that shouldn't be necessary. As a Charter client you have every right to know exactly why decisions are made and unless there is a question of safety, your wishes should be respected.

Many of the misunderstanding, as with many relationships are due to miscommunication(or no communication). The skipper is there to help to make your charter the best charter of your life. Granted not all skippers will have the effusive abilty(or desire) to look after you and "baby" you just as that is not what all charterers want. Therefore, it's important to let them know what you are looking to do, the types of things you like, the places you'd like to visit.

To use the example of the skipper not using the sails enough when you would rather sail, then you should tell him that you really like to sail and were hoping to sail more and motor less. He may tell you that the wind is in the wrong direction and it will take longer and then you can decide, would you rather sail are get there quicker. He may say he wants to get to the next port because the harbor is full and it's hard to get a good mooring. He may say that the wind is not strong enough to move the yacht at a fast enough speed and if you don't use the motor then you will just float on the water making no forward progress.

The skipper may not know that you are primarily interested in sailing and think that you just want to get to land quickly so that you can explore.

If you communicate with the skipper then he'll know what you want and you'll know why he's doing what he's doing. Don't be afraid to ask him questions or let him know what you want to do. The reality is that you have chartered the yacht and he is just running it for you and helping you to make decisions. Think of it as a rental car and you hire someone to drive. If you want to go to Boston the long way, as long as you it's safe and possible then he will take that route. If you want to stop for lunch somewhere, as long as it's possible, then you stop- it's not up to the driver to force decisions, unless there is a reason for it.

Remember... you are the "Guest of Honor" and it is your holiday. The skipper wants you to be happy, wants you to have a great holiday and wants to know that if you come to Greece to charter again or if you recommend some friends to sail in Greece that you will be asking for him. It is in his best interest to be sure that you are happy.... and he knows that.

If there are problems that come up in the charter, just be sure that you have communicated with the skipper. You don't want to come back and discuss and have to use hindsight to try to understand what was on the skipper's mind. And if you do communicate, the chances are pretty good that we won't even have to talk about any disappointment when you return.

Enjoy..... Communicate.... and have a great Saililng Holiday!!!!!

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