Are you qualified for a bareboat yacht charter? 

17th Feb 2020
Sailing on yacht

If you want to go on a sailing vacation but are unsure if your sailing experience means you are qualified for a bareboat yacht charter, we’ve got some tips and advice for you.

Your safety is important to us and it’s important that you are able to handle your yacht in your chosen destination. For bareboat yacht charters, we expect you to have experience sailing a boat of similar size. It’s also helpful to have at least one crew member of similar experience. 

For most destinations, you do not need bareboat charter certification. Learn more about our bareboat yacht charters.

Getting ready for sailing

We usually ask that you have sailing experience on a boat of similar size. It’s also helpful to have at least one crew member of similar experience.

While a bareboat charter certificate is not usually mandatory, safety is always our #1 priority. Even if you’re highly experienced, we recommend that you take sailing courses from reputable organizations. Refresh your knowledge on anchoring, navigation, maneuvering a large sailboat in a tight marina, and other nuances of bareboat chartering.

If you are still unsure of your sailing abilities, or simply want the knowledge of a local skipper, you can hire a professional captain at a daily rate, then continue on your own when you feel comfortable. If you’d rather not cook, hire a chef and have all of your meals prepared for you. Contact us for more information.

Finding the right destination for your sailing experience

You will find information on the local cruising ground, wind systems and weather conditions on our destination pages. Our expert team can help you if you want to know the level of experience required for your chosen destination and if you are qualified for a bareboat yacht charter. Contact our team.

We can advise where to find line of sight navigation and calm waters. Also, we can help if you are looking for a challenge.

The British Virgin Islands are popular because of the calm waters and easy navigation. If you’re after a relaxing sailing vacation, try Corfu and Lefkas in Greece as the Ionian Islands offer plenty of short leg island hopping.

Our bases in the Exumas and Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are good for sailors who don’t want an energetic sail.

Sailors seeking more of a challenge can look for bareboat yacht charters from our Cyclades Islands bases in Paros and Mykonos in Greece, with its Meltemi wind system. Croatia, with its Bora wind, can also offer some fast sailing conditions at the right time of year.

When do you need an accredited sailing license?

Bareboat certification is not usually mandatory in most destinations, but you need to check the specific license requirements of your chosen destination to know if you are qualified for a bareboat yacht charter.

What about Europe?

Some destinations, such as in the Mediterranean, may need bareboat charter certification authenticated by an official and recognized organization, such as an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or equivalent qualification. Our destination base guides indicate if you need a recognized sailing license.

In these cases, the local authorities may require the skipper to prove their bareboat sailing proficiency. The skipper will need to take original copies of their bareboat certification with them on charter.

Before you book, check you have bareboat charter certification that is accepted by the country you are sailing in.

Unsure about your destination’s requirements? Contact our team.

What if I don’t have proof of competence?

If you don’t have the right bareboat certification for your chosen destination, you can always add a skipper, which offers many benefits.

Skippers have excellent local knowledge and the best recommendations for local anchorages and restaurants to make the most of your vacation.

Develop Your Sailing Credentials

The American Sailing Association (ASA) is the largest and most trusted network of schools in the United States and our preferred partner for developing sailing skills and gaining recognized credentials.

If you are not qualified for a bareboat yacht charter, or need to upgrade your skills to charter a larger boat, the ASA’s sailing courses will help you achieve your goals. Their schools are throughout the country so you can learn to sail close to home.

The ASA can help you with the ICC or a new similar certification called the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC), which indicates you have the proficiency and competency to operate a certain type/size of yacht. Learn more here.

NauticEd, a company we work with, can issue a Sailing License and Credentials (SLC) which is accepted in Mediterranean countries as bareboat charter certification. To get your SLC you need to:

  • Pass a one-day assessment course
  • Have enough days sailing on boats of a certain size and as master
  • Have enough days recently sailed
  • Passed the relevant online courses

Nautilus Sailing Schools offers “Learn to Sail” charter vacations and is one of our partners. They are the perfect solution if you are not qualified for a bareboat yacht charter but would like to learn and enjoy a vacation at the same time. Through our partnership, you can access private Nautilus Sailing School courses within Dream Yacht Charter destinations. These “Learn to Sail” vacations are high-end instructional trips, where everything is taken care of, including booking the boat, ordering food, instructor travel, training materials and recommendations, such as shuttles, hotels and local attractions.

Read more about sailing vacations on our blog.