What I want to share with you can probably apply to local skippers everywhere, but I have decided to limit myself to Croatia since I have been working here for some time. My original intention to write this post had to do with various misunderstandings that I have to go through from time to time. Also, I have noticed that Croatian skippers face more or less the same set of issues with their foreign guests. I strongly believe that most of these issues are the result of poor communication, rather than bad intentions. This is the first in the series of two posts in which I will talk about how to avoid such misunderstandings.
- Try to connect with your skipper before you arrive to a charter base. Ask your agency for the name, contact information and CV of your skipper so you will be able to know each other before you spend the entire week together. That way you will be given a chance to go through all the questions about sailing a week in advance.
- Make sure that payment details are communicated between yourself, the agency and the skipper in advance. That way you avoid any doubt or misunderstanding regarding the fee, discounts, payment options or currency rate. Although skippers’ rates are more or less standard, every skipper or agency can have their own price-lists or specific payment options.
- According to the standards on hiring skippers, the guests are obliged to provide the skipper with food and drinks. The conversation about this subject has to be done prior to taking off. Skippers usually eat together with the guests but if, for some reason, the guests would like to have meals by themselves, they have to provide the skipper with proper food or an allowance.
- Different people have different eating habits, but skippers cannot allow themselves dieting because they work 24/7 while the guests are on a holiday. That is why food for the skipper has to be provided at all times.
- Early communication with your skipper is also pretty important in terms of route planning. It would be good for both sides that you have some sort of an outline plan for which places you would like to sail to. Local skippers know the area very well so they might suggest you the optimal route in order to fulfill all your requests. That is very important because people who do not know the area are very often not aware of the distances at sea and time needed to get to a destination. Furthermore, the skippers are well acquainted with the location of berths, moorings, buoys at your destination, which means that their advice should be taken seriously. On the other hand, skippers are very well networked and they communicate all the time, so one could do a favor to another by keeping a mooring or booking a spot at the destination.
To learn about the rest of the issue that may arise between the guests and the skipper, read our following post.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!