Please note that you will need to provide a cabin for the skipper so keep this in mind when reserving your yacht. There are a very limited number of skippers that will sleep in the forepeak and if available the cost will be an additional $25.00/day. Check Out Skippers do not require a cabin.
TMM can offer the following options:
A check-out skipper (COS) is a professional captain that boards with you on Day 1 and is dropped off late afternoon the same day. A COS may be requested by you or may be required by TMM after review of your sailing resume.
The purpose of hiring a COS is to 1) practice and learn how to handle your particular yacht, and 2) prove your competence to continue on your own. You will take the helm from the moment you leave the dock, and your COS will be near at hand, assisting you with the skills checklist, while heading to your first mooring or anchorage. Your COS will be knowledgeable about all things local in the BVIs which is another benefit of having one!
If you have not skippered a yacht similar in size and type to the one you are chartering or have limited sailing experience in similar conditions, you may be required to hire a COS.
Your check-out skipper will meet you at base on the morning of Day 1. After your TMM briefings, your COS will board and sail with you for the afternoon - from approximately 12:00pm to 4:30pm. There is a written checklist of skills to practice which you will complete and sign at the end of the day.
You may drop the COS anywhere on Tortola or another nearby island. Soper’s Hole and Trellis Bay are convenient drop off points on Tortola. If you want to overnight at Norman Island or Cooper Island they both have ferry service so that your COS can return home. You are responsible for paying their taxi fare and/or ferry ticket.
Your skipper will be with you 24 hours a day. Your charter skipper is a skilled professional hired to drive the boat, show you how to operate the equipment on board, provide information regarding destinations and anchorages, and ensure the safety of the yacht as well as their charter guests.
Your charter skipper is more than a tour guide. Most charter captains are very people-oriented types and have a sixth sense about when to interact with your group and when to make themselves scarce. There is little need to be concerned about having a stranger aboard. More often than not, we get glowing reports from charter guests saying that their captain “made” their sailing vacation a dream come true.
Once your charter is confirmed, if you have requested a skipper during the reservation process, we will contact freelance skippers from our list to check availability. We will then schedule the captain for you. Last minute changes are rare but do happen from time-to-time and therefore it is possible you could be assigned a different skipper closer to your charter start date.
In addition to the duties of a Full Time Skipper an Instructional Skipper will teach you and your crew to sail your yacht, however they are not able to officially certify you. This is the difference between an ASA Instructor and an Instructional Skipper.
In addition to the duties of a Full Time Skipper an ASA Instructor will teach and certify you for ASA114.
PLEASE NOTE: ASA Instructor/skippers are more difficult to book because there are just not that many ASA certified instructors in the BVI. Please try to book 6 – 12 months in advance if you wish to have an ASA Skipper.
Typically, charterers will simply include their skipper when they buy, prepare, and serve drinks & meals on the boat. We encourage you to communicate with your skipper so both of you will have a general understanding of how you are going to manage mealtimes during your charter.
If you plan to dine ashore many clients will invite the skipper at least once to join them. It is however not an expectation and skippers will fend quite well for themselves with the food already aboard.
Skippers work hard to provide the best possible service to their clients. If they have done a good job for you, they will appreciate a gratuity at the conclusion of the charter. Skipper gratuity is of course at the discretion of the charterer but if you are looking for guidance on the amount $50.00 to $100.00 per day is considered to be appropriate.
If you cancel a confirmed charter more than 90 days prior to your charter start date, you will only incur a $300 cancellation fee. If you have to cancel close to your start date the skipper may not have time to find other work to replace the lost wages in which case we would expect you to cover their loss of income.
Please call the USA booking office if you have any further questions at 1-800-633-0155 (toll free US only) or 1-262-248-1618 (overseas).