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Be a better sailor

2022 June 1

You know how to sail, now learn how to sail better

Goal: Skipper a bareboat charter

Gaining the confidence to skipper a bareboat charter in exotic cruising locals like Tahiti is at the top of many sailors’ lists.


Boat ownership isn’t for everyone but plenty of sailors aspire to serve as the captain of their own sailing vacation. And while charter companies in most locations will allow sailors with an extensive experience and appropriate sailing resumes to captain a bareboat charter, formal training can get sailors who haven’t been sailing for years to the helm sooner.

Sailing schools specialize in helping sailors gain the skills and confidence to bareboat charter and such courses are typically their most popular options. Traditionally the courses combine both classroom and on-the-water learning but many now offer the option to get straight to the good part and combine all the learning into a charter itself.

Students live and learn aboard, usually on a three-day or longer charter in a variety of fabulous cruising grounds. The intensive course covers all the skills sailors need to be a bareboat skipper in many cruising grounds with the added benefit of learning more about the onboard part of life, including managing boat systems.

Other sailing courses may be required as prerequisites, and some cruising locations, particularly in Europe, require additional certifications, but for most sailors, becoming a competent and confident bareboat skipper is well within reach.

Look for sailing schools in locations you may wish to learn to sail in or those nearby, as many schools run programs in a variety of cruising grounds by partnering with charter companies.

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