Skippering a yacht on a cruising vacation is a simultaneously empowering and serene experience. If you’ve ever been at the helm, you know that being responsible for the vessel’s performance requires a calm presence of mind and a sizable bank of marine knowledge.
But not everyone comes to the table with skippering skills. Perhaps you’ve only ever been a passenger. Or maybe your skill set is limited to smaller vessels. Not to worry, it’s fairly easy to acquire the skills and experience you require at NWE.
So what exactly do you need to skipper a yacht? Well, it depends. Factors include:
At NW Explorations, we’re dedicated to providing you with the knowledge you need to skipper any of our yachts. We have courses suitable for everyone, whether you’re a solo cruiser, or in a couple or group. If you can’t commit too much time, why not join a 1 day course? This training day is perfect, whether you’re just getting started or resuming your previous boat system knowledge and skills. We also have specialist courses for Women Only as well Private Instruction if you’d prefer a personalized experience.
Our most comprehensive course option is our 3 day powerboat course offering indepth training, which will give you a fanstastic footing and confidence when skippering a yacht. Day one, known as “Training and Book-Learning Day” is all about covering the core competencies you’ll need to run the boat safely. Split into two main areas “Docking the Boat & On the Deck” and “Trip Planning & Anchoring” you’ll spend the first half of the day doing docking practice before heading off to one of the San Juan’s beautiful anchorages for the night. On day two, you’ll build off what you’ve learned and plot a course to a marina. Working with our instructors you’ll start with trip planning before getting underway. The crew handles all routine operations from here while the instructors highlight sights and buoys, keeping the trip instructional, entertaining and fun. By day three, you’ll master your own cruise. Navigating a planned course, dealing with any hazards, practicing emergency procedures and much more. The full course itinerary is available on the training page.
You’ll learn practical skills while making friends, gaining confidence and enjoying a mini-vacation. You’ll learn the practicalities of bareboat cruising such as what it takes to organize a charter vacation, including how to trip plan, navigate, anchor and dock the boat, and manange emergency situations.
Most importantly, to charter you need recent on-the-water experience. This is affirmed by our owner, Ross Tennant: “Not only do we want our customers to have an enjoyable time on their voyages, we want them to be safe. Having a decent amount of previous marine experience is the single greatest asset one can have to skipper a yacht successfully.”
With the right combination of training, knowledge, hands-on experience and the ability to remain level-headed, anyone can skipper a yacht and have the journey of a lifetime.