30 minutes of reading

Instead of a preface

Attention! This is a fairly large text (without pictures) that requires thoughtful reading. He can take off your "rose-colored glasses" and thereby upset you. I've warned you.

But in return, you will receive 22 clear recommendations that will allow you to take the first steps in yachting without serious mistakes.

If you asked for a link to these instructions before you went to the yacht school-congratulations, most likely you are a thoughtful person and a realist, such people make good captains.

"Captains are either fearless or experienced"

folk captain's wisdom

Author Dim Nikolaev

Chief instructor Sail Band

Yachtsman since 2010. A fan of long sea sailing trips for endurance. Before yachting, he went through the desert on camels, and also to faraway distances. He knows a million sea stories, which is why he entertains fellow travelers in his spare time from his main duties.


First, you should decide who this "real captain" is? Beginners usually say that it is the one who sails the fastest, or the one who is fast and beautifully moored, or the one who has the most shells in his beard.

In fact, the real captain is the one who did not have anything bad happen. And a lot of things can happen - this is the sea, sometimes not the most friendly element to a person. But the sea can't be to blame, it just is. The captain is always to blame for any trouble that has occurred - he did not foresee it, underestimated the risks, and neglected it.

Therefore, the first thing to learn when embarking on this path is:


By the way, this wisdom is the first and fundamental in the unwritten code of Good Maritime Practice. And it is this thought that should define the captain's mind, forcing him to foresee EVERYTHING that can happen.

But to provide absolutely EVERYTHING-you already need experience, and then we will talk about how to gain it as quickly and safely as possible. And do not dream of the sea, cowardly sitting at home on the couch, and make friends with the elements, move forward and give yourself the opportunity to grow and develop.


Getting a "piece of paper" at the end of yacht school does not make a person a "real captain". This is rather a "formal captain" who can conditionally take on the captain's role. Why only formal? Yes, because no one except the student himself knows how much experience he has absorbed during training.

Having passed the exam at the yacht school, a person demonstrates that he knows how to operate a yacht, moor it, he knows IPPSS, navigation, meteorology and other necessary things. Learning all this is not really difficult. But this is basic knowledge, not experience.

But when the instructor says "if you don't do this, then this will happen" or "if you don't take care of this, then you will get so-and-so" - this is already an experience. In other words, the instructor, by talking about the variability of incorrect actions (or omissions) and their consequences, tries to warn about the danger.

How many students listen carefully to these warnings, delve into cause-and-effect relationships, and carefully memorize them? Yes, units, of course. Everyone wants the yacht to sail fast, the mooring was beautiful and quick, and “the shells in the beard grew by themselves”.. And so it happens - when the instructor is on board, the students are doing great, everything works out.

But in the first bareboat charter, when the instructor is no longer on board, it turns out that the most important thing was listened to inattentively and has already been forgotten. And there is such a captain on the sea who jitters - "did I do everything right?", " why are all the rigging tangled up and the boat does not go?" and "oh my God, give me the instructor back!".

Recommendation 1:
when completing training, not only learn how to do the right thing, but also pay increased attention to what exactly will happen if you do it wrong, and what the instructor does to correct the situation (a good instructor always comments on their actions).

This will greatly help in future independent campaigns - and avoid these mistakes, and quickly make the right decisions if something went wrong.

At our yacht school, we train students by giving you checklist that you perform repeatedly. This checklist prescribe the sequence of what needs to be done to solve a particular task, and performing actions in the correct sequence will save you from unpleasant consequences. This method brings results: by the day of the exam, students have order in their heads, and they develop a stable skill (because there is a clear plan of action).

But now the training course is completed, the exam is passed and the cherished "crusts" are already coming from Canada. What will happen next? It is quite expected that everything absorbed and mastered will slowly begin to be forgotten. Someone will forget in a week, someone in a year, but sooner or later each person will lose all the invaluable accumulated knowledge/skills.

Recommendation 2:
after training course, go sailing as soon as possible! The earlier you go out to sea, the faster you will learn to "feel" the yacht.

At first, you will be able to control the yacht "over your head" (that is, carefully thinking through each of your actions at steering or with running rigging) and this is good and correct - this is what we teach you at our yacht school. But it takes up a lot of your brain's resources and distracts you from other equally important captaincy tasks. After all, you still need to monitor the weather, the surrounding navigation situation, the depth, control the course of the yacht, look after the crew, prevent the collisions with the ubiquitous fishermen, book marinas, think about the water and fuel supply, listen to the radio, plan the upcoming mooring, etc. Yes, yes, all this at the same time, the captain is very multitasking.

But not everything is so scary! Pretty quickly, you will learn not to think about the management of the yacht and this task will stop distracting the resources of your brain. And why think of it? The yacht sails by itself.

You will learn to feel the yacht without actually looking at it. You can hear the jib flapping - you need to trim or bear away; the pitching pattern has changed - the boat is turning for some reason; the fresh water pump is humming for a long time - it looks like one of the tanks has run out of water; the engine noise has changed - someone has touched the lever or something has happened to the cooling system. These are very vivid emotions - when you realize that you have learned to feel this multi-ton colossus. It's still ahead of you and I envy you.

Unfortunately, this cannot be taught in a yacht school, you can only learn it by yourself. In a yacht school, you don't feel the yacht, but the instructor already does. You need to get rid of this unnecessary layer between the yacht and you, and then very soon yacht ZEN will come. And, in fact, quite quickly - usually one or two bareboat charters.

And when that happens, that's when the experience will skyrocket, new horizons will be explored, and “seashells will grow in your beard”.

Well, now to the steps that you will have to do after the training course to the first (it is, of course, the most difficult), and to the subsequent ones.

Sailors like to say that there are no roads in the sea, there are directions (courses). So the format of your first sailing trip depends only on you. Only you will decide where and with whom you will go. I'll give you some variation by talking about the main formats, their pros and cons, and how Sail Band can help you with each of these formats.



- those who seem to have studied diligently at a yacht school, but because of their mindset or psyche, they feel insecure in their abilities (in general, uncertainty at sea is unacceptable, even in the COLREGs it is written about this),
- those who had a long break after training.

About the format

If you write "yacht trip" in the searcher, you will see a million offers, and contextual advertising will continue to push you to buy a seat or cabin for a long time. So there will definitely be no problems here.

When choosing a passage, do not forget that the more difficult the region of navigation, the more profit you will get. And perhaps the most difficult part will be crossing the sea or even the ocean (yes, you can buy a seat on such a trip). I may surprise you, but this is a misconception. The ocean is just water, there's nothing to crash into. It is much more difficult to travel in a busy coastal area with a difficult navigation situation.

Recommendation 3:
the more navigational hazards on the way (shoals, rocks, etc.) the more skills you can upgrade/regain.

What to search for

Keep in mind that most often such trips are exclusively for entertainment, and not for educational purposes. Most likely, there will be some captain (perhaps even a good person), but not an instructor. It is unlikely that he will be able to teach you anything, this is not his job. You'll just have to watch what he does. Not the most effective way to gain experience.

Second, usually passengers are not allowed to do anything, because all responsibility for the yacht/crew lies with the skipper. You may be allowed to steer on the water under the supervision of the captain (it doesn't really matter who is steering - autopilot or passenger), but when the wind increases or when approaching places with difficult navigation conditions, the steering wheel will be taken away from you. And forget about standing at the helm during the mooring, the captain won't take any chances.

Recommendation 4:
when booking a place on a yacht, immediately agree that you also have captain's ambitions - you go on this trip to remember/practice. And, of course, clearly discuss in advance what exactly you will be allowed on board and whether you will be allowed to take the helm during the moorings.

And then you will realize that there are very, very few really training trips (when a team member is allowed to improve/restore their skills). But you need to look for exactly this one, otherwise it doesn't make sense. You can find and negotiate.


All your actions will be controlled by the captain, which means that you will definitely not be able to seriously screw up and put the yacht and people at risk. Perhaps this will give you peace of mind and your captain's self-esteem will increase. But do not abuse traveling in this format - there is a risk of turning into a lifelong chief officer. As soon as you feel that you have gained a little confidence in your abilities, then move on to independent captaincy and start making very careful and thoughtful first exits.


Once you fit into a good training crew, you will certainly feel your experience grow. But in the second campaign, the growth will be less, and in the third it will stop altogether. The reason is simple: you have a more experienced person on the boat to look after and guide you.

You will quickly realize that it is not you who perform some task (independently thinking through actions and making decisions), but the captain controls the yacht, but with your own hands. And so everything is easy for you and everything works out (yes, yes, again like on the first days of school in your favorite yacht school). The real growth of experience will begin only when there is no person around whose hint or command you will be waiting for.

Recommendation 5:
when you fit into the crews, determine in advance what goals you are pursuing and what exactly you will pump up on this campaign. For example, you might think that you need to improve the moorings (or work with sails, or VHF communication with the marina) in order to be a self-captain. Then pump it up hard, trying to moor more (or manage the setting of sails, or communicate with mariners). And when you reach the intended goal, then move on to independent captaincy.

How can Sail Band help you?

We regularly organize flotilla training trips for our graduates. If you soberly (and this is the main thing) assess your strength and feel that for some reason you are not yet ready for independent captaincy, then you can fit into such a trip to the yacht, which will be captained by our instructor.

On the day of check-in, our instructor always asks the crew: "well, tell us why have you come?". Anyone who answers " for experience "(rather than "relax and hang out") becomes one of the officers who take turns driving the yacht. And the instructor knows perfectly well that the better he guides you, the less you grow. Therefore, he always tries to remove himself from this boring work, merge with the vacationers and not prevent you from making mistakes. But sometimes you'll hear him saying things like " what a bore we're crawling through "(meaning that the sails aren't set up properly) or "sorry about the cook in the galley" (meaning that it would be nice to bear away, because it's almost lunchtime and one of the crew has gone down to cook). For you, his lengthy phrases are an indicator that you did not take something into account. But think about the decision yourself, today you are the captain!

And at the end of such a sailing trip, the instructor will give each of the officers a recommendation on further steps. If they convince you that you are ready for bareboat charters, then believe them - they know better, they have a lot of experience.



- those who, although they feel confident in their abilities, but still understand that there is a possibility of messing up.

About the format

A flotilla training cruise is supervised yachting, where several yachts sail the route together and experienced captains look after less experienced captains.

What to search for

It is quite difficult to find such a thing - high-quality training trips by the flotilla are conducted only by large yacht schools, and low-quality ones are not needed for nothing. And "for nothing" is not just words. When it is not a training flotilla, but a commercial one, the organizers often invite inexperienced captains to the yachts for free.

It looks like this: the organizer finds out that you have a yacht license, appoints you as a captain on one of the yachts, without taking any money from you, but sells seats on your yacht to some of its random clients who do not have any yacht experience (you do not know these people and what to expect from them). This is a completely black scheme and, Neptune forbid, you to get involved in this.

First of all, you are not a professional captain (you do not have commercial rights) and therefore you are forbidden to engage in commercial trips. And if people bought seats on your yacht (even if not from you, but from the organizer), then this is a commercial carriage. You understand, the responsibility is up to criminal. The commercial component in crews with a non-professional captain is strictly prohibited.

Recommendation 6:
never (at least not until you get some commercial rights) do not fit in as a captain for free on a yacht if it was not rented by you personally. Clearly, someone is making money at this moment, which means that you are unwittingly an accomplice to illegal actions. If this is noticed by someone (police, tax service, etc.), you will not expect anything good.  

In addition, the entire burden of responsibility for the health and lives of your fellow travelers lies only with you! We open rule 2 of the COLREGs and read: "nothing can release either the ship, or its owner, or the captain, or the crew from responsibility" - there is not a word about the organizer of the flotilla. So if something happens, only you will be responsible. And why would you do that? And something can happen if only because you don't know your fellow travelers, you didn't choose them. Random fellow travelers are not always pleasant and adequate.

Recommendation 7:
try never to fit in as a captain in such trips, where there will be completely unfamiliar fellow travelers. You are registered by the captain in the crew list, which means that you have the full degree of responsibility for everyone on the yacht. What if one of them "steps on a glass" and falls overboard? You don't need this...

To summarize. You should only take part in transparently well-organized training flotillas when you are a yacht renter and you have your own crew on board, and not strangers. After sifting through all the offers, you will understand that there are very few such training fleets in the world.


This is probably the safest leveling format for a novice captain, because you are being looked after from the outside. You will not be allowed to make fatal mistakes, and if something happens, they will quickly come to the rescue. At the same time, you do not have any overseer in the person of the captain. You are your own captain, you are your own responsibility, you make your own decisions and carry out your own actions. Which means you're growing fast.

The second is that such flotillas are usually quite fun and your fellow travelers will not be bored. You will not need to think about their evening leisure time, which means that it will not distract you from the conscious management of the yacht and careful consideration of your actions.


All the same - you are your own captain, and therefore bear full responsibility for the yacht and fellow travelers. But participating in a flotilla can relax you, and the supervision of experienced captains from the outside can dull your vigilance. For example: when you go in a flotilla, you go "where everyone else goes" (but actually a little off to the side), your attention is blunted, you stop following the map and run aground…

Recommendation 8:
there is no outside supervision 100% guaranteed for your safety and does not make you immortal.

Anything can happen if you don't control absolutely EVERYTHING yourself. Even the organizer can make a mistake and give you the wrong recommendation. Everything that you are advised by more experienced friends should be checked by you for safety.

Recommendation 9:
in general, you can only trust yourself in the sea (remember this rule and repeat it to yourself daily).

How can Sail Band help you?

As I said above, we regularly organize flotilla training trips for our graduates. By participating as a captain, you are renting the entire yacht (we do not sell seats on clients ' yachts). You have only those on board who you have invited yourself (friends and relatives).

For a flotilla trip, we only sell berths/cabins on yachts that are captained by our instructors (this is a commercial type of yacht rights). And sometimes it happens that we have people who want to get on this flotilla, but all the seats on the instructor yachts are occupied. If you have a shortage of crew on the yacht and there is a free cabin, then in this case (and only at your request) we can introduce you, and you can decide for yourself whether you will take these people into your crew. If you like each other and agree, we will only be happy. But we will make sure that all expenses for renting a yacht are equally divided between you and your fellow travelers. There should be no commercial transportation.

When we go as an organized training flotilla, we will start with:
- a well-developed route,
- reserved marinas
- and supervision of you,
and from you:
- compliance with the route,
- compliance with the instructions of the organizer
- and respect for other participants of the flotilla.

This usually happens like this: on the day of the flotilla launch, we receive yachts, check in, hold a briefing of captains, discuss the prepared route, stopping points, expected weather conditions, and so on. While driving along the route, we keep an eye on you at sea and, if necessary, give you a hint on the radio (a requirement for captains - you must have a personal handheld VHF radio station). When entering the marinas, the most experienced (instructor) is the first to moor, then he calls the other yachts in turn and looks after their mooring. In the evenings-debriefing and recommendations to each captain.

We do not like to organize numerous flotillas with a large number of yachts (comfortably up to 8-10), because otherwise it quickly turns into confusion and vacillation, and the quality of supervision is significantly reduced.


This is the widest format, so it will be split into several. But first, let's talk about what unites them - your responsibility.

Bareboat charter (traveling on a yacht without supervision) is one of the most dangerous types of travel invented by mankind. And not at all because the sea is dangerous (it really can be dangerous). The fact is that an independent captain is not controlled by anyone but himself. Only he knows what he is doing, and in the sea there will not be a single "traffic cop" who will stop and strictly say "you are violating, sir".

There are some restrictions in your IYT license. For example, for the entry level (Bareboat Skipper), it is written- "up to 20 miles from the coast". So there, beyond the 20-mile mark, there will be no controller that will check why you are here. And the representative of the charter company, when transferring the yacht to you, most likely will not even ask how far from the coast you are going to go.

So it's up to each captain to decide whether or not they can go outside of this zone. And if you decide to go out, you should understand that if something happens, the insurance may not work anymore. And if something quite extraordinary happens and you have to call the rescue service, then there will be many questions about the far distance from the shore, and punishments. Well, in addition, you need to be able to sail in the sea far from the shore.
Believe me, these and other restrictions are invented for a reason.

Recommendation 10:
do not go further from the shore than is prescribed in your license, or in such weather conditions where you may not be able to cope. Even if this route was taken by some captain you know with the same or, as you think, a lower level of competence. It doesn't give you the confidence that you can do it, either.

Your growth in experience (and as a result, the boundaries of the sailing region and weather conditions) should be gradual and carried out with careful and very thoughtful steps. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this, because in good weather, the sea does not look dangerous and seems to be surmountable from here to Africa.We want to hoist the sails and go beyond the horizon.

Here is an abstract, but very clear example. I have friends who are engaged in motocross in Montenegro. Their training looks like this: a beginner comes, sits on a cross-country bike, first learns to start on it and not stall, then rolls around the field, then on hills, then on small hills and gradually grows up to storm rocks that seem steep from the ground. And all this does not happen in one day at all. But with the rock, everything is clear - here it is a rock, it looks dangerous, no inexperienced beginner even thinks to climb it. The rock always looks dangerous!

But the sea doesn't. The sea changes its state, and very quickly. Here you are floating on a smooth surface, and after 4 hours you are convulsively tied with a safety harness to something reliable and think " mom, why didn't I become a chess player!?". And all because the calm sea lulled your vigilance and you stopped following the weather forecast. This happens all the time with experienced people, but only an experienced person can handle it, but a beginner can't.

By the way, this is why the entry - level license says "up to 20 miles from shore": when the weather changes to stormy, you can see it approaching 3-4 hours before-exactly how long you need to walk 20 miles to the shore and take shelter in the marina.

Recommendation 11:
while at sea, do not forget to check the weather forecast as often as possible (the Internet reaches quite far from the shore). At first, you are not prepared for either a storm or pre-storm weather. And even experienced sailors will do everything to avoid the storm, although they can cope with it.
"A good sailor looks at the storm from the window of a bar" (folk captain's wisdom).

You need to immediately set yourself up for the fact that you will grow gradually - first choose easy regions and a comfortable time of the year, then more difficult routes, and stronger winds, and you will grow to the ocean crossings. "From yacht school to circumnavigation of the world" - as a rule, does not end with anything good. This is a long process. But you will notice for yourself how you grow up and get bored in near-calm conditions, the soul requires waves and strong wind, and your feet are like a magnet pressed to the deck in the most severe pitching.

Only when you grow up, do not forget that there will be people on board with you (your friends and relatives) who may not be ready for strong weather. You feel good, you have a drive, but why should they? Do they enjoy it?

Recommendation 12:
do not neglect the interests and opportunities of people who are invited to join you on the boat. The crew is only as strong as the most untrained crew member is. If you have someone on board who is forced to suffer and endure, you are definitely doing something wrong.

Now we can move on to charters.



- beginner captains who are still not very confident in "feeling" the yacht.

About the format

Do you remember when I wrote somewhere up there that you will soon learn to feel the yacht and that yacht ZEN will come? It will definitely come. However, until this happens, you may have difficulties with simultaneous control of the yacht and performing other captain's tasks (navigation, divergences, weather, booking marinas, etc.).

It is logical to make life easier for yourself and take off some of the tasks in the first charter, so that nothing prevents you from merging with the yacht body and soul. The most resource-intensive ones are: navigation (you need to know where to go), finding and booking marinas, taking care of refueling with water/fuel, communicating with mariners and moorings in unfamiliar places. Sometimes an inexperienced captain may find these tasks so impossible in an unfamiliar country that he does not want to leave the marina to the sea, because it is completely unclear where to go and how to moor there. You don't even feel the boat and you're afraid of it…

Recommendation 13:
nothing will make your first bareboat charter easier than renting a yacht in a familiar water area.

If you are familiar with the navigation environment, the location and features of marinas ' approaches, and understand the English of mariners, this will greatly simplify your life. As they say, the house and walls help. When you observe familiar shores and know exactly where and how your mooring will take place, you feel much calmer and more confident. You stop being afraid of every cloud, and the sudden squelching of a wave on the side of a yacht no longer causes a nervous tic. And now you are sailing already calmly, gradually starting to listen to the yacht and hear its voice.

Therefore, if you have already been in some water area on a yacht (for example, as a passenger), then you should go there. And if you weren't, then Welcome to Montenegro! It will be much more comfortable for you to take your first steps here.


If we are talking about Montenegro, then you will get to know this water area quite well during your training. It will be clear to you, and you will visit several locations on a yacht - Tivat, Kotor, Lustica Bay, Bigova Bay, and even deal with the difficult lateral approach to Budva. If you are planning to go somewhere you haven't been before (for example, Marina Lazura near Herceg Novi or the marina of Bar), then ask us and you will get detailed information about these marinas and, if necessary, we will help you book a berth. Our help for graduates has no expiration date, please contact us at any time and with any yacht questions!

Well, in general, the Montenegrin water area is one of the best in the world for yachting (that's why we are based here) and it's a sin not to take advantage of it. There is a unique phenomenon here - the huge Bay of Boka Kotor, where you can almost always find the wind, but there are no waves and your passengers will not get seasick on the first day.


Perhaps you and your friends have already been to Montenegro a hundred times (or even live here) and are like "come on, Montenegro again". I understand. But I will warn you that from the water you will see Montenegro from a completely different side. But I won't advertise, this is yachting, not a travel agency. It's up to you.

How can Sail Band help you?

We have many training yachts (8) and the running rigging is standardized on all of them (only the color of the lines differs). These yachts will be very familiar to you after training and you can rent one of them (for graduates we have a good discount) on your first bareboat charter. We have no doubt that everything will go well for you. If we have trained you and issued you a license, then we are confident in your knowledge and skills. Now it is necessary (both you and us) that you also gain this confidence.

When you are on a familiar yacht sailing through a familiar water area to a familiar marina, you will relax much faster and realize that this layer between you and the yacht (this is about the instructor) is no longer necessary for you. This is where ZEN and the growth of experience begin.

Unfortunately, I personally didn't have such an opportunity many years ago. I went to a small yacht school (only one yacht) that can't be rented. And, of course, no one gave me such instructions and did not tell me about all such nuances (and they taught me quick-and-dirty). So on the first charter, I found myself in a completely unfamiliar country, on a completely unfamiliar yacht, with a group of first-time sailing friends who looked at me happily and thought that I knew what to do and where to go. I didn't know... In the end, it was not a journey, but a complete stress. Don't repeat my mistake.



- captains who already "feel" the yacht.

About the format

Traveling in an unfamiliar water area requires careful preliminary preparation. You need to review the weather situation in this region, plan your passage in advance, choose the main and reserve stopping points for each day (sheltered from wind and waves), book marinas in advance, and many other preparatory tasks. But it will greatly facilitate your journey when you arrive on the yacht.

Recommendation 14:
a sea trip in an unfamiliar water area can not be unprepared. "We'll get on the boat, and then we'll figure it out" is a bad idea. On such a yacht, the trip will take place in a state of nervous tension in the crew (there is no room in the marinas, fresh water finished yesterday, the whole night was rocked at anchor and half of the crew was seasick). All this affects your captaincy productivity. There is a risk of not being able to cope and seriously mess up.

But if you understand this and plan and prepare your passage plan well, then yes, exploring a new country on a yacht is great, that's what yachting is all about!

What to search for

I understand that the easiest way is to open the Internet and start choosing a yacht for rent in some beautiful countries. But this is wrong.

Recommendation 15:
travel planning should always begin with an assessment of the weather conditions for this season in a given water area.

If you do not do this, you will probably be unpleasantly surprised when you arrive on the yacht.

For example, you decide to rent a yacht in Greece to explore the most beautiful islands of the Cycladic archipelago-Santorini, Mykonos, Syros, Lesbos and others. And you decide to do it in the summer, of course. When you arrive on the yacht, you will find that in the Cyclades in summer, the seasonal Meltemi wind blows daily (from 25 to 40 knots every day) and the wave is more than two meters, and you are not yet ready to sail in such conditions. Summer Cyclades is for the experienced. Spoiler alert: A good time to sail the Cyclades is in the fall (October-November).

When the typical weather for the selected season is studied, only then it is worth moving on to finding a yacht. And at this step, almost everyone makes the same mistake-they want a bigger yacht, so that the ceilings are higher, and the cabins are more spacious.

If you have studied and sailed on 44-foot (13-meter) yachts, then at first you will be able to sail a 51-foot (15-meter) yacht. It will be difficult for you, to put it mildly. It would seem that only 2 meters in length is added, what's the big deal? But in fact, as the length of the yacht increases, the displacement, draft, freeboard and, as a result, parasitic sailability increase significantly. Mooring such a yacht in tiny marinas will be much more difficult. In fact, most marinas in various exotic locations are not suitable for mooring large yachts. 44-45 feet is the optimal size.

Recommendation 16:
choose a yacht based on your captaincy, not on size. Increase the size from charter to charter (44 → 46, 46 → 48, 48 → 50 and so on).

When the size of the yacht is determined, then you can already look at the ads. And here the most incomprehensible thing begins - hundreds of rental boats, but it is completely unclear which of them is reliable and well-served.

Recommendation 17:
choosing a yacht should start with choosing a charter company and checking its reputation.

A reliable charter company is more likely to provide high-quality service to its yachts, maintain good customer relationships, and avoid trying to take away your deposit.

When you rent a yacht, you pay the rental price and leave the charter company a refundable deposit (from 2 to 5 thousand euros). If you break something during the charter, the charter company will compensate for it from your deposit, and you will be refunded the balance. If your charter passes without damage to the yacht, the deposit will be refunded in full.

Unfortunately, there are very, very many charter companies in the world that are trying to profit from your deposit, even if you haven't screwed up anything.

This happens like this:
• you are given a yacht that has hidden damage from your eyes,
• during the check in of the yacht you do not find them for some reason,
• go to the charter and return back (and everything seems to have gone well),
• at the check-out of the yacht the technician "suddenly" detects this damage,
• you are presented with this damage as your own (no objections “this is not me” do not work - if this was not on the check-in, then this is a new damage),
• you lose your deposit.

Such charter companies should be avoided. But even if you have chosen, as you think, the most reliable charter company, this does not mean that everything is 100% OK with the yacht!

Even if the charter company does not try to make money on your deposit, it is possible that there is hidden damage on the yacht and your trip on such a yacht will be unsafe. For example, the previous client messed up, but the technician didn't notice it (he is also a person and can make mistakes).

Therefore, if you rent a yacht from a reliable charter company and a good technician tells you that everything is OK with the yacht at the check-in, then this is no reason not to check the yacht. You remember that in the sea you can only trust yourself. So go ahead and check out the yacht completely!

Recommendation 18:
it takes 3 to 5 hours (rather than 20 minutes, as for would-be captains) to properly check the yacht all the ins and outs.

A properly conducted check-in is half the success of the charter. And the deposit will be intact, and the crew is alive and well. But the correct check-in is quite difficult. The yacht is very large, it has a lot of components and assemblies, and you need a clear plan to check everything thoroughly.

Recommendation 19:
during your training course at Sail Band, we explain and show you in detail how the correct check-in is performed and give you a detailed action map. Try to take this part of the lesson responsibly, it will be very useful to you in the future.

Well, when the yacht is checked, and the crew and food are distributed around the yacht, it is worth checking the weather forecast again and you can start your voyage along a pre-prepared passage plan.

By the way, are you sure that you planned it well? That you have taken into account all the navigational hazards, selected reliable stopping points, made sure that you will fit there according to the depth and dimensions of the yacht, and so on.

Recommendation 20:
while you are at your home pier and there is a charter company representative (technician) nearby, try to show them your planned passage and get their approval. This local guy knows his water area very well and is aware of all the nuances of marinas on your way. His advice can be invaluable to you.

In general, you can write endlessly about bareboat charters in an unfamiliar water area (this is what our captain's life consists of), but it's time to stop.


Bareboat charter in an unfamiliar water area - this is the maximum increase in your experience and accelerated pumping of your yacht skills.


If you are going to go on such a journey with a crew. consisting only of inexperienced fellow travelers - there is a risk of something not taking into account and messing up. Too many tasks will fall on your inexperienced head and the initial inability to properly prioritize will turn your journey into hard labor.

Recommendation 21:
try to take someone with you on the crew who also understands the captain's wisdom. For example, your classmate from the yacht school, with whom you became friends during your training course. When there are several of you on board, you will be able to share responsibilities among yourself and insure each other. The probability of making a mistake is significantly reduced.

Despite the possible fear of the unknown, sooner or later every captain comes to the format of bareboat charters in unfamiliar waters. And this is the coolest format of yachting. Don't be afraid! It is worth soberly evaluating your strength and thoughtfully leveling up your skills in order to come to this format as early as possible.

How can Sail Band help you?

Firstly, the preliminary preparation for the trip - we have been to many places and understand the complexities of the water areas, the yachting features of the regions and the seasonal weather in these places. It will help you out a lot if you have someone to ask and get good advice when planning your passage. Helping our graduates is part of our job.

Secondly, we can quickly tell you something during your trip (on the management of the yacht, on the contacts of the nearest service providers, and on other issues).
Do not hesitate to contact us if you understand that you need it.

Thirdly, we are also a charter agency, which means we can help you rent a yacht in any region of the world. You contact us and say: "hi, I need a yacht in Turkey, for 8 people, July, bow thruster required". We select your yacht only from reliable charter companies (and we know which ones are reliable), get the charter contract, check it, and only then hand it over to you for signature and payment. And if there is some kind of force majeure during your trip, we contact the charter company and, protecting your interests, help resolve the conflict.

It's free for you, because the agency commission for our work is always paid by the charter company. If you rent a yacht directly from a charter company, you will pay exactly the same amount as through an agent, but there will be no one to protect your interests. As you can understand, we are just as responsible in our agency activities as we are in everything else.



- captains who already have a good "feel " for the yacht and have a good sailing experience (from 800 miles or more) in the role of a bareboat skipper

About the format

The next level of license after the “Bareboat Skipper” is called “Yachtmaster Coastal” and allows you to legally go 60 miles from the coast.

This is carried out just like the primary training - a group is formed and goes according to the program. As a rule, it takes a week and on the last day an exam is held (usually only theoretical, since the practical skills of each participant are already obvious).

What to search for

For improving, it is better to choose a passage that includes crossing the state border. From the instructor you will learn how to do it correctly and what are the nuances. And in addition, get the coveted seals with a small boat in your passport (not with an airplane, as when crossing the border at the airport).


The most important advantage for you is that the instructor will see how you have consolidated and developed your skills in bareboat charters and will tell you if you are doing something wrong. It is possible that during your captaincy without supervision, you have started doing something systematically wrong, but you do not know about it. This is quite possible and happens quite often (and so far it has not led to any unpleasant consequences for one simple reason - you are just lucky). The instructor will notice this and draw your attention to it. That is why you should only go to these courses as a bareboat skipper.


Yes, there are no minuses here, it's necessary.

How can Sail Band help you?

In addition to the fact that we have such a course, we also test and graduate those captains who go with us as part of the flotilla on large campaigns (with crossing the borders of states). In two weeks, the instructor will inspect your skills and even from another yacht will notice your wrong actions (if there are any) and give recommendations.
If you have more than 800 miles in your Log book by the end of the sailing trip (including this), you can pass the exam and get a Yachtmaster Coastal license.



- confident captains

About the format

This is something that you can save a lot of money on and upgrade your experience "shareware".

Here's how it works:
• there are large charter companies that have 2 or more charter bases,
• they have a fleet that needs to be moved from one base to another (as a rule, this happens before or after the main yacht season ends),
• they really don't like to pay professional sailors, because they understand that it is better to hand over rent a yacht to a client rather than spend money,
• they send out such one-way charter offers to agents
• and, of course, give the end client a discount (sometimes sooo big).

As a charter agency, we regularly receive such offers from charter companies.

For example, you can rent a yacht about 50 feet long in the Canary Islands in the spring and then return to the Balearics, and pay only 2000 euros for 3 weeks of charter. It's practically free.

What to search for

It is quite difficult to search for such charters directly. They are rarely published in the public domain. Charter companies prefer to sell such charters through agents, as the agent understands the qualifications of their clients and will not send an inexperienced captain on a difficult transition in the off-season.


The low price and the opportunity to go not in a circle, returning to the home marina, but in the direction of a specific goal, it is always more interesting.


Since these fleet movements are carried out in the off-season, the weather can be unpredictable up to stormy. You need to have experience and assemble a crew prepared for strong weather, which will not leave you in the first marina.

How can Sail Band help you?

You can use us to search for such charters and get recommendations on expected weather conditions and possible difficulties on the way.



- very experienced captains who can handle any emergency situation and have commercial-level yacht license.

About the format

This is already what you can earn at sea - build interesting passages, collect inexperienced beginners and take them to the seas. If your clients are happy, then you are doing everything right.

What to search for

You don't need to search, but you need to create a product. Rent a yacht from a charter company, set a price for a seat/cabin, search for customers and sell.

But, as I wrote above, Neptune forbid,  you to engage in a "black charter" - to ride people and take money from them, without having a commercial license!

Recommendation 22:
When you still want to save money on charters, let's suppose another option. If you are engaged in renting a yacht, plotting a passage and taking on all the difficulties of a difficult captain's share, and your fellow travelers are just relaxing and enjoying themselves, you can agree that all expenses for renting a yacht, berth, provisions, fuel, etc. are paid by the crew, and your personal expenses in this charter are zero (that is, you don't get pure income). This is perfectly legal.


Experience grows, finances don't “sing romances”.


Risks. There are many risks (up to the risk of crew shortage). And if something happens on the way that makes it impossible to continue traveling, then your passengers will be very unhappy - they fulfill the initial agreements (pay all expenses and, possibly, pay you a fee), but for some reason you do not fulfill your own. And they will not care that there is a storm at sea - " bring the next island from the passage plan here” they will shout and stamp their foot. Working with people is much more difficult than steering a yacht.

How can Sail Band help you?

Since you're supposed to be a very experienced captain by this point, you probably won't be much anymore. Except for agency assistance with renting a yacht from a trusted charter company, in order to somehow remove some of the worries from you.



- experienced captains who can carefully analyze the need for

About the format

At some point in time, a person may feel that they are spending too much money on charters and it is probably cheaper to buy some old boat and go on it. Or another example: you liked yachting and you have free money - why not buy a nice and fresh yacht. These are the most common cases, and most often they are incorrect and lead to shattered expectations.

Buying a yacht can't be an impulsive purchase. You need to be very clear about WHAT you are buying, HOW you will use it, and HOW MUCH money it will eat up annually.

In fact, the first example turns out to be unprofitable - the maintenance of an old boat (eternal repairs, renovations, supervision, maintenance, insurance, etc.) is often significantly more expensive than the cost of charters. And in the second example, it turns out that the yacht is a burden that requires a lot of attention, and you feel sorry for the money spent, because it is no longer fun.


If you are absolutely sure that you are going to change your usual lifestyle (with the purchase of a yacht, it changes), everything has been carefully analyzed and calculated, then go ahead. If it makes you happy, we will be happy for you.


There are many of them. For example, if you have paid for an annual contract for a berth in a particular marina (and an annual contract is significantly cheaper than a monthly or daily one), then you will also go by sea somewhere in this region and at most in neighboring ones. Friends can invite you to charter to another part of the world, and you can no longer charter to another yacht - your own will be offended.

Or you are in one country (where you live and work), and the yacht is in another (where the sea and horizons are), you have not seen each other for 3 months, you are bored and worried about it. And here you are gathering friends, arriving on a yacht, hoping to have a great time for a week, going out on the water, and it brokes (the starter is broken; sail drive is leaking, the engine overheats-yes, anything can break) and your plans for sailing are messing up. The yacht should not be left unattended and ideally it should be constantly moving - so it breaks down less. You'll want to get rid of it pretty quickly, and it's much harder to sell a yacht than to buy one.

These and many more difficulties are waiting for you.

How can Sail Band help you?

To begin with, dissuade from buying. But if you are firmly convinced that you can't live without a yacht anymore, then you can count on our help with the purchase (selection, expert inspection, registration, etc.), and we have a yacht management program (with supervision, maintenance and, if necessary, renting out your yacht). And we'll help you with the sale if you've had enough of it. Please contact us.



- to everyone in a row, depending on the combination of the vacancy and your qualifications

About the format

If you have finally decided to connect your life with the sea and change your occupation, then this is quite a working option. There are many companies in the yacht industry (charter, service, insurance, yacht schools, marinas, etc.) and they need employees. Working in such companies in a position that implies access to the sea, you will get what you came here for.


If this is exactly what you're looking for, then the pros are obvious.


Unfortunately, quite often I meet people in the yacht industry who can no longer look at this sea, it annoys them so much. When yachting turns from entertainment to work and routine - for many it is no longer a fan. So here you decide for yourself.

How can Sail Band help you?

We periodically open vacancies and you can also get a job with us. Since we are all professionals here, we are also recruiting professionals for the team. If you consider yourself such, then send your resume.



- very experienced captains with tremendous stress tolerance, who know how to work with people

About the format

Perhaps no one spends as many days at sea every year as a yacht instructor. But this is very hard work, requiring increased concentration of attention every minute (students are constantly messing up, and there are five of them on board - you need to keep track of everyone). A lot of people can not withstand such loads and leave the profession.

To become an instructor, you must first complete the instructor courses (beginners without good experience will not be taken there, of course), and then get a job at a yacht school and only then will you get an instructor's license. The instructor cannot be on his own, he is a representative of some yacht school that employed him and is responsible for him.


Some people enjoy this work (for example, me). There are new people around you every 10 days, you help them master complex tasks, see their results and enjoy yourself with them.


You may think that the instructor has a lot of sailing, but in reality he doesn't. The instructor steers only on the first day of training (when he shows students how to do it), and then the students do everything, and the instructor explains, corrects and looks after them. Well, such a sailing.

Managing people is much more difficult than managing a yacht. And training people is much more difficult than managing them. Inexperienced beginners are a big risk and a huge responsibility, you can not relax for a minute.

This is an endless groundhog day... " Hello, guys, first I'll show you how to use a toilet on a yacht” - 10 days of putting all your strength and patience into people-congratulations on passing the exam - and again “Hello, guys...". Not everyone can handle this.

How can Sail Band help you?

Sail Band has probably the highest requirements for instructors and becoming one of us is very difficult (but possible, because we are constantly looking for the best).

First, we need to see you in action - how you manage the yacht and crew, how you communicate with people, whether you are able to clearly convey your message to a group of people, how high your level of stress tolerance is, and other qualities. The easiest way to do this is on a flotilla trip, where you came with your friends, rented a yacht and are a full-fledged captain on it. During the sailing, we will see everything and understand how high your potential as an instructor is.

And then we will guide you by hand: enhanced leveling, miles set, internships, instructor courses and here you are an instructor in Sail Band.


Perhaps that's all.

And, of course, it turned out not to be an instruction (instructions usually describe a clear sequence of actions), but an analysis of how the modern yacht world works and how you can join it. But it seems to me that analysis is more valuable to you than instructions, because it allows you to think with your own head (and not the author of the instructions) and make your own decisions. That's why you're the captain.

I'm sorry if I startled you, but that wasn't my goal. On the contrary, I tried to warn you against obvious mistakes, so that you would not be disappointed in yachting at the very first steps. I hope this will help you and you will become a good sailor.

There is a place for everyone in the sea, and absolutely everyone can do it. Go ahead, you will succeed!


If you have read to the end, then I am very interested in how much the resulting picture of reality differs from your initial expectations. What did you imagine? That after you graduate from yacht school, you'll be swaggering around the helm, sipping rum and eating a parrot?

If you decide to share your thoughts on this issue, then write to

And I'm sorry for scaring the parrot and taking the rum away.