Skippered Yacht Charter

How to form a crew on a sailing yacht

One of the most fantastic and rewarding parts of sailing is the teamwork involved. Great teams have jobs for everyone who wants to be involved and create a sense of achievement for everyone onboard. Whether you sail as a family, a couple or a group of friends here are some tips on what makes a successful crew plus some offers to get your crew on the water this summer.

With Seafarer yachts playing host to crews of all sizes it doesn’t make sense here to list all the jobs onboard but we have instead aimed to look at different parts of sailing. This guide is mainly aimed at flotilla sailors, where you have the independence of sailing your own yacht but with the support and guidance of an experienced lead crew.


The skipper is the ‘Captain’ of your ship and a key member of the crew. Any skipper has had to undergo training or a test to gain their qualification so they deserve their position of authority being in charge of the yacht. The main strength of any great skipper will be communication and trusting your crew in different situations. Establishing early on who has what skills on board is key. Thereafter, briefings are very important and a little bit of on the water training (explaining each person’s role and demonstrating a task) can go a long way to making sure manoeuvres are seamless and everyone can get involved.


Harnessing the power of the wind to glide gracefully across the waves is what yachting is all about. Getting the sails up or out, trimming them to make best use of the wind and executing tacks and gybes all require teamwork. Finding where people’s skills lie, good communication onboard, allocating specific roles and responsibilities (e.g. handling the mainsheet and jib sheets). You can even practise tasks like the reefing of sails in lighter airs before braving a strong breeze and will allow your crew to make the best of a nice wind in safety.


Docking and mooring can be one of the most challenging parts of sailing for those relatively new to the sport. The flotilla lead crew will give guidance and assistance as may be necessary but it is important to make sure you prepare and that everyone is briefed in good time about the manoeuvre you are planning. Different roles will be needed for different types of mooring and with the right preparation these can be done in a stress free and rewarding way, so be sure to allocate specific crew members to things like placing fenders, preparing and throwing mooring lines or manning the windlass control at the bow .

For longlining and other more independent moorings its useful to nominate a good swimmer to take lines ashore, a really fun part of sailing in warmer countries.Last but not least, ‘putting the yacht to bed’ at the end of a great day’s sailing, switching off and covering instruments, stowing and covering sails and generally keeping things ship shape, nicely rounds off the day’s achievements. And remember, look after the yacht and it will look after you!



All good crews will find time to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds them. Whether its relaxing on the foredeck as you gently sail downwind, diving into azure water for a cooling swim, or planning time to explore ashore it doesn’t have to be go go go all the time. One of the most amazing things about sailing is the range of different experiences and to enjoy them as a ‘crew’ makes them all the more special.

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