Boat skipper wanted for your own boat?
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Boat skipper wanted for your own boat?

Jim Champion – Portland Bill, Dorset

At Onboard Space we expect to see ‘boat skipper wanted’ ads as well as crew wanted ads. Why? Not everyone has the competence to handle a certain trip and they have the balls to admit it. Where a boat owner needs a skipper for a longer or trickier passage this tells us that they respect the sea and know that the trip could be too much for them – in respecting the sea and acknowledging their limits that is to be applauded. 

Why would someone post a ‘boat skipper wanted’ ad?

Your writer has years of experience sailing and writing about sailing. My own experience is in coastal sailing, and while that has a certain depth and breadth (I’ve sailed in Force 10 gales and even been shipwrecked a couple of times) I know that I would not be confident in skippering a boat across the English Channel from where I stand today. Why?

Like merchant and fishing vessels for millennia, I am familiar with using coastal landmarks to fix my position at sea. I can do it in fog and at night too, with lights and GPS. My limits lie in when I cross the horizon from the coast and am in the middle of the sea with no land in sight. On a longer Channel passage from here in Dorset to Normandy I would be out of sight of land for at least 6-12 hours. That would be a step too far for me. 

I’d love to do a trans Atlantic one day. I would need to crew that for my first passage. In these two examples if I wanted to move my boat between sailing grounds – the Biscay coast or the Caribbean for example – I would need to put up a ‘boat skipper wanted’ ad for those longer legs. The skipper would find a tidy, well maintained boat and a competent crew in me but s/he would have to do the tricky navigation bit, perhaps taking a Great Circle route from here to the Americas. 

That is no attack on my own skills but an honest appraisal of what I can and cannot do. I personally have seen too many friends die at sea to believe I can master anything too far beyond my existing skills, and I would rather pull someone up for being too ‘brave’ than being honest about their limits. 

Skipper wanted – Onboard Space?

Onboard Space is an ideal place to put your boat skipper wanted ad. You advertise for free and then when someone responds to your add you both pay a small fee – though it is completely free at the moment while we try to get people using it!

If you too recognise your limits yet want a competent skipper to help you get to this summer’s sailing grounds, sign up with Onboard Space today and see what we’re about!

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