Hiring the right captain for your boat can be difficult. Captains come with a wide range of expertise, certifications, and qualifications. In this article we'll explore some of the common challenges boat owners face when hiring a captain and just how much it costs to hire the right captain for your boat.
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A Captain For ______
The first step in hiring the right captain for your boat is deciding why you need a captain. A boat captain is an experienced professional that you are paying to bring their knowledge and expertise aboard your boat. Many captains offer a wide variety of services encompassing most of the things boaters are looking for. However, if you're looking for something specific like a captain that has local fishing knowledge or sailing expertise then you'll want to specify that that is what you're looking for when reaching out to captains on BoatEasy.
Boat Captains For Training
Whether you're a new boat owner or an experienced skipper yourself, we can all benefit from a little professional expertise. Captains that provide training services have proved to be incredibly popular on BoatEasy and for good reason - they help you, the boat owner, become more comfortable with your boat. Even if you're already comfortable with your boat, local knowledge from experienced captains can be invaluable.
Boat Captains For Delivery
Delivering boats is another popular service provided by captains on BoatEasy. You bought a new boat but it's a thousand miles away. Having a captain that specializes in deliveries deliver it to your marina can be an effective way to save time and get your boat to you as soon as possible.
A Captain For The Day
Maybe you're taking out guests, or just want to kick back and relax aboard your own boat. Hiring a captain for the day can be a great way to enjoy your boat without the stress of being the captain yourself.
A Captain For Your Boat
Hiring a long-term captain for your boat is a bit different than the aforementioned services. A long-term captain is usually a salaried position for a captain to care for your boat or yacht. Captains specializing in this role usually only work with one boat and managing that boat is their responsibility. As this is a long-term relationship between the boat owner and captain, it's important to interview captains and find the right one for your boat. A general rule of thumb is to expect to pay roughly $1,000 per foot of boat length per year when hiring a captain for a long-term position aboard.
How much does it cost to hire a captain for your boat?
Hiring a captain may sound great but you're probably also asking, how much does it cost to hire a captain for your boat? Boat captain rates can differ dramatically both regionally and by what you need a captain for. A general rule of thumb for a long-term captain for your boat is $1,000 per foot of boat length per year. While it may seem like a similar service being offered for a 40 foot boat and a 150 yacht, the captain of the larger vessel is likely responsible for a larger crew and more maintenance aboard.
For more short term hires, BoatEasy's Boat Captains For Hire category offers great insight into what local captains near you are charging. On average captains charge around $100 per hour for things like training or to hire a captain for the day. Deliveries will likely charge a per day rate as well as any travel related expenses. Captains coming aboard for their expertise like fishing guides may charge more as well.
What size boat do you need a captain for?
While captains are traditionally associated with larger boats and yachts, there is no hard and fast rule, unless you plan on operating in a for hire capacity. Additionally your insurance company may like a word with you if you are operating a very large yacht without a professional captain aboard.
We began this guide by pointing out that in many cases you're hiring a captain for their expertise. If you're new to boating, regardless of your boat's size, hiring a captain for a half day to show you the ropes is a great investment. And the cost of a couple hundred dollars for their time and expertise is likely only a small fraction of the purchase price of your boat.
Similarly captains provide local expertise that you may not be able to find elsewhere. Expertise such as the know-how when it comes to catching local fish species or navigating constantly changing local waters can be invaluable and save you as a new boater in the area a lot of time.
For larger boats with a long maintenance list, a captain takes on a sort of managerial role ensuring that your boat is properly maintained and ready to use when you want to use it. Captains can also assist with trip planning, crew selection, and chartering.