Yacht delivery skipper organising the food into the galley
  • 22nd February 2023
  • Blog
  • by Pete Green
  • 1

When a Halcyon Yachts skipper and crew have a yacht delivery confirmed, there are many things that need to be organised. In this blog, we take a look at the things the yacht delivery skipper will typically do before slipping the lines.

Initially, the skipper will start communicating with the owner and the crew. The owner’s requirements are considered and confirmed.  Then the travel plans are discussed and tickets are booked. Once the delivery crew are on board, the yacht is thoroughly checked from the top of the mast to the bottom of the bilges. The engine is run and tested. Spare parts and tools are found and located within easy reach. Every crew member is made aware of all the safety equipment on board and learns how to deploy it. The boat is filled with water, diesel, and fuel for cooking.

There will be a visit to the supermarket and provisions for the passage bought and stowed away. The yacht delivery skipper will discuss the passage plan for the trip and the conditions that can be expected. A watch system will be introduced and everyone made aware of what their duties are. All these tasks take time, but they are an essential part of the yacht delivery.

12 things a Halcyon Yachts Skipper and Crew typically do before a yacht delivery.

Yacht delivery skipper and two crew standing next to their boat
  • The skipper will contact each crew member ahead of the yacht delivery. They introduce themselves and find out about the crew’s experience. Where they are traveling from. If they have any dietary preferences and discuss kit requirements etc. The skipper will remain in touch via a Whatsapp group and will liaise with the crew on travel options to the boat’s location. The skipper will also talk to the boat’s owner and find out as much as they can about the boat and the owner’s specific requirements.
  • Victualing the boat for the passage is an important role that the delivery skipper may delegate to a crew member. Passages can be as short as overnight or as long as an Atlantic crossing. Food budgets have to be set, dietary preferences taken into account and the galley’s capabilities considered. Once the food has been purchased it needs to be carefully stowed away. Many crews devise meal plans with a list of dishes that can be cooked each day, this ensures that food is not wasted.
Yacht delivery skipper organising the food into the galley
  • The yachts’ fuel and water tanks need to be filled and their capacities calculated. The delivery skipper will work out how much fuel the engine will burn per hour and what the expected range will be with the fuel that is on board. This will be monitored each day. For longer passages, the water consumption will also be calculated and carefully scrutinised.
  • The delivery skipper and crew will carry out a full engine check. Particular attention is paid to oil (including gearbox) levels and quality, fuel filters, alternator belts, water levels, electrical connections and the general condition of the engine. The boat will be run against the warps both ahead and astern. If the boat has a generator then this will be checked and started as well. The skipper will ensure that there are spare filters, belts, impellors, and oil and the necessary tools to carry out repairs at sea.
  • The delivery crew will have a detailed look at the rig: inspecting the bottlescrews to ensure that they have pins and are taped. They will examine the rig tension and look to see if the running rigging is chaffed. The sails will be raised to look for wear and someone will be sent up the mast to examine the spreaders, and the condition of the shrouds and pins. The crew will drop the anchor in the marina to confirm that everyone knows the procedure for deploying this important piece of safety equipment. The navigation, anchor and steaming lights will be located and tested. Someone will ensure that the steering mechanism is sound and the autohelm appears to be working but this can’t really be fully checked until the boat gets underway.
Top tips for winterising your yacht
  • Each boat will have a set of accompanying paperwork that needs to be collated into a file. Typically these documents relate to insurance, boat ownership, letters of authority from the owner authorising the delivery, VAT paid, ships radio licence, builder’s certificate etc. The delivery skipper will also make a list of the names of all the crew members, their contact details, passport numbers, and any medical needs.
  • All the seacocks will be found, identified and opened where necessary. The log may be removed and cleaned. The bilges will be inspected and the pumps, both automatic and manual, checked.
Speed log being removed and cleaned by the skipper
  • Every sole board will be lifted, each locker inspected and every hatch opened so all the crew know exactly what is in them and where all the essential equipment is stored. This exercise also helps identify the location of the fuel and water tanks and the hot water cylinder.
  • All loose items are securely packed away and any of the owners’ possessions are carefully stowed.
  • An important task is an audit of the safety equipment on board. Each crew member needs to be aware of what there is, and how it works and feel confident to deploy it in an emergency. Many skippers allocate set roles and responsibilities prior to leaving a port. For example, in an emergency situation, it is clarified in advance, who will send a Mayday call, who will launch the life raft, and who is responsible for getting the grab bag and first aid kit. Before leaving the marina all the crew’s important documents, credit cards, car keys etc. will be placed in a waterproof kit bag which will be hung somewhere easily accessible. The location and contents of the first aid kit will also be highlighted.
Stock photo of safety equipment
  • The delivery skipper will note any defects that they notice and possibly photograph them.
  • The delivery skipper will brief the crew on the passage plan, discuss the weather and conditions that can be expected and put a route in the chart plotter. The watch system will be discussed, the daily duties clarified and a log started.
Working around the saloon table, doing some chart work and prep during the yacht delivery skippers development week.

When all these tasks have been completed, the crew will be ready to slip the lines and head out to sea for another exciting yacht delivery!

A banner reading Delivered by Halcyon Yachts

With highly qualified and experienced crew, Halcyon Yachts Ltd offers a dedicated international yacht delivery service. For more information or to see details of their recent deliveries please visit:


1 Comment

  1. 12th October 2023 at 12:06 pm
    Henrik Pantle

    Good preparation makes a good landing…

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