Top Tips For Becoming a Yacht Delivery Skipper

21 Sep Top Tips For Becoming a Yacht Delivery Skipper


To set sail over the horizon, to spread your wings and explore, to see the world and to meet many new like minded people… Perhaps being a yacht delivery skipper is the ultimate job for any sailing enthusiast that likes to travel and wants to get paid to see the world!


For anyone looking for a career in sailing there seems to be just a few main options. You can work in the superyacht industry, work as a sailing instructor or flotilla crew or of course work in the yacht delivery industry.


Yacht delivery presents a unique opportunity to work independently on a huge variety of vessels, both power and sail, going to and from locations all over the world.


At Halcyon Yachts we are very lucky to have such a dedicated team of professionals helping us to ensure a quality of service that is second to none. We have many freelance skippers approach us looking for work. In order to help any potential or up and coming yacht delivery skippers we have compiled a list of top tips:-


  • Make sure you are suitably qualified

Yacht Delivery SKipper - RYA Yacht Master Instructor

Most yacht delivery companies insist upon their skippers being qualified to Yacht Master level. At Halcyon Yachts, our skippers are all Ocean Masters as a minimum. Gaining a teaching qualification is also very useful and will help to make you more employable.


  • Carry the right equipment

Sailors Kit Bag

Yacht delivery skippers need to be able to be quite self sufficient. It is recommended that you carry your own handheld VHF and GPS. You will need your own lifejacket and harness line, wet weather gear of course and a sleeping bag. In addition to this it is useful to carry some basic tools including a knife, pliers, screw drivers, multi-meter, sail repair tape and cable ties. I personally also like to carry a small fishing set – nothing quite beats fresh mackerel for lunch!  


  • Take out insurance

Professional Yacht Delivery Skipper On Watch

There are several types of insurance to consider. As a yacht delivery skipper you should certainly have your own professional indemnity cover and also we recommend having your personal belongings covered. Health insurance too is wise especially if sailing outside of the EU.


  • Buy a yacht tracking device

Spot - Halcyon Yachts tracking device

There is no better way to impress the owner of the yacht than to have a satellite tracker on-board. At Halcyon Yachts we have a number of trackers that we send out to our skippers before they embark on delivery. Tracking devices such as the Spot Tracker, DeLorme or Yellow Brick all work well and enable the owner to see exactly where in the world their yacht is. These devices are now very affordable and also offer additional safety as you can activate an emergency call in a similar way to an EPIRB.  


  • Be professional with CV’s and invoicing

Man typing on laptop computer

As a freelance yacht delivery skipper first impressions really do matter. Take the time to develop a well written and clearly laid out CV showing your experiences and qualifications. Invoicing is also important. It is worth formatting a generic template so that invoicing can be done efficiently and professionally at the end of each job. 


  • Gather references and build your reputation

Halcyon Yachts - yacht delivery feedback form

The yacht delivery world is a small one. Your reputation is crucial and many contracts are secured through personal recommendations. If you are submitting your CV to potential new employers then be sure to include useful and relevant references.


  • Have the right attitude

Yacht Delivery Skipper and Crew

A yacht delivery skipper must have the right attitude. Not only must you be an excellent sailor and skipper you must also be customer orientated and focused on delivering a high quality of service. Remember that the yachts that you will be delivering are someone else’s pride and joy; yacht owners invest a great deal, not only financially but also emotionally into their vessels – they can become like a member of their family! Decisions should always be made with the owners best interests in mind. A successful yacht delivery skipper will be careful and conscientious, have a very high regard for safety and will be highly professional in their approach; not only when managing the vessel and crew but also with their interaction with the client. 


Halcyon Yachts Main logo

Halcyon Yachts Ltd is a dedicated international yacht delivery specialist with highly experienced and qualified crew. For more information or to see details of their recent deliveries please visit




  • Mike Sisley
    Posted at 09:33h, 23 September Reply

    Thank you for publishing this. I would also add when planning a delivery trip, bring your own charts.

  • Simon Coates
    Posted at 09:49h, 24 September Reply

    Great article!

    Very interesting…

  • Hubert Hell
    Posted at 21:24h, 25 September Reply

    thanks, a more than helpful article, Finally someone going into details and being honest about selection criteria (e.g. Ocean Master as a minimum).

  • Mario Zanetti
    Posted at 10:13h, 27 September Reply

    Excellent post, good tips for skippers. Well done!

  • Darroch Cahen
    Posted at 22:21h, 28 September Reply

    Step by Step I am building my skill set to become a delivery Captan. I like your comment “Gaining a teaching qualification is also very useful and will help to make you more employable.”

  • Jon Knights
    Posted at 23:18h, 26 March Reply

    Very informative and valuable information. looka like I may need a bigger hold-all though!

  • Steve Pointon
    Posted at 15:44h, 16 October Reply

    Excellent post. As a qualified yachtmaster Ocean and recently retired from the RN this is an area of work I would be very interested in.

  • Paul Sandham
    Posted at 20:06h, 16 October Reply

    Well I’ve got the experience tho not the quals seems I need some class room time over the winter I’ve got 3500 nm under my belt in 12 months but seems I need to prove I can navigate in a classroom well I’m aiming in the right direction it seems cheers Peter

  • Inthewild
    Posted at 12:53h, 16 April Reply

    Nice post

  • John Ringrose
    Posted at 15:33h, 05 October Reply

    Just a note to Paul Sandham becoming an Ocean Yachtmaster is not merely doing classroom work!!! – the exams prove you have the full experience both theoretical but also practical – try the exams to know how damn hard they are!!! If you want to be a delivery Skipper these days you have to prove yourself!! The hard way – I have just done my conversion from sail to power and I can assure you it isn’t classroom work and it sure as hell Isn’t easy – simply clocking up miles doesn’t give you the required skills!!!

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