Bareboat charter Greece: how many crew members on a yacht?

You only need a couple of people to sail even quite a large boat.

If you are a couple with kids, or are perhaps a little older this shouldn’t put you off a bareboat Greek yacht charter with Kavas Yachting.

Elite short handed sailing

A major transatlantic race has recently finished in El Salvador called the Transat Jacques Vabre. Crews of two have sailed boats of up to 30 metres long from France on the old ‘Route du Café’, the same route that French merchant ships used to sail to get France’s second favourite drink, coffee (the favourite being the Route du Vin but nearly every route might be called that in France…).

Typically the 3,000 nautical mile route will take two weeks, with the crews pushing their boats to the limits. The sailors will have two hours downtime every four, being called on deck to help sort any issues. Within the first few days everyone aboard will be used to the sleep routines, which for the solo sailors among them will be positively luxurious.

Cruising yachts are for older people

While those looking at elite yachting will see young men and women doing these fantastic feats, the fact is that those who buy their own boats today aren’t all young, spritely muscle heads. Cruising yacht manufacturers know this and a couple in their late 40’s to mid-60’s should be able to sail a 15 metre cruising yacht without hurting themselves or straining anything.

You don’t need to have a huge crew to sail these things and most of the boats in the Kavas bareboat Greek yacht charter fleet are designed with shorthanded sailing in mind.

With this in mind, a couple in their 30’s with two young children can easily take a bareboat yacht sailing as well. Let’s look at the hows and whys.

Jib winches

The jib winches are designed to enable someone who isn’t very strong to do most jobs.
Up to a lively Force 5 most people will be able to harden up a full jib

Roller furling jibs

Roller furling jibs can be set up and dowsed in just seconds even by someone who isn’t very strong, while there’s the gear to get the mainsail to the top of the mast without breaking a sweat.

Layout of cruising

The layout of cruising is designed for comfort. You don’t have to duck for the boom coming across as it is usually two metres or more above the cockpit sole


The helm and other controls are designed for comfort and not speed.

You’re not in the Americas Cup!

Bareboat sailing is often about taking yourself just outside of your comfort zone and not pushing yourself too far beyond. While a crew of 4-5 young, fit and healthy people might be able to short tack up a narrow channel for the hell of it, the shorthanded crew just need to think ahead.

You won’t win a prize for the slickest tack, so let the jib back a bit before letting the windward sheet go – it will help you through the wind. Take that sail in for building winds, 20-30 minutes before you might with your 20 year old meat head crews. Take it easy!

For those introducing sailing with kids, slow and gentle won’t scare the wits out of them as well. Two parents can show their kids how much fun it is and build them up to something a little more exciting later in the trip. My daughter is a two year old thrill seeker. I always let her think she’s completely out of control, yet while she squeals delight I am in full control.

The takeaway

How fit are you? If you are the sort of 70 year old couple who regularly rides their e-bikes five miles to the shops and back, then there’s nothing stopping you from bareboat chartering a yacht with Kavas Yachting. You don’t need to do a crewed charter into your 60’s either.

For couples with kids who might otherwise feel their world has ended due to children, kids shouldn’t stop you bareboat chartering a yacht with us either. If you can master the logistics of getting them onto a plane and to a foreign country in one piece, you’re a very special kind of person indeed. Sailing a bareboat charter yacht with Kavas will be an absolute breeze!

See also ↠ Crew roles - Notes for the skipper on a Kavas charter yacht

Richard Shrubb