No boating or sailing license? No problem!
Did you know that on Zizoo, you can book a boat with a professional skipper? It’s true! Everyone, including travelers who’ve never sailed before and have no license, can experience the joy of a boat holiday with the guidance of a trained skipper who not only takes care of navigation and security, but also has lots of tips and local recommendations. Even experienced sailors and boat holidaymakers can book a skipper to take over the steering wheel when they want to just relax and enjoy being on vacation.
Let us introduce you to some of the passionate and experienced skippers who cannot wait to welcome you on board!
Kjara, tell us about yourself. Where are you from? For how long have you been a skipper?
I come from a small seaside town of Opatija, situated on the north Croatian cost. I’m 29 and have been working as a skipper for the last 6 years now. It started as my summer job while I was studying business economics, and then slowly became my main source of income in-between various internships, courses and international experiences.
How did you start sailing and then decided to even become a skipper guiding travellers around?
I’ve started sailing when I was 8 years old. My older brother got into sailing first and then me and my younger brother too. It then became a family sport. We’ve been sailing, traveling around, competing up until our college days. A lot of my friends from the club started working as skippers, together with my brother, so little by little I ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ too. I’ve started as a hostess first, to see what the job is like, then slowly became a skipper too.
What’s your favourite route and why?
This is a tough one. It’s hard to choose one favourite route. Since I’m from the north I have to be a little patriotic ;), I really love this area. Another route I adore is starting from Dubrovnik, passing by Elafiti islands, maybe even my all-time favourite Šipan, and making my way towards Mljet, Lastovo, Pelješac and Korčula. This area is a bit less crowded than the one around Split, but as well there are many hidden treasures so one can always escape the crowds.
What’s your favourite boat and why?
Personally, I prefer monohulls than catamarans, they simply sail better. Also in regards to the size, I’d rather choose a smaller or medium sized boat than a bigger one, they fit to more places.
What languages do you speak and did you ever have some problems in communicating with travellers?
Learning foreign languages has always been my passion. I’ve also tried to spend some time living in other countries. I speak English, French, Italian and a bit of Spanish. Luckily so far I haven’t had any problems communicating with my guests.
How many trips did you already do as a skipper with travellers?
I’ve been doing this for the last 5 years, I think it must be around 70 trips.
You must have met a lot of interesting people and made experiences, is there anything special you remember?
Several times I had guests who were on a bachelor party week, it’s nice to meet groups of lifelong friends, it’s also nice to have several generations of one family on the boat. Some crews I became really good friends with and we remain in contact year-round. There are many nice moments we went through, last summer we celebrated a 25th marriage anniversary of one couple. On that occasion as a part of a surprise we were all dressed in white and the rest of the crew asked me to perform a sort of a marriage ceremony for the couple, to ‘remarry’ them in a way, since I was a captain. I wasn’t prepared with the speech and all, but it went well, they still live happily XD. One time also a guest proposed to his girlfriend on the boat. Other than that a lot of families, friends, colleagues and good times.
What do you like most about your job?
I love sailing, discovering new places, meeting and taking care of new people and organising their holidays. The best part from me is when everybody around me is happy.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Not having any private time sometimes.
What is your advice for beginner sailors? Or somebody who wants to learn how to sail?
My advice for beginner sailors would be to take it slowly, go for it in spite of fear but also never to underestimate weather conditions and always to be well prepared. It’s important to start building a network of colleagues, make new friendships and always ask for advice, suggestions and help if needed.
What are the 3 most convincing arguments for you to go sailing?
I grew up sailing so it’s something that will always be a part of me, if I’m with good people, there’s a boat we can go to and some wind that’s all.
What are your tips for seasickness?
Ginger tea always does the trick.
What do you do during the off-season?
I worked for the last two years with a friend who developed an app for booking berths while sailing around Croatian coast, it’s called Porthop. My role was mostly sales, marketing, managing client and customer relationships.
What are the essentials you bring on a sailing trip?
Depends on the season, always good clothes – something weather proof if it’s winter and/or if it can get stormy, sunscreen lotion, a hat, sunglasses, fins and a mask.
What would you advise someone who wants to become a skipper?
Besides getting a licence I’d say it’s important to do some weeks of a training course on a boat. To get some practical experience. It’s also good if possible to help do some boat transfers, or get into a crew during some not so professional regattas.