Job Title: Skipper

Employed by: Challenge Wales

Accountable to: Board of Trustees

Line Managed by: C.E.O

Essential Checks: Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, references

Type of Position: Full time salaried

Contract Period: Initially 8 months working on a 3 weeks on and 1 week off basis during the operational season. This may be extended during the off season period to oversee maintenance of the Charity’s vessels and to give office support with marine and operational issues on a standard 9 to 5 5 day week basis. Postholder to ideally start February 2022.

Salary & Benefits: £26000-£28000 plus workplace pension

How to apply: Email your CV and a supporting statement of no more than 2 sides. The supporting statement should include your motivation for applying, why you believe you are a strong candidate including examples of how you meet the responsibilities listed and your notice period (if applicable). Please also supply two references (which will be followed up if you are successful at interview) to: [email protected]

Applications may close if there are sufficient suitable applicants to bring to interview, or may remain open in order to find suitable applicants.

Selection Process: Initial interview will be Zoom or face-to-face (depending on government guidance and location), at-sea Skipper Assessments will follow which may involve several days on board our vessels.


Challenge Wales is an award-winning sail training charity, based in South Wales and currently operates two vessels (72-ft Challenge Wales and 60-ft Adventure Wales) carrying out youth development activities and adult fundraising voyages. Sailing activity takes places around the Welsh coast, Ireland, South coast and further afield where sail training events and races are taking place. In the past this has included Europe and the Baltic countries.

We are a fun, young, growing organisation bringing adventure experiences to socially diverse young people and fundraising through adult only voyages.

From November to February, the yachts undergo winter maintenance or if not, will be involved in a new overseas winter programme. During UK maintenance (off-peak), working hours are likely to change to Monday – Friday and leave arrangements will change to reflect this.

Purpose of the Role:

To Skipper on either Challenge Wales (Challenge 72) or Adventure Wales (Ocean 60), as required, and co-ordinate and undertake the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the vessels in conjunction with the C.E.O. (a voluntary position).

The post-holder will deliver instruction and motivate young people. The majority of the role is working with young people with a small proportion being adult fundraising trips/corporate experiences. The Skipper is responsible for the overall day to day running of the vessel, its safety, SMS compliance, operational efficiency and delivering a fun and exciting voyage.

Tasks & Responsibilities

You will be required to:

  • Operate their assigned vessel in accordance with the Charity’s Operational Procedures and Policies.
  • Ensure that the vessel at all times operates and complies with all appropriate legislation both flag state and internationally.
  • Work with young people from diverse backgrounds to achieve RYA qualifications, DofE Gold Residential award, Agored Cymru accreditation and soft skills development.
  • Plan and execute the voyage in accordance with the management brief, not withstanding any deviation that certain circumstances may dictate, and input into future voyages.
  • Maintain the vessels condition in accordance with the Planned Maintenance System and report all shortfalls.
  • Conduct on board training, help volunteer crew progress through their competency logs and conduct personnel assessments.
  • Be professional and commercially & personally sensitive at all times (both on and off the vessel) acting with tact and diplomacy.
  • Advise on suitability of personnel to serve as volunteers at different levels of competence.
  • Manage safety, discipline, morale and welfare of volunteers, trainees and clients.
  • Victual the vessel within budget and following Challenge Wales’ financial and purchasing procedures.
  • Deal with unexpected and planned issues which might be encountered on a sailing vessel atsea, e.g. repairs, maintenance, electrical (AC & DC), plumbing systems/bilge systems,generator, diesel engine, sail repairs etc.
  • Maintain accurate Skippers accounts as defined in the Charity’s procedures.
  • Champion the brand and raise the profile of the charity.
  • Bring your own ideas to the charity and voyage schedule to help Challenge Wales grow, and
  • continue to innovate.

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive but the post-holder will be expected to be flexible in carrying out tasks relate to their role.

Personal Specification

The successful candidate will:

  • Have a valid ENG1 medical fitness certificate.
  • Have a minimum Yachtmaster Offshore qualification.
  • Have a valid Commercial Endorsement.
  • Radar Operation Certificate.
  • Diesel Engine Course.
  • Have experience of sail training industry, enjoy working outdoors and passion to developpeople.
  • Have had at least 2 years in a Skipper role.
  • Have experience of sailing vessels of similar size to Challenge Wales vessels.
  • Good leadership skills, a positive role-model and ability to lead in a positive way.
  • Be energetic enthusiastic, hands-on and willing to work hard.
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Possess very good communication skills both verbal and written, be compassionate and ableto understand the needs of others
  • Have a strong awareness of marine environmental issues.
  • Competent in Excel and Word documents.
  • Experience of working with disadvantaged young people.
  • Be a team player.
  • Food Hygiene Level 2 (not an online course).Physically fit.

Desirable and advantageous

  • Yachtmaster Ocean qualification.
  • Experience of larger outdoor/adventure organisations.
  • Medical Care Aboard Ship.
  • Skipper experience on Ocean 60’s and Challenge 72’s.
  • Instructor experience.
  • Powerboat Level 2.
  • A Welsh speaker (written/oral).

All employees are expected to take responsibility and comply with Challenge Wales’ policies and procedures. Challenge Wales operates a strict non-smoking and non-drinking policy.

Further information on Challenge Wales can be found at