Explore Our Expertly Picked Team Members

Horizon Yacht Charters have several experienced and friendly skippers and instructors. Some of their profiles are shown below – click on the relevant link for skippers in your preferred base. We’ve built up and refined our team over many years into a select group of truly out standing individuals, all keen and happy to offer you first class service during your charter experience.

Captain Thomas Burger – BVI Skipper

Captain Tom Burger at your service. Whether you need a skipper or a sailing instructor for fun or to get qualified on American Sailing Association courses, I have got you covered. I am a skipper and instructor for Horizon Yacht Charters in the beautiful British Virgin Islands.

I have worked at sea for nearly a decade, as a sailing instructor and flotilla skipper in Croatia, followed by experience on Super Yachts around the world. I am a Yachtmaster Offshore with the RYA and have the required instructor licenses for ASA courses 101-114. I have a Psychology degree from USF and am also bilingual in English and German.

I was born on a sailboat and spent my first 3 years sailing around the world with my parents; I seem to have been drawn back to the sea in my adult life. I grew up partially here in the BVI and Switzerland. I have been traveling the world both on land and sea all my life and love the experiences I have gained.

The life I have lived allows me to teach sailing to a wide range of people spanning from complete beginners to the more knowledgeable sailor who may like to brush up on some of their skills and perhaps care to pick up a few tricks along the way.

People describe me often as a relaxed and down to earth person, super easy to talk to and to get along with. I am highly adaptable to any sort of personality or background and you will feel like you are having a great time with a good friend of yours in no time.

I really enjoy being on the water and sailing around the BVI, the best part is that I get to share this experience with others and show them a fantastic time while they are here.

Skippers and instructors Captain Donna Acquaro

Captain Donna Acquaro – BVI Skipper

Hi, I’m Donna, one of the skippers and instructors for Horizon Yacht Charters. I have a love of learning and enjoy teaching others what I know. I also listen and try to learn something from every person I meet.

I have been educated as a Mechanical engineer and Marine Scientist specializing in physical oceanography. I have been sailing for 25 years and teaching sailing for over 15 years. I would love showing you about the islands, the culture and sailing! My personality has been described as charming, warm and easy going I have friends who say that I am a great listener, and a clear and inspiring instructor.

Growing up in New England gave me my love of the sea. This set me on my path to learn sailing. I have since attended formal ASA classes and eventually became an instructor. After learning to sail I wanted to explore and experience new places. I am very adventurous and have taken advantage of opportunities to sail first, on vacations, and later as a professional.

Recently I spent 6 weeks on a multihull sailing in Turkey and the Greek Isles. I took my first trip to the British Virgin Islands 18 years ago. I fell in love with the islands and the people of the British Virgin Islands. Coming from a large family and having grown children, I’ll be sure to provide a fun atmosphere for you. I adapt the schedule and pace to optimize the fun and relaxation for all. You can read Donna’s LinkedIn profile here for more information on her experience.

This is what one of our clients had to say recently: “The three of us loved Donna. She is obviously very skilled and experienced, but joins this with a delightful, engaging manner. She evaluated, but also shared much of her substantial knowledge of sailing in your local waters. We liked her so well we were sorry to part.” Andy L, Dec 2016.

Another client has said: “I just wanted to say a huge thank you!  We had a phenomenal trip!  BVIs are an amazing place. Would like to especially praise Donna. She did a great job of balancing teaching my ASA 104/114 and vacation time for others on the boat.  Her energy and enthusiasm for sailing are obvious. Everybody on the boat consider this one best all time trips. Already planning the next charter”. Joe Parkey – 1/2 – 1/92020.

 

Chris Simpson

Captain Chris Simpson – BVI Skipper

Hi, I am Chris, a Skipper and Instructor for Horizon. I am more than excited and feel very privileged to be going back to my roots and my #1 vocational passion that I left in my late 20’s, to pursue other avenues in the marine industry, as Operation’s Manager for a 50-boat charter company here in the BVI and, then later, as co-owner and Senior Yacht Broker for BVI Yacht Sales.

I first arrived in the BVI in 1985, as an instructor for Steve Colgate’s Offshore Sailing School, fell in love with the territory and was lucky enough to be able to come back here again in 1990, where I have happily lived and worked for the last 28 years with my American wife.

My passion for sailing and, then much later, teaching sailing, started when my sailing crazy parents put me in a dinghy at the age of one! Long family summer sailing trips then became the norm, by my late teens I had logged thousands of offshore sailing miles. Circumstances then conspired to have me training for my RYA Yachtmaster certificate (USCG 100 Ton equivalent) and, a year later, becoming a Yachtmaster Instructor. My teacher was exceptional and infinitely inspiring, she not only instructed me to the highest standards but also noticed by aptitude for instructing my classmates. She encouraged me to get into sailing instruction which I then happily pursued for the next 8 years of my life, 4 of those as the Principal and Chief Instructor of my own sailing school.

To now have the opportunity to go back to my true vocational passion of sailing instruction is tremendous, it’s what I thrive on and so I really look forward to sailing with you. I also love to windsurf, stand-up paddle and snorkel, so I look forward to sharing my knowledge of those pastimes should you have interest, as well as showing you the many special places that I have discovered over the majority of my lifetime spent in the waters of the beautiful BVI.

This is what one of our clients had to say recently: “First time charting a boat and Horizon Yacht Charters delivered. From initial reservation to check out was thoroughly explained and easy to deal with. Everyone we met was helpful and friendly. The boat we chartered was clean and trouble free for the entire week we used it. My wife and I also completed our ASA 103 and 104 with an instructor provided by HYC. Our skipper was Chris Simpson and the knowledge and confidence he possesses made the difference.

Chris’ training will focus on safety, doing things the right way and thorough understanding of the water. While I am still a novice skipper I feel as if I know more than a lot of the skippers that I watched during the week. If you follow his instruction you too will be a better skipper. No shortcuts and you will ensure a safe happy trip for you and your family.

If you want an instructor or just a skipper ask for Chris. You will not be disappointed.

We will be back and I will recommend this charter company to my friends and family”. Patrick Anglim – January 13th 2020.

 

Cara

Captain Cara – BVI Skipper

Hi, I’m Cara, skipper and ASA sailing instructor for Horizon.

Originally from London, with Scottish heritage, I grew up in Italy and I have been coming to sail in BVI waters with Horizon Yacht Charters since I was a young girl.

I love getting people involved in sailing and fine-tuning their existing skills.  I decided to become a yacht skipper and ASA sailing instructor because I want people to come away from their BVI sailing vacation having enjoyed the islands as much as I do.

I have my ASA 201,203,204,205 and 214 Instructor certificates, which really means I can teach absolute beginners through old salts wishing to refresh their skills, whether a tune up on navigation or looking to gain experience and certification on catamaran sailing. I also have a 200-ton Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, so I bring a lot of experience to your vacation.  My approach is always safety, fun, success!

I have sailed the majority of the Caribbean from the Grenadines to Puerto Rico and done yacht deliveries around the Caribbean, the coast of Spain, the UK, Gibraltar, and from Annapolis to the BVI, via Bermuda. I’ve cruised Croatia and raced in the Solent in the UK.

I love being in and under the water as well and I love showing my guests the best snorkelling spots and beaches.  I am a fully qualified personal trainer and a PADI certified diver. I speak English, French and Italian.

Before starting work for Horizon in the BVI, I competed for 10 years as an alpine ski racer as a member of the British National Team, reaching World Cup level.  The switch from skiing to sailing felt natural for me as I moved from one outdoor environment to another.

I hope my passion to offer the best instruction and all-round experience I can, will mean you have spectacular sailing and an incredible vacation.  I look forward to sailing with you.

 

This is what our clients had to say recently:

“Incredible week sightseeing, snorkeling, great stops for overnight. Cara’s knowledge of sailing is tremendous, answered all our questions, always made us feel safe, and was a great teacher.”

“Cara was awesome, gave us her personal cell phone number, and responded to questions happily. A pleasure to have a board”

“Really liked the instructor, Cara Brown, as we all got on so well during our 9 days.” Robert Thompson

Skippers and instructors Greg Allen

Greg Allen – Grenada Skipper

The sea has been Greg’s passion for all his life and consequently, his chosen career.   He is extremely well qualified with his RYA Commercially Endorsed Yachtmaster and very experienced.  Greg has worked on dive boats, as the captain of a large private yacht, and as the owner/skipper of a sports fishing tour business in St Vincent (he also worked on the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, as location scout and as the Director’s boat)  In recent years, he has worked as a freelance skipper and as a delivery skipper.  He is also a PADI qualified dive instructor and a keen fisherman.  He considers of prime importance the comfort and safety of his crew and guests alike and the immaculate condition and maintenance of whatever boat he captains. He is a relaxed, convivial captain who will make you feel at home.

“Greg is an excellent sailor/skipper! His knowledge and explanations were fantastic” ~ Kaczmarek

“Greg and Laura are off the charts! If you are lucky enough to sail with them, you will have the sail of your dreams” ~ Hilary Cohen

Skippers and instructors Selwyn Maxwell

Selwyn Maxwell – Grenada Skipper

Selwyn is a highly experienced and practical yacht captain with forty years of sailing experience and who is certified by RYA/MCA as a Yacht Master Offshore.  He started working around boats at the age of 12 and hails from the village of Belmont, St. George’s. He started working at Grenada Yacht Services, developed a passion for sailing and skippers between the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Trinidad & Tobago. He also does yacht deliveries and boat sitting. Selwyn also plays the steel pan and owns his own tour business, Maxwell Adventure Tours and Taxi Services; his motto “go with the one who knows” This motto can also be applied for his love for sailing as he will show you all there is to see in Grenada and  the Grenadines.

 “Selwyn Maxwell was professional, friendly, sensitive to guest needs, cheerful and an excellent tour guide. He was always conscious of safety and comfort.” ~ Nattall

“Selwyn was an excellent captain, very attentive and good to work with. Highly recommend him!” ~ Stricker

“Selwyn had top-notch local knowledge and sailing experience” ~ Kelly Family

Skippers and instructors Brian Mascoll

Brian Mascoll – Grenada Skipper and ASA Instructor

Brian Mascoll is an ASA certified instructor qualified to teach courses from the basic keelboat sailing course (ASA101) through to the Bareboat cruising course (ASA104) and the Catamaran cruising course (ASA 114). From St.Vincent and the Grenadines,  Brian grew up in a small fishing village. Being so close to the waterfront, he would spend most of his free time at the beach, snorkelling and spearfishing and being around boats with his older brother and dad.  He also got involved with helping the local fishermen,  andhis is where he developed his love of the ocean. Brian became one of the youngest divemasters in the region, and then ventured on to achieve his sailing certifications and to work as a professional skipper.  Never stopping, Brian then went on to achieve his ASA instructor qualifications and now works for us as either a skipper or ASA instructor.

“Outstanding experience! Great local knowledge. Captain is highly experienced to handle any situation. Captain flexible with plans and showed me all the local highlights” Client: Diane DeGroot, Yacht: Bavaria 40 Transitions, Dates: 9th to 19th December 2021.

“My husband and I chartered a catamaran for 9 days and arranged to have a certified ASA instructor to take ASA 101,103,104,& 114. I have to say we feel really lucky to have Brian as our instructor. He is the only local certified ASA instructor in the Grenadines…I was incredibly impressed with his knowledge and his teaching styles. We were able to complete all 4 courses and had a lot of fun in the process. I would highly recommend him as a hired Captain or Instructor. He was definitely was a huge part of what we loved about our trip!  We will be hiring Brian again for our next trip to the Grenadines.” ~ Natasha & Andi Marcher 2019

Skippers and instructors Heiden Cumberbatch

Heiden Cumberbatch – Grenada Skipper

Heiden is a highly qualified and realistic yacht captain with twenty one year’s sailing experience. He is a professional Skipper who is certified by the RYA/MCA as a Yacht Master Offshore. At the tender age of ten, he developed a love for the sea, and for sailing, diving and fishing. He started working around boats around the age of 16 whilst crewing on a 42ft long line fishing for yellow fin tuna. He started his sailing career as crew on a small day charter company in Grenada, loved it and started to work his way up. As a freelance skipper, he has done charters and deliveries between Grenada, St. Lucia, Tobago, Antigua, St. Martin, BVI and Columbia.  When not sailing he likes to take his 16ft fishing boat out on the water. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family.

“Heiden was great – made trip super easy and fun” ~ Morris

“Heiden was fantastic, very friendly with the kids and extremely professional.” ~ Sirgue

“The family are not natural sailors so we were a bit apprehensive but we had a great trip. Heiden was very helpful and really helped with the kids. We had a great time!” ~ Langford

Skippers and instructors Laura Hadaway

Laura Hadaway – Grenada Charter Chef

Laura was born and raised in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 30 something years ago (she has stopped counting) Cooking and the sea were both an integral part of her early life.  Growing up with fresh local cuisine at her disposal, she has learned to prepare food from the greatest cooks around, her grandmother and mother.

As she has grown and sampled, dabbled and researched cuisines, it comes as an enjoyable ongoing learning experience for her. Sailing also runs through her blood; her grandfather captained schooners sailing in the Caribbean and explains her continuing love of sailing. She has attained jobs as a cook or crew on charter yachts since 2004, mainly the Caribbean chain from the BVI to Grenada, not only for the experience and to build her portfolio, but just for the sheer love of doing it.

Her easy-going, pleasant, witty disposition, combined with her attention to detail are just some of the attributes that continue to make her guests feel comfortable, relaxed and appreciative of their time spent with her.

“Greg and Laura are off the charts! If you are lucky enough to sail with them, you will have the sail of your dreams” ~ Hilary Cohen

Skippers and instructors Ellie Mae

Ellie Mae Byas – Grenada Chef

Ellie was born in Amsterdam, in the Netherlands where she trained for her teaching degree before setting off to explore the world.  She started sailing in her early twenties and has since spent most of her life onboard.  She ran her own dive centre in Croatia and Mallorca, and  also worked in Sicily and The Maldives, some of the world’s best dive spots.  She has been living in Carriacou the past 12 years and worked as a padi instructor as well as chef on numerous yacht charters.  She has her own company supplying the islands with smoked fish products.  Her menu is extensive and if you have special preferences, she is always able to incorporate those into the plan. She speaks  English, German, Dutch, French, and a smattering of  Spanish. It is a great pleasure to have Elliemae available for freelance chef work for Horizon clients.

“We could not have been better treated in a 5 star hotel. Everything was superb!” ~ Gittins 2010

“Michael and Ellie were excellent crew and we were well looked after in every way.” ~ Harris 2012

Skippers and instructors Greg Allen

Greg Allen – St Vincent Skipper

The sea has been Greg’s passion for all his life and consequently, his chosen career.  He is extremely well qualified with his RYA Commercially Endorsed Yachtmaster and very experienced.  Greg has worked on dive boats, as the captain of a large private yacht, and as the owner/skipper of a sports fishing tour business in St Vincent (he also worked on the set of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, as location scout and as the Director’s boat)  In recent years, he has worked as a freelance skipper and as a delivery skipper.  He is also a PADI qualified dive instructor and a keen fisherman.  He considers of prime importance the comfort and safety of his crew and guests alike and the immaculate condition and maintenance of whatever boat he captains. He is a relaxed, convivial captain who will make you feel at home.

“Greg is an excellent sailor/skipper! His knowledge and explanations were fantastic” ~ Kaczmarek

Skippers and instructors Brian Mascoll

Brian Mascoll – St Vincent Skipper and ASA Instructor

Brian Mascoll is an ASA certified instructor qualified to teach courses from the basic keelboat sailing course (ASA101) through to the Bareboat cruising course (ASA104) and the Catamaran cruising course (ASA 114). From St.Vincent and the Grenadines,  Brian grew up in a small fishing village. Being so close to the waterfront, he would spend most of his free time at the beach, snorkelling and spearfishing and being around boats with his older brother and dad.  He also got involved with helping the local fishermen,  andhis is where he developed his love of the ocean. Brian became one of the youngest divemasters in the region, and then ventured on to achieve his sailing certifications and to work as a professional skipper.  Never stopping, Brian then went on to achieve his ASA instructor qualifications and now works for us as either a skipper or ASA instructor.

“Just wanted to drop you a quick note on the trip. It was FABULOUS!! We had a fantastic time!! The boat was wonderful and Brian, our captain, was wonderful! We plan on doing another one in the future.” ~ Scrobola

Skippers and instructors Laura Hadaway

Laura Hadaway – St Vincent Charter Chef

Laura was born and raised in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 30 something years ago (she has stopped counting) Cooking and the sea were both an integral part of her early life.

Growing up with fresh local cuisine at her disposal, she has learned to prepare food from the greatest cooks around, her grandmother and mother. As she has grown and sampled, dabbled and researched cuisines, it comes as an enjoyable ongoing learning experience for her. Sailing also runs through her blood; her grandfather captained schooners sailing in the Caribbean and explains her continuing love of sailing.

She has attained jobs as a cook or crew on charter yachts since 2004, mainly the Caribbean chain from the BVI to Grenada, not only for the experience and to build her portfolio, but just for the sheer love of doing it. Her easy-going, pleasant, witty disposition, combined with her attention to detail are just some of the attributes that continue to make her guests feel comfortable, relaxed and appreciative of their time spent with her.

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