The main character is the pilot who somehow picks up a symbiotic organism that helps him through many situations. (I vividly remember one episode where he needs to play a pipe for hours on end to mesmerize a bunch of giant spiders)
The ship is owned by either a wealthy person or a research organization. They go from planet to planet doing research. One of the other characters is a young girl who happens to be very intelligent.
I used to have the series in paperback years ago and lost them during one of my numerous house moves.