TIPS ON SAILING & YACHT CHARTER IN CROATIA
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING SAILING HOLIDAYS IN CROATIA
Here are all the information needed to help you plan your sailing holidays in Croatia. We suggest you take time to read them in order to turn your holidays into an experience of a lifetime.
IS SAILING IN CROATIA SAFE?
Croatia is one of the safest countries in the world. According to The Global Peace Index, Croatia is 27th on the list of the safest countries in the world as of 2020..
As per safety at sea, Adriatic is a generally calm sea, the distances between the islands are short and there are many protected bays and harbours to hide from rough weather but you also need to be precautious, follow the weather forecast regularly and adjust your route accordingly to avoid sailing in rough weather. If you are going with the paid skipper, the skipper will do his best to avoid the rough seas by choosing the appropriate route or if very rough stay in the place where you happen to find yourself until the weather calms enough to sail out.
WHICH KIND AND SIZE OF THE BOAT TO CHOOSE?
Before choosing the boat answer the following questions:
- Does your group consist of pairs who can share the same cabin, or do some crew members require a separate cabin?
- What are your comfort requirements - would you like to charter a sailboat or catamaran?
- Would you mind if someone from you would have to sleep in the saloon area which is a common living space?
- Do you require a skipper or not? If you need skipper's services, bear in mind that the skipper sleeps on board as well, so one of the berths, ideally a cabin should belong to him.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RENT A BOAT FOR A PERIOD SHORTER THAN A WEEK?
In the main season boats are scheduled for week long, Saturday to Saturday charters and we can hardly step away from that schedule apart in last minute.
However, in case you would desire to take a several days' long sailing trip in the off-season (October - April), this can be organized, and the price is then calculated according to the number of days spent onboard as listed in our price list here.
WHICH ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED FOR A BAREBOAT CHARTER?
In the case of a bareboat charter, the client must be in possession of a certificate of competence in order to charter a boat. It is also a legal requirement that one person on board is qualified for operation with the VHF station. If you are not sure whether the license you have is valid for bareboat charter in Croatia check if it is listed here.
WHAT IF YOU DO HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE BUT NO FORMAL QUALIFICATIONS?
You can book the boat in advance but with the mutual agreement that you will obtain the required certificates by the moment of checking-in on the boat otherwise, you can hire a paid skipper.
WHEN TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL SKIPPER?
In case you have no sailing experience at all or you do not possess the sailing license, you are obliged to hire a skipper in order to charter the boat in Croatia. Sometimes, if not often, even very experienced sailors hire a professional skipper, because they are not familiar with the local waters and in order to make their cruise more relaxing. You can also benefit from the skippers' local knowledge – they are well acquainted with the Adriatic region and will be able to suggest you the most interesting places for swimming and fun, as well as numerous restaurants. We can find the skipper for you or you can hire him yourself in case you have some recommendations. More about chartering with the skipper you can read in our blog post about skippered yacht charter in Croatia.
HOW MUCH DOES THE HOSTESS COST AND WHAT ARE HER DUTIES ON THE BOAT?
Hostess's duties on the boat include:
- buying groceries
- preparation and serve of two meals per day: breakfast and lunch or dinner
- washing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, toilets, saloon and cockpit area
- recommending places to visit, restaurants, nice bays for swimming, nightlife spots
The weekly fee for her services is 875€ for up to 6 guests and 1.050€ for more than 6 guests plus you are also responsible to cover her meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. More information about chartering with the hostess you can find in our blog about crewed yacht charter.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER COSTS TO BE CONSIDERED EXCEPT BOAT CHARTER?
Apart from the fees paid directly to us (boat rent, charter pack, requested extras) when planning your budget you need to consider the following costs as well:
FUEL - dependant on the motor usage, ca. 5 litres per hour multiplied by the price of diesel fuel which amounts ca. 1,5 € per litre and further multiplied by 3 hours of average daily motor usage (calculated on the basis of our past experience) it amounts up to ca. 150€ - 200€ per week for monohulls and 250€ for the catamaran.
MOORING FEES – The price of the berth per day ranges from ca. 20 € to 200 €, depending on the size and type of the boat and the mooring place and type. More about different berth options and mooring fees you can find here.
SECURITY DEPOSIT payable either in cash or by preauthorization on VISA OR MASTER credit card, which you pay during check-in, covers the possible boat, equipment, and inventory damage. In case of boat damage or equipment loss, the amount of the caused damage is paid with the deposit money, whereas higher amounts are covered by the insurance company. If the boat has returned undamaged, the deposit will be returned to you in full amount. When you hire a skipper, he will be responsible for all the damage caused while manoeuvring, mooring or anchoring the vessel, but you are obliged to leave the deposit as well to cover possible damage caused by you.
FOOD - You are supposed to take care of your own feeding, preparing meals either on the boat or eating out. Upon check-in, on the boat or prior to your arrival in the marina we suggest that you buy some provisions (at least drinking water) in the supermarket, but certainly not making loads of provisions since on each island you do have both shops and supermarkets working even on Sundays till late. Not to mention numerous little restaurants offering delicious local and international specialities at moderate prices.
WHICH CURRENCY IS USED FOR PAYING IN THE MARINAS, RESTAURANTS...ETC.?
All the services in Croatia are paid in Kuna either in cash or by credit cards. In the marinas and some tourist offices, even the Euros are accepted. In all marinas, restaurants and shops in the bigger places on the islands, you can pay by credit card, while in ports, cafés, restaurants and shops in small places and bays mostly only cash is accepted therefore you need to calculate the cash needed dependable on your planned route. Kunas you can withdraw from cash machines or bank offices which are to be found on the islands as well.
HOW TO PACK AND WHAT IS PROVIDED ONBOARD?
Apart from your personal preferences, this depends very much on the time of the season you are coming. Generally, we can advise the following:
IN ANY SEASON
Sunblock, hat, sunglasses with straps, waterproof pouches for mobile phone and camera, medicaments that you usually use, soft shoes, windproof jacket, soft bags
IN HIGH SEASON
Swimsuit, t-shirts, shorts, sandals, flip-flops, light summer dresses, light shirts
IN LOW SEASON
Fleece jacket, sweater, warm trousers, and wet weather gear
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
Favourite movies or cartoons on DVDs, board games, music, books
THINGS RECOMMENDED NOT BRINGING WITH YOU
Hard suitcases, high heels, hard shoes, very fine clothes
Valuable items such us golden necklaces, watches, earrings etc. In case you finally decide to have such things with you, remember to check if you have everything before you leave the yacht. Two pairs of soft boat shoes should be our recommendation. If possible, do not bring with you hard suitcases. The storing space on board is limited and such suitcases are difficult to be stored. It should be much better to use soft fabric bags. They can be easily folded and stored anywhere.
sheets, blankets, pillows, pillowcases and towels
Children can go sailing with you at an early age (this is said on the basis of our own experience) in fact there is no age limit, however, their stay onboard should be closely monitored by adults. We provide lifejacket for children as well, and they need to wear them all the time onboard. You should also consider choosing shorter routes and visiting marinas more frequently due to the safer berthing as well as comfort.
WHICH ROUTE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
This certainly depends on the length of your charter and your preferences, like if you are more in sightseeing and exploring the new area or you just want relaxed boating holidays without the pressure to see as much as possible. On sailing routes Croatia pages we suggest five routes, choosing any of them you will make no mistake, but we certainly recommend discussing this matter further with us after explaining us your preferences.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN CROATIA?
The climate at the Dalmatian coast and islands is typically a Mediterranean one, with mild rainy winters, sunny, hot and dry summers, The air temperature changes depending on the area, it is generally warmer towards the south. Thus, summer temperatures in July and August will be about 34°C in the northern part, while in the southern part they will rise even to 38°C. In the winter, on the north of Adriatic, the coldest temperatures are noticed down to -16°C, while in the southern part they will not have exceeded 6°C. Light to moderate winds with few storms prevails until June and from September while July and August are calm only sometimes disturbed by thundery rain showers. Generally speaking on Dalmatian coast May, June, September and October are best months for sailing holidays in Croatia for those who prefer to avoid excessive heat and crowds while July and August are for those looking for real summer holidays with a lot of swimming and sunbathing.
More information on the weather in Croatia can be found at www.meteo.hr while here you can find daily mean temperatures in Split per each day of the year.
WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE SEA TEMPERATURES IN CROATIA?
The Adriatic Sea has a very marked annual change of the surface temperature. The average annual temperature is 11°C. During the winter, the sea is the coldest and the surface temperature is about 7°C; very seldom, it can drop below that too. In the spring, the sea becomes warmer, and the surface temperature rises to 18°C. In the summer the surface of the sea reaches a very high temperature, of up to 22 to 25°C, and in the southern Adriatic and Istria up to 27°C. The current sea temperature you can check here, while below there are monthly means of the sea temperature in Split area from April till October, the months of the charter season in Croatia:
APRIL - 15°C
MAY - 18°C
JUNE - 21°C
JULY - 24°C
AUGUST - 25°C
SEPTEMBER - 23°C
OCTOBER - 20°C
IMPORTANT! The above values are averages of the month what means that in months preceding the peak of the season (15.07.-15.08.) the sea temperatures are lower than average in the beginning of the month and higher than average in the end of the month while in the months after the peak of the season the sea temperatures are falling down towards the end of the month.
WHAT ARE THE PREVAILING WINDS IN CROATIA?
In the Adriatic, there are several kinds of winds while the main winds are BURA (BORA) and JUGO (SCIROCCO) which prevail in the period from September to May, while the prevailing summer wind is MAESTRAL.
TRAMONTANA - The name of this wind is derived from Latin - transmontanus- meaning across the mountains. It is a type of bora (but not so strong), a northerly cold wind of moderate strength that usually forms in clear and nice weather.
BURIN - A north-easterly, blows in the summer from the mainland.
BURA - The bora is a cold and dry north-easterly wind. It brings bright weather. The bora starts abruptly and blows in squalls toward the sea. It is strongest in the Velebit Channel. In Croatia blows predominately in the winter and may last for six to fourteen days and in that period it reaches stormy speeds of up to 300 km/h. In the summer the bora blows as a local wind lasts only a few days and it blows in much lighter speeds, predominately in the night time when the land cools down.
LEVANAT - An easterly type of bora
JUGO - The jugo is a warm, humid east-southeast wind. It is accompanied by heavy clouds and rain. It is not a sudden wind like the bora but takes 36-38 hours to develop. It blows throughout the Adriatic. In the summer it may appear as a local wind and is more frequent in the southern part of the Adriatic. Between March and June, it blows in the north as well.
LEBIĆ - A south-westerly, humid and warm wind. In the summertime brings freshness while in the winter rain and snow. It is rising across the Adriatic after Jugo, doesn't last long. Announced by extremely high tides it gives poor visibility and it might give violent squalls (lebicada). It is dangerous in shallow harbours that are open to the south-west because of wave “crossing” and rising of the sea surface.
PULENAT - A westerly wind, starts suddenly, doesn't blow often or long but in winter time can reach significant strength. It brings short lasting but heavy rain, creates high and long waves, extremely unpleasant and dangerous, especially in the longitudinal channels.
MAESTRAL - A local wind which blows from the sea, mostly in the summer - the strongest is in July and August and very much looked forward by the sailors who have their sailing holidays in that period. It usually starts between 10 and 11 in the morning and reaches its greatest strength between 2 and 3 in the afternoon to die down at sunset. It brings good weather and it is usually accompanied by white clouds.
WILL I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH SEASICKNESS?
Seasickness is a form of motion sickness. If you tend to get motion sick when travelling by car, bus, train or plane you might also experience seasickness while on the sailboat. Good news is that following a few simple rules you can prevent seasickness. You need to take a pill against seasickness a half an hour before you set sails, stay outside while sailing and look in the distance, don't read books or magazines, don't read from your phone, don't consume the food and drinks that irritate the stomach either before or during sailing.
Adriatic is a generally calm sea, the distances between the islands are short and there are many protected bays and harbours to hide from rough weather but you also need to take some measures in order to prevent seasickness.
If you are bareboating you need to check the weather forecast regularly and adjust your route accordingly to avoid sailing in rough weather.
If you are going with the paid skipper, the skipper will do his best to avoid the rough seas by choosing the appropriate route or if very rough stay in the place where you happen to find yourself until the weather calms enough to sail out.