What is Yacht Charter Croatia?
Yacht Charter in Croatia is a service of renting a boat (sailboat, motorboat or catamaran) in one of Croatian marinas for 7, 14, 21 or 28 days for pleasure purposes. In this short guide we will give you the tipps how to find the yacht in Croatia, when to do it, where and how to charter with the rule “value for money”.
Bareboat charter or a rental with a skipper?
Here you have even 5 possibilites:
- You are a Charterer and a skipper (Bareboat) – the easiest solution, just find the crew and set sail. If you have sailing license, but not enough experience, try sailing in flotilla with other yachts. They will help you when you are in troubles and don’t feel safe.
- You are a Charterer and your friend is a skipper – this is also a good way to go, because you know him/her and can trust. In some crews there is a habit, that skippers do not participate in costs of the charter and other handling fees, but it is not a general rule.
- You are a Charterer and you look for a professional skipper from your country – sometimes you and your friends/family just do not have sailing license required in Croatia or enough experience. Then try to ask for a recommended skippers on forums, discussion groups, facebook, among your friends who maybe already have done a sailing route in Croatia, Greece, Italy or wherever else. It is good to have some real reviews from other crews. Usually such skippers are less expensive then local skippers, but remember that there is usually a cost of transfering the skipper to Croatia. And the big advantage is that he speaks your language!
- You hire a local skipper from the Charter Operator – costs around 150 € per day, is organised, recommended by the local company. They speak Croatian, English, quite often also German. You do not have to book flights for them, because they are already on spot. Great advantage of them is that they know perfectly the yachts, have easy contact with the Base Manager and know the best places to sail, such as small restaurants, cosy bays (like Telascica) for swimming and can handle whole yacht on their own.
- You rent a yacht with whole crew (and with APA) – all inclusive option, you get a skipper, a hostess, a cook. If you take APA service, they will also make all shopping, prepare the food, handle the whole yacht, so you can only relax. Of course it is the most expensive option and connected with charter of luxury yachts in Croatia, which are also available.
When to sail in Croatia?
Season in Croatia you can split into 5 periods:
Before the season: usually March/April, it is the season when boats are just after winter maintenance and 80% of them are available, very cheap, so all sailors coming these days are very welcome with great deals and well prepared boats. Consider taking yachts with heating (Webasto) in this period, because in the nights it can be cold outside.
Early season: It starts on the last Saturday of April and lasts until middle of June. The prices grow within every week. It is still very popular time for sailing because the air temperatures are over 20 Celsius degrees (so higher then in most European countries like Germany, Austria, France, Poland, Sweden), winds are good without long period of silence. And the prices are much lower then in high season.
High season: From middle June till end of August. Prices are the highest (top is in August), but this is the time of vacation in the whole Europe and this is the reason. 85-90% of fleet is fully booked and this is why marinas are quite crowded. Please remember to book earlier the most popular ones, such as those in Korcula, Split, Dubrovnik and Hvar. Sometimes there are long periods of silence (no winds) in July and August, please keep it in mind.
Late season: starts beginning with September and lasts until middle October. Prices slowly drop with every week. There are 3 main advantages of this period: air temperatures are still around 25 degrees, they are still alternative if you was late to sail in high season, and – what is the most important: water temperature is comfortable for swimming after whole summer. Winds are good for sailing in late season. Marinas are less crowded than in high season. Sailors love September in Croatia in general!
After the season: Middle October to middle November, weather is still better in Nothern Europe, so it is a good idea for last catch of the sun. In marinas it is getting empty, prices of charter are at low level, so you can take boats in rental for the very affordable prices, even those that are new and big. Consider taking boats with heating, because weather in not always predictable in this period.
In Croatia rentals start always on Saturdays (takeover from 17:00) and last till Saturday (check-out till 9:00), charter periods are always 7, 14, 21 or 28 days. Boats should be back in home marine on Friday afternoon, when the check-out procedure starts.
When to book a boat? First Minute or Last Minute?
If you have chosen already a sailing period, it is time to consider, when to book a boat. Please look how it looks like in general:
- all pricelists are publish at the beginning of September on the previous year, and then you can benefit from Super First Minute discounts and from full availability of boats, also those that are best price to value. It is the best time to book the boat and slowly to gather the crew. Discounts are 20%-25%.
- November-December on the previous year- is the most popular time for signing the contract of rental the boat. First minute discounts are still valid and great number of boats is still available. Discounts are 15%-20%.
- January – last call for those that want to benefit from First Minute discounts. But please bear in mind, that many discounts are already off or are smaller than before.
- February-April – there are still many boats available, most discounts of First Minute are off
- May till end of the season – It is the beginning of Yacht Charter Croatia Last Minute discounts. They are publish usually about 3 weeks before embarkation. Discounts can be even up to 40%, there are many special offers (like outboard engine free of charge, Internet WIFI free of charge), but please remember that you need time also to gather the crew within this short period.
Which region to choose?
Yacht Charter in Split: the most popular region – close to the airport of Split (SPU), many marinas close one to each other (withing few hours of sailing), like: Trogir (ACI Marina, STC Marina, Seget YachtClub), Split (ACI Marina, Zenta, Nava), marina Kastela, Krvavica, Baska Voda. Close to great attractions: Bisevo, Hvar, Komiza, Korcula, Zlatni Bol, Split with Diocletian Palace. There are many variations of itineraries possible.
Dubrovnik region: “Pearl of Adriatic” attracts attention not only of tourists, but also of sailors. This starting point is chosen usually a starting point for the 2nd of 2rd presence in Croatia. It is next to Dubrovnik airport (DUB), so easy to reach if you have a flight.
Region of Zadar: very popular region with hundrets of boats. In Sukosan is the biggest marina in whole Croatia, called D-Marin (former Marina Dalmacija), but big marinas are also in Biograd: marina Kornati and marina Sangulin. In Zadar there is also marina Tankerkomerc. It is easily reachable by car due to its nothern localisation. Most sailing routes go through Kornati islands, the greatest attraction (and National Park) in the surrounging area.
Sibenik region: with 2 main marinas: marina Mandalina and marina in Primosten. It is a good starting point for a trip to Skradin.
Pula and Kvarner gulf: for those sailors, that like a lot of green nature, less crowded sailing paths and bays. Easily reachable by car. You can also visit the wonderful national park Risnjak, more information here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/croatia/risnjak-national-park/attractions/risnjak-national-park/a/poi-sig/1272149/1326066
Popular models of yachts
In Croatia you can hire models of all global brands. The most popular brands are:
Bavaria Cruiser: Bavaria Cruiser 37, Bavaria Cruiser 41, Bavaria Cruiser 46
Sun Odyssey: Sun Odyssey 439, Sun Odyssey 449, Sun Odyssey 509
Hanse: Hanse 371, Hanse 445, Hanse 455
Dufour: Dufour 385 Grand Large, Dufour 460 Grand Large
Elan: Elan Impression 40, Elan Impression 45
Lagoon: Lagoon 39, Lagoon 42, Lagoon 440, Lagoon 450
Reviews and photos of those yachts you will find on Internet forums, discussion groups, on Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor.
Motorboat, sailboat or catamaran?
85% of vessels in Croatia are monohulls. 10% of them are motorboats, the rest are sailboats. The other 15% are catamarans and their number grows rapidly. For the beginners we recommend smaller boats, monohulls. Catamarans in Croatia are often chosen by families with small kids (as for they offer much more space) and for crews that do not like swinging on waves. Catamarans also have smaller draft, so you can sail with that closer to the beach in bays. Sailing boats sail better by the wind.
Is it cheap or expensive
Of course it is dependant on the offer chose, but in general:
- yacht charter in Croatia is less expensive than in Italy, France and Spain
- it is on similar level of price compared to Greece
- when comparing to the hotel prices, yachts per person are cheaper
- calculating per person the cheapest are the 4-cabin yachts, then are 3-cabin yachts, 5-cabin yachts and 2-cabin yachts
- catamarans are more expensive then yachts
- newer boats are much more expensive that a budget, classic, offers
Required licenses in Croatia
In Croatia you are required to have 2 licences:
- skipper must have a sailing license issued by Croatian government or by government of other country. The list of sailing licences accepted by Croatian law you will find on mppi.hr website
- it is required that at least 1 person in the crew has VHF license (SRC/LRC), thanks to which is allowed to operate in GMDSS system
In case of possesing Voditelj Brodice sailing license, you are not obliged to have additional VHF license, because it is already included in this certificate
Equipment of the yachts
When searching for a perfect vessel, think over if any of the following inventory items, are crucial to you. If yes, always look for it on the equipment list of the yacht:
- furling mainsail – it is a mainsail rolling inside the mast. It is very comfortable solution, because you can easily decrease the area of sail. And it can be operated by 1 person, even during the tough sailing and weather. If you are the only experienced sailor on the yacht, consider strongly having this on your yacht
- plotter GPS in cockpit – although plotter GPS are a standard on most boats, a screen with a map in cockpit is still a additional item on the equipment list. It is very useful to have a colour plotter just by the steering wheel, at helm station.
- heating – important in periods, when it is cold outside, especially during the night. Think about this, when you take boat in April, October.
- air-conditioning – not a must, but a nice-to-have for many crews. Usually bigger yachts are equipped with it. To have it working on water, you also need a generator. Otherwise you will be able to use it only when you are connected to 220v, so only in marinas.
Extras – when to choose, what to choose
Dinghy is usually included in the price, but for outboard engine, Internet WIFI, SUP (stand-up paddle), safety net for children, beach towels you need to pay additionally. In most cases you do not have to decide on that at the moment of contract signing and you can order it up to 3 weeks before embarkation. They are usually paid on spot in cash or credit card Visa or MasterCard.
This is the option you should consider earlier. Usually yachts are available from 17:00 on Saturday. If you know, you will come to the marina earlier, you can order a “early check-in” option. In such case you will be allowed to take over the vessel from 13:00 or earlier, which gives you additional half-day of sailing. It costs about 150 €. It should be ordered as soon as possible, because Base Manager can accept up to 5-6 yachts that use it, so they accept it in order as they are requested. Those boats are cleaned earlier and their check-in is in the first row.
Deposit insurance, also called a non-refundable deposit, is a special extra and it is not available in every offer, so please always ask about this option at the moment of booking. How it works? Let’s say, you have a deposit of 2000 € for a boat. If you choose deposit insurance, you pay for it 180 € and you are not obliged to leave the deposit or you need only to leave a small deposit of 100 €. In case of damages you are responsible financially only up to this 100 €. In case of no damages, you are also given it back. It is very popular extra, because in case of damage in the middle of the cruise, you do not have to worry, how much will that cost you. You know, that this will be paid by the insurance company, not you.
Pages, where you can find more about Croatia:
Official website of Croatia Tourism: http://www.croatia.hr/
Croatia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/croatia.hr/
In this short article we tried to sum up all the most important factors, which should be taken into account, when chartering yacht in Croatia. We hope you like it and you find it useful. Hope you have a great sailing holiday on Adriatic Sea!