The pleasure of a sailing trip depends a lot on how you plan your itinerary, so let's take a look at all the factors that should be considered when choosing a sailing route. Rest assured, you will be rewarded by your crew for the little effort that will remember this yachting adventure for years to come.
Before we start planning the route, seat selection is critical to a successful journey. In this way, you immediately determine all the options available to you when planning a route. The second step for the skipper should be researching destinations in terms of weather for a specific period.
Otherwise, you will easily find yourself in an unpleasant situation, for example, in August in Of Italywhen the whole country is on vacation, or in Aegean sea in July and August when it blows Meltemithat can turn your trip into a nightmare.
If you are new to yachting experience, follow these 10 smart tips before booking your boat:
Before booking a charter boat it would be good to ask yourself a few questions. This ensures that you end up with not only wonderful memories, but also a clear plan that will save you time and hassle during the journey itself. In addition, the more successful everything goes, the more self-confidence you will feel as a yachtsman.
1. What are the expectations of each crew member?
Crew expectations can be very different, regardless of whether there will be family and friends on board, or a team of unfamiliar or unfamiliar people. Someone wants to get adrenaline and active leisure, while others plan to relax in a calm atmosphere.
It may happen that you have adventure seekers on board who want to sail every day from morning to night and whose motto is “the stronger the wind, the better the waves”, as well as those who look forward to swimming in the deserted bays , snorkeling, seashell hunting and spending the night at anchor away from civilization. Maybe you even have friends who want to spend the whole day on the mooring, going to restaurants, bars and clubs.
Obviously, it is not easy to accommodate everyone's expectations. The perfect solution - to meet before booking a boat and try - even if it seems impossible - to find a compromise that will please the whole company.
2. Will there be children on board?
Families with children appreciate stable weather and calm, warm seas and deserted sandy bays, accessible only by sea. Choose a route so you have enough stops along the way. The daily sailings on the yacht should be short so that the children do not get bored. Sailing in calm weather is ideal, so moms do not need to worry about the safety of their children.
Children may enjoy activities on land more. Choose a location where they can explore islands, abandoned fortresses and lighthouses, cool off with ice cream, or have fun with water toys. If the children are older, it is important to find interesting snorkeling and walking spots.
3. What infrastructure and conditions do you and your crew need?
Usually, experienced yachtsman looking for a place with more difficult conditions and good wind, he is not afraid of small weather changes and poorer infrastructure. Newbieson the contrary, they choose many safe harbors, quality service and stable weather.
This is why you should explore yacht infrastructure when choosing a place. If you are used to extensive mooring and marinas Croatiathen you may be surprised Greece, where there are no marinas, and has its own mooring system. It is quite possible that you do not want to spend the night at the anchorages, and want to come to the yacht marina every night. If, on the contrary, you are planning to move from anchorage to anchorage, find potential spots along the way and plan your trip around them, for example, choose an island with an anchorage that is protected from different directions.
4. What do you want to get from this trip?
Want completely dive into sailing yachting or combine it with other leisure activities? Diving enthusiasts will be enchanted by places full of underwater life, others will be enchanted by places filled with historical monuments or enchanting natural landscapes. Choose your ideal location according to the interests and needs of the crew, so that everyone can find something for themselves.
5. How many nautical miles are you planning to sail?
It all depends on your goals. You can get through 80 or 400 nautical miles per week... The first distance promises a comfortable calm swimming for 2 hours a day... The rest of the time you can go swimming, snorkeling, romance and relaxation.
The second distance requires 10 hours of sailing a day, long crossings under sails and under the engine. Chances are you will experience great yachting experience, see many places and have a lot of experiences, including seasickness and insomnia on the choppy seas. Sleeping in the bow cabin while on the move is almost as difficult as trying to sleep in the washing machine.
While planning, you may encounter the enthusiasm of budding sailors. When they look at the map, they think that in a week they will cover all Croatian islands from north to south and back again. But an experienced skipper always has a clear idea of what can be achieved in a week, given that the average speed of the boat is from 5 to 7 knots, which is from 9 to 13 km / h, depending on the size and windage.
During preparation and planning, you can immediately use the popular navigation app Navionics, where you can see a fairly large amount of information about the route in advance.
6. When do you plan your trip? What will the weather be like?
Choose a sailing destination according to your dates. If you choose the right option, it will take your voyage to another dimension, and you will save yourself a lot of worries. When choosing a direction, you need to take into account the weather and normal wind conditions.
If in the place of your choice in full swing high season, get ready for crowded marinas and higher prices. If on the selected dates in a particular region prevails unfavorable wind, it is better to choose other dates, especially if you are relatively inexperienced. If you like to swim, or traveling with children, find out the average temperature of air and water for a certain period. If you like to combine pleasant sailing with thorough walks in the local landscapes, travel in the spring and fall. You'll like it yachting out of season and at lower prices. In general, think and ask yourself questions.
7. What size boat do you need and what is its draft?
Match the places you want to visit, considering the size and draft of the boat. If you love small fishing harbors, then you won't get to such a harbor by catamaran or 60ft boat. A boat with a deep draft may not be the right choice. This primarily concerns old ports in Greece, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy.
Sailing catamarans have much less draftthan monoholes, which can open up additional opportunities in many sailing regions, and places that are not accessible for boats constrained by a large draft. For example, a single-hull 14-meter cruiser Dufour 460 with a body width of 4.5 meters, draft is 2.2 meters, and at the 12-meter Dufour 390 with a body width of 4 meters, draft - 1.95 meters.
As for the catamarans, the 14-meter catamaran Fountaine Pajot Saona 47 7.7 meters wide, draft of only 1.3 meters, while the 12.5-meter Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 with a body width of 7.2 meters, draft is 1.2 meters... Even the flagship Fountaine pajot, Alegria, the length of which is 20.5 meters, and the width is almost 10 meters, the draft is 1.7 meters.
Choosing between monohull and multihull, come down not just to draft to visit inaccessible bays, but mainly to comfort. Therefore, family crews more often give preference to catamarans in charter, and indeed for life and long journeys.
8. How to avoid traffic on standard routes?
Each sailing region has standard routes, on which most boats go. They make up the most interesting and beautiful places in the region. These routes will surely thrill you, but in high season there will be boats everywhere, crowded, crowded harbors and marinas, and crowded restaurants.
If you turn off the beaten track, you have the chance to find small coves without crowds and boat traffic, even in high season. It is unlikely that you will be completely alone, but it will be significantly different from the main "picture".
9. Is your dream region accessible?
A heavenly place on earth, where you can moor a yacht and touch a fairy tale, will remain just a dream if you cannot fly there or get there by car.
For those, who dreams of remote paradises, the question boils down not only to the availability of transportation, but also to the availability of charter companies, a minimum tourist infrastructure, in order to at least provide a supply and replenishment of provisions. Such places can also be surrounded by reefs, which require certain knowledge and skills from the skipper. Learning about hurricane seasons and local conditions will also require considerable preparation.
10. Will your skipper license allow you to charter a boat? Does your route comply with the restrictions of your license?
It is the exclusive right of each country to decide if it wants to accept your skipper license. Charter companies often make decisions based on their experience. Therefore, you should also check if is your license valid in the country you selected, or contact the charter company.
Your the license has a certain limitation on the distance from the coast, the restriction also applies to night crossings, and this is what must be taken into account when planning the route - you must go out to sea and return during daylight hours.
Driving a monohull yacht is a little different from driving a sailing catamaran. If this is your first time charter a catamaran, you may need additional skills or minimal training. Experienced skippers yacht schools Interparus they will very quickly "taxi" you to the catamaran and teach you the basics of mooring, thanks to many years of work with katas and a specially developed training course.
Don't be afraid to change your route and improvise. You don't have to carve your route in stone, you can be flexible depending on the weather. It is also helpful to factor in extra time or just a "lazy day" without treks and hikes.
Route planning does not end with sailing. At sea you should always adapt to the weather and the direction of the wind. If your planned route is inconsistent with the weather forecast, simply change it. It makes no sense to fight for hours with strong winds, when half of the crew suffers from seasickness, and when you can use the tailwind to comfortably sail to another, equally beautiful place. Shortly speaking, Direction of the wind is the most important deciding factor when re-routing your journey.
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