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Advice for pleasant charter, part I

When, where and with whom?

Navigating chartered yachts is becoming more and more popular holiday choice. If you are just discovering all the pleasures and joys of this sport, we give you some advice on how to avoid various inconveniences and what to pay attention to, so next year you chose to charter again.

High vs. shoulder season


Most people charter in summer. In winter, Adriatic Sea can be quite rough, so unless you are an experienced sailor looking for exciting sailing and solitude of islands in the winter, avoid winter sailing – it’s much easier in summer. In summer there are many other boats around you to help you in case you need it, the sea is calmer and the temperatures are high.
Some chose to sail in spring or fall. In Croatia it is a good choice if you have some nautical experience. The days are long enough, the weather is warm and the sea temperatures are pleasant. And the most attractive part is that there is no rush and crowds that you face in high season. If you have good nautical skills and you are looking for a bit more adventurous vacation, chartering a sailboat in spring or fall is the right choice.

Some may decide upon charter time based on price. In pre- or postseason a week-charter will cost you significantly less than in high season. However, all other costs don’t change (fuel, food, transfer, additional equipment…) so the savings in May or October compared to July or August is not so much as it may seem.

Putting together a crew


One of the most important things is to put together a pleasant and coherent group. If you are sailing with your family then there is not much thinking about this issue. But, if you are travelling with your friends, acquaintances or work colleagues, you should be very careful. Having a great relationship with someone on land doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get along just as wonderfully at sea. Limited space, bad weather, sea sickness, fatigue, different preferences and many other exceptional circumstances may cause disagreements or even fights.
One thing you should definitely keep in mind that democracy was never very useful at sea – there is always one captain and other crew members must obey his/her instructions, especially in difficult circumstances when rapid decisions are required.

If you are sailing with your family, keep in mind that they may not be as enthusiastic about the sailing as you are, and you need to adjust to them, especially if you have children on board.
You should be prepared to take the wishes of others into consideration and make compromises, so your family trip will end up with good memories and interest to do it again next year.
When choosing a boat, we recommend a stable vessel that you can easily navigate. Spacious and stabile boat will help your family to easier adopt new lifestyle, and powerful engines allow you to quickly move locations in case of bad weather, boredom or fatigue on board, so these things don’t ruin your family fun.

When travelling with friends, be very careful not to invite those who are pessimistic and always complaining. Make certain you chose only your friends you know well, and who are reliable, responsible, realistic and optimistic, regardless of age or occupation.
When sailing with friends, make sure you set your itinerary in advance, respecting everybody’s wishes to some extent, so that everyone gets some satisfaction for their money. This is also important so that you avoid any later complications and unexpected requests.

All this can be applied to sailing with work colleagues. In this combination you also need to be extra careful about two things. Office hierarchy doesn’t have to be in accordance with hierarchy on board, and everyone must responsibly accept their new role. Another thing to be careful about is minimizing business talk – this is a holiday, not business conference, so you should try to relax and to get to know each other in a more private atmosphere.
Your third option is sailing with adventurous crew whose main goals are to sail as many miles or win a regatta. In this situation your crew members should be fit, experienced and agree on goals and expectations from the trip.

In every combination, pleasure of sailing for everyone on board should always be a priority.

Where to sail?


After choosing time of sail and getting together a good crew, you must find a good place to sail.
If you are chartering in spring or fall months, keep in mind that south Adriatic is calmer, with little heavy winds, which makes navigation much easier in this area.
All crew members should have a saying when it comes to choosing a location. Depending on individual wishes (diving, fishing, swimming, sightseeing…) you should try to find a sailing area that meets the most of the demands.
Another important factor in choosing the sailing location is your sailing experience – if you have little of it, or if you have small children on board, make sure you sail in less windy areas, and not far from marinas and safe anchorages.

When choosing your daily sailing routs, try to respect the golden rule: regardless how long your charter period is, try to spend not more than one third of total time to get to the most distant point, and leave two thirds of period for return to the starting base. This way you can avoid unplanned delays and accidents caused by decisions made in a hurry.

To be continued...

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