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20 things you should know if you book a boat with us

You would like to book a boat with us, but you've never been on a boat before? The only thing you know about Croatia is that it reached the World Cup finals? Don't worry, we've gathered a list of the most useful tips for you know before you transform the desktop of your computer into reality!

In order to make things easier, we've divided them into three main categories: boat, skipper, and itinerary.

And no, there are no sharks in Croatia :)

 

Boat:

1)    A classic charter in Croatia offers two main types of boat to choose from: a sailboat and a catamaran (other options include motorboats, gulets and other). Choose the one that suits you best: if you like sailing and want to experience a true sailing experience, a sailboat is what you're looking for. If you're more of a comfort type of person, you should opt for the catamaran: this wide floating apartment gives you plenty of room to relax, without worrying about space. Sailboats and catamarans have a limit when it comes to speed (up to 10 knots – a plus when it comes to filling up the diesel tank at the end of the week!), so if you want to reach all the destinations in the shortest time possible, you should go for a motorboat.

2)    Be aware of the fact that the prizes of a boat change quite a lot: renting a boat in July or August will be far more expensive than renting it in May or October. A holiday in the peak of summer will (most probably) give you the best and hottest weather, but also a great number of other boats around.

3)    The vast majority of charters start on Saturday afternoon (usually your boat is ready around 5p.m., but you can pay an additional fee and have and have it ready around 1p.m.) and ends on Friday afternoon (again around 5 p.m.). Even though you have to be back in the marina on Friday, you can still sleep on board and only have to leave the boat by 9 a.m. the next day (Saturday).

4)    Your boat will be provided with a small kitchen so you will be able to cook on board. Bare in mind two facts: a) it will probably be very hot, so cooking for a long time isn't quite the activity you're after b) the kitchen is quite small, so try to avoid complicated meals. (Usually,meals include pasta, rice, meat, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits for lunch and dinner at a restaurant).

5)    You can shower on the boat (there's also an outside shower which you can use to take off the salt after a swim in the sea), but, again, bathrooms are quite small. If you need your space and want to take a decent shower, you can do it in the marina.

6)    Hard luggage can be quite a problem on board since it's hard to find space for it once you've unpacked: try to bring foldable bags so you can easily store them during the week.

7)    You only have electricity on board when connected to shore power in the marina. Your boat will be powered by batteries the rest of the time (unless there's a generator on board – some bigger sailboats and catamarans are provided with it). That means that you will only have the 220V plugs in the marina. Don't forget to bring a 12V charger for your phone or any other electronic device (sometimes there's on board so you can just plug in a USB cable, but not always).

8)    You will have internet on board. Most charters nowadays give you 40GB of internet to spend during the week, but not all of them. Be sure to check it out.

9)    Buy groceries for at least a couple of days before starting your trip. There are stores on almost every island you will visit, but they're usually more expensive and offer less choice. Ask your skipper about her/his preferences and check out what you have on board (e.g. some charters provide you with detergent to clean the dishes). Don't forget to buy lots of water (at least 20 liters before leaving) and drink it even if you're not thirsty (a sunstroke can really mess up your whole week). Sun cream and sea sickness pills are also a must (you can find the latter in any Croatian pharmacy).

10)    For a complete list of the things you will find on board, check out our blog post „Check-in check out information“.

Skipper

11)    Though you don't need to hire a skipper in case you own a nautical license, it is advisable to do so anyway. You will have a local person showing you the very best places around. More importantly, you won't be the one responsible for the safety of the crew and the boat (which can be quite a stress if you're on holiday!)

12)    Safety always comes first, so if your skipper tells you that some bad weather is coming in, showing you the weather forecast, you will have to listen to him/her and spend the night in a safe place, usually a marina.

13)     A skipper needs a good sleep and some privacy, be sure to provide him/her with a cabin. Sleeping in the saloon is not an option.

14)    A week on a boat is just a week for you. A skipper does this every week, often for several months without a break. Be sure to provide them a good amount of groceries. In Croatia, lunch is our most important meal, so sandwiches can be an option for one day, but not for the whole week.

15)    Be sure to present your preferences to your skipper on the first day. Do you prefer lively towns or quiet solitary bays? Dinner on board or in a restaurant? Speak your mind and find the option that suits you best, but also listen to your skipper when advice is given. We're doing this for a long time and can feel what would you like best. The sentence „You were right“ is the usual reaction of people that don't.

16)    Breakfast and lunch are easy, but you will have to discuss dinner. If you're going to a restaurant, you can either invite your skipper to join you, provide him with additional cash to do their own thing (about 25 euros) or provide enough groceries so (s)he can cook on board. (Again, cook, not eat a sandwich.) This is a topic skippers discuss every week, so don't be embarrassed to bring it up.

17)    You will have to help your skipper here and there. This usually includes throwing ropes in the marina, catching the mooring line or helping with the anchor. Enthusiasm is welcome (especially when sailing) and your skipper will be happy to show you how it's done.

18)    Should you leave a tip to your skipper? If you're satisfied with your week, why not. Our skippers usually get tipped at the end of the week, as an additional sign of gratitude and satisfaction.

Itinerary:

19)    Though Croatia is quite a small country, it's not as small as you may think. It has over one thousand islands (1244, to be precise), which can sometimes be quite far from each other. If you start your journey from, let's say, Pula, you cannot reach Dubrovnik and come back in one week. Our coast can be divided into four larger zones: Pula, Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik. Each zone gives you plenty of islands to choose from, but moving from one zone to another (unless you rent a motorboat) takes too much time and is just not worth it.

20)    Where will you be spending your nights? The options are three:

-    Marina/harbour: this option gives you the opportunity to refill your water tanks and connect the boat to shore power. Boats use quite a lot of battery and usually don't have a generator so you will have to recharge it (this is also done by turning on the engine, but it's not always enough). Bear in mind that you will have to spend one or two nights in the marina (depending on the age of the boat and its batteries). Reaching a certain town or village can often be a problem if you don't dock in the marina, since anchoring in the marina is not allowed (another option would be taking a buoy, but not all towns have them). The price of the marina per night depends on the length of the boat and the month of the year. Catamarans are much wider than sailboats so you will be charged double for them. (Prices in Croatia go from 40 to 150 euros for a sailboat).

-    Buoy: The types of buoys in Croatia are two: the one that you pay for and the ones you don't. You will pay for a buoy in several nice bays and towns that usually don't have a big marina (Vis). Free buoys are offered by restaurant owners if you have dinner at their restaurant (you can book a table by reserving a buoy, which will be waiting for you and will give you more time for swimming and relaxing in a bay).

-    Anchor: Ask your skipper for a night in a peaceful bay, where you can have dinner on board and enjoy a clear night sky without light pollution. Since your boat is only held by an anchor, this way of spending the night demands good weather conditions without lots of wind. Anchoring in a bay during the day for a lunch stop and swim is usual and a daily routine.

For any additional questions, feel free to contact us at any time. Book your holiday on a boat with Northeast agency and experience a week on the sea you won't forget!

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