yacht charter tips

Bareboat charter in Croatia: what you need to know before renting a yacht

A guide for self-relying captains.

Independent charter, or bareboat charter, is undoubtedly a step towards freedom of sailing and an exciting yachting experience. Let us check whether you have taken everything necessary into account before setting sail on the Adriatic.

Choosing a yacht based on experience, budget, region

Here's our answer to the rhetorical question: a yacht or a catamaran?
Regardless of the purpose of your yacht rental, you should proceed from your experience and your yacht license (read further on licenses applicable to in Croatia). For sailing practice it is better to choose a boat similar to the one you trained on at your sailing school. As a rule, those are 30-35-feet yachts with a medium technical condition. To secure the smooth first sailing and to keep the deposit, we recommend opting for yachts from proven charter companies. Also, a smaller boat means an overall simpler and 30-40% less expensive moorage, with easy berthing space location.

If you focused on having a full-fledged family voyage, rather than collecting miles, your best bet will be opting for comfort.
A generator, air conditioners, a swim platform, a sufficient number of cabins and WC/shower rooms, water maker, usb outlets for onboard gadget charging will become your best assistants during sailing. This leaves you to decide on the budget. Low season charters may give you discounts of up to 70% even for new boats.

Seasoned sailors normally make their choice based on the sailing route, since Croatia offers the richest choice of yachts and catamarans to suit for all tastes, and comfort level. This leaves few more choices to make: decide if it is going to be a yacht or a catamaran, to comfortably accommodate all guests on board, plus develop an action plan.

Read our article on differences between sailing yachts and catamarans to make a balanced weighed choice.
photo: Bavaria Yachts

Yachting license in Croatia

Check what license do you have and does it valid for sailing on the Adriatic.
Bareboat charters in Croatia require:
  • a valid sailing license,
  • a VHF license.

Charter companies accept international certificates, such as ICC, RYA, and IYT, without any problem. Read the full list based on license-issuing countries. Attention: it is always better to check the validity of your license as of present moment on the official website of the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure www.mppi.hr.

Or send us a copy of your documents, so that we could check the license validity and possibility of booking a yacht of your choice at the charter company.
Paying for charter: expense items and due dates
Mandatory and optional yacht rental payments.
When booking a yacht most charter companies exercise the following routine:
  • 50% of the final charter cost should be paid on the spot to confirm your booking,
  • 50% is to be paid not later than 30 days before setting sail.

Due to coronavirus many charter companies have simplified the booking terms and conditions, and more often than not paying 20-30% is sufficient to secure the booking. However, this is to be clarified directly with the company that you would like to rent a yacht from.

Mandatory payments:
  • yacht rental,
  • transit log / final cleaning / comfort package,
  • returnable/non-returnable deposit,
  • tourist taxes.

Optional payments:
  • airport pick-up and transfer / taxi from airport and back,
  • early checking-in at the yacht,
  • sporting or fishing equipment rentals,
  • protective lifelines (relevant for swimming with young children and pets),
  • renting an outboard engine for an inflatable boat (part of the yacht package),
  • additional towels and bedding,
  • pets on board and other options.

Deposits and skipper insurance

All yachts are to be insured before setting sail. The deposit may come in the following types:

Returnable deposits. The deposit sum is 1,000 to 4,000 euro depending on the yacht and is normally just blocked on the bank card. During yacht handover after sailing you are supposed to have a check-out. In case of discovered damage, not mentioned at check-in, a charter company charges the amount of damage inflicted as per the price list. The maximum chargeable amount is the deposit sum.

Non-returnable deposits.
This service is not provided by all companies. Its sum is 150-400 euro depending on the yacht and implies that the customer makes a deposit in case of potential damage.These deposits are far less than those for returnable deposits, but you should be keep in mind that it will be returned and should be split right away among all yacht crew members.

Skipper insurance
is mandatory for commercial captains. In the case of bareboat charters, the deposit is sufficient.
Resolving legal, financial and technical issues prior to setting sail.
The yacht is delivered on Saturdays at 4-5 p.m. but this time may be pushed forward for 12-1 p.m. for an additional payment.

To save the time at the marina, it is recommended to arrive 2-3 hours in advance. This time is needed for:
  • resolving legal and financial issues at the charter company's office,
  • procuring and delivering food supplies to the yacht,
  • as soon as the yacht is rented, you can proceed to technical acceptance with the charter company representative.

Technical acceptance is only possible after all the documents are issued at the charter company's office. This requires:
  • getting documents for the yacht,
  • providing the originals for the yachting documents and confirm the crew list (passports originals),
  • making a deposit and paying tourist taxes, as well as paying for the transit log, sporting equipment rentals, etc.,
  • obtaining recommendations with regard to technical support issues in case of onboard emergencies or breakdowns.

Yachting and Environment
Croatia is among the top five European countries with the cleanest bathing waters, and this is no coincidence. Apart from waste separation in place, the country has the yachting etiquette of responsible attitude to the sea and its inhabitants.
Among the most basic measures to be observed by the entire crew are the following ones:
  • processable plastic packaging and lids are to be collected separately in special containers,
  • do not use the generator unless absolutely necessary,
  • if you are stationed at a marina, it is best to take a shower and use the bathroom on the shore, as well as carefully use water during passages,
  • use reusable bags and boxes to deliver food supplies on board,
  • it is absolutely forbidden to toss cigarette stubs and other items overboard, except organic waste.

You may notice that many yachts fly a green flag. It belongs to the Green Sail non-commercial/non-governmental organization/social initiative. Many charter companies and marinas all across Croatia exercise a responsible approach to maintaining cleanliness/purity and protection of the sea.
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