There are so many delightful places to explore on this spectacular planet called Earth. Where do you dream of navigating to? Take into account the following considerations if you’re hoping to set sail for enticing distant ports, but you aren’t sure of how to go about setting the best course:
Types of Boat Charters Available:
Bareboat Charters – If you are already an experienced boater, you can make an agreement with a fleet operator or a private yacht owner to obtain full use of their vessel for a specified, mutually agreed-upon period of time.
Skippered Charters – If you aren’t already experienced with yachting, or you would rather have someone else handle the piloting and navigation of the vessel so you can relax during the journey, a skippered charter would be the ideal type of yacht charter to consider. When you hire a skippered charter, you’ll be paired up with a credentialed captain who fulfills all the legal requirements for piloting a vessel. In this situation, your captain will navigate, but you will be the one to set the itinerary and plan the destination. So you’ll have a great deal of autonomy when setting the course. However, if you aren’t well acquainted with the area where you’ll be sailing, it would be prudent to discuss your route with your skipper beforehand to ensure you maximize your opportunities for seeing the best sights the waters in that area have to offer.
Considerations for Setting Your Course When Bareboat Chartering
Local Weather and Conditions in the Waters Where You’ll Be Sailing
When you travel by boat, the weather is one of the most influential factors determining whether you and your group will have an enjoyable time or a miserable one. It is not totally possible to predict with certainty what the weather will be like in a specified area on any given day. However, you can study the local wind and weather patterns in the areas you want to go to in hopes of maximizing your chances of making your trip when weather conditions are likely to be favorable.
Charts and Navigational Equipment
It’s advisable to use a GPS device but to also have a sextant and a knowledgeable operator aboard your vessel. Be sure to obtain new, up-to-date charts for the waters where you’ll be navigating. It is perilous to navigate a boat using outdated charts.
It’s also advisable to consult local tide charts in the areas you plan to visit, particularly if you plan to spend time anchoring in the local anchorages rather than docking the vessel in marinas. You’ll need to ensure that there’s always enough water under the keel of your vessel to ensure safe sailing and anchoring. Some of the anchorages in Europe’s waters do not offer sufficient depth to ensure safe anchoring for sizable vessels. There are areas that are safe to anchor in at high tide but totally unsafe for anchoring at low tide.
Planning Your Route When Chartering With a Skipper
Choosing the right chartering company is crucial if you’re interested in chartering with a skipper. If you’re hoping to have your skipper collaborate with you on an itinerary or advise you on where the best local destinations are, you’ll want to choose a chartering company that has established relationships with expert captains. You’ll also want to avoid working with chartering companies that are not insured and are not in compliance with the established laws in the areas where you’ll be yachting. Check online reviews to see whether other vacationers have had a positive experience with the company you’re considering.