Mediterranean charter tips

We North American sailors tend to take our “away” sailing vacations in the Caribbean, where the charter companies are well known through advertising and magazine articles. And it’s certainly not hard to find a fellow sailor who’s been there, done it, and can’t tell you enough about it. That’s the good news. We’ve also come to expect, and get, a high level of service and a certain amount of
Author:
Updated:
Original:

We North American sailors tend to take our “away” sailing vacations in the Caribbean, where the charter companies are well known through advertising and magazine articles. And it’s certainly not hard to find a fellow sailor who’s been there, done it, and can’t tell you enough about it. That’s the good news. We’ve also come to expect, and get, a high level of service and a certain amount of hand-holding from these companies.

Let’s talk about Mediterranean charters, keeping in mind that December isn’t too early to do your planning; many charterboats are booked at the European winter boat shows, and the boats are, of course, finite in number. While increasing numbers of U.S. sailors are chartering in the Med, it is first of all Europe’s primary summer playground, especially Turkey’s Turquoise Coast and the increasingly popular coast of Croatia; the demand is high. You may, or may not, need a sailing license; the question of licenses remains a moving target to a certain extent. There may be other paperwork. You may, or may not, have problems getting a response to your phone calls or e-mails to European companies.

If you book with a U.S.-based company—The Moorings and Sunsail both have numerous bases in the Med—the process will go as you’ve experienced with a Caribbean charter. Your questions will be answered, the paperwork will be dealt with, and your boat will have appropriate numbers of sheets and towels. The staff at the base will hold your hand to the extent you require.

But if you’re looking for a charter out of a different port, say, or if you simply can’t find a bareboat at the right time—well, that’s where a charter broker can be your new best friend. I talked with Steve McCrea, who keeps up on the subject for Ed Hamilton & Company. As a broker, Steve maintains a knowledge base you can tap into and can help you make a choice based on time of year plus sailing conditions plus your requirements. You might think of it as one-stop shopping, in which it takes one call (for you) to find a boat, get information on a company that’s unfamiliar to you, deal with any paperwork, and get your questions answered. E-mail Steve (steve@ed-hamilton.com) or call 800-621-7855. Another useful contact is Nigel James Yacht Charter in England (nj-yacht.com); check yachtcharterguide.com for other options.

A broker can’t get you a boat for less than the published rate, but he or she can save you money and time by doing the investigating, recommending reliable companies, and doing the due diligence in finding a combination of boat, place, and time that fits your needs. Is chartering in the Med worth the extra effort? You betcha. Good planning will keep you out of the worst of the crowds and in the best of places.

Related

2.4mR's racing at the 2018 Clagett Regatta-US Para Sailing Championships credit Clagett Regatta-Andes Visual

Host for 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships Announced

The 2021 U.S. Para Sailing Championships will be hosted by The Clagett Regatta at Sail Newport, in Newport, R.I. on August, 24-29, 2021, according to a joint announcement from the host and US Sailing. "We have had a very long working relationship with US Sailing and look forward ...read more

Reflections-photo-CMerwarth

Cruising: Reflections of an Old Salt

I am 90 years old, dwindling in mind and body and fear living too long. Twenty years have passed since I last weighed anchor. Still, when a Carolina blue sky is polka-dotted with billowing cumulus clouds and the wind blows fair, I sorely miss raising sail and setting forth. I ...read more

DSC_0145

Waterlines: Solo Sailing Again, Naturally

In spite of the fact I came to the sport of sailing alone and untutored, in a boat I acquired on my own, I never really aspired to become a solo sailor. It just sort of happened. All these years later, I still never explicitly plan to sail anywhere alone. I’m always happy to ...read more

01a-DJI_0398

Racing The M32 Class

This year the M32 celebrates its 10th birthday. Swedish Olympic bronze medalist Göran Marström and Kåre Ljung designed the M32 in 2011 as the latest addition to an already impressive portfolio that includes the Tornado, M5 A-Class, M20 catamaran and the Extreme 40. Two years ...read more

01-LEAD-23274-Coastal-Oilskins-GSP

Know how: Cleats, Clutches and Jammers

Since the invention of rope, there has also been a need to belay or secure it. Every sailboat has rope on board so, unless you own a superyacht with captive reels or winches, you’re going to have to find a way to make it fast. (As a side note—and before you reach for your ...read more

9e4d8714-2a8e-4e79-b8f6-c9786aaec4d0

Antigua Sailing Week Announces Women’s Mentorship Program

In partnership with the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association, Antigua Sailing Week is launching a mentorship program to encourage women and girls to join the sport of sailing. President of Antigua Sailing Week, Alison Sly-Adams says, “When we devised the program, we looked at ...read more

01-LEAD-Carmody-Distant-Drummer

Experience: A Badly Snagged Prop in Haiti

When a winter norther blows through the Bahamas, the northeast trades can reach gale force as they funnel through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti. After waiting for a lull, though, we had a fabulous beam reach aboard our Liberty 458, Distant Drummer, from Santiago de ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_9186

Charter Cruise to La Paz Mexico

Just 24 hours before our scheduled charter in the Bahamas, the government clamped down again on visitors from the United States. Having endured two Covid-19 brain swabs in preparation, I looked at my packed bag on the floor and reached for the rum. I could, at least, pretend I ...read more