Skip to main content

Spain Calling

The upcoming America’s Cup events in Valencia (semifinals June 1–11, finals June 23–July 4) have drawn attention to Spain, with its long coastline, maritime history, and many attractions, as a charter venue. If you are among the many sailors worldwide thinking about combining a charter with a trip to the Cup matches—or just thinking about sailing in Spain this summer—you’d best pick up the
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The upcoming America’s Cup events in Valencia (semifinals June 1–11, finals June 23–July 4) have drawn attention to Spain, with its long coastline, maritime history, and many attractions, as a charter venue. If you are among the many sailors worldwide thinking about combining a charter with a trip to the Cup matches—or just thinking about sailing in Spain this summer—you’d best pick up the phone and start making arrangements right now.

I talked with Jill DelBello, a retired broker of both bare and crewed charter boats, who has put a great deal of useful information on her Web site, www.sailing-advisor.com. While all European countries require a sailing license, Jill says that Croatia and Spain are the strictest. One of the benefits of chartering with a U.S.-based company—The Moorings (www.moorings.com), Sunsail (www.sunsail.com), and Voyage Charters (www.voyagecharters.com) have bases in the Balearic Islands—is that you’ll get some guidance and help with the necessary documentation. If you decide to bareboat with a European company, Jill says, it is essential to get written confirmation, before you make a deposit, that your documentation is acceptable. Note that this can take some time and diligence; it is challenging, Jill says, to get companies in Europe to get back to you. Be sure to read (carefully) the “License Tips” page on her Web site.

Jill has worked with, and recommends, a number of European companies for bareboat charters in Spain. Among them are: Gotland Charter (gotlandcharter.com), with bases in Barcelona, Mallorca, and Ibiza; Sport Nautic (www.sportnautic.com, in Spanish), with bases in Valencia and Dnia; and Azul Sailing (www.azul-sailing.com), with bases in 10 areas of Spain, including Catalonia (Palamos), Levante (Valencia), Galicia (La Corua), and Andalucia. In her experience, these companies have English speakers on their staffs and are likely to respond to your e-mails.

Chartering a boat with crew will eliminate any concerns about licensing—or anything else, for that matter—and will put just about anywhere on the Spanish coast within reach. You’ll need a broker for this; to find one, search SAIL’s classified ads, or do a Google search for “crewed yachts.”

There’s more to chartering in Spain than cruising the Balearics (Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza), though these islands are the center of charter activity and have long been a draw for European sailors, beachgoers, and revelers of all sorts. Jill has posted useful notes on several Spanish regions under “Destinations.” Take a look; you might decide to sail where your friends haven’t gone before.

Related

DUFOUR_470.JM-LIOT-15

Boat Review: Dufour 470

Annapolis may be the sailing capital of America, but if you looked around the United States Sailboat Show last fall, you would have no choice but to conclude most sailboats are now built in Europe. The Dufour 470 is a good example of a modern French performance cruiser. DESIGN & ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_6563

Close Encounters: Captain Sarah Schelbert

I met Captain Sarah Schelbert back in 2019 while on the boat trip from hell aboard a seaworthy but poorly run Triton 28 in the western Caribbean. I was trying to help the owner sail his boat back to Florida from the Rio Dulce, in Guatemala. Outbound from the river basin, we had ...read more

02-Voice-of-the-Oceans---sailboat-Kat-11

Raising Their Voices

Many of us who are cruising sailors have been sailing mid-ocean or walking along a perfect beach in the middle of seemingly nowhere, only to be appalled at the amount of plastic trash we find. Few of us, however, have taken that disheartening reality and turned it into a ...read more

IC37racingonSunday-Photo-by-Paul-Todd

IC37 North American Championship

This past weekend saw 20 IC37s off Newport, Rhode Island engage in fast and furious one-design racing with the win going to Peter McClennen’s Gamecock. “It’s huge,” said McClennen of the win. “I think of the one-designs of this club going back to the New York 30 [built in ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_2056

South Pacific Storm Prep

Having set ourselves the task of transforming our recently purchased Open 66 ex-Vendée Globe racer, NV, into a performance family cruiser, my partner, Timo, and I found ourselves (extremely) high and dry as cyclone season approached. The favorite cyclone strategy in Fiji is to ...read more

00-Alexe-1---GUaGKDY4-single-boat-sailing-away-from-skyline,-Hill-Holiday

Cruising: Find Your Own Adventure

Whether they’re at the end of their collegiate career or after aging out of a summer sailing program, a lot of young sailors have a hard time finding a way to continue sailing as adults. Some of the barriers to sailing, including location, finances and time, can be hard to ...read more

00LEAD-IMG_2183

Heavy Hitters on Heavy Weather

“What’s the joke about heavy weather? You know it when you see it.” Figure 8 singlehander Randall Reeves drew laughs from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) sailors attending the forum “Heavy Weather Sailing: Bluewater Perspectives” as part of the CCA’s centennial celebration in ...read more

Nominne-Promo-2048x1149

Best Boat Nominees 2023

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to see the evolution of the boatbuilding industry over the years, as has been evident in SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats ...read more