Rent your sailboat
No matter where in the world you prefer to sail and you keep going back to, you would no doubt be sad if it was suddenly overflowing with plastic waste or if the corals were dead due to bleaching.
Here are 4 simple things you can do to help preserve your favourite destination and to keep it in its best condition.
Remember that it's possible to take out travel insurance through Seatravel. Please be aware that you are not covered by public health insurance when travelling to countries like Turkey or other countries outside the EU. Your return travel is never covered by public health insurance.
It is also possible to take out cancellation insurance through Seatravel - it covers in case of accidents, illness, divorce, etc. before your trip and the affected traveller will be able to get his/her share of the cost covered.
The boat's insurance does not cover deliberate damage or carelessness, and the persons on board, personal property and liability are also not covered by the insurance. We, therefore, offer a separate vacation/travel insurance, as well as cancellation insurance which covers in case of sickness before the start of the holiday.
Contact us for insurance terms and conditions.
For a sailing holiday, it is required that the skipper has a certificate of proficiency in navigation, as a minimum, as well as some sailing experience.
Co-skipper must also have some sailing experience.
Well in advance before the sailing holiday, you will need to send us a copy of your sailing certificates, a description of your sailing experience, a crew list and a copy of your and your co-skippers passports. We will then send these documents to the base, who will issue a special certificate for you, the hired boat and week. Sending the documents to the base well in advance reduces the risk of unnecessary waiting time before your charter. For yacht charters in Croatia, it is also required that one person on board holds a VHF-radio certificate or the new SRC certificate. If you do not have the necessary sailing certificates or experience or maybe feel a little insecure at the prospect of sailing in foreign waters, it is possible to hire a skipper to sail for you.
Pack light and sporty - preferably in soft bags. Although the boats are spacious and well designed, it is difficult to stow away suitcases on a boat.
You cannot expect the charter company to store your luggage if you arrive early.
Upon arrival, you must present yourselves at the base office where the final paperwork will be handed out and signed. In case of arrival after the base's closing hours, please give notice well in advance. Please indicate your flight number and arrival time on the crew list. This allows the base personnel to leave you a key to the boat so that you can board for the night. Check-in of the boat will then happen the next morning when the base opens. Note, however, that most bases are closed on Sundays, but if they know that you will be arriving after hours on Saturday night, someone will come to meet you on Sunday morning.
Upon arrival, you will be given a good and thorough instruction in good English in the boat's use, etc. by the base personnel. Let the skipper and co-skipper participate in this instruction - you will be given a lot of information, and two people hear and perceive more than just one person, and too many people can cause confusion. The instruction is an important part of the sailing holiday, because not only will the boat's structure and operation be shown and tested, but the instructors will also gladly provide all their tips and advice on anchorages, nice places to visit, swimming and snorkelling sites and much more. Do a thorough review of the boat yourselves - it's easier to fix any deficiencies before starting from the base than it will be if you discover it along the way.
It is often possible to purchase early takeover, e.g. at 13.00-14.00h. Guests who have purchased early takeover will be prioritised. This also means that those who have not purchased early takeover, cannot expect to gain access to the boat earlier than usual. When chartering with a company that does not offer the option of an early takeover, you may contact the company by telephone (the phone number is available through the link to: "About the port of departure" in your order confirmation) around 11:00-11:30 on the day of the takeover. By this time, they will have an idea of when the boat is expected to be ready for takeover. Neither Seatravel nor the charter company can say anything about the possibility of an early takeover of the boat before this time, as the boat must first be returned and handed over by those who chartered the boat the week before.
On the boat, there are bed linen, ordinary towels and tea towels included in the price or comfort package (be sure to check that there is enough for everyone). At some companies, linen and towels are paid for separately.
You will find lifejackets onboard but check before departure that there are vests that fit each person. Other sizes are handed out by the base personnel. For small children, we recommend that you bring along your own lifejacket. There are stricter requirements for lifejackets in rental boats. Therefore, you will often find that the lifejackets are very large and clumsy - see picture below:
You dock with the aft to the quay: letting the anchor go at a suitable distance to the pier and hill the boat in. Other places, you pull a mooring line out of the water and moor - also with the aft to the quay. It requires some practice, but once you've tried it a few times, it will be no problem. Be careful though, if the boat is equipped with a bow thruster, make sure that the loose mooring line does not come into the bow thruster. If necessary, tighten the towline to the dinghy, so its mooring does not get caught in the screw during this manoeuvre.
Check out this video about docking in the Mediterranean, with and without mooring line (lazy line): Click Here
Look for the direction in which the other boats have cast their anchor, and cast it, so it does not cross. Let it go in good time, there is plenty of chain. When you leave the spot, then sail out (Do not drag your boat out by the windlass) and pull the anchor straight up - this minimizes the risk of pulling up another anchor.
There may be fixed mooring lines, in which case you should not use your anchor. Read about this in your water pilot. A sign on the dock with an inverted anchor indicates that you must not drop your anchor here.
In the Caribbean, you generally always dock at a designated buoy. One may proceed fairly close to the coast - although please mind the corals. Many coral reefs along with their fantastic animal and fish life have been destroyed by sailors with a dragging anchor chain! Use buoys, where possible!
Many places there are designated mooring buoys = Nighttime Moorings = you have to pay to dock at these buoys. Some places there are designated buoys = "Day Time Moorings" in different colours that can only be used during the day when anchoring/diving in protected coral areas. In The Virgin Islands, you will get a Day Time Mooring Permit - this is paid in advance as part of the boat rental price.
In Greece, you pay virtually no harbour fees - max. 5,- € for a week - but expect no facilities such as showers, toilets etc. You will often dock at a tavern or alongside the local fishermen, private yachts and /or smaller ferries that sail between the islands.
In Croatia, they have built 18 completely modern ACI marinas with lots of good facilities and great service - a dinghy from the marina will often greet you as you're approaching and they will help you find a place and with the mooring - They also arrange the paperwork with the harbour master. It is relatively expensive in these marinas - If there are many boats, or if you do not want to pay the expensive port money, it's usually possible to use a mooring buoy located at a distance from the quayside. This is a much cheaper, but not a free option.) For other areas in the Mediterranean, the port charges are somewhat expensive - but the service level at the marinas are generally high.
In the Caribbean, a Night Time Mooring typically costs around $30.
Croatia: In Croatia, it may also be an advantage to reserve a berth in a harbour in advance. This can be done at e.g. Porthop or www.my-sea.com. Here you can also see the price level of harbour fees.
Greece: First come, first served!
Mallorca: For the public ports (Ports IB). Otherwise, it's first come, first served.
Italy: Here the practice is to call the harbour office over VHF, as soon as you are within reach, and reserve a berth.
In the Caribbean: At nighttime mooring typically costs around $30 and cannot be reserved in advance.
The base staff can refer you to a nearby supermarket/grocery store. There is usually an agreement with a supermarket for free pickup and transport of goods. Deciding what to purchase is simple - You will need something from every shelf, as the boat is empty.
In Croatia, you can order provisioning directly to the boat via Jam Yachtsupply
In Greece, you can order provisioning directly to the boat via Yachtness
The indicated deposit is deposited with VISA-/Euro-/MasterCard or in cash. Make certain that the usage limit on your credit card is sufficient for the deposit to be blocked. For security reasons, several credit cards have a maximum spending limit of €2,000-3,000.
This limit can be reached very quickly when you begin with having the deposit covering the excess on the boat blocked. Bring several credit cards and before leaving home for your holiday check that you have enough money for your holiday. The amount is refundable after the return of an undamaged boat at the agreed upon time and place and in a tidy condition. It can take up to three or four weeks before the security deposit is released on your credit card. This is due to the transaction time between the boat rental company, credit card company and your bank.)
Alternatively, with most charter companies you can buy a non-refundable risk insurance that eliminates/reduces the deposit. Boat insurance does not cover intentional damage or negligence. With both types of insurance, the persons on board, their personal property and liability are not covered by the insurance. Before leaving home, you can also take out external charter insurance with Pantaenius Insurance. This insurance must be bought online and covers in case of an accident during the holiday. The insurance that only covers the excess, Pantaenius calls "Bond Insurance Plus" and is found at the bottom of the page – we cannot help in taking it out. It is an external insurance, so when arriving at the base you'll have the excess blocked as usual. If an accident occurs, the insurance you have taken out with Pantaenius will cover any possible damage.
This insurance can be taken out through this link: Pantaenius Bond Insurance
If you sail with a skipper you still must make the deposit - the skipper is responsible for the boat and sailing, and you're not liable for any damages caused by him.
On the boats, there are 12 V "cigarette outlets" for recharging video cameras and mobile phones. It's a good idea to bring an inverter that converts 12 V to 220 V, so you can always charge your tablets, camera, mobile. etc.
We recommend placing an ice pack at the bottom of the refrigerator and turning on the motor a few hours daily, as a minimum, for charging the batteries. Possibly turn off the refrigerator at night. There is much else aboard that requires power. Tip: Place the rack from the oven at the bottom of the fridge so food does not get wet.
If problems arise during your sailing holiday, you get a contact number for the base, which you have to call before you even begin to fix something yourself. Staff members will do what they can to remedy the situation either by phone or they come to you. If you find any deficiencies, you must report it to the base immediately – do not "leave" it for the delivery of the boat, as the staff will not have been given the chance to resolve the deficiencies and any subsequent complaints will not be valid.
There are plenty of waste containers for disposal at the dock in all ports. Tip: Waste can be assembled in black trash bags and stored in the anchor storage compartment.
Never put paper in the toilet, but collect it in a plastic bag next to the toilet. Most boats are equipped with a holding tank. If the holding tank is not empty when you receive the boat, be sure to open the valve as the first thing when you come out of the harbour. It's a really bad start to the holiday to start with a clogged toilet. Never put paper in the toilet, but gather it in a plastic bag next to the toilet.
Remember to empty the holding tank before returning the boat. Formally, the rules for emptying holding tanks also apply in the Mediterranean, but in practice, they aren't implemented. It's almost impossible to get far enough away from land to be able to comply with the rules.
On many boats, it is therefore normal for the charter company to have blocked the valve to the holding tank in the open position. This is done because the holding tanks and hoses used in modern boats are not made in 100% odour-proof material. This results in a bad smell developing in the lavatories when the boat is around three to five years old. This process will be delayed if the holding tank is not full all the time.
Therefore, it is entirely deliberate that the charter companies make this change on the boats
When a boat is 2-4 years old, it often happens that meters for diesel, water and holding tanks no longer work. Be careful not to run the diesel tank empty even if the meter shows a full tank. Use common sense combined with the knowledge that various tank gauges do not function correctly.
In the ports, most boats are docked with the stern to the quay. It may be a bit unfamiliar with this "reverse parking". It's a good idea to do a backing test as the first thing after you have left the base port. Sail forward by 4-5 knots. Put the boat in neutral. Check that the boat is sailing perfectly straight. Hold the wheel and put the engine in reverse. It's very likely that the boat "pulls" to one side. Take note of which side the boat naturally prefers and use it when you have to choose which way you will turn when you need to "park backwards". As with all other parts in sailing, it is an advantage when the boat works with you and not against you in during the manoeuvres.
If you take the dinghy in tow, then pull it close to the hedge, especially in rough weather.
If the shower on the stern deck does not work, it is usually because the hose is twisted. There is a hatch in the aft bulkhead in the side where the shower sits where the hose can be fixed.
When you go sailing in warmer climates, it is tempting to open the hatches during the voyage to get some cooler air into the cabin. Be careful that especially the genoas do not pull the skylights of when you tack or jibe.
Many places have designated buoys, which you may stay overnight. Be aware that you will probably be charged for this. Tip: When you choose to moor at a designated buoy, it is very difficult to reach down from the bow to tie on to the mooring. It is much easier to tie to the mooring while sitting on the stern platform.
You must be ready to leave the boat no later than the agreed upon time. The base will be obliged to charge a fee for each hour that the return of the boat is delayed. The boat must be returned in a neat and cleaned condition. Bed linen must be removed and waste carried ashore, even if you've paid for compulsory final cleaning. Remember to empty the refrigerator and freezer.
You will receive the boat with full diesel tanks and it must be returned with refilled tanks unless there is another agreement in place.
Ensure that the water tanks are full before departing from the base harbour. Save water - do not do the dishes under running water. Fill up the water tanks up whenever possible. If the tank is completely emptied, the pump motor will run continuously and thus overheat - Turn off the electric water pump, if this happens. There will only be hot water when the engine has been running for at least 30 minutes. After showering in the toilet room, the water on the floor can be pumped out by activating the pump button on the wall, if it is not pumped out automatically.
Buy plenty of drinking water and do not drink the water in the boat taps. According to our experience, each person drinks about 1½ litres/day.
Flippers and snorkel kit provide great opportunities to explore life beneath the surface. Remember a T-shirt. Your back gets sunburned easily during many hours of snorkelling.
There are good and detailed charts on board - check that all the charts are there for your desired sail area. There are at least GPS in all the boats, and most are also equipped with a chart plotter. However, the chart plotter may be located down in the cabin.
Usually, you´ll see a lot fewer markings in the southern waters than we are used to in Northern Europe. It is because it is often much easier to sail here. As a rule, you can sail where there is water and, from bitter experience, the base commander will usually be very careful to point out reefs and islands that you need to be especially careful not to hit. When sailing in the Caribbean, keep in mind that here the IALA system B is often used, entering the ports with the red buoys to starboard. Their mnemonic reads: "Red Right Returning". That means keeping the red buoys to the right when returning to the harbour.
Night sailing is generally not allowed in charter boats.
From 12th of January 2009, stricter requirements are in place for travellers to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program. No later than 72 hours before departure travellers must provide a range of information via the website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
It should be emphasized that the submission of this information, as well as the accuracy of this, is the sole responsibility of the traveller. Lack of, or inadequate submission of information, may lead to extensive consequences for the traveller. Seatravel have no liability for the (correct) submission of the information mentioned above, in which case Sunway Seatravel cannot be met with demands that may emerge due to missing or incomplete information. Questions relating to the process of submitting the required information should be directed to the US embassy.
As of October 31st, 2009, all passengers are obligated to independently submit the following personal information to their travel agent or airline company to be able to travel to/via USA (registration of APIS - Advanced Passenger Information System): * Name as it appears on the passport that the traveller will use to apply entry into the United States. * Date of birth, as it appears in the passport.* Gender, as it appears in the passport. * Passport number and expiration date and which country has issued the passport.
It should be emphasized that there are more stringent safety procedures for luggage at entry and stopover in the USA. When you arrive at your first arrival airport in the USA, you often have to pick up your luggage from the baggage carousel and then deliver your luggage at the customs clearance, as they will provide transportation onwards. Many airline companies erroneously inform at check in that baggage is checked through all the way, and that the travellers don't need to pick up their luggage.
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