Basic information when chartering/renting a sailboat
Time frame and timing
Most if not all charter companies offer boat rentals from Saturday to Saturday (SAT-SAT). You can expect to board your boat on Saturdays at around 5.00 PM, although most companies also offer an “early check-in” option for an extra of 100€ – 200€. This option will let you board at around 1PM, so you can get a head start and reach your desired destination in time for an afternoon swim or dinner at sunset. Keep in mind that you will have to arrange for an “early check-in” beforehand.
Boats need to be returned to base (the same spot where you picked it up from), on Friday afternoon, the exact time can vary from company to company. After returning you can still spend the night on your boat, and checkout at 9.00 AM. At checkout, a charter representative will come on board to thoroughly inspect the boat for any potential damage. Additionally a diver will inspect the bottom of the boat. Some companies will allow you to return the boat early on Saturday, however this is not common practice.
You will find that the charter company will charge you a transit log. Simply put, you are paying for the costs that come up with boat preparation, check-in/check-out procedures, washing of the bed sheets, cooking gas, etc.
Most of the time the transit log is paid on the spot, during the check-in procedure. In Croatia you will have to pay with a credit/debit card or HRK (Croatian Kuna), since Euro is not an official currency.
Tourist tax is a fee set by the local government (county), which is then spent on further development of tourist infrastructure. It is paid per person per night and can only be paid by the person/group spending the night/s. This fee can not be covered by a tourist agency. That means you will have to pay it on the spot, before boarding. It is always paid in cash and costs around 8 – 10 HRK/person/night, roughly 1 EUR/person/night, and can only be paid in local currency.
Basic equipment onboard
We highly recommend that you do not rely on your charter boat being stocked with household necessities when planning your trip. Although on paper most boats will come with some basic equipment, our experience shows that it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared.
What can you expect to find on board?
- bed sheets, blankets, pillows
- cooking gas
- life vests for adults and necessary safety equipment
- sailing equipment
- dishes, coffee/tea mugs, drinking glasses, cutlery
- cooking utensils (2-3 different sized pots, 1-2 pans, strainer, cutting board, knives (usually dull), ladles, spatulas etc.)
- tender (without an outboard, that you can rent for an additional 80 – 120€/week)
- WIFI (works on 3G/4G network and can have quite a few blind spots in secluded bays)
What is usually on board, but can be sometimes left out?
- Toilet paper
- Hand towel (ca. 100 x 50 cm)
- Dish soap, sponge, “vileda”
- cotton kitchen towels
- gas oven (on bigger boats – necessary to check with charter agency)
- radio (AUX, SUB and Bluetooth connection is not always available)
What you shouldn’t expect on board (but can sometimes be a nice surprise)?
- towels (ca. 200×100 cm)
- salt, pepper, vinegar, cooking oil
- a bottle of local wine, as a welcoming gift
- wine glasses
- paper towels
- trash bags
- Coffee maker (even if on board it only works when the boat is supplied with 220V electricity – for more detail on the subject look under “Electricity” paragraf)
Refrigeration and storing temperature sensitive foods
Most boats come standard with an inbuilt refrigeration unit. The size and quality may vary from vessel to vessel. The number and size of the refrigeration units can usually be seen from the pictures that the charter agency will provide, though their capacity and quality of refrigeration/freezing can sometimes be hard to gauge. If your chosen vessel is new (this or last model year), you can expect the refrigeration to work the same as what you have at home. For older vessels we recommend that you assume refrigeration will work so-so. When planning your meals, be aware that you need to consume temperature sensitive foods in no more than 4 days, especially in the high season, when temperatures can soar well over 30°C.
All boats are equipped with fresh water tanks that you can use for personal hygiene. Make sure your tanks are full before leaving your base (marina) and take into account that the water supply is limited. Be resourceful, otherwise you will find yourself stopping to fill up the tanks quite often. This can be a stressful and costly endeavour. Not to mention the fact that there are usually queues for the fill-up service in most marinas/gas stations. You can expect smaller vessels (up to 35 feet) to carry around 250 liters of fresh water and bigger vessels up to 600 liters.
A general rule of thumb is that fresh water from tanks usually isn’t meant for drinking or cooking. We recommend using bottled water.
Some boats you come across will be equipped with a special foot operated sea water pump, the water from which you can use to wash dishes. Doing this will reduce water consumption by a large amount. If your boat is not fitted with a designated salt water pump/tap, we recommend doing your dishes in the sea from the stern of the boat, and then just rinsing them quickly with fresh water from the tanks.
When away from the pier in a marina, the boat runs on its own power, very much like a car does. The electrical systems onboard are 12V, so all your chargers need to run off 12V sockets (like the cigarette lighter in your car). Most modern boats are equipped with designated USB chargers/ports to make life easier.
When the boat is docked up to a pier, a 220V current is supplied via a special connection (shore-power). In this case, all of your standard chargers and gadgets will run off regular EU sockets, and you can use them the same way you would in your house or apartment.
Some vessels are equipped with generators that provide a regular 220V current to all of the EU sockets onboard, without any need for a power supply from the shore. You can always check the amenities list to see whether your boat is equipped with a generator or not.
Safety deposit/safety deposit insurance
Safety deposits are a way for charter agencies to protect themselves against any damages or breaches of contract from your side.
A safety deposit amount is usually between 1.000 € and 3.500 €, depending on the size and age of your chosen vessel.
Safety deposits can be either paid in cash (HRK or EUR) or by credit card. If paid by credit card, a charter agency will freeze funds on your credit account for a week, rather than wire the money. This way your funds will be available instantly once you have successfully completed the check out procedure.
If there were no damages to the vessel and no breaches of contract, the safety deposit will be paid back to you in full.
If by any chance, there is some damage done to the boat or equipment, a charter agency will make an assessment of the damages done to the boat or the equipment onboard and bill you for those damages. After your bill is paid, the security deposit will be returned in full.
The value of damages done to the boat can never exceed the safety deposit amount unless it is understood that damages to the vessel or its equipment were done purposefully. What constitutes as purposefulness will be predefined in your contract with the charter agency.
There is always an option to insure your safety deposit, meaning that an insurance company will (upon request) reimburse you for any damages done to the boat.
For safety deposit insurance the following rules apply:
The safety deposit needs to be paid if full at check-in.
Before your trip a safety deposit insurance policy contract needs to be signed. This can be done with help of an agent responsible for your trip/booking or with the insurance company directly.
In case of any damages to the vessel or its equipment you will still need to pick up the bill. An insurance company will later reimburse you for the amount of the bill.
Clogged up toilets and a loss of a tender/byboat are exempt from any insurance policy, since they treated as damage that was done purposefully.
Toilets on board sailing boats are somewhat special. They are operated via a hand pump or an electrical motor that pushes salt water into the toilet bowl, and at the same time pumps it out. The most important thing to remember is: You should never throw anything into the toilet! Not even toilet paper. The only things that can go down the drain are number 1 and number 2. Anything else will clog up the toilet, and as a result the charter company will charge you about 100 EUR – 150 EUR, to unclog it. Additionally you will spend a better part of your holidays without an operational toilet, which can be a “shitty experience” if a boat only has one. That’s why you should always put a plastic bag somewhere near the bowl, to throw in all the used toilet paper and any other hygienic products (such as cotton sticks, tampons, etc.). The bag should be closed up and carried to the shore on a daily basis.
The water flushed out of the toilet, also referred to as “black water”, can exit the toilet in two different ways. First one is a simple “pump it in the ocean” principle. The other way is to store black water in black water tanks. This is done by operating a valve you can usually find somewhere near the toilet bowl. You can choose between those two options depending on your current location. If you are in a nice bay enjoying a swim, the last thing you want is someone pumping feces overboard. In this particular case it is a much wiser decision to store the black water and pump it out later. It is also prohibited to pump black water (either from the bowl or the tank) into the sea while in marinas and ports.
A skipper (in commercial and navy applications also referred to as the captain) is a qualified and licenced individual whose job is to navigate and manoeuvre the boat in such a way that safety of the boat and crew is guaranteed.
The most common concern about skippers is usually the fact that you don’t know who you will be spending your vacation with. At Navigandum we are fully aware of this fact, and we hold our skippers to the highest standards possible. In order for a skipper to work for us, he needs to display both the technical knowledge necessary to properly operate a vessel as well as great social skills. He or she needs to be experienced, easy going, knowledgeable and ready to cater all of your needs and wishes. You shouldn’t worry about what impression you will make on your skipper. He or she will stay professional at all times.
Keep in mind that for the skipper your vacation is a job. A skipper has to be there for you, and not the other way around. Your job is to relax and have fun. On the other hand a skippers job is to stay professional. If you want some alone time, don’t hesitate to ask him or her to give you some space and go for a walk or a dinghy ride. He or she will gladly do so, providing that weather conditions will allow it.
Be open about your wishes, and our skippers will do everything possible to accommodate you. Of course if by doing so they do not endanger the crew or the boat. Do not forget that he or she is a fellow human being and being nice to your skipper always pays off. Maybe he or she will recommend a great restaurant that only locals know about, teach you some tricks and maybe let you dock the boat. Befriending your skipper is always a good idea.
All the costs of the skipper need to be paid by you. That doesn’t mean you have to take him or her out to expensive dinners and pay for a limousine to get him to the marina and back. But you are responsible for the cost of his travel and food. Both of these can be simple and reasonable. If a skipper can save you money and take a train to and from the marina, he or she will! Again our skippers are professionals on their field, so they will do anything to accommodate your wishes.
Clothing and footwear
Probably the most important piece of wearables is footwear. We recommend you use non slip athletic shoes or special boat shoes (commonly referred to as TBS shoes). Additionally you can be barefoot if you so desire. Avoid using flip flops or sandals. They are likely to cause you to trip on a line laying on the deck.
When docking, always wear shoes. You might have to jump on shore to help with the lines.
Atop your “normal” clothes and swim trunks, we recommend you bring a windstopper as well. Strong winds can be tiresome and unpleasant if you are not clothed properly. Mind that the weather in the morning or evening can get somewhat cold during spring and autumn. It’s never a bad idea to pack a warm hat and a scarf, just in case.
During summertime, make sure you wear sunshades, a hat and sunscreen. A nice cool summer breeze is deceptive, the sea around us acts as a giant mirror, enhancing the effects of the sun on a human body.
Cleaning, smoking and alcoholic beverages
Smoking on board is permitted. If you are a smoker, you need to take extra care with the embers from your cigarette, as they can quickly leave burn marks on teak or cushioning. A charter company will charge you quite a lot if they find a burn mark during the check-out inspection.
Alcoholic beverages should be consumed moderately especially when underway. If there is a party going on, someone should always remain sober just in case something happens. Usually this person is the skipper, if not agreed otherwise. If you spill a drink (especially red wine), make sure you clean it up immediately to avoid any extra costs.
Keep your boat clean at all times. Personal belongings should be stored in your cabin, and shouldn’t be lying freely on deck. Clothes, towels and other lightweight belongings are easy for the wind to pick up and carry into the sea.
Personal responsibility and participation
Every Navigandum event participant is responsible for him/herself. This does not mean you shouldn’t listen to your skippers instructions. Your skipper is morally and legally responsible for all crew members.
A security deposit is necessary when chartering a boat. Additionally you can insure your safety deposit, just in case anything goes wrong. Security deposits and security deposit insurances vary from charter company to charter company. We will make sure you know what the prices of both of these are beforehand. A decision to insure the security deposit has to be democratical among all of the participants on a single boat.
Sailing experiences are best when we cooperate with each other. In flotilla type sailing, there are many boats following the same route, so it is important for all crew members aboard all boats to be in-sync. One person on each boat will be responsible for cooperation with other boats to ensure everything is going smoothly. Only by doing so, we will get to experience real flotilla type sailing.
We only ask you to be respectful to one another, and we will take care of everything else.
Good weather? Fingers crossed!
To ensure a pleasurable and safe experience please follow simple guidelines below:
Listen to your skippers instructions!
In a man overboard (MOB) situation follow the following steps:
1. Dispense a life preserver,
2. Yell: MAN OVER OVERBOARD, to get crews attention,
3. Don’t lose sight of MOB. Under no circumstances jump in the water.
Swimming and jumping into the water are only allowed when the engines are turned off. Before jumping in the water, make sure you get your skippers permission.
When docking make sure to not put any limbs in between the pier and the boat, even if you are trying to prevent the boat from hitting the pier. This is what fenders are for.
Live vests are mandatory during night time navigation and under rough conditions. Your skipper will instruct you when to put them on.
Keep the sea clean. Don’t throw cigarette butts or any other thrash in the sea.
Keep the boat in shipshape.
Fresh water is limited. Be resourceful and considerate, you are not the only one on board.
Marine toilets are easily clogged. Do not throw anything in there. Not even toilet paper!
Do not use the toilet if there are people swimming around the boat.
Cooking and washing the dishes is a group effort. You can organise in little groups, so everyone can contribute. After all, you are a team.
Respect night-time noise guidelines in marinas and ports.
Instrument panels and other various navigational instruments are not toys. Do not touch them unless your skipper asks you to.
If you are not sure about something, ask your designated skipper. He or she will know best.
Enjoy your sailing experience, you deserve it!