Before you set sail
Organising a sailing holiday can be quite a bit more challenging than your ordinary summer holiday. There are several things that need to be considered beforehand. However, if done correctly, a sailing holiday will become your best holiday decision yet! In this modern era, information about almost everything is just a click of a mouse away. So why not use a boat route planner to prepare for everything you will need for a sailing adventure.
Firstly, you need to decide what part of this beautiful planet you wish to explore. Knowing where to sail and at which time of year to do it is crucial to your overall experience. Some places are best avoided at certain times of the year due to either bad weather conditions, local restrictions or high season crowds. Be sure to check for national and religious holidays in the time period of your choice, as they often restrict working hours of local businesses.
Unless you hire a crew, sailing is a very active and hands-on holiday experience. Plan your sailing route in accordance with the people that will be with you. It is not the same if you are sailing with a group of friends or if you are taking your family and small children. There should be at least one person with some previous sailing experience. When at sea, mistakes can easily happen and can be costly. Consider who will be coming on board with you and consider hiring a local skipper. Doing so will help with navigating local areas and finding the best hidden spot to anchor, thus making the journey much more enjoyable.
Familiarize yourself with the infrastructure of the areas you will be visiting. Knowledge of local marinas, ports and anchorages will save you from unnecessary stress. Some countries offer better sailing infrastructure than others which can mean all the difference when sailing, especially for those less experienced. Be sure to have your license in order as you could be facing fines if stopped by the local authorities without having proper documentation.
When planning your sailing route, consider the distance you are willing to travel during the trip. Make use of one of many sailing distance calculators and boat route planners available online, primarily the one integrated within Google maps. There is a big difference between sailing 100 nautical miles or sailing 300 nautical miles in a week. It is also dependent on the type of vessel you will be chartering. Some boats are better suited for longer distances than others. Motorboats are also less dependent on weather conditions and winds than sailboats and catamarans. Keep in mind that stopping at each marina or port requires time and preparation.
Keep in mind the unpredictability of weather and be prepared to adapt accordingly. Unlike holidaying at a resort or hotel, sailing holidays are heavily dependent on weather conditions. Sail routes and itineraries can become obsolete if you are forced to remain anchored for a day or two due to bad weather. Familiarize yourself with the area you’re visiting and be prepared to improvise and adjust if needed. All the more reason to hire a local skipper who can help you find alternative destinations and activities if the circumstances change.
Sailing along popular routes and visiting popular tourist destinations often means dealing with high sea traffic and big crowds of tourists. This can lead to congestion in marinas, especially in smaller towns scattered around the Adriatic and the Medditerranean. However, if you decide to be a bit more adventurous and head off the beaten sailing path, you’ll have a chance of uncovering small coves and bays with a bit more privacy and space.
Plan your days
Even though sailing can be overwhelming, especially for beginners, it can also be the most fulfilling holiday you will ever take. It is important to plan your days, for example who will be in charge of what duties, where you will spend the night and what activities will be on the agenda that day. There is something truly magical about spending a week on the sea. Your morning coffee or tea will taste better, meals made on board will feel like a unique culinary experience while swimming and snorkeling away from the crowded beaches will make you wish you could spend every summer holiday on a boat.