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Old 31-01-2014, 10:52   #1
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Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Hi all,

New to the forum here and if all goes to plan the proud owner of an Oyster 435 within the next 6 weeks!

She is currently lying in Croatia (near Split) and I would like to bring her back to the south coast of the UK over this summer.

My current thinking is to split the trip up into 3 or 4 legs of 2 weeks each. As it is likely I will be taking new crew for each leg (some experienced, some not) my thoughts are to do an easy week of day sailing port/anchorage hopping then crack on to a big passage the second week to eat up the miles.

For example leg1 could be island hopping from Split to Dubrovnik then a big passage down to Messina or Palermo. Leg2 over to the balearics, leg3 the algarve and leg4 the Biscay.

I've had a lot of experience as a charter skipper/cruising instructor in Croatia and done many deliveries (biscay 3 times, atlantic twice, north sea, irish sea etc) but this will be my first time doing big passage planning as skipper on my own boat so as you can imagine its a bit daunting.

I would love to hear from anyone that has done any similar trips?

what are your thoughts on my plan?

What essential reading is there? pilot books / cruisers guides for the med?

Paper charts for the whole trip? totally essential or backup gps?

Where are the best places to go on route for the 'easy cruising' parts?

Anywhere that's unmissable?

What good marinas to leave the boat for a few weeks / month while i have to return to the uk for work? secure / friendly / accessible / not too expensive. Is it possible to get weekly/monthly rates?

I hope to crew through friends and acquaintances from sailing but if I need to get qualified people on board (biscay for example) where's the best places to go?

I'm looking forward to hearing all your advice and comments.

thanks,
Pete
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Old 31-01-2014, 11:55   #2
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Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Couple of off the cuff comments

Charts. Have general coverage via paper buts its impossible to be fully charted with all ports etc on a trip of that nature. You will rely on your plotter at times.

The trip north up the Portuguese coast is against the prevailing wind. Be prepared for slow or motoring or waiting .

Sotogrande is reasonable, everyone in the Balearics will be eye popping in summer.

If going into Portugal make sure your registration and VAT papers are all in order in case your meet " her"

Good luck. I'd allow more time personally ( opps I realise its several 2 weeks period )

Dave
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:44   #3
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

I would reccommend asking charter providenca for few advices before you go. its a professionall charter company in croatia, i had great experiences with them and they been wery helpfull
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:44   #4
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Thanks for the advice:

Didn't know about the prevailing wind going up portugal?

Where is Sotogrande? I tried googling it but no luck? Anyone know what valencia's like if i wanted to leave the boat near that area?

Yes I've heard portugal are quite strict on VAT and things. I will have the original deed of sale, a notarised proof of VAT paid from Greece but still need to sort out a T2L (to clear croatia customs) as the boat was there when Croatia joined the EU.

just saw this article from the RYA Do you keep your boat in Croatia? | News | News & Events | RYA
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:23   #5
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

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Originally Posted by p8ete View Post
Thanks for the advice:

Didn't know about the prevailing wind going up portugal?

Where is Sotogrande? I tried googling it but no luck? Anyone know what valencia's like if i wanted to leave the boat near that area?
We call it "Portugal Norder" means downwind from North at the coast.

Few years ago I was in Sotogrande, nice to stay but not cheap.
Sotogrande - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SOTOGRANDE MARINA
remember that we had some trouble because of our draft..was a VO60, draft 3,75m.

Several miles further at the rock you could stay in La Linea, the spanish border to Gib. La Línea de la Concepción - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:43   #6
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Thanks for the advice:

Didn't know about the prevailing wind going up portugal?
As you come round St Vincent you'll get a N'ly till past Sines then as you near Lisbon the wind usually dies off and its motor on.. this can last as far as Peniche or sometimes all the way up the coast with bursts of NNE'lies of 4-5 in the afternoons.
Where is Sotogrande? I tried googling it but no luck? Anyone know what valencia's like if i wanted to leave the boat near that area?
I would not bother with Sotogrande.. if your going that far W your better off going the extra 30 - 40 odd miles to Gib where the airports close enough to walk to..lol. A much better and cheaper option is Almerimar with Almeria airport 30-40mins away.. good long stay marina.. I'd go so far as cheapest in the Med and good folks and services.

Yes I've heard portugal are quite strict on VAT and things. I will have the original deed of sale, a notarised proof of VAT paid from Greece but still need to sort out a T2L (to clear croatia customs) as the boat was there when Croatia joined the EU.
If your UK flagged I would not lose sleep passing through..
just saw this article from the RYA Do you keep your boat in Croatia? | News | News & Events | RYA
I'd go along S Sicily rather than through Messina.. less hassle unless your into the sight seeing.. then when you run across to Sardinia its worth the 60miles N to Alghero on the W coast for a couple or 3 days.. if its not in the High season you can tie to the dock for free for 3-5days..
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:58   #7
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

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less hassle unless your into the sight seeing
Agh no Boatie, I find it great fun dodging all the lunatic ferries !!

dave
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:26   #8
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

thanks boatman, really helpful tips. some follow up questions:

Yeah i've done up through messina before at night on a delivery. not much fun, even had some s**t on the shore shining a laser pen at us!

If leg1 is croatia to sicily and I'm heading round the S coast, where would be a good place to leave the boat for a week or 2 if i had to head back to the UK? Catania? Syracuse?

Leg2. Is it possible to day sail and port hop along the s coast of sicily and the w coast sardinia up to alghero? just leaving the big passage between the two islands?

Is it possible to leave the boat in alghero for a week or 2?

This could make leg 3 sardinia to almeria? Probably via Ibiza for a bit of a party!

We have family in the algarve (salema) so was thinking of leaving the boat there for a while. Lagos seems to be the obvious choice but a bit pricey? Do you know much about this area? any advice?

When is the latest you advise leaving that area to passage back to the UK? My instinct says late august / early september?

Is it worth stopping anywhere up the west coast of portugal? Lisbon for example? Although by the sound of what you've said I'll need to be stopping for fuel most likely!

Can I call you if i need some experienced crew?!

Thanks again.
Pete
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:43   #9
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Completely irrelevant to your posting, I know, but we're just about to bring our own Oyster 435 Athene of Lymington next Spring up to Marina Kastela near Split.

Make sure the previous owner has paid all his bills, will you? I'd hate to be the victim of mistaken identity!

Seriously, enjoy your trip. We did it in the other direction but took about ten times as long to do it. If you want information on ports in Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, Portugal or NW Spain, the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki is a useful additional resource.

GORDON KNIGHT
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:01   #10
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Thanks Gordon,

The boat I'm (hopefully) purchasing is N'Tiana, which was launched in 1986. She's also a ketch but without the cutter rig (is it worth adding?).

When you say next spring? Do you mean spring 2014? I probably plan on leaving around that time (maybe early may?) from just north of split (marina agana). Might be nice to cross paths?

Again off topic but do you know of any good resources for 435 owners?

Pete
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:25   #11
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Originally Posted by p8ete View Post
thanks boatman, really helpful tips. some follow up questions:

Yeah i've done up through messina before at night on a delivery. not much fun, even had some s**t on the shore shining a laser pen at us!

If leg1 is croatia to sicily and I'm heading round the S coast, where would be a good place to leave the boat for a week or 2 if i had to head back to the UK? Catania? Syracuse?
The Godfathers home town.. San Leone.. half way along the Sth coast.. you'll have folk trying to get you in on the 1st pontoons on the right as you enter but go for the guys on the opposite wall.. a lot less traffic.. Syracuse is crap..

Leg2. Is it possible to day sail and port hop along the s coast of sicily and the w coast sardinia up to alghero? just leaving the big passage between the two islands?

Is it possible to leave the boat in alghero for a week or 2?
Yes to both the above..

This could make leg 3 sardinia to almeria? Probably via Ibiza for a bit of a party!

We have family in the algarve (salema) so was thinking of leaving the boat there for a while. Lagos seems to be the obvious choice but a bit pricey? Do you know much about this area? any advice?
Know it well and would suggest Portimao.. I prefer it to Lagos but prices are pretty similar I think in the summer.
When is the latest you advise leaving that area to passage back to the UK? My instinct says late august / early september?

Is it worth stopping anywhere up the west coast of portugal? Lisbon for example? Although by the sound of what you've said I'll need to be stopping for fuel most likely!
August/Sept is good and top up in Cascais.. less hassle than going up the Tagus and a good train service into the city for sightseeing.. then next stop Baiona, Spain
Can I call you if i need some experienced crew?!
No worries.. if I'm not on a job..

Thanks again.
Pete
its suddenly looking busy till June/July so far.. unless there's a change of plans by someone...
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:40   #12
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by p8ete View Post
Thanks Gordon,

The boat I'm (hopefully) purchasing is N'Tiana, which was launched in 1986. She's also a ketch but without the cutter rig (is it worth adding?).

When you say next spring? Do you mean spring 2014? I probably plan on leaving around that time (maybe early may?) from just north of split (marina agana). Might be nice to cross paths?

Again off topic but do you know of any good resources for 435 owners?

Pete
Small world! We looked at Ntiana when she was for sale in Athens back in the 1990s and later bumped into her (metaphorically speaking) in Knidos in Turkey.

Athene was rigged as a cutter when we bought her; we replaced both forestays with Furlexes as we sail short handed. We find it a brilliant rig for going to windward and the very slight loss in close-windedness is compensated for by the added drive.

Also, reefing down is easy with furling gear on both headsails. We've sailed off the wind in 35 knots plus perfectly comfortably with just the staysail. Of course, you'd have to add staysail tracks and turning blocks, runners and deck U-bolts to attach them to (plus secondary winches unless you've already got them), so it's not a cheap conversion for Ntiana. Anyway, it may be worth considering for the benefits above.

Yes, we're heading up to Croatia in May 2014, but are unlikely to be there until late June. We're spending a couple of weeks in Albania and a month in Montenegro, whereas I guess you'll be heading over to Italy from Croatia. Nevertheless, let's keep a mutual eye out. I know what Ntiana looks like; you can view Athene at Message Buoy - a Cruising Guide on the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki.

I'm not aware of any special forums for Oyster 435 owners, but you should be entitled to membership of the Oyster Owners Club (see Login) - I don't think you have to have bought your Oyster through Oyster Marine or Brokerage to qualify.

GORDON
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Old 22-07-2014, 07:12   #13
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Re: Croatia to UK Passage Plan

Hi,

This is very late, but did you consider the canal du Midi (or Canal des Deux Mers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), which would cut out the whole of the Iberian peninsula - liniking sete to Bordeaux. It might gain time and avoid heavy weather. 270 miles - so about a week or so, 53 locks - unstepping the mast in Sete and stepping in Royan (perhaps). It could be a good option.

how did the trip go?
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