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Old 20-01-2013, 12:58   #1
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Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

Hi all

We're planning a week long bareboat charter to Italy in mid-june this year and were hoping for some advice. We would be looking to pick up either a 44ft or 49ft boat for our group.

Our current plan is to start from Salerno or Procida on the amalfi. Having read some of the previous posts, I am somewhat concerned about finding a decent mooring/anchorage for each evening. It seems the marinas will be very expensive (may be able to stomach 80e for the odd night, but not every night) and there might not be sufficient space even if we are willing to pay. The anchorages sound tricky and possibly not calm depending on wind/swell.

The idea is really to have a relaxed cruising week. Given that we have some, but not huge amounts of experience, are we possibly heading to the wrong area? The surroundings are amazing - having spent some time hiking there, but I don't want to be out of our depth either. As an alternative we were considering the tuscan islands (which sounds like they can still be a bit chilly mid-june), but our preference remains for amalfi..

Any tips would be much appreciated!

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Old 20-01-2013, 13:20   #2
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

Not the Amalfi coast but we had a great time circumnavigating the island of Elba last year. There are plenty of free anchorages and it was really a great time. Sailed almost the entire time.

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Old 20-01-2013, 14:07   #3
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Originally Posted by Erikh View Post
The idea is really to have a relaxed cruising week. Given that we have some, but not huge amounts of experience, are we possibly heading to the wrong area? T!

You are absolutely not heading to the wrong area -. You are heading to one of the world's greatest cruising grounds. We went into the Salerno Marina (Porto Novo) this year and there were bunches of charter boats available there. There are slathers of places to anchor - hopefully you'll have a dinghy because the land travel - including the crazy bus ride down the Amalfi Coast - is worth planning for.

If they'll let you go 100 miles or so, a trip to the Aeolian Islands would be a great choice. Stromboli is an active volcanoe that is awesome to see at night. You'll pinch yourself.

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Old 20-01-2013, 21:50   #4
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Having run down that coast late last summer, I think your concerns are valid. I would lean more towards Procida. We found free anchoring there off a beautiful little fishing village and we found some of the most beautiful anchorages ever off of Capri, also free. You might skip the Blue Grotto though. It was swarming with commercial boats. Since you have islands as well as the protection of Cap Miseno five miles from Procida, you should easily be able to get out of the weather while at anchor. I believe you will find fewer good protected anchorages on the southern Amalfi. Now if you are thinking of marinas every night prices will be better down towards Salerno. Have a wonderful trip. You won't go wrong.
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Old 21-01-2013, 09:05   #5
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

Take a look at the Italy section of the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki - the Tuscan Coast and Tyrrhenian Coast sections - which has all the information you'll need to make a decision. If you're planning to spend time ashore visiting sites such as Pompeii, Herculaneum or Paestum then you're better off on the Amalfi coast but the sailing is much better IMHO among the islands on the Tuscan coast as long as you don't leave it too late to reach harbour, since it can get busy even in June.
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Old 23-01-2013, 01:05   #6
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

Here is a link with the section of Sea-seek concerning this part of the Italian coast. As I remember there are not a lot of possibilities as marinas or safe anchorages are concerned in the proximity of Amalfi itself. You'll see the photos and maps Amlfi port is quite small...
But the area between Procida Island and Agropoli (a safe marina to visit Paestum, one of the most interesting archeological site in the area) is not so large. So you can sail a week long between Procida and Agropoli, visiting Ischia, Procida, Capri Islands and along the coast : Amalfi, Positano, Agropoli... Enjoy it !

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Old 23-01-2013, 18:34   #7
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

We had a great bareboat vacation to the islands off of Naples in the summer of 2011. We went in early june. The weather was perfect and the crowds were way down from what we were told they are like in July and August. We saw some big thunderstorms over the mainland but while out around the islands off of Naples it was blue sky with prevailing westerlies.

We flew to Naples then took a bus immediately to Solerno were we rented a flat for a few days. We did one day trip via train to Pompei and another via bus to Amalfi and Positono. We thought we might get back to either by boat but did not. Anchorages along the coast seemed rather exposed.

We picked up our boat in Naples. All marinas are med-style (naturally). You are stern-to the quay and pick up lines for the bow that run from the quay. Except for where we picked up our boat, the marinas have helpers in dinghies that will push you into place. The boat had a 2x12 (or maybe 10) plank for getting on and off the boat. It was quite exciting the first time or two, especially trying to bring gear and groceries aboard. The particular marina we were at was a bit sketchy. A homeless guy used a hook to pull a boarding plank out from a vacant boat next to us, and crawled inside to go to sleep. I assume the cabin had been left unlocked. We were there only for the night.

Our first day out we headed to Procida. Our plan was to anchor on the East side of the island. THere were a lot of day trippers out from Naples (it was Sunday) but we finally found a place to anchor. When we tried to connect the windlass hand control, the corroded pins broke off. This was going to be a big problem as we weren't budgeting to be in a marina every night, and that isn't how we like to cruise anyway. Fortunately, I reached the charter company in Naples and they said they could get me a replacement if I could get back to Naples. I took a ferry from Procida, got the replacement remote, and did a little site seeing in Naples while I waited for the return ferry. The rest of the crew explored Procida and did some sunbathing.

The next day we headed to Iscia and anchored in Sant'angelo. It was a little rolly outside so we took the dinghy in to explore and see if there were any slips. There was one, so after a quick walking tour we went back to the boat and moved into the slip. There weren't any officials to help or take our money, but it was a quiet night so backing in went pretty well. Lots of fenders help to compensate too.

We left early the next morning to head around the corner to a cove at Punta Chiarito where there is a hot spring. The bottom looked to be large to medium sized boulders so we dropped one group off to swim ashore for half an hour. Then the next group went. Our dinghy was on the deck, so we didn't want to mess around with it. Also, as in many places, finding a place to tie up the dinghy is not easy.

From there we returned to Sant'Angelo and anchored for the morning until about 1:00. One group dinghied to the beach for a walk and to collect ceramic pieces like archeologists. The pieces came back with us and turned into art projects back home. We pulled up anchor around 1:00 and headed for Capri with a wonderful broad reach in 12-15 kts. As we approached Capri, we thought we might try another night in the marina, until we asked the nightly rate. It was something like 300 USD. No thanks. We continued around to Marina Piccola on the south side. Anchoring was pretty easy. Again though, getting ashore was tough. One of the beach resorts let us pull our dinghy up on their beach, probably because they didn't have a lot of guests and it was nearly 6PM.

We stayed two nights. At one point, we had to move because bonehead anchored so close that as the boats swung we sure to collide. Naturally they had already left their boat. We took that opportunity to take the boat to the white grotto. We anchored off of there and took the dinghy in to explore. Definitely worth a stop. It was a little rolly, so we headed back to marina piccola. We wanted to spend the next day ashore so we anchored as close as we could and swam ashore, climbing out and scaling a small wall. In truth there was a path, but it was a bit of an adventure. We took the bus to the town of Capri, then Anacapri. In Anacapri there is a chair lift that takes you up to the highest point on the island. Of course you can walk, but we chose ride up and walk back down. Go early before the clouds build up. The thermals can cause clouds to form at the top of the island, like a little hat.

We left, heading back towards Iscia and stopped at the Blue Grotto en route. Not everyone wanted to go inside, so one party was dropped ashore by dinghy, then the dinghy returned to the mother ship to wait. We walked from the drop-off point to the line for those coming by land. We probably could have put the dinghy in line with the other non-commercial boats.

After the brief stop at the Grotto, we continued on to Iscia and anchored under the Castello Aragonese. It was a beautiful place to stop. We had dinner ashore that night. The next day we did a walking tour of the castle and learned about the nuns that were placed on seats after they died until they rotted away and were buried.

The next morning we headed back to Naples for our last night aboard. We had a brief encounter with an Italian Navy ship. We did not pick up on the exclusion zone and a RIB with machine guns came out to greet us. They were very friendly about it and escorted us around their ship. The final bit of excitement was coming into the inner harbor in Naples. There are quite a few cruise ships docked there. I noticed that an especially large one did not seem to be tied to the shore. It then became apparent that they were heading to sea directly towards us. We quickly maneuvered to the side of the channel as they slipped by. Since we had checked in with Naples harbor control as required, I assumed that they would have mentioned that the ship might be leaving as we were headed in.

One other note is that there a quite a few environmental zones around the islands that have restrictions on anchorage. They should be marked on your charts or in the Italian Waters Pilot.
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Old 24-02-2013, 10:12   #8
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

Hi Erikh, may I add my piece of advice: my origins are Italian, and I cruise since 35 yrs in the Med.

Since you envisage a very relaxed cruise, and aim to not fork out a lot of money by entering every night in a marina, I should say that perhaps the Costiera Amalfitana is not the best choice for you. (Although an amazing stretch of coast with phenomenal landscapes).

You are true in observing that anchorages are very few and mainly exposed: should you unluckily find yourself in the "wrong" week with heavy SW swells (which could happen in June) I guess it could be not what you are looking for.

In that area, the classic tour of the Isole del Golfo di Napoli described by hlev00 could do, but beware of marina fees that could be very very high (as in Capri...)

Perhaps you could consider as an alternative the advice of Erikh: the isole Toscane offer very good sailing, a very protected harbour in Portoferraio, and even Corsica is from Isola d'Elba a short hop (as far a strong NW mistral is not blowing or forecasted). The weather is not much colder than in Golfo di Napoli, and above all you can easily find shelter from the libeccio (SW).

Fair wind... and feel free to ask more.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:15   #9
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

I would agree with Visarend. In a two week period in June, you have not more than a 50% chance of unsettled weather for a couple of days. And this would be the same risk whether you're in Tuscany or near Naples.

There are many more safe anchorages among the Tuscan islands.
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Old 26-06-2013, 00:12   #10
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Hello Erikh,

I read your post about Amalf cost 2013, I'm also going there next July for a week charter out of Procida. If you can send me a report of your charter I'll appreciate.


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Old 06-07-2013, 02:36   #11
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Re: Amalfi coast 2013 - advice please

I agree with the fact that the Amalfi coast is not so easy for sailing. I was there begining of last June (sailing from Turkey to Corsica) and we left our sailboat in Salerno in order to visit Amalfi by Bus and back by the boat-taxi-trip. And 8 years ago, in July, we hat to sail to Agropoli to get a good protection of winds and swell.
Amalfi coast to my opinion is the kind of area where you sail when it is on your way (from or to Messina for example) and weather forecast are good for at least 3 days. But going especially there at a predefined period could be a source of disappointment.

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