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Old 11-05-2009, 03:52   #1
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Bareboating - Greece and Cyclades


My wife and I are interested in chartering a 32 to 36 foot bareboat out of Greece and sailing the Cyclades Islands for 7 to 9 days. I am from the USA/northeast area and have chartered bareboats extensively around in the northeast and Caribbean for over 15 years.

Do any of you have experience chartering out of Greece? Can you recommend where to go and what to avoid in a 7 to 9 day itinerary? What has been your general experience in this region?

Thanks very much for any advice you can offer.


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Old 11-05-2009, 04:05   #2
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Lots of traps to aviod=
one of the big problums many folks enconter is when you charter the boat ,its usally a round trip - the wind blows from the north to the south and a big % of people cannot get the Yacht back on time-because of 25+ knots head winds and then are charged big bucks to get the yacht back to the port where you started- sometimes the wind blows for as long as 2 weeks non stop @ 25 knots or more!!! July/Aug has the longest & highest winds- Great if your not in a hurry- not so good if you need to bring the boat back- They make a killing off people this way, because your paying there captain/crew to wait & then bring the yacht back this could cost you more than double what you thought! Agree to a price if you cannot get the yacht back-Good Luck

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:07   #3
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We chartered a Cyclades/Beneteau 393 out of Alimos in September as part of a flotilla organised by Poseidon Charters out of Montreal. It was a '07 boat so in pretty good shape. We wanted a flotilla as we wanted some history while we were there and my Greek is somewhat lacking. Lots to tell.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:22   #4
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Cycladic thoughts...

Get a newer boat, flotilla if you can for local knowledge. We had the Meltemi in early Sept. and went nowhere for several days, but had ferried to Santorini (don't take a charter boat there!) so it was perfect timing to be on our favorite island - Santorini. Even the huge ferries shut down in a Meltemi, paralyzing all travel. Food was not as good as I had hoped. Fish is sparce and VERY expensive. The "Med is dead" in comparison to the Caribbean/Baja/Belize. Water was chilly, clear, and devoid of all life. Out of a two week charter (min. to do the full circle) we had only one/two days of good sailing. It was either blowing a Meltemi or we were motoring. No rain, islands are very dry, med mooring can be "interesting" in a place like Hydra with 30/40 other boats all med moored to you. If you have only a week I suggest a base already out in the islands and limit your expectations on distance to be covered. If and it a "BIG IF" we head to the med again we have heard good things of Croatia. All said I'm glad we did it but once is enough. Let me know if I can give you some more details.....
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:15   #5
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To add to Namaste's thoughts. I've heard that Dubrovnick Croatia is outstanding. One report before & one after the civil war.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:36   #6
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I've done a number of one-week bareboat charters in the Med and Aegean. My favorite place was Split in Croatia -- I guess my favorite place for sailing anywhere in the world I've tried. It was fantastic! An amazing wealth of beautiful places to see within easy 10 -- 25 mile legs. The only downsides are (a) Croatia still a bit wild, with rapacious cab drivers and underdeveloped infrastructure; (b) very difficult bottom conditions; poor holding at anchor.

I also loved sailing out of Bodrum, in Turkey, which I did twice. The Meltemi was blowing hard both times (both were in August) -- some days 45 knots sustained (not gusts!). But it blows out of a clear sky and we didn't find it too unpleasant to sail in, well reefed of course. It kicks up a big swell when it has the fetch to do so (like in the long Gulf of Gokovo), but it's not a steep sea so its not too scary even when it gets up to 15 feet and more. We were in 40-something foot Beneteaus both times.

Both places have crystal clear water, coolish if you're used to the Caribbean but fine for swimming in, especially in August when it's quite hot anyway (especially Turkey) and you want to cool off.

Turkey has excellent marinas and is more developed and civilized than Croatia. Extremely friendly people and fantastic food.

I think you'll have a blast in either place, or in Greece; just go for it.

Some advice:

1. I can't imagine you'll go wrong in any of the popular charter bases; don't waste too much time agonizing over it.

2. If you're going to be sailing in the Meltemi (late July through September in most of the Aegean), you'll be more comfortable in a slightly larger boat, I would think, than 32 -- 36 feet.

3. If you are new to bare-boat chartering, then be aware that the bane of this is clapped-out abused boats with blown-out sails. Spring for something as new as possible, and try to choose something which you can verify is in good condition. A smaller charter operation might be easier to deal with in this regard.

4. Beware hidden charges like transit log, dinghy engine rental, and all kinds of other crap. Make sure and ask 10 times what is included and what is not.

5. Be aware that some places (like Croatia and I think Greece, but not Turkey the last time I was there) demand an International Certificate of Competence for the skipper, and a VHF operator's license.

6. Bargain hard -- it's a slow year and you should be able to negotiate a deal.
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Old 22-05-2009, 21:57   #7
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For guidance about the various cruising areas of Greece, go to my website. There are sheltered areas, with light winds (Saronic, Inland Ionian), robustly windy areas (the Cyclades - but don't believe the scary tales of incredibly strong winds -the usual is pretty similar to winter Carribean - F6).

Google 'jimb' to find the site - used by sailors throughout Europe.

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Old 24-05-2009, 07:47   #8
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You need some sort of papers saying you can handel the boat.
if it has a nice big stamped mark on it, it will do.

Just tell them that this is good in your contry, and dont get into problems. )
Greece is a very nice sailing gound.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:37   #9
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Sailing Cat this time.

11July to 25. out from Alimos Athen.
hope that the places we go to arent that crowded,
Have a nice holliday all.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:41   #10
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we have been sailing the Greek isls for over 30 years. we love it but,.......take in your mind the fact that at any given moment it can blow 38 kn up to 45 kn! in the 300 bays arround the bottom is poor...we often draged 3 anchors each 15 kg on our 37 ft sailing boat. never leave your boat and go ashore...keep somebodo ON THE BOAT. at night if it blows...get the engine running fast... and get your anchor up...and pray the you havent fouled with the yacht nearby...nowadays we prefur TURKEY, as it easier... GOOD LUCK. MICHAEL.
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Old 12-07-2009, 23:24   #11
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try the Ionian

if you are strict on timing then the Ionian is a better bet, lighter winds and still plenty of history you are less likely to be pinned down anywhere .

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Cyclades, Greece

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