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Old 17-06-2019, 17:23   #1
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Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Right, I've read plenty of negative posts about greed, expensive marinas, crowd, etc. However, Croatia is in my driving radius, which is a tremendous help. Hence I decided to give the country a chance.

There are a few things unclear to me:
#1: any alternatives to ACI marinas to keep the boat long term? (right, I found even more expensive ones, that's not the direction I want to go ). Can I keep a non-EU registered (but EU VAT paid) boat just in a town quay?

#2: Sojourn tax: how do they/I proove the number of days spent on the boat if I arrive and leave with my own car? I think I would spend around 30days on board, thus don't intend to pay the full-year rate.

#3: Any other taxes to be wary of?

#4: Any formalities for a non-EU (Channel Islands) registered boat?

#5: Am I just better off with a base in the neighboring parts of Italy? Seems cheaper...
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Old 18-06-2019, 00:35   #2
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

There are town quays that do have long term boats, but town quays are not where I would keep a boat. The boat will not be properly monitored as it would in a marina where they generally are 24/7/365.
I would keep your boat on an Island such as Brac or Hvar in an ACI marina where the boat will be safe and well monitored and prices about 50% of the mainland, especially those near an airport. Transport is very cheap and efficient even with a car. We can fly in to Split at 0930 and be on the boat on Brac by 1300
You only need to pay the sojourn tax for the period you will be on the boat so weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc. You will have to pay the safety and navigation tax for the year.
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Old 18-06-2019, 00:43   #3
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Yes, casual berthing in Croatia can be very expensive but there are loads of places to anchor and reasonably priced buoys and also some town quays are pretty reasonable as well. On the plus side, facilities are very good and safe. Supplies such as food are good quality and reasonably priced, similar to UK prices. Coffee, beer, wine out are very reasonable. Meals vary from cheap to expensive in tourist traps, but you will always be able to find somewhere reasonable if you shop around
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Old 18-06-2019, 01:16   #4
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Thanks for the insight! Indeed, security is important, thus quays are out for long term. Do the marinas collect taxes?
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Old 18-06-2019, 02:07   #5
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Marinas do not collect the taxes, but virtually all harbours have a harbour master who does. It is a fairly easy process. When you enter Croatia just be careful to go to the first port of entry by the most direct route once you enter their territorial limit. You should get a T2L issued to prove EU tax paid status if possible. That will help in most EU countries. Your flag is irrelevant, there are a number of non EU boats with tax paid status as it is more convenient.
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Old 18-06-2019, 02:18   #6
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

The sojourn tax is dated, as long as when you get inspected by a patrol boat or officer on the quay, it is in date, no problem. If you go in a marina, town quay or sometimes on a buoy, the franchisee will take the papers and possibly inspect them so that may also be a check. The papers they need are the valid sojourn tax, nav and safety tax, and possibly a third party insurance certificate. A patrol will inspect the lot including passports, ICC or equivalent, VHF licence to operate. In our experience courteous but beurocratic if there are deficiencies and you will probably be fined.
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Old 18-06-2019, 02:44   #7
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Thanks for the T2L hint, I'll get one before Brexit! .
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:31   #8
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Indeed, a big pile of bureaucracy, but I think I am getting to the bottom of the paperwork and still a year or more from our arrival to the area (boat is still in the UK...).

Regarding the sojourn tax: do I understand correctly, that each time you visit, you "buy" an appropriate ticket? My typical case: 4-5 long weekends (3 nights each/5x150HRK), one full week and a fortnight (8+15 days: 350+600HRK), totalling 1700HRK/230EUR. The tax rates are a really nasty design, no savings if e.g. I have two weekends and a full week within 30 days, and of course as a single handler I pay the same as two families sqeezed on a 10m boat
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:06   #9
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
Indeed, a big pile of bureaucracy, but I think I am getting to the bottom of the paperwork and still a year or more from our arrival to the area (boat is still in the UK...).

Regarding the sojourn tax: do I understand correctly, that each time you visit, you "buy" an appropriate ticket? My typical case: 4-5 long weekends (3 nights each/5x150HRK), one full week and a fortnight (8+15 days: 350+600HRK), totalling 1700HRK/230EUR. The tax rates are a really nasty design, no savings if e.g. I have two weekends and a full week within 30 days, and of course as a single handler I pay the same as two families sqeezed on a 10m boat

Anyway, stopped crying about the tax, it's part of the deal in my case. I'll check marina prices in the region that's the bigger part anyway. I see some reasonable seasonal offers, maybe a combination of 9 months dry storage + 3 months water in summer give a better overall figure.
We're part way into a journey to buy a boat (~11.5m) and will want to berth it in Croatia for at least one, probably two seasons before a sabbatical on board.

We just came back from a trip to Croatia which was a holiday but also viewing boats and scoping out marinas. We toured a number and had extensive discussions with marina managers.

Some observations; there are many more than ACI, small chains or individual marinas. Some will gladly take your boat, but pricing starts at the 10 or 12m category and you'll pay that even if smaller.

Some cheaper ones are as people mentioned, further from airports etc (so don't have the same draw for the charter companies to fill their spots) but also be wary of those that don't have great cruising grounds within easy reach, as those weekend trips won't seem as fun when you only have one, less than ideal, first anchorage you can reach on day one etc!

We identified marinas by google and also I put google maps on satellite view and scoured the whole coast!

One we visited and were impressed with, but possibly isn't the right location for us, was Marina Punat, if you haven't already looked.

Good luck!
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:30   #10
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Quote:
Some cheaper ones are as people mentioned, further from airports etc (so don't have the same draw for the charter companies to fill their spots) but also be wary of those that don't have great cruising grounds within easy reach, as those weekend trips won't seem as fun when you only have one, less than ideal, first anchorage you can reach on day one etc!
Absolutely right! One hour driving from the airport in a hire car is OK, but loosing a day because the flight is missing a ferry connection is a no-go.

Quote:
One we visited and were impressed with, but possibly isn't the right location for us, was Marina Punat, if you haven't already looked.
Still on the expensive side of things (around 4k€ for a 10m boat) but seen worse.

I have yet to choose a region. True, the South adds another 5 hours driving compared to Kvarner but it's also a much richer cruising ground.
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Old 18-06-2019, 06:15   #11
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
Absolutely right! One hour driving from the airport in a hire car is OK, but loosing a day because the flight is missing a ferry connection is a no-go.


Still on the expensive side of things (around 4k for a 10m boat) but seen worse.

I have yet to choose a region. True, the South adds another 5 hours driving compared to Kvarner but it's also a much richer cruising ground.
Also in the North, we visited Mitan Marina which was a clean and neat operation (Novi Vinodolski).

Sadly there doesn't seem to be a whole lot in it on pricing, ~4k "normal" and up to ~8k for the real hotspots like Trogir as far as we can tell! I think Marina Veli Iz of the coast at Zadar was one of the cheaper ones...husband has a spreadsheet somewhere comparing all of them, options for part wet/dry/all ashore etc. We'd be flying in so over 4 or 5 trips a year, a cheap flight option vs a more expensive one could easily cover off a 2k difference in berthing costs.
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Old 18-06-2019, 07:38   #12
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

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Originally Posted by bellasailor View Post
Also in the North, we visited Mitan Marina which was a clean and neat operation (Novi Vinodolski).

Sadly there doesn't seem to be a whole lot in it on pricing, ~4k "normal" and up to ~8k for the real hotspots like Trogir as far as we can tell! I think Marina Veli Iz of the coast at Zadar was one of the cheaper ones...husband has a spreadsheet somewhere comparing all of them, options for part wet/dry/all ashore etc. We'd be flying in so over 4 or 5 trips a year, a cheap flight option vs a more expensive one could easily cover off a 2k difference in berthing costs.
After plenty of research it seems I have to live with a 4k-ish figure for marina cost. 3000 (for 10m) shows up here and there, but certainly not walking distance from an airport and middle of a rich cruising ground. No free lunch... Islands are sometimes cheaper, but what you saved spend on the ferry trips (e.g. 5 boat visits to Brac from Split will add 300 a year, Korcula around 800EUR/year) not to mention the time lost with the ferry rides.
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:04   #13
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

Tom, be careful about yr VAT status. read the Cruising Association guidance on their website but basically your boat (even though VAT-paid status now) will lose its VAT status if it is not in the EU at the time of Brexit. I would suggest you place yr boat over on N coast of France somewhere shortly before Brexit actually happens (if it happens!). Near Cherbourg perhaps. St Vaast is a great place and if you do not place yr boat there it makes a wonderful visit. Get used to some enormous tidal ranges and current on that coast.

On yr way from UK/Ireland my suggestion would be to stay out a long way across Biscay so you are outside the continental shelf and then make the first stop at Portosin/Ria de Muros but as you go round Finistere stay 30-40 nm off. For hundreds of years the rocks round there have been a bit of a graveyard. Don't be tempted to stop at La Coruna unless you really have to bec you will then have to fight against the inevitable westerlies to get around Finistere. If you are a member of the Cruising Association you will get 25% discount at Portosin. Also a good yard for haulout, anti-foul etc.

The other thing to consider in Croatia (I have been there since 2016 but there are many who hv been there a lot longer) is that while flights are easy in the summer it gets a bit like Greece in the winter when you can no longer get direct flights. I have kept my boat in Italy somewhere for each winter where there are plenty of direct flights all the year round (Trieste, Certosa/Venice and Ranieri/Bari). I then go across to Croatia each summer. I suggest you check marina Betina/Murter as well as Marina Preko/Uglian. Latter has regular ferry connection across to Zadar from where you can get a bus to the airport.
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Old 18-06-2019, 10:07   #14
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

If you have a chnance to leave the Med... Run, rabbit run. It is fa to expensive. Expect 3500 - 4000 per year at as Marina.

Does not matter if Italy, Slovenia, Greece or Croatia. Not to mention the Western Med Ilands, Southern France and Spain which are even more expensive.

For example: a master professional earns 7/per hour and the Marina charges you 120/for his hour.

Not really a place to feel comfortable
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Old 18-06-2019, 10:39   #15
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Re: Croatia as a base for a 33' boat - financials?

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Originally Posted by moseriw View Post
If you have a chnance to leave the Med... Run, rabbit run. It is fa to expensive. Expect 3500 - 4000 per year at as Marina.

Does not matter if Italy, Slovenia, Greece or Croatia. Not to mention the Western Med Ilands, Southern France and Spain which are even more expensive.

For example: a master professional earns 7/per hour and the Marina charges you 120/for his hour.

Not really a place to feel comfortable
On the West coast of Scotland, where I am cruising this year, you'll easily pay more for a pontoon than 4000/year.

Canaries, Azores are cheaper but what are your options other than marina hopping?

Bound to Europe because of work & family, anywhere further adds costy flight tickets and take more time to get there.
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