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Old 08-04-2006, 12:20   #1
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Questions about chartering in the Med

We are considering chartering a sailboat somewhere in the Mediterranean this summer. If any of you have info/suggestions about it and/or to any of our questions, we would really appreciate your help. Some of our initial questions are:

What's the best/easiest sailing area for first-time European chartering (we've got lots of New England USA and Caribbean sailing experience)?

What's the best month to go?

Any particular charter companies recommended?

Is communication much of a concern where we don't know the language?

Would it be wisest to tie in with a flotilla?

Thanks much!!
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Old 08-04-2006, 13:15   #2
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A major yachting captial akin to Ft Lauderdale is Antibes, France. While I can't suggest a charter company or particular boat, I can say that this is where a lot of the action in the Med is.

If you want to save $$... try out one of the Eastern European countries. There are some good values to be had there.
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Old 09-04-2006, 22:26   #3
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Sunsail are about the best unless you go with a much smaller higher quality crowd - but that could also cost more.
Sunsail do have flotillas and bare boat available in most major med locations - France, Spain, Balearic Islands etc. Check them out on the web to get more detail.
Seans right - south of France is v.nice. Balearic Islands also.
Cheapest way to get to both is via Heathrow UK - then a local low cost air carrier like Easijet or Ryanair.
Enjoy
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Old 11-04-2006, 16:33   #4
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Thanks to both for the info.

I've done some research at the Sunsail sight. Lots of places look very inviting. It appears the winds may be very light in July and August in many locations.

Anyone know anything about the "certification" that's required to charter and sail in the Belarics?
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Old 13-04-2006, 00:34   #5
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Sunsail talk about qualifications being demonstrated in their brochures, but I have nothing formal and it was not a problem for me to charter from them in the Caribbean a few years back. I think as long as they know you are competent - you'll be OK.
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Old 15-04-2006, 07:11   #6
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If the Balearics is your final choice you may also wish to check out rates with Alboran Charters based from Palma - Mallorca. It's only 20 minutes by cab from the airport.

I've no connections other than stopping over at their marina for the winter but they have a mixture of modern and not so modern 38 - 44 footers and I suspect could be better value than Sunsail. If it were me I'd insist on one of the most modern yachts.

They also operate the franchise for Moorings - but all all those yachts are looking pretty tired.

The guy who owns the company speaks good English - Fernando - www.alboran-charter.com.

Cheers
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Old 15-04-2006, 19:02   #7
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We're still researching, and not sure yet which region we prefer.

John, thanks for the info on the charter company; we'll check them out.
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:32   #8
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If you have been sailing in Maine then the Med is really easy - there is either no wind or too much wind. Most boats spend a lot of time motoring. In the Western Med there hundreds of marinas - 1 every 10 miles of so.

The Greek islands can be very windy indeed during July August - squalls from 15k to 50k in a matter of minutes. The Balearics in summer are now a nightmare. So crowded that if you have not parked up by mid-day it can be a problem.. In some lovely anchorages like Solier you can walk across the decks to the shore...

Moorings also operate out of several Med locations, Sunsail are Good - the flotillas allow more experienced people to sail 'away' for a few days and then redezvous back with the fleet.

Language is not a problem - Almost all the countries in the Med who are in the tourist trade speak english and almost all charter companies.

Michael
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Old 14-06-2006, 15:11   #9
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Come to Greece

I have been working as a charter skipper for long enough to be able to answer some of your questions.

First of all Greece is the best place to charter - say all clients I have had who have also chartered in other countries. Better than the Carribean at least. The reasons are the islands (unique) the friendliness of the Greek people, the weather and the sea that is practically free from nasty reefs, tides, etc. Navigation is easy.

If you have sailed extensively you might find a flotilla a bit limiting. Flotillas are popular with families and people feeling uncomfortable on their own. They end up as a small expatriate community afloat.

Communication is no problem as most Greeks understand and speak some English. In fact they are happy to have an opportunity to practice.
France and Italy is not the place to be unless you can speak French and Italian respectively. The French simply refuse to speak anything other than French and Italians find English very difficult.

Best month to go is any time from April to October. At the extremes of this time you may get some cloud and even some rain but mostly it is bright and sunny. July August may be too hot for some people staying on land but on a yacht there is almost always some refreshing breeze.
The risk is sun burn if you expose yourself too much too soon.

What was said about too much wind in July/August is true of the central Aegean (Cyclades). There are also some less windy areas like the Ionian islands, the Sporades and of course the Saronic gulf.

To give you an idea, when you have force 4 or 5 in the Saronic it may be 6 or 7 in the Cyclades. Even then with some local knowledge you can plan a course that will make it comfortable. I do this the whole time with my clients.

Charter companies are very much on a uniformly good business-like level. I have worked with most of them. They all have devoted clients and they all have some dissatisfied clients.

I also have a charter yacht which may be available for your time frame but I only charter her with myself as a skipper because I have suffered damage from self sail clients for about 10 years. If you came along you would be free to sail her yourself but I need to be there to make sure there are no problems.
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Old 23-06-2006, 10:03   #10
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There is a great new site out there called sailing advisor.
http://www.sailing-advisor.com/medit...t-charter.html
They go into some really good details about chartering around the world.
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Old 23-06-2006, 14:18   #11
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Skipperaris,

Excellent info. Thanks!

It turns out we're not going to Europe this summer; will keep you in mind for when we do make it "across the pond."
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Old 23-06-2006, 14:19   #12
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Optimom,

Very interesting site with LOTS of info.

Thanks.
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Old 24-06-2006, 09:40   #13
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We recently sailed our own boat from Suez to Gibraltar. If we were to return to ONE region to do it again - we'd go to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. We found cruising around Turkey to be delightfully un-crowded, cheap, safe, historical, and quite interesting. There's a well establshed boat building industry and charter vessels range from large to small.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:20   #14
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Hiya,

We just got back from a week in northern Croatia (our Lavezzi is in charter there). Gorgeous, reasonable, friendly. But as mentioned elsewhere, either no wind or too much. (We were there the last week in June.) But lots of lovely little anchorages and picturesque villages. I can hardly wait until our boat frees up in November and we can sail a few more weeks there!
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:11   #15
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Skipperaris,

What a terrific gallery of photos! Very impressive to see so many smiling facing on that beautiful yacht. Those waters look very very inviting! Thanks for sharing!

Jef
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