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Old 02-04-2021, 02:36   #1
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Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

HI friends, we are a family of 4 (kids aged 9 & 11) and are looking at a bareboat charter around the Ionian Islands (potentially a Lagoon 450F) mid July 2021 (husband is obtaining his RYA Day skipper and I will get my competency) My questions please to the experienced members of this forum - would you recommend 1 or 2 weeks? Also, recommendations for type of cat (we are expecting some friends to join us). Also, any other tips for us would be appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2021, 05:12   #2
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

We did 7 days in 2018 around that time going south from Lefkata. It was amazing, although we had zero wind and only sailed a few hours on a few days. We did it as part of a family flotilla that NauticEd arranged that continued on for a second week. They all had catamarans from sunsail I believe. We were on a captained monohull with a hostess (Mike and Esty) from https://oasisailing.com/ It was nice because I could do as much as I wanted (or not!). But they knew the islands inside and out (he made the itinerary for the group) they both made amazing food and pointed us to all the best restaurants. Our kids had other kids to play with (I would absolutely do something with a group for that reason alone).

I’d do the exact same trip again in a heartbeat and we had a ton more locations to explore.

Some of the cats (they were all 45’+) had trouble in some of the towns getting a space on the quay and had to anchor. It was a mix of confidence and physical space I think.

I am partial to Lagoons with a large fly bridge if going with a cat.
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Old 02-04-2021, 05:24   #3
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

Distances in the Ionian are short and both one or two weeks would be fine.
Most charters stop for lunch somewhere and go somewhere else for the night.
I would expect them to be very heavily booked by now for July. Are there still boats available? Most of the charter boats in Ionian are monos but there are a few cats.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:13   #4
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

thanks so much for your comments - still plenty of Cats around July obviously due to Covid (otherwise I would expect they would be all booked out). Haven't checked whether there are available flotillas (we definitely want to do a group so kids have other mates). Re skippered boat - does the captain stay on the boat with you the whole time? Did you find it a bit intrusive or lack privacy?
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:29   #5
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

For any charter go to www.latesail.com. They have 700 charter companies and all ther boats have a discount. It is buyers market so you can make an offer but not over 20%.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:08   #6
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

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Originally Posted by Liesaj View Post
Re skippered boat - does the captain stay on the boat with you the whole time? Did you find it a bit intrusive or lack privacy?
They did stay on board and had their own cabin (bunks). I donít think you get much privacy on a sailboat anyway (even a big cat) .. especially WITH kids. Lol. Our original desire for a captained boat was because we hadnít sailed the med before and this was our first cruise with the kids. Just the fact that we didnít need to cook, clean or be anxious at night about the boat mad it a much more relaxing vacation.

They would have completely left us alone if we wanted, but they were awesome people and we invited them to join us for dinners aboard and ashore and even did some activities together. They watched the kids one night so we could go out which was a bonus. We really became friends over the week. But they were also extremely professional at the same time.
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Old 03-04-2021, 13:14   #7
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

Sounds a bit tight on timing if you're doing Day Skipper and Competent Crew in a week. Or have I misunderstood?
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Old 03-04-2021, 13:49   #8
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

in the Ionian Sea there are a good number of Charters with or without skippers. The biggest are Sunsail/Moorings and Dreamyachts. Both have a good number of 44 - 50' catamarans available. Dreamyachts tends to specialize in Lagoons and Sunsail/moorings in Leopards. You might check out the Covid protocals. I was planning on going to Greece in October and found they are closed until further notice. I think things may change by this fall but not sure about Julu.
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Old 03-04-2021, 13:52   #9
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

The Ionian is perfect for a first bareboat charter. Light to moderate winds in the afternoon. Lots of places to stop and easy for a lunch stop and swim.
I am assuming you will have a Day Skipper license by the time you go as this will be the minimum accepted by a bareboat rental. Try and get an ICC certificate before you go. If you join the RYA they will do this for free. You need to send them a copy of your Day Skipper theory and practical. One week goes fast, two weeks makes it more leisurely. Both are better than not going!
Have fun.
Ps read all you can about Mediterranean mooring. It is not too difficult.
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Old 03-04-2021, 15:44   #10
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

Two week vacations are always better than one.

The first time my husband and I chartered a sailboat in the Virgin Islands, we did two weeks and it was wonderful. The first week we stayed on a private 45 monohull, that came with the captain/owner and his girlfriend who was an excellent chef. They were also both dive instructors and knew the area, so they showed us all the best spots.

We did the second week on our own, on a 40í monohull. We had our own 22í sailboat at home and weíre pretty competent sailors. But it made it much more relaxing to have a local show us the waters that first week and give us some great inside knowledge.

The first week was actually less expensive and it included beautifully prepared meals. Although we definitely had some excursions out on our own, it was like sailing with another couple, having meals together etc. So it was nice to have the second week just the two of us.

But if youíre sailing with kids, you wonít have that much time alone whether or not you have a captain. So Iíd do at least the first week with a captain. You may get lucky and find one who can provide some instructions in some water sports for your kids. Our captain let us take the helm as much as we wanted and participate in the planning and navigation. He was an excellent sailor and it was great to pick up some pointers from him.

Iím sure youíll have a wonderful trip whatever you choose.
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:29   #11
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

Further to the basically sound advice given above:
1. Wind in this area usually starts around noon and dies in late evening. If you want to sail and not motor, there is no point moving out from your night stop before 11:00-12:00.
2. On the other hand if you follow the above, you would probably have difficulties in finding room to berth on town quays and even to drop an anchor in a suitable bay.
This is to be expected in a normal year, in this Covid blasted time it may be less crowded.
3. Consider chartering a monohull! this will make the room for finding berth much easier - remember, a cat needs a double room (and two free places that are not adjacent on the quay will not help you).
4. If this is your first sailing trip consider a flotilla. In addittion to the companies mentioned above we see flotillas of "Sailing Holidays' being managed very efficiently - they will also solve the finding room to berth.
5. If you sail alone, be ready to anchor in a bay with a (long) line secures to fixed point on the shore like a rock or metal bollard prepared by the local authorities. This is standard procedure in this area as many bays are small and crowded. Foe a cat - two lines to the shore.
6. If you sail alone, be sure that you are familiar and happy using the dinghy, be it rowing or using an outboard.
7. There are basically three main places to start your holiday:
Gouvia on Corfu, Lefkada Marina and Preveza Marina (Preveza town is on the mainland about 6 miles north of Lefkas town).
Corfu is a base to go to Paxos/Antipaxos islands to the south of Corfu, Mourtos/Sivota and Parga on the mainland, and maybe Kalami and St. Stephanos on N/E of Corfu and back. May be done in the 6 net days you will sail if you take a one week charter.
From Lefkada or Preveza I will recommend going south. Too many places to enumerate in short post here. I will just mention the islands: Meganisi, Cephalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada itself and Kalamos to the east of Lefkada, and further south and less accessible in one week - Zakhyntos.
Yoy may sail this area for a year without coming twice to the same place.
8. I would recommend to spend two weeks in the area - it will allow you to stop in places you like for more than one night and really enjoy the town or village. In one week you usually come to a place in an evening and leave next day. Not really soaking down the culture and way of life.
Just think what will happen to your plan if the weather will stop you from sailing for a day or two (it may happen even in July...)
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Old 04-04-2021, 01:56   #12
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

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Originally Posted by Liesaj View Post
(husband is obtaining his RYA Day skipper and I will get my competency)
In general, sailing license or certificate which is valid for navigation in Greece is an official appropriate document issued by any Sailing Association or any other Marine Authority. It is usually a document with picture id on it.

Certificates may be rejected by Port Authority if, they have explicit limitation of sailing to less than 12 nautical miles from shore and/or explicit limitation of sailing to daylight only (for example RYA Day Skipper).

National sailing certificates as well as ASA, The NauticEd SLC, IYT, RYA certifications are recognized but a sailing experience declaration may be required by the local Port authorities for the skipper and co-skipper.

Daylight Certificates may be rejected by the Port Authority and holders of daytime licenses are advised to ensure they upgrade to offshore and nighttime license or at least obtain an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). Greece is not amongs the states that have adopted UN ECE IWC Resolution 40 but practically ICC (International Certificate of Competence) is accepted by Greek Port Authorities.

https://www.charter-greece.com/en/sa...censes-greece/
also I now check for bareboat charter in Croatia "RYA Day Skipper Certificate of Competence/Power, Sail or both is allowing charter in Croatia but skipper must have license for marine VHF station or GMDSS-VHF
ask your charter company in Greec before you pay charter
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:17   #13
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

In the past I've met charter boats in ionian where no one have actually been on a boat before and was taken out for a 15 minutes instruction. Do they now need a certificate?
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Old 04-04-2021, 02:49   #14
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
In the past I've met charter boats in ionian where no one have actually been on a boat before and was taken out for a 15 minutes instruction. Do they now need a certificate?
always you need a certificate in EU water for sailing for boat over 3m and any engine power. if you sail a charter boat in Croatia without a valid skipper license in the list issued by government Police,port authority, custom,cost guard size yacht and late sale this boat on auction if company don't pay huge sum of money. In Croatia charter companies have insurance also for this situation. Valid skipper be in check-in late skipper stay on some island and crew sail yacht without a license,police stop and seize yacht for minimum 60-90 days and keep yacht on the most expensive marina. 200-1000€ day
experience law don't say anything for the experience. skipper write contract he declares he know how sail and all responsibility is on him
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Old 04-04-2021, 03:00   #15
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Re: Bareboat Charter Ionian Islands

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Originally Posted by more View Post
always you need a certificate in EU water for sailing for boat over 3m and any engine power. if you sail a charter boat in Croatia without a valid skipper license in the list issued by government Police,port authority, custom,cost guard size yacht and late sale this boat on auction if company don't pay huge sum of money. In Croatia charter companies have insurance also for this situation. Valid skipper be in check-in late skipper stay on some island and crew sail yacht without a license,police stop and seize yacht for minimum 60-90 days and keep yacht on the most expensive marina. 200-1000Ä day
experience law don't say anything for the experience. skipper write contract he declares he know how sail and all responsibility is on him
I was not talking about croatia but about ionian.


You don't always need a certificate in the EU . My EU flag state has no requirement for a certificate for pleasure boats and I've only been asked for it once in the EU and nothing would have happened if I did not have one.
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