Mistakes to Avoid When You Rent a Boat in Croatia

After gathering the crew and reserving at least seven days for your unforgettable sea adventure, the next step is choosing a suitable vessel for your Croatia bareboat charter. At first glance, it’s not difficult to rent a boat, but there are some mistakes you should be careful not to make when you rent a boat in Croatia. In this blog, we give you tips on how to skillfully avoid them!


1. A charter agency to your liking

Sailboats in the bay on the Adriatic sea - CroatiaThere are over 900 charter companies in Croatia that charter more than 4,000 vessels. It is best to choose a renowned charter agency, one that maintains its vessels well. In case you do not have such knowledge, it is advisable to rent newer yachts (up to 5 years old).

Also, check how far your departure port (charter base) is from the nearest airport. At the heart of the season, especially on Saturdays, big chances are to get stuck in crowds at the airport or traffic jams on the roads.

Lately, Orvas Yachting and several other charter companies have been renting out charters on other days except for Saturday to Saturday exclusively. Be sure to consider this option too!


2. Caution with brand new vessels

In case you want to rent a newly produced beauty that has yet to arrive at your chosen charter base – think again! In Croatia, it is not uncommon for such a vessel to arrive in June or July instead of spring. The best and safest option is to choose a yacht that has at least one year of renting under its belt.


Cabin on the sailing yacht in Croatia

3. Required number of cabins for perfect harmony

Keep in mind that on bareboat charters, the cabins mostly accommodate two people. Most often, these are double bed cabins, and on some vessels, cabins with bunk beds.

If you intend to hire a skipper (and hostess/chef), make sure you have a separate cabin for the crew. Due to the tight space, sleeping in the salon is not advised – except for younger age groups who often do not require any form of comfort.

Besides that, note the number of toilets on board – more than three people to one toilet is not a recommended option.


4. Anchor chain for peace of mind

Here’s a good tip for all anchoring lovers – pay special attention when it comes to the length of the anchor chain! The minimum (also standard) length of the chain on most bareboat charters in Croatia is 50 meters, but often it’s a combination of a chain with a rope which is not as nearly as safe of an option.

Namely, at the heart of the season when many boats are moored in attractive bays, boaters often anchor at depths greater than 10 meters. The golden rule is: the longer the chain, the better the anchor holds – and you sleep more peacefully!

For yachts longer than 55 feet, we recommend having a longer chain than the standard with a minimum thickness of 10 mm. Note that anchor chains should be marked every 10m, be sure to check that with your booking agent when renting. If not, ask your chosen charter company to do so before your arrival.


5. Croatia bareboat charter – bow truster as your best friend

Assuming you do not plan to hire a professional skipper and intend to rent a boat longer than 40 feet, it is advisable to rent a bow-propeller boat. A large number of Croatian marinas have a rather narrow space for manoeuver. Accordingly, good sailing skills are necessary, especially in windy weather. In such situations, the bow propeller is of immense help.


Salon of the sailboat on the Croatia bareboat charter

6. Air conditioning for the hottest part of the year

If you plan to sail the attractive island archipelago of Croatia in July or August on your Croatia bareboat charter – be sure to consider renting a boat equipped with air conditioning. Specifically, air temperatures can then be as high as 35 degrees. In case you are not a fan of sleeping on deck, you will welcome the air conditioner like your best friend. Please note that the air conditioner can only operate while your yacht is connected to external power, or while in the marina. When you want to spend the night anchored in an enchanting bay, you’ll also need a generator to cool your boat.



7. Water toys – say: YES

Renting a sailboat, as well as all other vessels, comes in hand with renting a SUP or kayak. The charter agencies charge extra for this option (about 100 euros/7 days). However, do not overdo it with too many water toys – this will reduce the space for the most beautiful part of sailing – sunbathing on the deck of the ship.


8. Costs… on a diet!

Most charter companies approve early booking discounts which typically run through January 31st. If you decide to rent a boat in Croatia in this way, you can get up to 15% discount when renting a catamaran or up to 20% discount if you decide to rent a sailboat.


9. Rent a boat in Croatia – but don’t forget the transit log!

You should definitely add the cost of the transit log and the tourist tax (1-1.5 EUR per person per day) on the charter price. Depending on the type and length of your sailboat, the transit log is usually between 150 and 350 euros. It almost always involves the final cleaning and underwater inspection of the vessel, mooring at the marina base, then the use of linen and towels and cooking gas. Some charter agencies offer a variety of packages including outboard engine rental, WIFI, airport transfer to the base in case you arrive by plane (and occasionally early check-in). All of the above are often sought after by the customers, so calculate your final cost of the Croatia bareboat charter on time.


10. Three, two, one – go!

Family on the deck of the sailboat on their Croatia bareboat charterMost charter companies in Croatia rent a boat from Saturday to Saturday, and accordingly, there is a large crowd at departure ports. In summer, temperatures can be high. Upon arriving, almost every boater desires to untie the ropes and indulge in the magic of sailing as soon as possible. For this reason, here are some tips:

  • Make sure you have all the food you need onboard. In Croatia, the online grocery store – Jam yacht supply has proven to be the best choice for this.
  • In case you have hired a hostess/chef, send them your Food & beverage preference list on time.
  • Send a completed crew list to the charter agency before your arrival.
  • Consider the early check-in option! The standard check-in time is 5 pm. An early check-in (for an additional 100 – 150 euros charge) means that your vessel will be ready for handover at around 1 pm. If you think you can get to your charter base by then, there are many benefits to be gained in this way.


With these 10 tips to rent a boat in Croatia should be an easy task!

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