If you’re a seasoned flotilla sailor who holds an ICC, RYA Day Skipper Practical or higher qualification and in search of a new adventure, Bareboat charter might be just what you’re looking for!

The beauty of a Bareboat charter is that you have the freedom to sail where the wind takes you (or wherever you fancy going)!

When choosing your destination, there are many sailing areas across the Mediterranean to pick from. You can even tailor the length of your charter and opt for something which suits you best. Phone us for a chat about where might be the best location for you

When setting sail on a Bareboat charter, it is a good idea to do plenty of pre-planning. This will ensure your holiday will run as smoothly as possible! Below you’ll find some of the key things to consider for your first Bareboat charter.


It is a good idea to do some research into the sailing area. You will likely have done a bit of this prior to booking your holiday but now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty!

To be even more organised it’s best to get yourself a chart (Imray) which will assist you with planning a rough itinerary and where you’d like to visit. We will inform you of the relevant chart number.

You can also pick up pilotage books for your destination. Indeed you may have heard of sailing extraordinaire Rod Heikell, he’s written some fantastic books about different sailing areas filled with local knowledge, history and mooring tips. Some books cover several sailing areas. Amazon is always a good place to start your search.


Do some research on weather forecasting websites. These will show wind speeds, expected swell reports and warning of any potential storms which might be rolling in.

If you have a smartphone there are a number of helpful apps you can download. To begin with, ‘Windy’ and ‘Windfinder’ are never a bad place to start.

You can liaise with our Yacht Charter Team to find out which websites are good for specific sailing areas. You can also ask your charter company when you arrive at the port which local weather forecasting website they use the most and find most accurate, local knowledge goes a long way!

Booking your mooring in advance

Depending on where you are sailing and the time of year, a bit of forward planning can go a long way and help to make your holiday more relaxing. If you are sailing in the height of summer, some ports require you to book a mooring in advance.

You can find local websites through Google for the various ports/marinas and book your stay for a night or two. After booking in advance, you’ll be assisted with mooring your boat (lazy lines or timely hand signals to guide you in with the anchor) and you will then have access to their facilities. Usually you will find shore power, water and on-shore showers (worth every cent!).

Prices tend to fluctuate throughout the summer depending on boat length. You will usually be charged at the time of booking when reserving spots in advance. Please contact our Yacht Charter Team for more information on mooring fees and how they vary from location to location.

Packing essentials

Alongside your usual sailing holiday packing essentials, we recommend you add the following to your packing list:

– Your formal sailing qualifications! A vital part of your packing as you need to present these to the charter company to enable them to process your boat papers, no qualifications – no holiday! If you are chartering a boat in Croatia you will also need a VHF licence.

– Charts

– Pilotage Book

– Printouts of your booking details (joining instructions, marina map etc)

Charter Companies – What to expect

Generally, you will be dealing with our Sailing Holidays Yacht Charter team in the run up to your Bareboat charter holiday. Once you arrive at the yacht base ready to board your home for a week or two, you’ll need to check in with the charter company at their office.

They will give you a thorough briefing about the boat and then you’ll complete the paperwork. Once sorted, if your boat is ready, you’ll be able to hop on board and make yourselves at home.

You can expect to board your yacht from 5pm on the first day of your charter. If you arrive earlier in the afternoon, there will be somewhere close by where you and your crew can have a few cold ones or a bite to eat while you wait. There will also be a local supermarket so you can provision your yacht with essentials for your first few days.

The following morning you will be ready to embark on your holiday! The charter company are your first port of call if you have any problems during your time on the water. They have fast RIBs and useful contacts at their bases so they can come out and assist you if necessary. All their contact details will be in the base information we provide prior to your trip. The charter company will probably give you a copy as well.

When your holiday is coming to a close, the charter company will require you to fill up your boat’s fuel tank upon your return and give the interior a good clean. They will also do exterior checks of the boat for any potential damage, send a diver into the water to check the rudder and keel, and check the engine. The following morning you’ll be expected to strip your bedding and be off the boat by 9am.

Any questions?

If you’d like some more information about Bareboat charter you can check out our FAQ’s section here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a member of our team on 020 8438 1133 or send an email to YachtCharter@sailingholidays.com.