Charter in Croatia: With or Without Crew?

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Credit: Nautika Centar Nava

So, you are thinking to charter a yacht and come sailing in Croatia? Good choice my friend. Now that you have made the decision to come sailing, your next question is probably –  to charter with or without crew?

You have your skipper’s license, and while you haven’t often been sailing by yourself, it seems only right to put that license to good use. You are coming with your family or friends, it is going to be an incredible holiday. You picture finding hidden bays to anchor in, waking up whenever you darn well please, sailing a few hours a day to your next destination, exploring, eating, drinking… the perfect holiday.

Well, yes and no. How much do you really love sailing? I mean the act of physically preparing and maintaining a yacht and taking care of all of the responsibilities that come with it? If you are a mad seamen and salt-water flows through your veins, thanks for stopping by, but read no further – enjoy your summer sailing in Croatia and “mirno more” (calm sea).

Photo Credit: Enrico Cossutta

However, if you like being at sea, but are not too sure about the work required and have never been in Croatia before, carry on, this one is for you.

The Benefits of Having a Local Skipper

As I said, the notion of sailing in Croatia sounds romantic and adventurous, but if you intend on skippering here, have you thought about everything that will require? There are a lot of responsibilities:

  • Maintaining and cleaning the boat
  • Refuelling, monitoring water supply, electricity etc.
  • Monitoring weather forecasts and responsibility for the boat and passengers in rough weather.
  • Documentation and Port control: organising harbour and port space, docking and anchoring fees, presenting the correct documentation where and when needed.
  • Supervising the yacht at anchor
  • Navigation: if you do not know the area well, this will require paying a lot of attention to charts, laying a course and navigating (rather than relaxing, sun bathing, drinking…)

I don’t want to put anyone off, my husband is a sailor and would never dream of sitting back, heaven forbid – relaxing, while someone else did all the work. But, if you picture this trip as a holiday, rather than an adventure, you may want to reconsider skippering the yacht yourself.

It’s just like camping I guess, it always seems like a great idea – and I love camping! But, when it comes down to it, it requires a lot of work – setting up, getting supplies, keeping everything clean and organised. Evenings by the campfire at night are hard to replace, but the rest of it can feel like a chore.

If you have a local skipper you can be guaranteed that they know the area, so will suggest the best ‘secret spots’. They will take care of all of the roles and responsibilities, and you may even learn something in the process. A local skipper will have a wealth of knowledge about the region, be able to recommend what to do, where to go, what to see. It is also, peace of mind to have someone else with experience if something does go wrong – storms at sea, anchor slips, mechanical malfunctions…

The Benefits of Having a Hostess

Just like above, there are other tasks you may not have thought about, for example – hungry? Who is going to cook? Again, if this is meant to be a holiday, do you want to be thinking about provisions, buying fresh produce, bread, etc. daily? While we all enjoy cooking from time-to-time, I can’t think of anything relaxing about needing to do my usual daily chores – in a small confined space, while everyone else enjoying the sun or sea.

A hostess takes care of provisions and daily shopping, as well as preparing two meals a day – breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, depending on your preference. A hostess is typically not a qualified chef, but rest assured that she (or he), will prepare a fresh, tasty menu, most likely Mediterranean in style.

The produce in Croatia is good, so you won’t need to worry about the quality. And, better yet, your hostess will have excellent local knowledge – so she will know where to get the best fruit and vegetables from or fresh seafood.

Fancy breakfast waiting for you when you wake up?

And, cleaning, we all love cleaning, right? Well, maybe not so much. So, if this is your holiday and you don’t fancy scrubbing floors, toilets or unclogging drains… you may want an extra pair of hands.

If you are coming sailing with your family, in some cases the hostess may be able to take care of your children for an afternoon or evening; giving you and your better half a break and some quality time together. NOW it is beginning to sound like a holiday, right?

The Benefits of Having a Chef

As I said above, if you charter, you have the option of hiring a skipper, hostess and/or chef. The difference between having a chef vs. a hostess, is relatively simple. If you opt for a chef, you will receive as many meals as you like and a chef will have a full repertoire of cuisine that they can delight your taste buds with – including being more adept and knowledgeable when it comes to dietary requirements. However, a chef’s duties do not include cleaning the cabins or other such tasks around the boat, simply keeping the galley and salon clean.

So, there you have it; a run-down of what to expect if you decide to charter a boat with crew. This is by no means intended to put you off, chartering and crewing your own yacht. As I said in the introduction, if you are a mad sailor and you love all aspects of yachting, then by all means – sail-ho! But, if you have never sailed solo before and aren’t sure of the reality, or aren’t as confident to skipper solo, then you would be best to rent/charter with crew.

Whichever way you decide, you are going to have the time of your life. Happy sailing!

Thanks to Nava Boats for your inspiration for this piece, learn more about Nava’s fleet and crew here.



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