5 Things You Should Know About Sailing Vacations

By: Charter, Destinations

Considering a sailing vacation is often just a far off fantasy for plenty but once you obtain the confidence through your sailing education it feels like a charter boat is that much closer to becoming a reality. 

Have you obtained ASA 101, ASA 103, and ASA 104? Are you confident in your ability to head out and bareboat charter?

Here are a few things you should know.

  • Yes, You Can Do It – You can charter a boat. You’ll submit your sailing resume to a charter company and they’ll explain your options. Obviously, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew but this is the time when you can consider a catamaran or possibly a larger monohull. If you don’t feel ready you could also charter a crewed boat or a partial crewed boat where a skipper comes aboard for a few days and helps you gain some confidence before you set off on your own. Also, there are options for by-the- cabin charters as well. There is nothing holding you back.
  • Only By Boat – You have to recognize that getting out and enjoying a bareboat charter is one of those experiences that deliver long-lasting memories. So often there are places in destinations that can only be seen by boat. Also, from the ocean your perspective changes. Soon you’ll explore secluded coves and desolate beaches while your charter boat is anchored just offshore. Imagine being anchored off the coast of Greece or swimming to a beach bar in the British Virgin Islands or a night in Portofino. Some things are just better by boat.
  • Learn to Sail –  Don’t have the required courses to sail? You can learn to sail while on a sailing vacation. ASA Affiliates around the world offer “Learn to Sail Vacations” where they take care of everything. On vacation, you will not only explore the destination but you will also earn your ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing, ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising and ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising certifications.
  • Skippered charters – One of the benefits of using a charter company can be finding a company that can help you find a skippered yacht. Your vacation becomes an easy hassle-free sailing adventure. Skippers will have local knowledge and you’ll be treated like a first-class passenger. Skippered charters are great for sailors and non-sailors alike. Even the most experienced captain wants to take a break and let someone else do all the work. A crewed charter means your meals will be prepared for you and your itinerary will be crafted around your preferences. In some instances the crew makes reservations at restaurants you would have never known about and they find anchorages that only a local would know about.  
  • Consider a Flotilla. Flotillas are groups of boats that make up a small fleet. These fleets are lead by a flotilla leader that will plan the voyage and help setup the individual boat charters. Flotillas are a great way for sailors of all skill levels to charter boats in new or exotic destinations with a group of supportive sailors to assist when necessary. ASA schools and affiliates offer flotillas around the world. Find one on our Flotilla page.
  • What licenses do I need to hire a yacht and sail myself? The skipper of a yacht has primary responsibility for the safety of the crew and yacht at all times. Many destinations require just relevant experience demonstrated by a sailing resume. To charter in the Mediterranean, it is mandatory that you hold a sailing license recognized by the local port authorities for bareboat charters in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Malta, Montenegro, and Turkey. ASA offers an IPC (International Proficiency Certificate) Other destinations that require a license include Madagascar, Seychelles, Thailand, Brazil, and Sweden. For Belize, the port authority will issue a certificate of competency and an application is made on arrival. You must take your proof of competency and original certificate with you on your charter. 

So, are you ready to do this? Let’s look a bit more closely at the differences between a captained charter, bareboat charter, and a flotilla to help you make your next move.

Take a Look at Some of Our Charter Vacation Resources: