You are the captain now!

Top tips for newly qualified skippers just about to embark on their first-ever bareboat charter!

Planning

Check out our bareboat charter page!

Do you have a plan A and a Plan B? Possibly a C? If not, you should probably think about jotting down at least a plan B. Things happen at sea that is sometimes out of your control, the job of a skipper is to take control of the things you can!! It’s worth, if not just for peace of mind, to have a plan B when it comes to route planning. The winds can change, the anchorage could be full, your children might be fighting or you are running low on gin whatever the reason plan for eventualities.

Questions to ask yourself

Is the Boat safe?

Bareboat charters 101

  • Are all your lines out of the water?
  • Is the gas turned off?
  • Is everything stowed away safely?
  • Is your radio on CH16?
  • Are your fenders in the lockers?
  • Do the children have lifejackets on?
  • Are your winch handles in the winch pocket and not left in the winches?
  • Are your hatches shut? Especially your deck hatches?
  • Have you checked your engine? (WOBBLE: Water, Oil, Bulge, Belts, Look (does it look okay?) Electrics)
  • Are the beers in the fridge cooling for when you are back in port?!

Crew

  • Are your crew happy?
  • Does someone onboard what to do if you go overboard?
  • Do you know where the life jackets are?
  • Does anyone in your crew know how to make a MAYDAY call?
  • Do they feel sick?
  • Have they been fed?!

**TOP TIP: You sail to the ability of the least able crew**
Sailing with children should not be seen as a daunting task, in fact, it is an incredible thing to do with your children. An idea, especially when chartering with young teens is to give them a responsibility each day. Child A is in charge of making sure all the lines are nice/throw to shore. Child B is in charge of hatches etc. Be creative. Don’t shout at them!

Challenging winds – mooring and sailing.

Check out our weather page to see when the challenging weather hits your desired sailing area.

Mooring

Mooring can undoubtedly be a stressful part of sailing. People standing on their bows waiting for you to overturn, your crew not throwing a line that hits the shore, people standing on the harbour wall screaming instructions that you cant hear. It can all get a bit much without the added stress of a crosswind. Mooring shouldn’t be stressful when everyone knows what they are doing.

**TIPS for mooring in CROSSWINDS**

  • Prep the yacht ahead of schedule. Fenders, lines and crew all appointed and aware of what they need to do.
  • Get the strongest (with the best aim) to throw the windward line. This is the most important line to get to shore first.
  • Have enough speed to combat the wind, but not so much that you can see the fear in the eyes of the person catching your lines!
  • When going astern, motor as close to the wind as possible into your spot. This gives you some drifting room if you have a gust.
  • Start going astern as far away as possible…it might look funny but this gives you so much way you have complete manoeuvrability of the yacht!

Sailing

Sailing in gusty areas or certain times of the year can be daunting to a new skipper. Particularly in Croatia where you have the Bora wind, or in Greece when you have the Katabatics running off the hills. You can experience some gusty sailing almost everywhere in the world. Read our weather page to find the best time of year to sail in your desired destination.

**Tips for GUSTY sailing**

  • Mainsheet on the winch – always. Get into the habit of having the mainsheet locked off on the winch, with the jammer (breaks) open. This allows you if need be, to dump the main which will de-power the boat thus not scaring the life out of your crew. Its a win win.
  • If you’re thinking of reefing, its time to reef. Reef before you NEED to reef. Is it the kids day to be captains? Chuck in reef! If the wind doesn’t pick up as much as you thought, great! Chuck the sails back up! Nothing worse than trying to reef in heavy winds. It scares the crew and it’ll shake you up (trust me – we’ve all been there).
  • Check the weather. It’s normal that charter companies will not allow you to sail in a predicted force 6.
  • If it’s not “reefable” weather, but the gusts are strong, appoint one of your well-fed, warm happy crew to sit with the mainsheet so they can either ease or dump.

For further information on how we support you on your first charter please email us here!

Let’s take you sailing with Captain Ning!

The Boatbookings Brokers have delivered another fantastic summer season in the Mediterranean. Crewed Catamaran charters continue to rise in popularity; they are extremely safe for children, provide double cabins for couples and lots of sociable volumes for families. Now that the 2019 Mediterranean season has closed, where can you go this winter to escape the dark winter nights in search of paradise?

The Caribbean continues to be the popular choice for many yacht charterers, especially around the British Virgin Islands. The Grenadines are increasing popular as the season develops, but the area we would recommend for winter 2020 is South East Asia. Phuket is easily accessible from many international hubs and provides great island hopping. You will also enjoy cultural tours and mesmerising diving opportunities. Check our 7 night Phuket crewed catamaran itinerary for inspiration.

BLUE MOON is one of our favourite Lagoon catamarans in Thailand. Not only is BLUE MOON one of the newest Lagoon 52s in the area but she has a spectacular crew. Our clients rave about Captain Ning, his knowledge, experience and expertise. See a recent testimonial from one of our last charter.


M.S’s Review: 5 Stars *****

“ Captain Ning Rocks! We had an amazing family Christmas sailing from Phuket around Phang Nga bay. We made it all the way down to Koh Rok`s stunning turquoise sea and white sand beaches. The whole family love Thai food so we chose to eat Thai all week and we were amazed at how fabulous every meal was – definitely exceeded out expectations. We had never sailed on a catamaran before so we were all thrilled with how smooth she was and how much space and comfortable we were.   Captain Ning knew where to take us to and timed it to ensure we avoided the busy tourist times and best of all was when we got the sail up, turned the engine off and went with the wind…. ”

We know that you will love your time around Phuket and would really recommend taking your family and friends on a Thailand adventure over the winter months. Let the Boatbookings Broker Team help you today!

The New 110 Sunreef Power Multihull Superyacht

Sunreef yachts continue to go from strength to strength. Since the commission of Rafael Nadal’s 80 Sunreef Power earlier in the year, the Polish superyacht manufacturers have just announced they will launch a larger model. The 100 Sunreef Power is due accommodate 8 guests in 4 suites and scheduled for delivery in 2021.

© Sunreef Yachts

The 110 Power will span four decks weighing in just under 500GT. She will feature distinctive automobile design with sweeping lines, lots of glass and expansive volumes throughout. We cannot think of a better yacht charter destination than island hopping in Croatia or the Balearics to really make the most of her design. You would love it!

© Sunreef Yachts

The 110 Power will continue to accommodate the growing trends of an extensive beach club on the aft deck and large tender garage to house your favourite water sports. The socialising spaces continue to impress with easy access to the bow through the main saloon giving you easy access to the bow. The Sunreef 110 Power will host up to 9 crew members to take care of your every wish. Watch this space!

Spending the night in Split.

Before or after your yacht charter in Croatia, a visit to Split should most definitely be on your to-do list. Most of the surrounding ports in Split are only a 10-15 minute taxi from the beautiful city of Split.

Sailing into Split, catching sunsets and watching dolphins.

Restaurants and Bars

Hidden in underground chambers or on beautiful Venetian streets, there is a wide variety of restaurants for everyone in Split. Traditional Croatian food and contemporary fine dining is both available throughout the city. Be sure to visit the palace for some live music, Croatian wine and historical underground tours. Anthony Bourdain once stated that ‘Croatia is the next great thing. If you have not been there, you are… an idiot! I am an idiot’.

Bokeria

Grilled Octopus, traditional lamb shank, truffle pasta, and cuttlefish are some of the best options from this fabulous restaurant. This restaurant is most definitely worth a visit pre or post charter.

The History behind Europe’s Venetian Capital

The story behind Split is one of the most diverse in Europe. The story resonates from Greek settlement in the 3rd century followed by a Roman invasion and taken by Venetian rule in the late 14th century. Venetian architecture can still be seen all over the city. The infamous Venetian Palace was constructed and the city grew around the palace walls.

After the world war, Croatia was transformed into Yugoslavia and this city experienced industrial growth alongside a large shipbuilding industry and a very dynamic port. Despite the destruction caused to Croatia during the Yugoslavian war in the 1990’s however, soon lost its industrial hold during the years following the liberation. The main industry now in Split is tourism. The city is full of hidden gems, beautiful hikes, beach clubs and some of Europe’s most fascinating architecture.

Get in contact with one of the Boatbookings Broker’s to find out more about your net yacht charter in Split.

Vegan Yacht Chefs

A rise of veganism worldwide has meant that there is more demand than ever for chefs that can cater to a vegan diet. A vegan diet involves cutting out animal products like meat, fish, dairy and eggs and in Great Britain in 2016, there are estimated to be around 540,000 vegans. Therefore, we have found our favourite yachts with chefs that can cater to vegan clients in the Bahamas, the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera and Greece.

NITSA

NITSA is based in Fort Lauderdale and available to charter in the Bahamas. Chef Katie grew up baking long before she learned to cook. Over the years she’s been able to study a wide variety of cuisines, including time in Florence, Italy and has developed an appreciation for myriad styles and flavour palates. At the same time, she’s seen the effects (good and bad) of how food & nutrition relate to the quality of life—personally, professionally, and medically. It encouraged her to leave New York City after a decade in the book publishing industry to study with renowned vegan chef, Alexx Guevara, at his culinary center at The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu, California.

From there, she worked with Chef Alexx at Sanctuary Treatment Center, where she co-directed the nutritional and culinary program at this boutique women’s residential rehabilitation, including teaching classes, where the focus was on restoring clients’ dietary and nutritional health alongside their own recovery. Currently, Katie directs the culinary program for GroundSea Fitness, a yoga & wellness retreat held several times each year in the Berkshire Mountains, where she creates and executes this ovo-vegetarian program, including the addition of tonics, house-made teas and elixirs, and locally-sourced bone broths.

SOLO

Based in Genoa in summer and Antigua in winter, SOLO Chef Gionata was born in Italy and has been a Chef for 25 years, working for many VIPs in some of the best restaurants in the world. He received a Michelin star and have been reviewed in the best gourmet guides. As a superyacht Chef, he believes that the cuisine served is not only a showpiece but nutrition as well.

His passion for food varies from creating the perfect roast dinner to a 7-courses degustation menu to show a whole range of different cooking techniques and products. He also specialises in vegan, vegetarian and low-calorie diets. He is also up to date with all the latest cooking techniques, methods & equipment so that he can keep up with the best and latest restaurants. Cooking demonstrations with the guests either at the table or in the kitchen are also a special touch he likes to offer the charter guests.

MINOU

Marco is a native of Sardinia and after graduating from the Italian Chef Academy, he began working on the Costa Smeralda. His passion and curiosity led him to enrol in masterclasses of vegan and vegetarian cooking, bakery and pastry-making and gather a growing following. Marco has also taught classes of Italian and Sardinian cooking. To this day he is often invited to cook private dinners abroad.

Provisioning on a bareboat charter!

In October, the Boatbookings London team visited Croatia to evaluate the Bali 4.5 and to discover and test out new itineraries and anchorages.

If you are anything like the Boatbookings brokerage team and love your food – here are some food ideas for you! Follow our provisioning list so you won’t be disappointed with your lunches!

Part of the team after the 40 minutes of shopping!

TIPS

Due to having the flu, I was to look after the bags and water while the rest of the team picked up the food.

– Be prepared and write a list! Don’t go in blind. Plan what you will need. There’s nothing worse than preparing lunch and forgetting that you didn’t buy salt….like we did!
– Delegate someone to sit with the bags while others go off to get the food…leave all the water with the bags so that you don’t exhaust yourself!
– Vegetarian lunches are great while cruising. Have your locally sourced protein for dinner.
– Find out exactly what will be on the yacht prior to writing your list!

Provisioning list

Whether provisioning for the Amalfi Coast, or exploring the cays in the Exumas, provisioning for a week’s charter may seem daunting, but do not to threat! This can be a fun exercise when you know what you are going in to get!

Be organized, planned and get excited for all the fantastic cooking you will be doing!

Fresh Food:
– 10 tomatoes
– Box of salad
– Garlic bulbs
– Carrots
– Courgette
– Lemons
– Bananas
– Honey Pomalloe
– Mushrooms
– Peaches
– Shallots
– Red / yellow / green pepper
– Cucumber
– 30 eggs
– Chilies
– Mangos
– Raspberries

Dried foods:
– Bag of Almonds
– Bag of pistachios
– 2 x Tortellini
– 2 x Gnocci

Dairy:
– 2 x mozzarella balls
– 1 ricotta pot
– Feta bar
– Milk
– 2 x Camembert
– Natural Yoghart
– Butter

Misc:
– Balsamic vinegar
– Salt and Pepper
– Olive Oil
– Ketchup
– Coco-Cola
– Bitter lemon
– Tonic water
– 2 bags of crisps
– 2 x Hommous
– Nutella
– Pesto
– Coffee
– Tea

Breakfast:

6 Guest Frittata
  • Olive oil
  • 3 shallots 
  • 1 diced red pepper 
  • 1 diced yellow pepper 
  • 1 diced courgette
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crumbled feta
  • Crack of black pepper
  • 8 eggs and a knob of butter 

Breakfast

Simple breakfast
  • Butter
  • 12 eggs 
  • Hot chilies
  • Fresh bread
  • A Spoon of ricotta with the eggs
  • Mango
  • Raspberries

Lunch

6 guest bruschetta and salad
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots 
  • 4 balsamic glazed tomatoes
  • 1 diced yellow pepper 
  • 4 tablespoons of ricotta
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rocket
  • Pesto for drizzling
  • A crack of black pepper

Lunch

Carbs, with a side of carbs and salad – PERFECT! Pesto Gnocchi, Caramalised onion bruschetta with a fresh greek salad.
  • Olive Oil – everything
  • Half a loaf of toasted bread – bruschetta
  • 4 balsamic glazed shallots – bruschetta
  • Mozerella – bruchetta
  • 3 tomatoes – salad
  • 1 diced green pepper – salad
  • Half a cucumber – salad
  • crumbled feta – Gnocchi
  • Salt and pepper – everything
  • Rocket – Salad and Gnocchi
  • Pesto for the Gnocchi

Eating fresh food on the back of a yacht in a pretty anchorage for lunch is possibiliy one of the best things you can do in life. Food always brings family and friends together, its a great time to talk about the morning’s sail and discuss the options over the next following days. The best way to view a country is from its coastline, speak to one of our team members today about chartering.

Your Croatia Yacht Charter Gourmet Guide

Food is an integral part to the overall success of any holiday. We all have our favourite French dishes, both sweet and savoury, as well as our go-to Italian pasta dishes, Greek treats and Spanish sweets. But what do you know about Croatian cuisine?

Our Charter Broker team have just returned from 5 days sailing Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands to find the best tables for your 2020 summer sailing adventure. Get ready for mouthwatering cuisine, sensational seafood and luscious lamb dishes!

Konoba Vala, Bobovišca

The island of Brac is just 10 nautical miles away from the historical city of Split, but feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Croatia’s favourite yachting city. The main town of Milna provides the perfect first setting for your summer yacht charter, but if you’re looking for a smaller hamlet, try the quaint fishing village of Bobovišca. Konoba Vala is a rustic restaurant looking out onto lush vegetation and those magical Croatian cobbled boardwalks. You must try the locally Grilled Calamari, served with spiced Mangold (part of the Chard family) Delicious!

Konoba Bako, Vis

Just under 30 nautical miles further south of Bobovišca lies the popular island of Vis. Vis has to be one of your stops on your Croatia crewed motor yacht itinerary, well known for it’s military history and bunkers. You must also visit the ever popular Biševo Blue Cave, and the magical Green Grotto. Spend your days anchored in your own private bays, enjoying water sports and ultimate tranquility, When you’re ready to head into port, Komiza is the perfect town to spend the evening, sampling Croatia’s best fish dishes. Konoba Bako is the must-visit restaurant for dinner; request a table on the water and indulge in the best octopus you’ve ever had. We really recommend the braised octopus in red wine, as well as the house grilled lamb chops. Sample the house wine and take in those spectacular sea views.

BOKERIA, Split

Your itinerary will unfortunately have to come to and end at some point and there is no better place to disembark that the ancient city of Split. Home to the enchanting Diocletian’s Palace, built for Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th Century, Split perfectly blends history with modernity. BOKERIA will blow you away with their service, selection of wines and gourmet treats. Some of our favourites include the Sous-Vide Octopus which is finished on the grill, as well as the Lemon and Cuttlefish Black pasta. This could be the best pasta dish you’ve ever had.

Croatia will deliver your every wish and surpass your expectations. From medieval cities to buzzing beach clubs, spectacular scenery by day to stargazing by night, we know you will have the best Mediterranean yacht charter to date. Contact the Boatbookings broker team today to make this reality!

Crewed cats in the Exumas

2 top Crewed Catamarans in the Exumas/Nassau/area in the Bahamas that have not been affected by Dorian.

We all witnessed with grief the unimaginable destruction brought upon Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands by hurricane Dorian and we pray for the fast and smooth recovery of the stricken areas.

Regardless, the Bahamas remains one of our most popular year-long yachting destinations: Dorian only affected the above-mentioned islands but the rest of the islands is as beautiful as always.

In any case, the majority of charter vessels have always been based in the Nassau cruising area. The Exumas combine a protected sailing area with magic sandy beaches, turquoise waters and high temperatures all year long. Some of the most popular charter vessels in Nassau and the Exumas are crewed catamarans

AMURA II

AMURA II is a lovely Lagoon 560, with a professional crew of 2 (captain and hostess/chef). Based all year long in Nassau, AMURA II will also consider one-way charters starting Nassau and finishing in the Exumas; this will allow you more time in order to explore the islands!

SEA SENOR

Available out of Nassau for both day charters as well as for longer period cruises is SEA SENOR! Excellent catamaran with a very experienced crew, ideal for short escapes out of Nassau! Feel free to contact now our expert broker team and start planning your next crewed catamaran charter in the Bahamas.

M/Y SILVER LINING – EXUMAS

With the terrible misfortune, it seems fitting that we have a yacht called SILVER LINING. Berthed in the Exumas, she is an excellent alternative to chartering in the Abacos.

The stunning SILVER LINING is still available for Thanksgiving in Nassau to cruise the Exumas. Although Hurricane Dorian caused devastation in the Northern Islands of the Bahamas, there are still hundreds of untouched islands in the Cays. The Exumas is a 100 mile stretch of stunning coastline and turquoise waters where you can enjoy beautiful anchorages and wonderful fresh food.

Exumas header

Must see

The Tropic of Cancer beach, also known as Pelican beach is a must-see on Little Exuma. The sand is blindingly white, not just lightly coloured as many ‘white beaches’ are described. The sand itself radiates the sunlight that bathes it to create a blaze of light unique to this beach. If ever there was a picture postcard, then this beach truly is it:

Swimming Pigs!

Big Major’s Cay is home to the mystifying swimming pigs! It is widely believed that the reason the pigs swim in this area is down to their intelligence. Pigs are extremely intelligent, and they know tourists will come and feed them, hence why they will always swim out to you!

Stocking Island amongst other islands in the Exumas is home to Stromatolites, the oldest known macro-fossils on earth. They hold the biological activity of thousands of years.

Wildlife and nature

If you are a lover of marine life and nesting sea birds, then Moria Harbour Cay National Park is a must-see. Sand dunes, beaches, mangroves and seagrass all located between Great and Little Exuma. This area covers 13,440 acres!

The Yacht!

SILVER LINING is the perfect yacht to take you around the Bahamian paradise with a great crew on board, Captain Peter and chef/stewardess Ginny are a highly proactive team who are keen to ensure a memorable experience for their clients.

She offers 3 ensuite cabins, perfect for a family or group of friends. A well presented enclosed flybridge with a large dining table. The cockpit has easy access to the sea for fishing and swimming. Huge sunbathing area on the bow.

BBQ grill to cook the catch of the day! A great selection of water toys including wave runner, wakeboard, skis, SUP, airhead inflatable tube, 2 floating islands, snorkelling gear, fishing gear and beach set up with chairs. For an additional cost, clients can hire the 36ft Aquila power cat which also comes with a crew member giving a higher level of service on board.

Get on contact with us today to see how you can enjoy SILVER LINING on your Thanksgiving holiday.

Spend Spring Break 2020 in St Barths

Summer in the Mediterranean may be coming to a close but your winter getaway is just around the corner. With just over 100 days until Christmas, it’s time to start planning for your 2020 Caribbean adventure. Our crewed motor yacht destination of choice has to be St Barths!

If you love St Tropez, the Pampelonne Beach Club culture and chic nightlife, St Barths is the Caribbean island for you! Spend your days anchored of Nikki Beach St Barths, shop till you drop in Gustavia and enjoy dinner in Bagatelle or La Guérite. What more could you want for your 2020 Spring Break getaway? The only thing we can think of is a yacht to take you there. Welcome the Benetti 108 Supreme, LULU!

LULU may be a small package but she packs a punch! You will benefit from a superb tri-deck layout, offering lounging, dining and social spaces galore, as well as a jacuzzi! An experienced captain, a top chef, a service orientated crew take your Caribbean yacht charter experience to new heights. We are excited for you!

If you have already experienced St Barths, why not try the Bahamas for Spring Break 2020? Go swimming with the pigs, dive Thunderball Grotto or just kick back and relax in some of the clearest waters on the planet! We look forward to showing you the way in 2020.