Sailing in Croatia - The Ultimate Guide with 50 most useful facts – Yachting Inc.

Sailing in Croatia - The Ultimate Guide with 50 most useful facts and Infographics

Author: Yachting Wear

Croatia sailing

Are you a sailing lover wanting to know more about sailing in Croatia?

Great! You are in the right place!

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia (local: Hrvatska) is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It shares a maritime border with Italy, northwest border with Slovenia, northeast with Hungary, and south with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

Why do people love to sail through the Adriatic Sea?

Because of the more than 1,300 islands! The number includes islands, islets, and rocks of all sizes, including ones emerging at ebb tide only. The Croatian islands include the largest - Cres and Krk, each covering about the same area of 405.78 square kilometres (156.67 sq mi), and the tallest - Brač, whose peak reaches 780 metres (2,560 ft) above sea level. The islands of Cres and the adjacent Lošinj are separated only by a narrow navigable canal dug in the time of classical antiquity. The Croatian islands include 47 permanently inhabited ones, the most populous among them being Krk, Korčula and Brač. The islands along the Adriatic's western (Italian) coast are smaller and less numerous than those along the Croatian coast.

Photo: Europe, Croatia

sailing in Croatia

The Adriatic Sea's average depth is 259.5 metres (851 ft), and its maximum depth is 1,233 metres (4,045 ft); however, the North Adriatic basin rarely exceeds a depth of 100 metres (330 ft). 


Photo: Adriatic Sea depth

Adriatic Sea depth

source: Tomobe03/Wikipedia


The coastal water dynamics are determined by the asymmetric coasts and the Mediterranean seawater's inflow through the Straits of Otranto and further on along the eastern coast. The normal tide levels are known to increase significantly in a conducive environment, leading to coastal flooding. Such tides can exceed normal levels by more than 140 centimetres (55 in). The water temperature as 22 to above 33°C (71.6 to 91.4 °F) from the spring to the later fall.


Photo: Adriatic Sea currents

Adriatic Sea currents
source: Tomobe03/Wikipedia


This guide will take you from north to south Adriatic Sea cost in no time. Find out everything you need to know... from island names, city names, sailing routes, sailboat marines, types of ships and much more, and go to an outstanding sailing in Croatia.


Sailing Boats Guide

When renting a yacht, you have the flexibility to spend a sailing vacation on many interesting destinations around the Adriatic sea. To start that, first, you need to choose a sailing boat or a yacht. When choosing a boat, you need to take into consideration a couple of criteria

  1. the number of people who will join you
  2. the sailing destination
  3. the money you wish to spend

There are 5 main types of boats available for sailing

1. Sailing yacht

sailing yacht Croatia

A sailing yacht is a boat that sails by the power of the wind. It has one or single hull and it is mostly equipped with one mast and two sails. Sailing yachts are a very common choice and because of that, you can choose between many sailing yacht manufacturers...for example Bavaria, Dufour, Beneteau and Jeanneau. The main advantages of sailing yachts are:

  • excellent stability 
  • extreme safety
  • great for all who love adrenalin, because boat often heels over
  • charter prices are cheaper than ones for catamarans

The front sail can be rolled up and is called the genoa, jib or rolfok. The lower deck of a sailing yacht is divided into several sections. The forward cabin, mostly located at the bow, one or multiple bathrooms and cabins, the saloon that is usually used as a dining area and common room that can also be used for sleeping. 

According to the size, sailing yachts can range from one cabin, medium-sized with three cabins to the largest with five or six cabins. One cabin sailing yacht has one toilet, a small kitchen and it is ideal for couples who wanna enjoy shorter sailing routes. 

1-cabin sailingboat croatia

photo source: cruiseabaco


Two cabin sailboat is perfect for couples with children or two couples. It has a comfortable lounge area where you can accommodate your skipper or a friend.

2 cabin sailing boat Croatia

photo source: sunbirdyachts


Three cabin sailboat is ideal for families with children or group of friends. It has two toilets, a kitchen and a lounge. 

3 cabin sailing boat Croatia

photo source: sunbirdyachts


Four cabin sailboats had two toilets, a kitchen and a big sitting area where you can make dinners with family or friends.

4 cabin sailing boat Croatia

photo source: sunbirdyachts


Five cabin sailboats have a big kitchen, large sitting area and three toilets. It's perfect for bigger families or groups. 

5 cabin sailing boats Croatia

photo source: actionquest


Finally, six-cabin sailboats are ideal for large groups and they provide the greatest comfort with three toilets, big kitchen and large lounge area.

6 cabin sailing boats Croatia

photo source: croatia-yachting-charter


Sailing yacht interior examples

sailing yacht croatia

sailing yacht croatia

photo source:


2. Catamaran

catamaran Croatia

A catamaran is a boat, larger than a sailing yacht, that combines two or more hulls, also known as pontoons. You can find two types of catamarans: 1. catamarans that are propelled by the power of wind and 2. catamarans that are powered by an engine, so-called power catamarans

Because of the two-hulls, a catamaran is extra stable to sail. You can find many catamaran brands like Lagoon from Bordeaux, Nautitech and Fountaine Pajot made in France, Catana and Bali also from France, Privilege made in the USA, Leopard, Aquila etc. Many people say that French build the best exterior and that the Germans design the best interior. The catamaran is originally designed by an aristocratic fishing community in the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India.

The main advantages of catamarans are:

  • catamarans have 2 engines, one in each hull
  • can be sail- or engine-powered
  •  perfect for larger groups
  • excellent stability that reduces seasickness
  • faster because of the needle-like shaped hulls
  • a lot of space inside and on the deck
  • easy access into the water
  • a smaller draft that allows you to sail in shallow waters
  • easy to manoeuvre

According to the size, catamarans can range from 3 to 8 cabins.

3 cabin catamaran is good for 3 couples. It comes with a kitchen, sitting area and a few toilets.

3 cabin catamaran

photo source:

4 cabin catamaran provides 4 comfortable cabins, sitting area, multifunctional kitchen, four bedrooms and a few toilets.

4 cabin catamaran

photo source:


5 cabin catamaran comes with 4 big bedrooms and one smaller one. It also has a
bigger kitchen and a large sitting area with a deck.

5 cabin catamaran

photo source:

6 cabin catamaran is like a larger apartment. It has 6 cabins with 6 cosy bedrooms, 3 toilets and a big deck.

6 cabin catamaran
photo source:

7 cabin catamaran provides maximal comfort for your crew. It comes with 3 toilets, large and fully equipped kitchen and a large deck.

7 cabin catamaran
photo source:

8 cabin catamaran is a definition of comfort and it is more a house on the water than a boat. It comes with 4 toilets, large sitting area, a fully equipped kitchen and a big deck for all the crew's needs.

8 cabin catamaran
photo source:

Catamaran interior examples

Catamaran interior

photo source:
catamaran interior
photo source:


Power catamaran

If you would like to sail on a boat, but you don't want to stretch and manoeuvre the sails, you can rent a catamaran called power catamaran, which is propelled only by engines. If you choose that kind of boat, you will have far less sailing equipment on your boat. There will be no winches, stoppers, ropes and similar stuff, and your boat will be safer for children and animals. Also, there will be no sails to make you shade.


3. Gulet

gulets Croatia

The third type of sailing boats is gulet, which is a wooden boat that has two or three masts. In past, it was used by fishermen who transport goods from one marina to another, but today many people use it for nautical tourism. It is a popular as excursion boat and you can chart just one part of it, a single cabin for example.

The main advantages are:

  • Great for larger groups
  • Convenient for excursions, parties, events and social gatherings like weddings or anniversary celebrations
  • The spacious interior
  • Very comfortable and safe
  • It comes with a crew - you will have a cook and a skipper
  • You can charter an entire gulet or a single cabin
  • Unique experience and atmosphere - feel like a Pirate from the Caribbean

The gulet is originally made in Turkey, in the cities Bodrum and Marmaris. Their main purpose in the past was trading in the Black Sea and fishing in the Adriatic Sea, but today they are only used in modern tourism. 

Gulet interior is pretty much interesting. Inside, they are lined with wood but inside look like luxury boats...with jacuzzis, private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and all sort of luxury add-ons.

Private gulet

If you love to spend your vacations with your family or large groups, and you are in love with this kind of sailing boat, charter a gulet will be one of a kind experience for you. It can also be used for all kinds of social gatherings, like birthday celebrations or weddings, and it's ideal to accommodate 10-15 or more people. The largest gulet can accommodate up to 50 people.

Best of all, you can relax all the time and just enjoy, because someone else will do the cleaning, cooking and navigating through the sailing route you choose. 

One cabin inside gulet

If you decide to charter a gulet, you can choose between taking the whole gulet for yourself or rent one cabin. That depends on your wishes - if you wish to sail solo or with your partner, one cabine is enough. One cabin will easily accommodate 2-4 people. You can arrange breakfast, lunch and dinner, use the decks for sunbathing, visit all the beautiful destinations around you and make some new friends. 

Types of gulet

You can choose between standard category gulet, superior (bigger) gulet which is an air-conditioned boat, and luxury gulet, which offers the highest level of comfort and luxury.

Standard gulet is the most-wanted type of gulet and, if you compare it with hotel stars, it has 3-stars. A standard gulet is a traditional wooden gulet that offers cabins with private bathrooms, a space for the crew, as well as a sun deck. It is also suitable for one cabin sailing. 

The luxury gulet will give you a private cruising experience. You can compare it with a 5-star hotel and choose between smaller or bigger ones. On luxury gulet, you will have a lot of entertainment, decorated interior, large cabins, double beds, private bathrooms, seating/dining area with a gallery and jacuzzi. 


Traditional gulet interior examples

gulet Croatia

gulet croatia

gulet croatia

photo source: charter-in-croatia


Luxury gulet interior examples

gulet croatia luxury

 photo source: luxurychartergroup


gulet croatia luxury

gulet croatia luxury

photo source:

4. Motorboat and luxury yachts

luxury yachts

A motorboat is a boat that is powered by the power of an engine. It is stable and can achieve high speeds. Today, you can find motorboats different sizes - from smaller ones to big luxurious motor yachts. With a higher budget, you can rent a superyacht, that can be fully crewed and very private. The most known yacht manufacturers are Beneteau, Minuetto, Cranchi, Atlantic and Sea Ray.

Motorboat and luxury yacht advantages

  • More stable and faster in comparison to sailing boats
  • High-speed possibilities
  • Stable and easy to manoeuvre
  • Suitable for both experienced yachtsmen and novices
  • Best for a small number of people
  • Usually comes with a crew 

If you want to drive a superyacht (or luxury yacht), you can easily rent one. Unlike ordinary sailboats, sails on luxury yachts are raised and lowered automatically, with the help of the electric motors. These boats are very stable and are intended exclusively for people who love privacy. Due to their size and stability, they also resist the harsh weather conditions and winds. The only lack of motorboat is that it doesn't have the sails, so you can't experience traditional sailing. The only 'flaw' of the luxury yacht, is that is the most expensive sailing experience.

Motorboats examples

luxury yachts croatia

luxury yacht charter in croatia

Interior examples

luxury yachts for charter in croatia

luxury yachts for charter in croatia

Sail on your own, with a skipper or with a crew?

Sailing boat rental options

skipper croatia

You can sail

  1. bareboat / on your own
  2. with a skipper
  3. with a crew

1. Bareboat sailing

Bareboat sailing is sailing on your own, only with your friends or family to help you. You become a skipper, hostess, cook and everything else that your family need. You must navigate and sail or drive a motorboat, and the responsibility for the boat is only on you. Bareboat sailing provides tremendous freedom to explore whatever you want to explore, but at least one member of the group must be an experienced sailor with a valid license. Bareboat sailing boat rental option is also the cheapest one.

2.Skippered sailing

If you do not possess a necessary license to drive a boat, or you have a license but you don't want to take the responsibility, taking a skipper with you is a good option. The charter company which you decide to rent, will provide you with a skipper, who will steer your boat. A skipper will also navigate the boat and keep you safe. 

Skippers are usually chosen for their sailing experience and also for their people skills and local knowledge about the chosen sailing destination.

A skipper can be a tour guide

Your skipper can steer the boat and also teach you some sailing tricks and routines, if you are interested in sailing. He also can be a great tour guide, who will show you the best sailing routes in Croatia. You can ask him about the destinations, local weather, restaurants, interesting cities, history and anchoring places. In case of bad weather, the local skipper must find the best place to safely secure the boat. You are responsible for cooking and cleaning the boat because that is not skipper's official job. But it is a common rule that you provide a meal (or several meals) a day for the skipper.

14 strong points and advantages of a good skipper

  1. should know how to steer the boat safely
  2. can learn you about safety on board
  3. must have the knowledge of navigation and seamanship
  4. must predict the weather
  5. repair certain damage
  6. maintain and use ship equipment
  7. have knowledge about sea regulations
  8. knows foreign languages
  9. will deal with all the possible technical difficulties
  10. is a communicative and fun person
  11. have good organization skills
  12. know how to make crew's wishes and demands come true if they are reasonable
  13. is responsible for good atmosphere aboard
  14. have the courage to override possible danger


17 useful details about your vacation with a skipper

You will meet your skipper during the check-in procedure in the base, where he or she will do the technicalities, and after that show all guests the way to the boat. A skipper will help you accommodate and when you settle on a sailing yacht, the skipper will learn you about the safety onboard. For example, he or she should explain where life vests and fire extinguishers are located. Also, what are the safety procedures in case of an emergency

  1. a skipper will plan the sailing route with you
  2. a skipper will explain the current situation at sea and at the destination
  3. he can give own suggestions and advice if you are not sure where to go
  4. you will together choose a tempo of sailing
  5. the skipper will take responsibility and give the final decision about navigation and sailing route, according to your destination wishes
  6. a skipper must provide the best spot to stay overnight - either to find an anchor or berthing at the marina or port
  7. a skipper can book the table at the best restaurant or bar for you
  8. the skipper will usually use some private free time at night, and will not party with you
  9. the skipper must refuse to provide narcotics or prostitutes for clients who wish that kind of service
  10. if you spend the night at the anchor, the skipper will have a night watch. It is polite to replace a skipper in one night shift
  11. if you and your guest take all the cabins in a sailing yacht, the skipper sleeps in the saloon. Be aware that, if you party all night long, the skipper goes to sleep after you go to sleep and wakes up before you in the morning. The skipper rest is very important for boat and people's safety
  12. the skipper doesn’t have to cook for the clients either to do the dishes.
  13. skipper has to wash the deck whenever possible, as well as control the water consumption and load fresh water whenever needed
  14. the interior, furniture and inventory are under clients responsibility
  15. the skipper must bring you and the boat back on time, on the last day of your trip
  16. in case of some technical failures, the skipper has to fix them in accordance with the base and technical support. In the case of greater failures, the clients must know everything about the situation and help to resolve it
  17. you can help a skipper every time you think he needs it


And in the end, don't forget that he skipper is not your servant on the boat, but a professional who is responsible for the trip, the boat and your lives.


3. Crewed sailing

The last option in a sailing boat rental is sailing with the crew. By choosing a crewed boat, you get a crew who will navigate you to the selected destinations. The crew will also prepare all your meals, clean for you and guide you through your trip. Depending on how many crew member you wanna hire, your boat must be a larger one. 

Crewed sailing boats are mostly more luxurious and have additional equipment like water skis, jacuzzies and much more luxury.


Hiring a hostess - what to expect - 11 important remarks

If you want to, you can hire a hostess to join you on your sailing trip. Hostesses most often work in pair with a skipper or can be part of the crew, but you can hire a hostess alone. These are important remarks about the hostess jobs

  1. do a check-in when you arrive at marine
  2. can be additional help on the deck 
  3. prepare welcome drinks and snacks
  4. present daily schedule about the meals
  5. serve breakfast and lunch
  6. serve refreshment drinks and afternoon snack
  7. wash the dishes
  8. keep the boat functional - clean the yacht's interior, toilets, cabins and the gallery every day
  9. isn't in charge for babysitting
  10. isn't in charge of making dinner
  11. doesn't need to entertain you and your guest 


A typical day on a boat

A typical day on a boat usually starts with a breakfast on board anchored in some marina or cove. After breakfast, you can go to the shore to do some sightseeing and shopping, or stay at the boat and enjoy swimming. Then you can raise your sails or start and engine, and sail to another location. Lunch is the time for you and your friends to gather in the sitting area inside the boat, and after that, you can enjoy on the boat, read a book or just relaxing in the sun. 

During the evening and night, you can set off to the nearest marina, especially if the weather is changing to wind or Croatian bura (the strongest wind). Every marina usually has the dining restaurant, and after dinner you can go to sleep or explore what local nightlife is offering.


Preparing for a sailing vacation

First of all, decide with whom you wanna sail. Organize a group of friends or surprise your family, the choice is up to you. Then, the most important part - coordinate everybody's schedules and choose the dates for your sailing holiday. 


That's all folks! We wish you an unforgettable sailing in Croatia and start your holiday with a big smile!



[INFOGRAPHICS]Croatian sailing routes


 >>> We're just tweaking it a little bit :) Thank you for your patience and come back again soon to read it all!




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