Cruising on a budget
Any sailing trip is going to be expensive, to a greater or lesser extent. But like anything else there are things you can do to reduce the cost of sailing in Croatia. Once you have chartered your boat (the biggest single expense) why not consider some of the following:
1.Avoid marinas unless absolutely necessary for the services they offer. In the scale of things the cost of mooring is probably going to be the biggest expense you have after the charter fee. Moorings get cheaper in the following order:
a. Marinas in big towns (Split, Dubrovnik etc)
b. Marinas in small towns and islands
c. Town Harbour Walls (between 25-50% cheaper than
d. Town Harbour Anchorages (some charge some
e. Private mooring buoys (some charge, some are free,
some require you to frequent the owner’s restaurant.)
f. Moor in the charter company’s home base marina (it
may be free or discounted but it is always wise to
g. Un-regulated anchorages (almost entirely free).
We tried 7 days avoiding mooring in marinas completely - an entirely doable prospect and estimate that we saved several hundred pounds.
2.If you are heading to a Marina for water or power consider a harbour wall instead. You can always use the shower and the head onboard.
3.Do you need to use the engine? Sail and save the fuel.
4.Consider the options for buying fuel, some charter companies require you to return the boat full, others offer an upfront payment package - weigh up carefully which is going to be most cost efficient for you.
5.Leave the outboard behind - many charter companies charge an additional fee for the outboard - so do you really need it? or can you manage the dingy/tender with the oars?
6.Leave the cruising chute behind - most charter companies charge extra for this sail so ask yourself - do I really need it? Perhaps you do if you intend to sail and save fuel. Weigh up the relative costs.
7.Eat on board - the third greatest cost after charter fees and mooring fees is that of restaurants. Local produce is good value and most charter boats have reasonable galley facilities - make use of them. We tried one night out and one night onboard over a 7 day period and estimated that we saved £100-£150.
8.Provision away from the marina shops and even the supermarkets close to the marinas - you will find it cheaper. Also use the produce markets - they are generally good value - just be prepared to walk away from a trader if you think they are trying to rip you off because they saw you climb off a yacht (it does happen).
9.Take a smaller boat - not only do most moorings set the cost on the basis of length but, you may find a smaller boat easier to get going in light airs allowing you to sail efficiently for longer and thus save petrol. If your charter company is offering you an upgrade to a 43 footer think twice and stick with the 37!
Monday, 27 July 2009