Bareboat Charter means that you are the skipper and in charge of your own yacht. If you have the necessary experience, this offers complete freedom to plan your own holiday to suit you and your party. The freedom to explore where you want, at your own leisure.
The ultimate in relaxation. Stay as long as you like, where you like. Moor in lively marinas such as Port Vell, Barcelona or stay on the anchor for lunch in your own ‘Cala’ (cove).
Sailing your own ship, discovering some of the best Spanish landscapes, visiting famous historical harbours, playing with the dolphins at the bow of the ship, snorkelling and swimming in turquoise seas, enjoying nice cocktails on board, tasting some local specialities in beach restaurants…that is the essence of bareboat charter. To take advantage of this, there are some basic qualification requirements:
Qualifications for Bareboat Charter
To satisfy the requirements of the Spanish authorities and also of the insurers, at least one member of your crew (the nominated skipper) must posses a basic level of proficiency.
For UK charterers, this will usually be an International Certificate of Competence (ICC). This certificate can be provided by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to anyone who has passed an RYA Day Skipper level or higher course. The ICC can be provided, by the RYA, to a person who has passed a practical course such as Day Skipper or higher.
Your certificate and fee must be sent to the RYA, together with the appropriate form and they will send you the ICC. Alternatively, an ICC can be obtained from an RYA recognised teaching establishment by passing a practical test. Equivalent ICC qualifications from other countries are usually acceptable.
Skippered versus bareboat charter
For those who don’t wish to sail a yacht ‘bareboat charter’ themselves, there is always the option of having an experienced skipper to handle the boat. Skippered charter is a common option, where the skipper is onboard all the time. There is a further option, ‘Flexible Skippering’.
Rather than deciding before your holiday, you can decide on a day-by-day basis. A skipper can be provided for one or more individual days, as you require. On the other days, you can sail bareboat on your own. You may choose to have a skipper for the first couple of days, until you feel confident to go it alone. Or, for longer ‘hops’, the skipper can sail the boat whilst you relax in the sun.
Be aware that there is a limit to the distance the skipper can sail the boat each day. It is still the charterer’s responsibility to ensure that there is adequate time to return the yacht to the base at the end of the charter period.
Practical Instructions for bareboat charter
Prior to leaving you will obviously need to pack. If possible, use soft foldable storage bags as suitcases will occupy too much of your valuable space on board. Most of the time you will need normal informal holiday / beach wear.
Deck shoes are advisable when working on deck. Sun protection cream is definitely required. Most restaurants and night clubs are fairly relaxed in what you can wear.
Beach towels are usually provided by the chartering company, so you do not need to fill your bags with these. The member of your party designated as the skipper will need to bring his or her International Certificate of Competence.
Bareboat charter in Spain
Spain offers a wide range of sailing holiday opportunities. In mainland Spain there is the wild beauty of the Costa Brava or the sophistication of the Catalan capital Barcelona. The Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Minorca, and Ibiza are easily reached with low cost airlines, and offer bareboat charters, sailing schools, and flotilla holidays in relatively easy sailing conditions.
In the Canary Islands you can have yachts in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote. Only three hours by charter flight this is the perfect sailing destination to cure those mid-winter withdrawal symptoms, but best for experienced sailors because it is a bit windy most of the time and Atlantic rollers can be a bit intimidating.
Known as Islas Baleares in Spanish and Illes Balears in the Catalan language, the Balearic Islands are one of Mediterranean Europe’s prime vacation spots. The largest island, Majorca, is famous for its beaches and resorts. It is quite diverse, with towering mountains in the northeast, beautiful caves in the east, a picturesque coastline with cliffs and coves, as well as pleasant villages.
Majorca’s principal city, Palma de Mallorca or simply Palma, features an elegant Gothic cathedral, other churches and historic buildings, and a number of museums.
The Balearic archipelago has three other principal islands. The smaller island, Menorca, is quiet and tranquil with its many coves and fishing ports, and also has the delightful harbour at Cuidadela.
The last “invasion” Ibiza has undergone in its recent history is from tourism, which has become the islands main industry. The 1970s marked the start of a transformation that is still going on.
The arrival of many hippies in the 1970s was part of an important cultural change to the island which had begun with the arrival of a large number of refugee artists from Central Europe during the Second World War.
All these factors have given Ibiza the cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic character that it continues to develop nowadays, and have played a part in shaping the islands history.
The landscape of Ibiza shows is a mixture of pines, olive and almond trees, and together with Ibiza’s typical white villages, manages to form an enchanting picture. The harbour of Ibiza offers the yachting fraternity a good safe haven, and most harbours are free to moor.
Apart from its excellent marinas and anchorages, Ibiza is known for its colourful nightlife. Ibiza is also known as the Pearl of the Balearics.