Yacht Charter in Ibiza-part two
In part one I described my day charter from Ibiza and here are some useful points when considering holiday yachting.
Like most on holiday I was visiting Ibiza for a short period of time.
Without the assistance of the broker I won’t have had sufficient time to set up a charter myself given the English/Spanish language barrier.
Over the winter I’d tried to arrange a sailing boat charter and got as far as contacting one advertiser who asked how much my budget was.
Alas, after I hopefully replied 500 euros, my correspondent failed to reply again.
During a previous week long visit I walked for miles around the harbour failing to find a soul, let alone one who spoke English and had a yacht to charter as well.
When finally I chanced upon some helpful brokers in Botafoch Marina, suddenly everything got a lot easier.
As a sailing yacht enthusiast I would have preferred a sail, as opposed to motor boat, yet in light of my recent experiences I feel myself being won around to the latter.
When I first visited Ibiza I was on board my friend Chris’s 44 foot sailing yacht.
He had taken early retirement and was to spend four years living on board exploring the Mediterranean and its various anchorages.
He had the advantage that he had time on his side both to learn his boat’s characteristics and to find the best spots to anchor in.
On a week long holiday to locate a bareboat charter, cast off and try and get sails up and back down whilst trying to understand a chart plotter perhaps in a different language, as well as finding the best spot for lunch is a tall order.
Also I needed to take stock of my own capabilities.
Before I sold my last boat back in 2010 I was usually on board several times a week and eagerly looking through my local chandlery for all the latest ‘must haves’.
Now I have to admit I’ve grown a little rusty and I’m not as young and fit as I once was.
So for those of us who may be having our first sail of the season, to make everything run smoothly at first attempt is going to be so exhausting it may well take away all the fun of being afloat.
One charter skipper told me that about 70% of his charters were one day outings.
Yacht Charter in Ibiza-part two
Typically out in the morning for a spin, anchor for lunch at a pre-chosen spot then a leisurely afternoon spent swimming and playing with the water toys before going ashore for dinner at an exclusive restaurant before the journey back to the marina in the evening twilight.
Realistically one needs a motorboat to achieve all that in one day given the wind is somewhat unpredictable.
I was with Chris when he reached Gibraltar at the end of his Mediterranean sojourn.
‘At last! The real sea with proper waves,’ he cried looking lovingly at the Atlantic swell rolling in.
I think he also threw his boarding ladder away, as in England we are more used to finger pontoons in our marinas rather than the fore and aft moorings typical of the Mediterranean.
So I think a motor boat probably is the best choice for day charters as on mine we were out for three hours, two of which were spent at anchor in a spot chosen for me, rather than by me.
Indeed I had originally suggested going westwards exploring the coastline and trusting to luck that we would come across a suitable anchorage.
But I was told by the local who was skippering the boat that he’d already factored in the wind and time available and our best destination lay elsewhere.
The advantage of a knowledgeable skipper quickly became apparent as he deftly took us past several clusters of rocks.
As all of them were showing on the boat’s plotter, I would have been able to navigate around them eventually, but not on the first day in three hours on an unfamiliar boat, and not at 25 knots.
The boat trip undoubtedly was the highlight of my holiday and if it had gone wrong, such as the engine breaking down, or hitting a rock it had the potential to ruin.
So to my mind the key to successful boating in untested waters when time is limited has to be choice of broker who can make or break the entire stay.
I’m also convinced having a local skipper on board saved much hassle and worry compared to bareboat skippering it myself.
So thanks once again to Amoyachts for putting it all together and looking after me so well.