For the first charter trip we strongly recommend destinations without reefs or areas of shallow water. Also areas with strong currents or large tidal ranges are not well suited for the first charter trips. In general, areas with better weather on average, good visibility and (if you depend on sails) moderate winds should be preferred. Regions with too little wind may on the other hand spoil the sailing fun.
Easy destinations for beginners
The waters of the Balearic Islands, the Côte d'Azur, the Gulf of Naples, the Ionian Sea and the US Virgin Islands are particularly easy to navigate. In all five areas (especially around the Balearic Islands) there is sufficient but moderate wind and there are no big navigational difficulties in these areas. They have hardly any tidal range, pleasant currents, good buoys and there are sufficient anchorages and harbours so that it is not necessary to sail overnight and individual day trips are managable.
Easy destinations for advanced boaters
Easy charter destinations include the waters of the Costa Brava, Corsica, the Aeolian Islands, Malta, Croatia, the western Baltic from the Danish islands down to the Bays of Kiel and Mecklenburg, Brazil, Florida and the British Virgin Islands. The weather in Germany and the stronger winds on the Costa Brava, around Corsica and Croatia are usually a little trickier. Sometimes there are problems with the buoyage (Malta), sufficient anchorages and harbours (Costa Brava, Corsica, Aeolian Islands), reefs (Florida, Corsica, Malta, Germany) and the currents in Germany.
Destinations for more experienced sailors
Somewhat more difficult but not yet really problematic or tricky areas which reuirea bit more boating experience and knowledge: These include the waters of the Gulf of Lyon, Sardinia, Sicily, the northern Adriatic, the Aegean, the Turkish west and south coasts, Cyprus, the Swedish archipelago, the Norwegian west coast, the English south coast, the Algarve, the Canaries, Cuba, the Spanish Virgin Islands, the Leeward and Windward Islands, the Seychelles, Malaysia and Baja California.
It is the more difficult wind conditions (especially in the Gulf of Lyon, the Aegean, the Turkish west coast, the Norwegian west coast and the Canary Islands) that stand out here as bigger challenges. The waters of Turkey, Cuba, the Spanish Virgin Islands, the Leeward and the Windward Islands, the Seychelles, Baja California and Malaysia are usually less marked with buoys, which makes navigation more complicated. The Swedish archipelago, Cuba, the Spanish Virgin Islands, the Leeward and the Windward Islands and the Seychelles are particularly difficult to navigate due to their many reefs and areas of shallow water. The same applies to southern England and the northern Adriatic. Particularly few ports and marinas (in some cases very long distances) can pose a problem in Cuba, the Spanish Virgin Islands, the Leeward and Windward Islands, the Seychelles and Baja California.
Difficult destinations for professionals
The Marmara Sea, the waters around Ireland, the Northwest Caribbean, the Bahamas, New Zealand, Tonga and Thailand are not suitable for unexperienced charter sailors. Especially in the Marmara Sea (inland sea of the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey) unpleasant current conditions are frequent, the shipping lanes are poorly buoyed and many stretches are relatively long due to the lack of harbours, marinas and sheltered anchor bays. It will happen that you are still sailing at dusk or overnight. In Ireland, on the other hand, the unstable weather and the sometimes strong wind can disturb the tranquility of a charter cruise. Also a stronger tidal range and the problem of reefs have to be considered. The area around New Zealand is not easy due to the difficult wind conditions and the tidal range. Due to missing or bad buoyage and due to many reefs the areas of the northwest Caribbean, the Bahamas, Tonga and Thailand are not at all easy to navigate. These areas should not be your choice as destinations before you have acquired really good sailing skills.
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