Before planning a sailing trip to Croatia there are few things everyone should know in order to have nice and stress less vacation. Otherwise you can encounter some serious problems that could affect your holidays.
There are two main charter types – bareboat charter and crewed charter. For bareboat charter at least one person on the board must have a boat leader’s license. The license must me issued by a state institution. If a license is certified by a foreign state institution the Croatian law accepts it in most cases. The license must be related to the sea and open waters and not to the rivers and channels. Law in Croatia does not accept any Sailing Club Certifications. Also at least one person on the board must have a VHF license. Usually boat leader’s license exam covers the VHF part as well. In case none of the guest has such a qualifications then a skipper must be hired. For crewed charter no license is required. Depending on the yacht size, the crew usually consists of captain, hand man, cook, hostess…
In every way the usual charter week in Croatia starts on Saturday afternoon (3 pm to 5 pm) and ends on Saturday morning (8 am to 10 am). Some of the charter companies require to have the boat back from the charter to base marina on Friday afternoon. In this case guests are able to stay on board until Saturday morning. On Saturday can be very crowded in marinas since all charter companies have takeover of all their yachts on that day. Guests should be prepared and very patient keeping in mind that marina staff is doing their best. When taking the yacht ,it is not advised to get in marina much in advanced. There is just a slight chance that your boat will be ready and cleaned among the first boats that were in charter previous week. In case you are already early , it would be much better that you leave your luggage in marina and take a swim on a nearest beach.
Every yacht for charter in Croatia has Casco insurance. The charter companies ask for deposit to be left in base marina in amount of insurance franchise. Depending on the size of the yacht and insurance contract deposit goes from 500 EUR to 2500 EUR and can be paid in cash or by credit card. Credit card will be just slipped and not charged yet. In case the yacht is damaged the charter company will cover the damage from the deposit left by guest and the rest from the insurance company.
All charter companies in Croatia ask 30%-50% of rental payment at the moment of the booking and the rest at least 4 weeks prior to embarkation. In case of booking cancellation , in most cases the complete amount will be returned if the booking was canceled more than a month before charter. This is a part of general charter terms and conditions used by all charter companies in very similar form. Although, there are some differences between one charter company and another. So, it would be good to read the conditions at the moment of booking very carefully.
There are over 100 yacht charter companies and over 3000 yachts in Croatia and each one of them has its own price and terms. To find an ideal yacht for yourself one should contact every charter company asking for availability and prices. Huge list of companies can be found in Croatian tourism official web site: http://www.croatia.hr.
There are some agencies having complete databases of all available yachts in Croatia and they can make you a very quick offer. The price will be the same as you contact the charter company directly because the agency gets a discount from the charter company. In some cases the agency price can even beat the charter company price because as professionals they may achieve special discounts and conditions four you.
A very common example of General Charter Terms and Conditions in Croatia
A boat has been booked only when the Booking Form and the agreed deposit have reached Charter company or one of its affiliates and when an Invoice stating the terms of the balance payment has been dispatched.
Payment of balance of the charter amount will become due 30 days before the charter start date, without reminder on the part of the charter operator.
For all bookings made less than 30 days before the start date the charter fee must be paid in full on booking.
All bank charges will be payable by the charterer.
Bookings made through Travel Agents are subject to agreed travel agency procedures regarding bookings and cancellations and to all the following Charter Conditions.
Cancellation by the charterer
Should the hirer be unable to take-over the boat he must notify the Company immediately, when every effort will be made to re-let the boat. If successful, the Company will refund the deposit less a re-booking charge of 100?
If the company is unable to re-let, the following cancellation policy applies:
Cancellation more than 60 days before the start of charter: 30% of the charter fee is retained by the company.
Cancellation between 31 and 59 days before the start of charter: 50% of the rental charge is retained by the company.
Cancellation within 30 days of the start of charter: the full amount has to be paid.
Cancellation by the Company
Every precaution will be taken to ensure that the booked boat is available in a fully seaworthy condition. If owing to conditions and circumstances beyond the reasonable control of the Company this is not possible, then every effort will be made to supply a similar or suitable boat. Should this not be possible the Charter Fee paid by the Hirer will be returned in full but the Charterer will have no claim on any account against the Company.
The time of taking possession will normally be Saturday between 17.00 hrs and 21.00 hrs.
The charterer will take charge of the boat after completion of certain formalities (security deposit, inventory check), receipt of administrative documents and instructions in operation of the boat.
The charterer will be required to sign the Check List.
Signing implies that:
The boat was handed over in a clean and tidy state
The instruction was adequate
The boat is in a satisfactory mechanical state with full fuel and water tanks
The inventory has been checked and found satisfactory.
The Company reserves the right to decline a booking or to refuse to hand-over a boat to any person who, in their opinion, is not suitable to take charge on the grounds of ill-health, age, disability, inexperience or any other reason which, in their opinion, would lead to a serious risk of accident or damage.
In such cases, Charter company will provide a competent skipper at charterer?s expense. If the charterer does not accept a skipper, the Charter Fee will be refunded in full and the Contract terminated without further liability on either party.
The boat must be returned to the originating Base of Embarkation at the time and date agreed, with full fuel and water tanks.
The hirer should plan a great enough margin for the return time to be respected.
Therefore, it is recommended to return the boat in the marina at 17.00 hours the day before the charter ends.
It is the responsibility of the charterer to make allowance for bad weather.
Failure to return the boat on the due date will incur a charge of double daily rate plus any other charges of incidental losses incurred by the Company.
The fuel tank and the water tanks have to be filled up before the check-out.
The following insurance will be in full force during the term of the charter:
1. Hull Insurance is provided for total loss or damage to the cruiser and its equipment. Bareboat charterers shall be responsible for the amount of protection provided from the security deposit. The charterer, however, is responsible for any loss or damage or any other liabilities arising out of deliberate acts or negligent conduct by charterer, his or her family, guests and agents, in which event the sole responsibility for the entire amount of the loss or damage would fall on the charterer.
Damages on the sails are not covered by insurance.
2. Third Party Liability Insurance
3. Personal Accident Insurance – this insurance does not cover loss, damage or theft of personal luggage or belongings, including any motor vehicles parked at the marina.
The charterer is advised to take out personal travel insurance before departing.
A refundable security deposit, which amount depends on the class of the boat, has to be paid before embarkation (cash, credit cards ? Visa, Diners, MC, AC). The deposit has to be paid even when a skipper has been employed to captain the boat.
This deposit can be applied to the repair of damages or loss of equipment caused by charterer or by any of his party. It will be refunded provided that no reason exists for its retention.
Charterers returning or leaving a boat at a Marina different from the one from which they started ? except by prior arrangement made with the Company ? will lose their deposit.
ACCIDENTS, BREAKDOWNS AND REPAIRS
In the event of any accident or mishap the charterer must immediately provide the Base Manager with full details together with the names and addresses of witnesses and the name of owners or charterers if another vessel is involved. The Base Manager will indicate the next steps to be taken.
The charterer is required to complete the accident report form and to have it completed and countersigned by the third party. In particular, lost dinghies and outboard engines must be reported immediately. Failure to notify the Base Manager of any loss, mishap or accident may invalidate the insurance.
The Base Manager must be notified immediately if any repairs or service are required and they may not be placed in the hands of other repair shops without the Base Manager?s specific approval.
If you have a breakdown of the equipment which is considered essential to the operation of the yacht and which occurs inside the 30 mile radius of the Company base, we will complete repairs within 24 hour of receiving your call. If we fail to correct the problem within 24 hours, you will be refunded on a rate pro-rata to the lost charter time or you will receive a sailing credit toward your next charter.
All other breakdowns will be serviced, but compensation will not be provided if repairs take more than 24 hours.
CHARTERER’S LIABILITY AND OBLIGATION
The charterer shall pay any additional running expenses not included in the charter price: fuel expenses, tourist taxes and a mooring place outside the marina.
The charterer shall use the boat for pleasure only. charterer shall not assign this agreement or subcharter without prior written consent of The Company. The boat shall not transport merchandise or carry passengers.
Passengers, other than those notified on the crew list, must not be carried on the boat.
The charterer is explicitly liable for the boat in case any official authority confiscates it, due to inappropriate and illegal actions undertaken during the usage of the boat.
All passengers with the exception of any skipper or cook provided by the Company are considered guests from the charterer. Charterer is responsible for the safety and well-being of charterer and all guests.
Charterer shall avoid sailing area designated hazardous and should refrain from night sailing.
Charterer shall comply with all laws and regulations of the Croatia or of any other government within the jurisdiction in which the boat may be at the time.
By signing the agreement, the charterer certifies that he/she is competent to handle the boat and that the charterer has sufficient practical knowledge of seamanship, unless a Company approved skipper has been employed to captain the boat for the entire charter period.
In accordance with the laws of the Republic of Croatia, the charterer has to possess a valid license necessary for the navigation (Boat Leaders Certificate) and a radiophone certificate.
The charterer is required to notify the Base Manager of any alleged shortcomings or problems with the boat immediately as they occur. No claim can be considered in respect of such alleged shortcomings if not notified as aforesaid.
Furthermore the Company will not investigate nor deal with complaints received later than one week after the termination of the Charter. In the event of dispute, The Tribunal of Commerce of the port of embarkation is the only competent authority.