SailingEurope Blog http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog Sailing, Yacht Charter and Beyond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:39:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 Lagoon 42 – Stylish and Perky http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lagoon-42-stylish-and-perky http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lagoon-42-stylish-and-perky#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:39:47 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6979 Hop aboard and find out everything about new Lagoon 42 from design changes and comfort to its behaviour at sea.

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The first time I saw a brand new Lagoon 42 catamaran, I was not very impressed. Just one more ‘face lifted’ old model like many around the boat-building industry, I thought. Lagoon designers decided to replace the old 420 with the new 42 model and impress the audience with a few modern details on the deck and fancy looking interior. It happened on the Biograd Boat Show when this model was premiered in Croatia. As any new model, it sparked quite an interest, so the exhibiting model displayed was too crowded to be carefully examined.

Lagoon 42

My next encounter with Lagoon 42 was a few months later at the charter base in Rogač, on the island of Šolta in the Croatian Adriatic. It was just after the yacht was delivered, so the base manager was too busy preparing the boat for charter to show me around. He just nagged that he had so many things to do in order to make it functional, so I just passed by waiting for my next chance to test the new Lagoon. Finally, I got my chance a few days ago in the waters around Trogir. My first impression was that I sailed a much bigger cat than a 42-footer. The space, both on the deck and inside, is very well used.

Lagoon 42

First of all, I liked the helm which is isolated from all other (lounge) areas, so that skipper has enough space to handle the sails autonomously. The second great improvement is the position of the helm. It is placed to port from the cockpit, but the major thing about it is the 360° clear view. Yes, it is possible to see both bows, sides and sterns from the same position. A great view especially to the sterns, which used to be quite a problem on other Lagoon models. Exterior designer Patrick Le Quement, along with France’s VPLP Design, made a good job not only by positioning the helm, but also with hull’s curvy lines.

Lagoon 42

The annoying pounding of the rough seas under the gull-wing bridge deck is significantly reduced. Furthermore, the mast has been set aft to open up the fore-triangle, thus allowing more downwind sailing options keeping the weight centred in order to reduce pitching. Mighty square-top mainsail makes it easy to gain considerable speeds in reaching and close-reaching position. An extra speeding performance is possible by using a gennaker or a code zero since specific rigid bowsprit is included within the hull design.

The cockpit is quite low, just two low stairs above the water line. A dining table is positioned to starboard, while small lounge is positioned to port. Transoms are wider than usually on Lagoon models making boarding easier and providing some extra swimming platform area at the same time.

Lagoon 42

Sunbathing fans will find their place on the rooftop where there is a cosy mattress for two. The net between the hulls is as comfortable as always on the catamarans. The interior is designed by Nauta Design giving the Lagoon 42 the recognisable Mediterranean style that abounds with open spaces, comfort and a lot of light. Standard interior layout considers four cabins with four heads.

Lagoon 42

One of the few objections to this model is about the cockpit storage space. There is only one, not too large locker to store spare ropes, water hose, gas bottle, paddles for tender and snorkelling gear. In addition, the model I have sailed is equipped with only one water tank holding as much as 300 L of water – too little for the catamaran that accommodates eight to ten people. Lagoon 42 is propelled by two 45 HP Yanmar engines with saildrives as a standard.

Lagoon 42

At the end of the day, one might conclude there are much more advantages that disadvantages about new Lagoon 42. It is a very fine boat for its size and price. One thing is for sure, this boat is probably the most elegant of the Lagoon models and provides as much fun as possible in its class.

I wish you calm seas, fair winds and a strong mast!

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Sun Odyssey 449 – Comfortable, Spacious and Easy to Handle http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sun-odyssey-449-comfortable-spacious-and-easy-to-handle http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sun-odyssey-449-comfortable-spacious-and-easy-to-handle#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 12:20:08 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6926 Read all about the new Sun Odyssey 449 - from design, layout, interior, speed, comfort, spaciousness and much more!

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In recent times, the word to update is frequently used, mostly because our digital devices and gadgets get updated daily. Less frequently, but it also happens in the world of boat building from time to time. So did it happen with Jeanneau and their model 439. Instead of developing a completely new model using cutting-edge technologies to build the hull and the latest solutions for deck equipment, Jeanneau engineers led by Philippe Briand completed the new model by updating its predecessor, Sun Odyssey 439.

so 449

They utilized the existing hull and modified it for the brand new model. Updating an existing model means that its advantages and all benefits of existing solutions are still there, while all the ‘minuses’ and disadvantages were taken into consideration and improved. Of course, the latest inventions and solutions are also implemented in the new model creation.

The modification seen at the first glance is the great fold-down swim platform at the stern, as well as the companionway. Secondly, there is a bowsprit with a single roller fairlead including a provision for running a gennaker or some other modern headsail, such as the code zero. Such modifications go in line with the mark 449, usually indicating the length of the hull. In case of this model, the LOA measures 13.76 m, while the hull beam amounts to generous 4.24 m. Judging by these two measures, one can conclude that what we have here is a comfortably sized vessel easy to maneuver.

so 449 layout

The manufacturers designed the interior layout in several versions, from up to 4 cabins, always with 2 heads. It is also available with a fixed keel or shoal draft. The range of versions brings us to the conclusion that the designers aimed at a pretty wide range of customers – from singles or couples to families and charter companies, on deep or shallow water areas, with the high level of customization.

so 449 interior

The access to the saloon is made a lot easier than on the previous model, so the companionway is made with stairs that are not as steep for an easy and smooth incline. The saloon is bright and spacious, thanks to the light colors of the furniture and a lot of side and top windows and hatches. The galley is to the starboard, abounding with storage space within cupboards and drawers. The dining table continues at the same side. Retractable to be suitable for the size of the group of crew you want to feed; and foldable in order to be turned into a comfortable bed or sofa.

SO 449 interior

On the opposite side, to port; there is a control panel with a chart table. This one is also foldable so it turns into an additional lounge area sofa very easily. The rooms are made in manner to fit the description roomy and comfortable – the berths are wide, while storage spaces are generous and on hand. Generally, all accommodation spaces are designed with a great care for details and ergonomics.

What it feels like to sail this maiden? Well, the rigging and the deck organization follows the philosophy of the interior. The deck is organized very simply, with a clean and neat layout. The controls are organized in a manner to simplify the sail handling and maneuvers, making Sun Odyssey 449 easy to handle, even single-handed. When a larger group is sailing, that means that this yacht provides careless and lazy sailing. Moreover, the safety of those who like to use the bow for sunbathing is put on a higher level by including lots of handholds alongside the superstructure.

so 449 interior

The best comes last – spacious cockpit and more than handy and useful swimming platform is definitely one of the highlights of this maiden. Sun Odyssey 449 loads up to 200 l of diesel and 330 l of water and is propelled by Yanmar 57 HP. When such a yacht is offered by a charter company, it definitely means that it is perfect for a careless and relaxed sailing trip.

so 449

On the other hand, due to its quite simple sail-handling system, one might think that this is a dull and less than exciting yacht, but the reality is completely different. It is very lively and responsive at the helm, while the speed is quite satisfactory with very little inclination. SO 449 would be perfect for less experienced and amateur holiday sailors. Nonetheless, even the experienced sailors and speed-addicts would admit that it is nice to do easy-going and tranquil sailing trip from time to time.

I wish you a calm sea, a fair wind and a strong mast!

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Best Anchorages in Croatia – Split Aquatorium http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/best-anchorages-in-croatia-split-aquatorium http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/best-anchorages-in-croatia-split-aquatorium#respond Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:27:47 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6879 There is no better feeling than finding that perfect anchorage, peaceful and surrounded by idyllic scenery. Croatian coast is full of them, and here is the list of hidden jewels in the Split area.

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Finding a good place to anchor in an inlet, surrounded by trees, clean waters and silence – one of the best feelings in the world, isn’t it? The Adriatic Sea and Croatian coast can provide you with more than enough of that feeling. Croatian coastline has always been a busy nautical route, but hidden jewels can be found almost behind every corner. In this blog series, we’ll present to you some of the most beautiful and practical anchorages in Croatia while providing you some extra information for a better experience.

By most people, Croatian coastline can be divided into 5 nautical regions and we’ll start with the Split aquatorium. Not without a reason, though – this part of the coast has been characterized as the most beautiful since the ancient times, while today it looks almost untouched, like a memory of an old, simpler and slower life. This region includes bigger and better-known islands like Brač, Hvar, Šolta and Vis, but also some small beauties. Let’s start a journey together, shall we?

Krknjaši (Drvenik Veli)

Right in front of Split, between two islets Krknjaš Mali and Veli, the amazing blue lagoon is a perfect place for swimming, scuba-diving and overnight staying. During the day, there are plenty of visitors from nearby cities, but the night is as peaceful as one might imagine. Best way to sail into the lagoon is from the south as the passages between the islands are shallow (2m), but once you’re in there, the anchor will hold quite well and you will be protected from most of the winds. There is also the restaurant Krknjaši with some pretty good local food.

Drvenik

Luka (Brač)

Even though the northern side of Brač is known for the strong wind bura, you will have a good cover in Luka. This tame and spacious bay has 3 arms; southern one called Slatina is the best to anchor with the depth of 6-7 meters. Bigger yachts can anchor as well in depths of 15 m. There are 2 restaurants, both with Mediterranean charm and excellent fresh fish. The buoys are under concession, so take that into consideration. And enjoy!

Brac

Taršće (Sv. Klement)

We were quite astonished by the beauty of Taršće, a lesser known inlet on the island of Sv. Klement. There are no surrounding houses, the nature is intact and there is a small beach in the north of the bay. It will keep you safe from all winds and anchoring is possible for both small and big boats. Tying the stern at the end is also a good option. When you get hungry from swimming, you can visit the restaurant Meneghello in Palmižana which is close by.

Paklinski Islands

Ždrilica (Pakleni otoci)

A group of several small islands called Pakleni otoci will provide you a safe harbor and a true summer experience in Croatia. Between two islands is a passage called Ždrilica, one of the most popular sailing destinations in Adriatic. Because of that, it is a quite busy place, but still, it is worth visiting. You might avoid Ždrilica during bura or nevera, and definity make sure to avoid sailing in from the NW, between Planikovac and Borovac, due to very shallow waters. Beside the crystal clear sea and chilling nature, you should definitely enjoy great local food in restaurants Antonio, Patak or Tri grede.

paklinski islands

Borca (Hvar)

Among many popular harbors and inlets on the island of Hvar, this one is particularly interesting. It’s not even well-known, which definitely contributes to its attractiveness. With no houses or many visitors, Borca is a place for the ultimate zen, especially during the night. Sea is just calling you for a swim with its perfect blue color. The bottom of the inlet is sandy, really good for anchoring and you will be safe from the winds. It has recently been under the concession, so you’ll probably have to pay for a buoy, if you want one.

Hvar

Lovišće (Šćedro)

Small island, even smaller bay and what a place to be! It’s peaceful, there are only several summer inhabitants, but many sailors and boats coming for an overnight stay. It’s good for anchoring or tying to a buoy, the bottom is sandy and you’ll be completely safe from all the winds. The bay has 4 arms, all four being available for anchoring and each has its own little restaurant with local food. A place to swim, relax, eat and even take a walk around the island. Perfect, right?

Scedro

Photo credit: Günther Bogensberger
https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/51807791

Luka Rogačić (Vis)

There are 4 nice anchoring places on the northeastern part of the island Vis, but we had to choose one and it is a bay called Luka Rogačić. It has two ends – Parja, which is mostly intact and you can anchor at the depths from 4 to 10 meters, or a second one – Rogačić, which has houses and it’s a bit more crowded, but it’s still quite solitary comparing to bigger ports or bays on Vis. Anchoring in Rogačić is at the depth of up to 6 meters. While there, we recommend you take a walk around the island and visit the nearby 19th century Fort George.

VIs

Budikovac (Vis)

This is one of the most beautiful lagoons in the Adriatic. A sandy beach, clear sea, peaceful night and a handful of happy swimmers during the day will win you over. The lagoon is only 3 meters deep and the entrance is even less, so it’s easier to anchor from the outside. You can also visit the Green Cave which is less than 1 NM away or the famous Blue Cave on the island of Biševo which is about 10 NM away. Definitely worth a visit!

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Edible Shellfish of the Mediterranean http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/edible-shellfish-of-the-mediterranean http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/edible-shellfish-of-the-mediterranean#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:52:24 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6853 Read all about the most common edible shellfish found in the Mediterranean, some of them well-known, such as oysters and mussels, and some you've probably never heard of.

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In this post, we bring you a list of the most popular edible shellfish that can be found in the Mediterranean, and that you probably tried at one point or another. There is no sailing holiday without some well-prepared shellfish specialty!

1) MEDITERRANEAN MUSSEL – this is the most common Adriatic shellfish and the one most used in the Mediterranean cuisine. It is cooked until the shells open, meaning the mussels are ready for use.

mussels mix

2) OYSTER – the most frequent shellfish in the Adriatic Sea can predominantly be found in the Bay of Mali Ston and in the area of Cres. It has the same color as the stone in the sea. This type of shellfish has a gentle aroma and somewhat salty taste. It’s often served icy cold and fresh with a little bit of lemon juice, but when cooked or baked, it still tastes great. An interesting fact is that the meat of this shellfish has the best taste in winter.

oysters

3) NOAH’S ARC SHELL (Noina lađica, kunjka, mušula) – this Mediterranean shellfish is frequent in Croatia’s Adriatic Sea, mainly in the area around the island of Pašman and in the Bay of Mali Ston. Noah’s arc shell, as its name suggests, has the shape of a primitive boat. It lives attached to firm reefs, and the best way to prepare it, if we are to belive experts of the Mediterranean cuisine, is on the grill.

4) MEDITERRANEAN SCALLOP (Jakobova kapica) – Mediterranean scallop is known as the most available in the market and that is why it is very frequent in the Mediterranean cuisine, especially in Italy. In Croatia, this shellfish’s name has a specific connection to Saint Jacob. It can be served fresh and has amazing nutty flavor. In addition, its hard meat does not lose its flavor nor quality when cooked or baked.


This photo of Le Bernardin is courtesy of TripAdvisor

5) GROOVED CARPET SHELL (vongole, kućice) – these are very popular in the Mediterranean area, where they are mostly known as Venus shells, named after the Roman Goddess of beauty and love. They live buried in the sand and you can easily find them after the low tide. The meat of grooved carpet shell is sweet and it has the best taste in autumn. It’s mainly consumed fresh and cold.

6) WARTY VENUS SHELL (brbavica, prnjavica) – this shellfish is mostly found in the area where the seabed is sandy and soft. Its meat is considered a delicacy in the world of the Mediterranean cuisine. That is why the warty venus shell is the most expensive shellfish on the market. This delicacy is often served raw, but equally tasty when baked in the oven.


This photo of Lungo Mare is courtesy of TripAdvisor

7. SMOOTH CALLISTA CHIONE (rumenke, lakirke) – this last shellfish is widespread in the whole Adriatic Sea. Its meat has an amazing taste and in the Mediterranean cuisine it’s often served raw with a little bit of lemon. The meat of these three small shellfish (grooved carpet shell, warty venus shell) has the best taste in spring.

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The Most Popular Caves in the Adriatic http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/the-most-popular-caves-in-the-adriatic http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/the-most-popular-caves-in-the-adriatic#comments Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:27:15 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6803 Read all about Croatia's most visited and stunning caves along the Adriatic coast, each beautiful and special in its own right, as well as with an interesting historical background.

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1) Blue Cave (Modra špilja), Biševo

The Blue Cave is one of the most popular caves in Croatia, located in a small cove of Balun on Biševo, a little island in Central Dalmatia. This beautiful cove is specific due to its two holes: the first one is smaller and artificially deepened, so canoes can pass through it, but it has no influence on the illumination inside. The second one, located on the southern side below the sea, is like a vault and much wider, which allows the sunlight to pass through it. Around noon, if the sea is calm, the sunlight penetrates through that underwater hole, and reflects the water coming from the white bottom of the cave. Thus, the whole cave is illuminated with blue light, while the underwater objects appear to have silvery shine. Because of this unique natural phenomenon, combined with the breathtaking visuals, the Blue Cave has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Adriatic.

Interesting fact: The entrance to the Blue Cave was accessible only to divers until 1884, when baron Ransonet’s proposal was accepted, in which he advocated for building a man-made entrance that would be large enough for boats.

blue cave

Blue Cave, Biševo

2) Green Cave (Zelena špilja), Rukavac

On the southern side of the island of Vis, there is an uninhabited islet called Ravnik. On the south-western side of Ravnik, you will find the famous Green Cave. The sunrays pass through the crack on the cave’s ceiling, and shoot green colored reflections back and forth inside the cave. The cave got its name due to the emerald green reflection, resulting from an abundance of green algae on the bottom of the rocks, situated at the entrance of the cave. The Green Cave is a wonderful natural phenomenon, especially interesting to divers. Swimming is allowed in this cave, which we full heartily recommend.

Interesting fact: During the World War II, a small warship found its shelter in this cave.

3) Odysseus Cave (Odisejeva špilja), Mljet

The Odysseus Cave or Pit is a geomorphological phenomenon, located on the southern side of the island Mljet, in Babino Polje. It is an egg-shaped cave, whose ceiling had broken off, leaving it looking like a pit or a wide well. The Odysseus Cave is used today as a shelter for fishing boats and fishing tools, and it is the most unusual harbor in the Adriatic. During summer months, around noon, when the sun beams strike the cave area, the sea creates a spectrum of colors, fascinating to tourists and nature lovers. In front of the cave, there is a cliff called Ogiran. During the high tides and strong southern winds, the cliff is completely covered by the sea, and thus, represents a huge danger for sailors. According to the legend, Odysseus was shipwrecked on the rocks, but he managed to swim to the cave, where he took shelter. The island was ruled by the beautiful nymph Calypso. Odysseus was charmed by her and the beauty of Mljet Island, where he ended up being “trapped” for seven years before gods released him.

Interesting fact: The Odysseus cave was once a natural habitat of the Mediterranean monk seal, one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals.

odysseus cave

Odysseus Cave, Mljet

4) Grapčeva Cave (Grapčeva špilja), Hvar

Grapčeva Cave is located on the southern side of the island of Hvar, near the village of Humac and it represents the cradle of Hvar’s civilization and culture. This cave is the most important prehistoric finding of the New Stone Age (the Neolithic), and is one of the oldest discoveries in the Mediterranean. The cave consists of a small and a big hall, surrounded by hallways and smaller premises. Stalactites and stalagmites, which dominate the cave, make a magnificent and unforgettable sight, especially when illuminated by candles. The cave is accessible to tourists and the visit is organised by the “Humac” Association that takes care of the cave.

Interesting fact: In 1964, Grapčeva Cave was declared a protected natural monument.

grabceva spilja

Grapčeva Cave, Hvar (source: TZ Jelsa)

5) Biserujka Cave (Špilja Biserujka), Krk

Biserujka Cave has become one of the most visited caves in Croatia in the last ten years. It is located 300 meters north-west from the village Rudine, in the municipality of Dobrinj, on the island of Krk. The cave is accessible to tourists, and what makes it so special is the richness of its decorations: the sumptuous stalactites, stalagmites and calcite columns. Besides the magnificent interior, the visitors are also intrigued by its interesting story, according to which pirate treasure is hidden somewhere in the cave. Biserujka Cave is located above Slivanjska bay, and they are both connected with an educational trail, so this way visitors can find out many interesting details about this landscape through five info panels.

Interesting fact: There are six stenoendemic species living in Biserujka cave (the narrow endemics of the Kvarner area).

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Stopper on a Sailing Yacht http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/stopper-sailing-yacht-2 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/stopper-sailing-yacht-2#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:22:12 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6768 Stopper - in this case, it's not a member of the opposing team in soccer, it's a part of your sailboat, and pretty important at that.

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At the mention of the word “stopper”, one would think of a mean figure running towards you in order to stop your advance with a ball, but in sailing terminology, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the dark bars on the deck through which certain ropes are pulled. The sailor in charge of the stoppers is usually called the pitman, also known as the “keyboard player”.

stopper

The role of a stopper is to literally act as a stopping device. So, it is not a player of the opposite team, but the device which stops the rope on a sailing yacht from being pulled uncontrollably. The right timing of releasing and opening stoppers is crucial for gaining precious seconds when turning the mark during a sailing race. We can also gain extra seconds if we keep in mind that it is not necessary to open them every time we want to use a specific rope. They have to be opened only when we want to release or loosen a certain rope. Therefore, there is no need to open a stopper when trimming a corresponding rope.

stopper

The most common mistake with a stopper occurs when the “keyboard player” does not open or close it completely. Sometimes, the whole sail can collapse when the “keyboard player” is in a hurry and forgets to close it completely. The opposite situation, when the stopper is not opened completely, can result in a torrent of curses and yelling from fellow trimmers or the skipper if the sail or some other part of the gear is not loosened or released on time. So, keep in mind, when handling the stoppers, you must always do it ‘till completion and for a good reason. Saving time means saving energy, which is very important on any sailing trip.

I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!

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Roll Sail or Full Batten Sail – That Is the Question http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/roll-sail-or-full-batten-sail-that-is-the-question-2 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/roll-sail-or-full-batten-sail-that-is-the-question-2#comments Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:11:54 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6753 “To be or not to be: that is the question…” was Hamlet’s famous dilemma many centuries ago; in the world of sailing, ours would read: “Roll sail or full batten: that is the question…”...

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“To be or not to be: that is the question…” was Hamlet’s famous dilemma many centuries ago; in the world of sailing, ours would read: “Roll sail or full batten: that is the question…”

One of the most frequently asked questions when choosing a sailing yacht at the charter company is whether to choose a boat with a roll mainsail or one with a full batten mainsail. Like most questions, this one has no simple answer. The roll mainsail is designed for charter yachts in order to be more practical when setting (pulling out) and reefing, which reduces the number of crew members and helps in case of unexpected wind shifts.

On the other hand, the roll mainsail can never achieve the perfect profile and offers performances of lesser quality in terms of maximum speed, as opposed to the full batten mainsail. A more active and sport-oriented sailor will always opt for the full batten mainsail due to its performances – optimal profile and higher speed of the sailing boat. However, the full batten mainsail users have to take care of the lazy jacks and difficulties with folding them while sailing, as well as opening them after a strip or a race.

Sails

According to the profiles that both sails can achieve, the full batten mainsail usually suffers stronger tensions and, therefore, has to be reinforced by battens inside the sail. Due to their construction, full batten sails seem to be more fragile than roll mainsails, which has to be taken into consideration by both the charterer and the customer. The full batten mainsail certainly requires more care and maintenance than the roll mainsail, but what is important here is to consider which one makes for a more fun experience.

In conclusion, the decision before you is to choose between speed and performance or practicality and fun, and see for yourself what takes priority on your sailing list.

I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!

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Sailing Distant Croatian Islands http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sailing-distant-croatian-islands http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sailing-distant-croatian-islands#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 15:34:59 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5683 Sailed many waters, saw many waters and colours, admired the beauty, respected sometimes dangerous power of the sea, lived by many winds, and still looking for more surprises nature can offer? Sailing along distant...

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Sailed many waters, saw many waters and colours, admired the beauty, respected sometimes dangerous power of the sea, lived by many winds, and still looking for more surprises nature can offer?

Sailing along distant Croatian islands will surely give a brand new dimension and the feel to whatever you might have experienced by now.
A nautical paradise, crystal clear and indigo blue waters, a world yet to be discovered, a mystery and the beauty to be seen and felt are waiting for you at the southern part of the Adriatic Sea.

Among so many of them of the country known as the “country of thousand islands”, seven pearls, proudly standing above the water, are waiting for you, waving to come closer and hear the whisper of the past times, discover the beauty, sometimes wild and merciless nature, sometimes a good example of the nature and human hand cooperation.

List of distant Croatian islands:

1. Sušac Island

You may wish to start with Sušac, (42° 45,0′ N / 016° 29,7′ E), an island located about 20 miles away from Vela Luka on Korčula island, about the same distance from the islands of Vis and Lastovo. Sailing to its southern side is safe for anchorage and protected from the strong northern winds. Decide yourself which way to go around the island, mistakes cannot be made even though the island leaves an optical impression of two islands.

You are on one…Sušac, the dry one! That’s what the name means, the dry island. Umbrellas you won’t need, only 14 litre of rain per year falls on its surface. There was life here in the past for sure, so say the remains of the two Churches from the 4th century.

Sušac

Destination of the fishermen, tourist in the summer, once an important strategic point for the AU monarchy, with the lighthouse from 19th century witnessing the power of the empire, today a place with untouched nature, no cars, apartments and noise, a place where mice are not scared of people, a few goats and sheep are taking care of themselves alone, a place where only three male souls live, with a lighthouse keeper whom you will make happy by bringing the newspaper and probably be rewarded with a piece of good and tasty lamb.

Bring some fresh bread too, and then you might as well hear an amazing legend of two unhappy lovers after whom the islands carry the sad reputation as the island of lost love…

Sušac

Diving lovers, those fit and trained for deeper waters can get into the island’s amazing water underworld and almost hidden habitat of the precious red corals…no matter how much you will maybe wish to see them around the neck of your loved one, leave them where they are. They are a nature wonder and the most beautiful around the neck of the underwater rocks.

2. Brusnik & Svetac

Take photos, memorise corals and sail to the west, to the island of Brusnik and Svetac. 43°00′ N i 15°48′ E. Carrying the official name, St.Andrew, simply called the Saint, that’s what the name of Svetac means.

Getting close, look at them, one to the left, and one to the right and just try to use the imaginary timeline trying to decide how long are they standing there, guarding each other. Do not panic with your compasses going wild – these islands rose above the water after an eruption, probably millenniums ago, with the main constitution of volcanic rocks, and where the iron ore is demonstrating its power.

The surface is covered with bowl shaped rocks and pebbles. Admire them, take a picture, but do not pick them up as souvenirs, the island is protected as the Nature Park since 1951. Before that year, some stones were collected and used for the production of the sharpeners – Brusnik, equaling sharpener, there you go, and the eruptive volcanic rocks are telling you about the origin of the name of the island.

Brusnik and Svetac

With your own eyes, you will be able to witness the amazing cooperation of nature and a human hand. Besides that, the island is filled with a natural phenomenon of small pools, holes in rocks filled with the sea water, used by fishermen to keep alive every fisherman’s dream, his majesty, the lobster.

During the WWII, used as the training spot for long-range cannons of the British army, Brusnik today is uninhabited, except for birds only, and the only resident – endemic sort of a black –turquoise lizard. When facing a close encounter, don’t be scared of them, harmless as they are, they will probably just very lazy look at you wondering what are you doing at their house at all…some random visitors come during the summers months, guarded by the winds in the winter.
brusnik and svetac

Brusnik and Svetac

The neighboring Saint, sharing almost the same destiny will welcome you with a few souls over there, the Zanki family living on the island for generations, living a simple life with fishing and grooving grapes, yet, happy, relaxed and determined to convince you that such a way of living that they do is the true meaning of life on the water.

3. Lastovo

Wishing to see and feel the wild, unpredictable nature, still with a several souls who would tell how and why the time stands still on the island…then the island of Lastovo (42°44′N 16°50′E) is your next sailing destination. Only 14 km away from Korčula Island, one of the 44 islands of the archipelago, Lastovo is a peaceful pearl of the Adriatic sea.

Lastovo

Sharing its history with the island of Vis, opened for foreigners only after 1992 when the Yugoslavian army finally left, easy to reach, with the length of only 10 km and width of 8.5 km, the paradise of stunning beauty from both the water side and its green side. Green, due to the fact Lastovo is the second runner-up among Croatian islands with the preserved forests, covering almost 70% of the islands’ surface, in 2007 proclaimed a Nature Park.

No concrete, apartments, noise, just endless wine yards, olive groves, fish, the largest habitat of the carob in the whole country, endemic flora and fauna, Mediterranean scent in the air, water and your food will serve you an extraordinary experience.

Lastovo

If when sailing in trough the area you managed to learn some Croatian words, on Lastovo quit further learning. When they speak, it is hard to understand them…the locals on the island are still using a unique dialect, used on the island only and understandable among them only. Exactly 792 souls are living in five small settlements across the island, and all of them will delight you with their free spirit, modesty and their so much positive isolation from the rest of the world.

4. Biševo

The island of Biševo, 42°58′N 16°0′E, a small jewel of the Adriatic of only 6 square km surface, located only about 5 NM southwest from Komiža on the island of Vis, was profiled as a favorite sailing destination soon after the amazing Modra špilja (the Blue Cave), today a natural trademark of the island was discovered and opened for visitors.

Blue Cave, Biševo

With its history going way back to prehistorically times, medieval times when people did live there and cherished the mother nature giving them excellent wines and olives, possibility to get high quality fish for a meal, hard times after the WWII when about 700 people lived on the island, today, only about 10 souls are still there keeping their little piece of paradise trying to protect it from a rough tourism industry.

Silent witnesses of better times are standing in remains of a church of St. Silvester from 11th century, and even a school closed in 1961. Back then, you could hear the laughter of the children over the island, yes. Not the case today anymore.

The modern life has forced majority of the inhabitants to move to nearby Komiža, however, Biševo, with its vineyards and olive groves remain in the hearts of the people, having them to return to the island, if not more frequently, then to take care of the wine and olives, and spend several peaceful summer months over there.

Sailing to Biševo will reveal for you the unimaginable beauty of the sea, little bays and charming pebble beaches, two of them considered as the most beautiful ones on the Adriatic.

Porat, Biševo

The famous Blue cave is a must to see when reaching the island. Once home to the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus ), a cheerful and very rare species of seal, almost entirely exterminated by fishermen for damages they cased to the nets, the discovery of the blue cave also had a humanitarian purpose since the monks found their new and safe home there.

Monk seal cave, Biševo

Sail to nearby Mezoporat bay for anchoring, since it is the best and the easiest way to reach the cave, where the tenders will bring you to the entrance. Recommended and the best time to visit the cave is daily between 9 am to 1 pm, for a spectacular light show of the sun beams and turquoise water working together.

For those wishing to take a hike around the island, Mezoporat bay is also the best recommendation. Enjoy the path and a glass of famous Biševski Plavac, red wine produced by Zaberlin family and available for tastings, just to finish your day with this elixir of Gods.

5. Palagruža

When planning a journey to Palagruža (42°23′28″N 16°15′47″E), the remotest Croatian territory, keep in mind that the closest Croatian land is the island of Sušac, 23 NM away. The island of Lastovo and the town of Komiža (Vis Island) are 32 NM and 40 NM away, and Split, on the Adriatic coast, 68 NM away.

Palagruža

Sailing this far away will require advanced skills, a bit of courage and a love for nature wonders. The crystal Adriatic will then surely reward you with the amazing view of Palagruža archipelago, looking just like the necklace of precious pearls, just here lined on the water.

This line of about ten smaller islands, or better cliffs standing out in the middle of the Adriatic, allows you to have a clear view of the both coasts, Croatian and Italian.
The biggest, the proud King standing among them is the island of Palagruža Vela (Great Palagruža), also known as the “the Island of Diomedes”, an ancient Greek hero from the Trojan War. Archaeological artefacts found on the island show that there was a temple dedicated to Diomedes dating back to the 5th century BC, while historical data confirms the presence of life on the island from prehistorically times. During the Middle Ages, the island was a home to priests, with traces of a medieval monastery still standing on the island.

Palagruža

The largest lighthouse on the Adriatic Sea found its home on the island, built on a 92 meters rock, today turned into an apartment reserved for those searching for a truly peaceful vacation in the company of endemic birds and plants, and occasionally a lighthouse keeper himself.

Prior to the arrival, establish the communication via channel 16, where you will get detailed instructions on safe anchoring. However, the overnight stay is not recommended due to unstable weather conditions and rocky sea floor on Palagruža’s northern and southern beaches. Just as note, one of the pearls of this “water necklace”, called Galijula and a part of this archipelago is officially the most southern point of the territory of Croatia, fighting the strongest winds ever recorded and waves up to 9 meters.

Palagruža

If still staying overnight, simply stretch a friendly hand to the nature demonstrating its power here. Uninhabited, quiet place, visited by brave and experienced fishermen only, especially those searching for lobsters. If you are an early bird willing to be on your feet way before the dawn, you might just get lucky and have a personalised tutorial on dragging the nets out of the water, filled with the richness of the sea.

Reaching Palagruža during summer months requires even more courage and sailing skills, but the journey can be extremely pleasant if you plan a detailed route and pay attention to the weather forecast.

6. Jabuka

Back to the open sea, with more desire to explore and discover, there is one more. Scary. And frightening. One word, Jabuka (N43°05΄30.8˝ / E15°27΄35.6˝), 26 nautical miles away from the island of Vis.

Jabuka

The Apple translated. Just like the poisonous fruit from the fairytale of Snow-white, an island of a stunning beauty from the outside, dangerous, dangerous when you try to even stretch your hand towards it.

Jabuka is a 97 meters high cliff, surrounded with even deeper, 260 m deep waters, whose depth still reveals an amazing dark blue colour, so rarely visited, extremely rich in fish, created by powerful and merciless nature, for some considered the smallest, yet the strongest island of the world. Just like the little volcanic pearl, nearby Brusnik, Jabuka’s constitution is also in the great majority of erupted lava turned into rocks; back in 1958 protected as the Nature Park and proclaimed an IPA area.

Even though far away from the navigation routes, the island once served as the orientation point due to its amazing and high pyramidal shape.

Standing so lonely in the middle of the open sea, impossible to anchor and set a foot on it, except for a tiny southwestern point, possible to reach only in very peaceful times with no wind, which is rarely the case on Jabuka.

Except for endemic birds, lonely inhabitants in shape of seagulls and falcons, the brave ones able to fly and reach it, one strong and long living old lady in a shape of the endemic olive tree, fighting the strong winds around the island, nobody else will manage to do so. And that’s the way it should be.

Still, do sail, and at the point when your compass starts going wild, it is a sign to stop and admire this amazing beauty of nature – from distance.

If what you are reading is appealing, charter a yacht in Croatia and discover the beauty of these pearls for yourself. Plan your trip carefully, check the weather forecast from minute to minute, and once you conquer them all, the return to your charter base will surely grant you bravery recognition and respect!

Wishing you fine and friendly winds and a calm sea!

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Lighthouses in Croatia http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lighthouses-in-croatia http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lighthouses-in-croatia#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:38:19 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5435 Peace, silence, nature and the sea – if these are the things you are looking for in a good vacation, then you should start exploring Croatian coast and its lighthouses. Apart from having an...

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Peace, silence, nature and the sea – if these are the things you are looking for in a good vacation, then you should start exploring Croatian coast and its lighthouses. Apart from having an important role in maritime activities, they also serve as a monument to the rich history of this beautiful country. Many of them are available for rent, but you can always visit them with your charter yacht and take a walk or a swim in the crystal clear sea. The lighthouses of Croatia are operated and maintained by Plovput, a state-owned company. Plovput lists 46 separate lighthouses, although there are numerous additional towers, lights, and beacons. Here is a list of our favorites.

Palagruža

Palagruza Lighthouse
The most remote lighthouse in Croatia is located on the island of Palagruža, right between Croatia and Italy. The island is famous for its position, history and exceptional Mediterranean beauty. The lighthouse was built in 1875, at the altitude of 90m above sea level. Palagruža is surrounded by dangerous waters, so landing can be difficult. When approaching Palagruža, it is recommended to announce your approach to the lighthouse keeper. Overnight stay is not recommended due to unstable weather conditions and rocky sea floor.
It is uninhabited, except by lighthouse keepers and by summer tourists who occupy two apartments available for renting. The island is a part of a small archipelago consisting of another smaller island and a number of rocks and reefs. Visitors can choose between amazing two beaches, walking tracks and many endemic species of plants.
The legend says that in 1177, Pope Alexander III and his fleet landed there just because the Pope was so mesmerized by the beauty of the archipelago.

Pločica – Prigradica

Prigradica Lighthouse

The islet of Pločica is located around 7 km from Prigradica, on the island of Korčula. The lighthouse was built in 1887 and it is still in a good shape, even though there are no permanent keepers today. However, there is Mr. Petković Ante, who supports and takes care of the lighthouse, organizes the transport and supply of food.
The island is surrounded by a rocky bottom and torn rocks on the southern side and shallow sea with the sand lagoon on the northern side. There is also a boat hoist on the northern side of the island.
The waters around the island are the most attractive in the Adriatic for the variety of fish and underwater landscapes. During the night, it is possible to see the gleam of the lighthouses from the neighboring islands, if you face the northeast.

Prišnjak – Murter

Prisnjak Murter
While sailing into the Murter Archipelago from either the south or the west, you will not miss the islet of Prišnjak with a little romantic lighthouse on it. The lighthouse was built in 1886, and today has one apartment studio available for rent. Prišnjak is a popular place for sailors and tourists. It is only 300 m away from the coast of Murter and surrounded with shallow waters, optimal for swimming almost throughout the whole year. There are several beaches on the islet, one with a concrete entrance to the sea.
Prišnjak is a great place for sports fishing and it’s worth a visit just for the amazing sunset coming from the National park Kornati which is only 6 NM away.

Tajer – Sali

Tajer Sali
If you are sailing in the beauty of Kornati, you would be crazy to miss out the Tajer lighthouse located on its northeast corner. The lighthouse was built in 1876 and it is connected to the main building by a covered bridge. The island is easily accessible by a spacious seafront with the stairs rising from the sea. Tajer lighthouse has 2 apartment-studios with all the bedrooms facing the tower. The iron tower itself was bought in France and it took months to assemble the parts. It is the only iron lighthouse tower in Croatia.

Veli rat – Dugi Otok

Veli Rat Dugi Otok
Veli Rat lighthouse is located on the island of Dugi Otok, just 3 km from the same-name village. The lighthouse was built in 1849, the tower is 40 m high with a light range of 22 NM and the house has two apartment studios to rent. It is easily accessible, providing shade in a beautiful pine forest and assistance in a form of a lighthouse keeper and his family. If this is not good enough, this place is great for fishing and has a number of sheltered coves perfect for swimming or scuba diving.

Porer – Premantura

Porer Premantura
A true diamond on this list is Porer lighthouse, located on a small islet, 2.5 km from the village of Premantura on the neighboring island. The islet is only 80 m wide and it will take just a minute for you to walk around it. There are 3 small berths on the islet, but keep in mind the strong currents, if you decide to approach. Porer lighthouse has two apartment studios to rent and a 35 m high tower providing a breathtaking view of the sunset from the top.

Savudrija – Savudrija

Savudrija Savudrija
Built in 1818, Savudrija lighthouse is the oldest and northernmost lighthouse in Croatia. It is located only 9 km from Umag and it is right next to the Slovenian border. Savudrija lighthouse is even more beautiful when you add the garden, nearby stone beaches and 4 apartment-studios available for rent. Strong winds and mild currents are perfect for water sports. There is also a legend of a love story behind the construction of the lighthouse, but we dare you to visit the place and ask the lighthouse keeper about it.

Struga – Lastovo

Struga Lastovo
If you want to admire a stunning view on the edge of 70 m high cliff, then Struga lighthouse is a right place for you. It was built in 1839 and today a third-generation family of lighthouse keepers is taking care of this unique place. The island of Lastovo is a true example of historical Mediterranean culture and architecture. There is a concrete beach next to the lighthouse, which can be used as a harbor, and if you decide to visit the place, apartment-studios can host up to 15 people.

Sušac – Vela Luka

Sušac Vela Luka
If you wish to explore a little bit further, you might get off of navigation routes, but you also might visit the Sušac lighthouse. The main building of the lighthouse is at the altitude of 100 m and the view from this place is amazing. Located on a small, yet specific island, the lighthouse is being run by two keepers. Endemic species can be found on the island if you take a walk, while beaches are definitely worth a visit. The island is far away from civilization so do not expect to find any supplies, stores or ATMs. However, there is an interesting piece of nature for true adventure lovers. On the northern side of the island, there is a seawater lake which can be reached by diving through a cave.

Sv. Ivan – Rovinj

Sv. Ivan Rovinj
On a little rock in the Rovinj archipelago, you can find Sv. Ivan lighthouse whose tower is 23 m high. This lighthouse was built in 1853 and today, like many others, it offers apartment studios for rent. Although really small, the islet has two beautiful beaches, but swimming too far from the shore is not recommended, due to strong currents and winds. Rich underwater and the clean Adriatic Sea are making this islet a great place to dock and scuba dive, especially because there are two docks you can use. If you like peace, solitude, diving or fishing, plus the beautiful view from the lighthouse tower, then you need to visit this islet.

All photographs are provided by Plovput.

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 8 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-8 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-8#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:29:12 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5425 The transfer of Lagoon 42 has come to an end. Read the last post of this amazing sailing journey, which includes almost losing one crew member in Croatia!

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The transfer of Lagoon 42 has come to an end. Read the last post of this amazing sailing journey, which includes almost losing one crew member in Croatia!
Read Part 7 here!

Tuesday, 28/03/17

At 10.50 am, we moored up at the customs pier in Dubrovnik. After 45 minutes, the paperwork was done, and we put down the yellow „Quebec“ signal flag. We got an email with the copies of Croatian papers for our catamaran “Galapagos”. Then we took down the Dutch flag, the temporary registration for the transfer and hoisted the Croatian flag on stern, which was in front of the guest land flag starboard under the spreaders. We also changed the home port from Amsterdam to Split underneath the letters of the boat name.

Gruž

Gruž

We got a three-hour time window, where we could moor up for free and the crew rushed to the old city of Dubrovnik to finally see the „Pearl of the Adriatic“. Then we left Gruž, the new harbor of Dubrovnik, and headed to the island of Šipan, which is a nice, calm and idyllic place near Dubrovnik. We had luck – a restaurant opened for us, eight very hungry customers, and we enjoyed fresh fish and some meat. Dessert was “palačinke” (pancakes with sugar and jam). We also visited my old friend Božo in his bar for some drinks.

Šipan

Šipan

Wednesday, 29/03/17

As discussed the day before, we left the harbor at 8 o´clock. Suddenly, we noticed on the pier a man running, shouting and wildly waving his hands. Oops, we had left behind one of our crew members! He didn´t look at his watch and went for a walk without telling the others. So, we turned around and „saved“ him. What followed was a bright sunny day, but unfortunately, the wind was against us. Therefore, we had to run both engines to reach our destination, the island of Hvar, still in daylight. We had some 60 nm to go. Luckily, we got the last available space at the pier, and moored up stern to pier with two moorings. In the evening, the crew went to a restaurant.

Hvar

Hvar

Thursday, 30/03/17

We left Hvar at around 8 am before anybody came to charge us. There was no wind on a cloudless day and we had to run the engine. We stopped in Bobovišće, a small bay on the island of Brač, for a coffee break, but the two restaurants hadn’t been opened yet. So, after a quick walk around the town we continued our journey to Split. Around noon, we moored up at Špinut Marina.

To sum up, we had done 3.264 nm in 6 weeks! Thanks to everyone who participated! Unfortunately, SailingEurope had only bought one catamaran. We would be ready to start again after a two-week rest.

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