Flotilla Sailing – Is It Really Something for Me?
Yes, it definitely is for you. I recommend sailing in a flotilla regardless of your desired destination. Still, I feel there are some unanswered questions about flotillas. In general, flotilla is an organized type of sailing strip in which participants are provided with some extra services by the organizer.
First of all, there is a fleet leader, who is in charge of operational management of the trip and is acquainted with the route, weather forecast, as well as various tips, tricks and recommendations, about which they inform other participants. The leader usually has one or more assistants who are there to help find anchorages, book berths and provide information about what to do and what to visit on certain destinations. They also give a hand with provisioning. Furthermore, there is also technical support that takes care of yacht maintenance and repairing sailing gear.
I am mentioning these facts to emphasize the fact that participants of a flotilla can feel as relaxed as possible and do not have to take care of the “boring stuff” of a trip. This is very helpful if you are about to sail some new and unfamiliar waters.
On the other hand, the flotilla staff is there to help you with advice about maneuvering and handling the boat if you are not confident with your sailing skills. More confident sailors who do not need that much help are free to choose their own way of reaching the next destination and meeting the rest of the fleet at the end of a day. Even experienced sailors take part in flotillas when they do not have a clear idea about which route to take on their own. They take advice from the flotilla staff and then explore the area by themselves.
Another reason to take part in a flotilla is of social nature. Participating in a flotilla is a social activity. During a trip, you get a chance to meet different types of people. The atmosphere is relaxed and people are easy-going so socializing gets more interesting compared to mingling during business conventions and conferences. Some friendships made during a flotilla turn into lifelong relationships which continue to grow ashore. You may also find a sailing friend for some other trip or adventure, or even a love story…
To summarize my point, I can say that a lot of worries about logistics and organizing a sailing vacation are left to someone else when sailing a flotilla. Taking part in a flotilla can help you discover things about your destinations that you would never learn if you sailed on your own. Combined with a positive mood and friendly atmosphere, the flotilla is nothing but a good idea.
I wish you a calm sea, fair winds and a strong mast!