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10 things you need to know before booking a first sailing holiday

Technical details and other useful information

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Sailing is an incomparable experience that makes us enter a very different dimension from the one we are used to in our daily lives. That's the reason why more and more people choose it as their regular type of holiday.

A boat is not the same thing as a car, and as it moves through the water presents a different and much lower speed. The limit that comes out of it is the difficulty of covering many miles in a short amount of time, but the best part is that the miles covered can be enjoyed to the fullest; in this case, we can really say that what matters the most is the journey, not the destination! 

The sailing world is a complex reality made of technical terminology and licenses, which can look quite overwhelming for a first-timer. But with a bit of preparation ahead and a dash of personal curiosity, it can become your next favorite hobby! We wrote down a list of useful information that can help you better understand how sailboats work and have a general knowledge of this world so that you can get ready for your next (or first) sailing adventure! 

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What do you need to rent a boat? 

Let's answer one of the most popular questions first: No, you don't need a sailing license to rent a boat. Everyone can rent a boat and enjoy an amazing and unique holiday with their friends or family.

A boat license is only required when bareboating, which is the act of chartering a boat without a skipper or a crew. In this case, the person who wants to bearboat needs to possess a valid ICC & CEVNI license, and, in some countries such as Croatia, a radio license. The mentioned licenses confirm the capability of a person to drive a boat in international waters. 

It is important to consider that different types of boats require different licenses. We always suggest asking your travel consultant during your booking process with Sailogy, to get the most accurate information according to the boat you choose to rent and the destination. 

Finally, we also suggest considering having a skipper on board even if provided with a sailing license. This figure not only will be able to assist you during navigation and maneuvering procedures but also will provide you with useful information regarding the route, the best destinations to visit, local restaurants, and much more. A valid and essential member of the crew! 

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Where to rent a boat?

As previously mentioned, the speed of a boat is not comparable with that of a car. For this reason, we suggest renting a boat that is already in the proximity of the destination you want to visit and reaching the boat by car or by plane. To give you an idea, consider that an hour by car equals a day of sailing. 

With Sailogy, you can choose between more than 22,000 boats in over 800 destinations, so you can plan your holiday according to your needs and timings!

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What is the speed of a sailing boat?

The average speed of a sailing boat is 5 knots (approx. 6 miles per hour).

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What is the length of a nautical mile?

A knot (kn) measures the speed and equals a nautical mile (1852 m) per hour. The maximum speed can be even higher on modern or particularly long boats, especially when sailing with a motor or perhaps aided by a gennaker. This optional large-area bow sail is at its best in particular circumstances, mainly on wide swings.

Catamarans are faster when the wind pushes them, particularly at lift.

When sailing, you should bear in mind that the wind hardly ever blows from a direction that allows us to reach our destination directly, so the actual speed towards it will be considerably lower.

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The sailboat engine

The sailing boat engine is an auxiliary engine, as the primary means of propulsion are boat sails. This engine is not extremely powerful, however more than sufficient for the sailboat's speed. Additionally, the moderate engine power is a guarantee for silence; its slight muttering is primarily covered by the sounds of the sea and the wind, allowing us to fully enjoy the moments spent sailing with the engine on without forcing ourselves into impatience to arrive.

Sailing, as in the mountains, is done in hours. The engine control panel on our sailing boat is equipped with a rev counter and an hour counter, as illustrated below.


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What's the average petrol consumption of sailboats? 

Consumption can vary a lot according to different factors, but generally speaking, the consumption of a small diesel engine such as those used in sailing boats, is quite low: a modern 30 hp Yanmar engine, such as the one fitted in the Beneteau Oceanis 37, consumes about 4 l/h.

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How long should I sail for?

When planning your navigation in terms of distance, time, or fuel, it is crucial to consider the outward journey, the return journey, and a one-third margin. 

Consider sailing for a maximum of 4-5 hours per day, avoiding the nights and always keeping a significant safety margin against darkness. In particular, ensure you have light when mooring or anchoring in unfamiliar places. 

These considerations lead us to a range of about 25 miles per day, 75 for a week's holiday. Let's take this into account when planning our destinations, and if we are interested in visiting even more distant locations, we should consider chartering the boat for a fortnight.

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What's the difference between a displacement and a planing hull?

Boats displace a volume of water equal to their weight in order to float on water. Depending on the hull type, boats can navigate in two ways, displacing the water they occupy or sliding partially over. These two ways are respectively called sailing in displacement and sailing in planing (like an inflatable boat).

As the propulsive thrust increases, sailboats increase their speed until they reach a point where they rise out of the water and glide. Some hulls will have a shape that does generate that gliding effect. However, some hulls are shaped so that once the sailboat reaches a certain speed, the boat's motion will create waves that will not allow it to accelerate any further. 

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What is the critical speed?

The critical speed is 1.35 x the square root of the waterline length in feet. So for the Beneteau Oceanis 37 in the example above, this would be a speed of about 8 knots.

As a result, there is no need to push the engine any further once the speed is reached; on the contrary, it is better to reduce the revs slightly until they drop a little: this is the point of maximum efficiency!

 

   

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