© Kamil Porembiński

Croatia sailing etiquette

The manners you'll need when manning a boat in Croatia

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If you’ve been sailing before, you’re probably already aware of the rules of the sea, but if you’re a first-timer, there are some important things you need to know before embarking on your trip. A sailing holiday is very different from a holiday on land and a large part of that is the etiquette you're expected to observe when on board. Don't worry! It's not a daunting list or difficult to remember, and once you're aware of the rules and have a bit of experience under your belt, most of it you'll see as common sense. But, until you've been introduced to the codes of sailing, there are some rules you won't be able to guess on your own. So, here are the five most important rules for you to learn.

RECOMMENDED: Time Out's guide to sailing in Croatia.

Respect the right of way and understand the rules
National Park Kornati

Respect the right of way and understand the rules

Steer clear of oncoming boats and allow lots of room especially for larger boats. Always be aware of your own wake and the way it can affect others. In regards to the latter, always be aware of your speed, your position and your oncoming direction. Anticipate who your wake might affect and adjust your speed and/or direction accordingly.

The rules of anchoring
© Joanna Dubaj

The rules of anchoring

Don't anchor too close to other boats. Be aware that the wind can change direction quickly and cause you to bang into and potentially damage your boat and others. You definitely don't want to do that as it may put pay to your holiday immediately. Any boats that are already anchored have the right to define the swing radius, so be respectful of that and freely take the advice of others; they may seem over cautious perhaps, but they may have more experience than you in these regards. Although not a steadfast rule of anchoring, it's only right and proper to be respectful of your neighbours in regards to noise; if you're planning to hold a party on your boat, make sure you anchor downwind of your neighbours and at a distance from which you're not going to disturb them. Remember that noise and music especially travels far and uninterrupted across the sea.

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Always help out a fellow sailor
Photo by Kvarner Tourist Board

Always help out a fellow sailor

If you see another sailor or vessel in trouble, do your best to help them out, but remember to keep at a safe distance from them to ensure the safety of your own boat and the people it is carrying.

Be environmentally aware
Kvarner TB

Be environmentally aware

You're here for the crystal clear Croatian waters, so it's important to try and leave them in exactly the same condition in which you found them. Sharing the seas with others means we have to be constantly aware of what we leave behind within them. Especially be aware of leaving any plastic or plastic bags on deck that could be blown in the sea. Only ever pump out your sewage at properly designated stations. Observing the rules of pump-out stations and holding tanks is essential. Be aware of all pump out stations on your route and plan accordingly.

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Conserve water
Tatiana Popova

Conserve water

'Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink'; it's all too easy to be complacent about water when you're surrounded by it, but make no mistake, your onboard water supply is one of the most valuable commodities you have. You have a limited supply of fresh water and you need it not only for drinking but for cooking and cleaning too. Make sure everyone aboard is aware of this aspect before you set sail and that they realise that these are not the same circumstances they have at home, where there's an unlimited supply.

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