There is such a thing as too much choice. Scrolling through the reams of charter boats available on any charter site can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. Choosing the right charter boat for your sailing holiday doesn’t have to be a headache. Here is a breakdown of the most popular boat charters and their specifications. You’ll be sailing the high seas in style before you know it!
Bigger is Better
Over the past few years, there has been a trend in renting bigger boats ( 40ft+), especially catamarans, in easy sailing destinations like Croatia and Greece. Sailing conditions here, especially in the summer, allow some sacrifice of performance for convenience if it’s a cruising holiday you are after. Comfort, space and performance are the key factors to think about when you are leisure sailing with a group. The type of group you are sailing with is also an important factor.
Here is our list of the charter boats in high-demand.
Most popular Sailboats
Beneteau Oceanis 45
Our top-rated charter, Beneteau Oceanis 45 is a boat that balances comfort and performance. Her stable hull, well-designed deck space and safety record make this boat near-perfect for a cruising holiday and it’s particularly good for covering long distances. The interior is spacious and well-equipped, usually with 3-4 cabins and 3 heads, ensuring enough privacy and reducing cabin fever on a family cruise. A recent innovation that has made this boat such a hit with sailors is the mainsail arch securing the mainsheet tackle further aft on the boom. The result is easier, safer, more confident sailing. Beneteau’s Dock & Go system is also a handy innovation, simplifying maneuvering no matter the conditions. Dock&Go is present on all Oceanis sailing yachts over 40 feet long.
An overall excellent choice, and our most popular, for a pleasure sailing adventure in the Mediterranean and further afield.
Bavaria Cruiser 46
The world-renowned, German brand, Bavaria, often hits the top ten charters lists and for good reason. This yacht is efficient, comfortable and affordable, particularly the Bavaria Cruiser 46. The big, open living areas and excellent performance on the open sea have helped build the first-class reputation of this boat. Sun seekers will be happy with the huge platform, ideal for swimming, sunbathing or relaxing. The large L-shaped benches on deck are an excellent gathering place for the evening or early morning. The interior is modern and comfortable, with good storage and an extra bed in the saloon, if needed. German engineering ensures safety, functionality, and reliability. Highly recommended for families and groups for that dream sailing holiday.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36i
Despite the trend to bigger boats, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 36i still comes in at the top. It is a well-known boat with an inspiring name. The smaller 36i is a top performance cruiser for smaller parties who don’t mind getting cozy. This high-quality option is both fun to sail and still comfortable enough for a family or close group of friends. It’s the seasoned sailors’ choice of charters and known for its “injection molding” (that’s what the i stands for). Injection molding is a process where the boat is molded in one piece allowing for the creation of lighter and stronger boats and more headroom.
The 2 cabin option allows for a larger shower stall and a double bed can be formed from the dining table. The helmsman will be happy too as the helm is conveniently positioned in reach of the primary winches, allowing tacking without help. The mainsheet is on the coach roof, ahead of the main hatch.
This boat will provide better sailing performance than the bigger models if you like the sport of sailing.
Elan 40 Impression
Two-time winner of the European Yacht of the Year Award; its progressive design, comfort, and easy handling make it an ideal choice for blue water sailing and family groups. The pride of Slovenia, the Elan 45 is a mid-sized keelboat with a rounded hull shape; rigid, well-proportioned with good volume and classic overhangs. Its excellent design leads to great performance, 9-knot speed potential and a good stability ration (approx. 30 %). Under sail in trade wind conditions, she will be capable of more and she has a healthy base speed for making fast passage. The technical structure is able to deal with the natural forces encountered while sailing and offers safety, reliability, and speed in any kind of weather.
Quick bow thrusters allow for great maneuverability and make docking a simple affair. The wide side decks and generous foredeck make it spacious and the well thought out bathing platform is a pleasure to use. Convenient grab rails all around the saloon will have you holding steady even in bumpy weather. The aptly names Impression will certainly leave a good one when you charter this boat.
For those seeking the sublimity of sailing, without giving up on comfort, stability, speed, and space, then renting a catamaran may be the best choice. If your dream holiday includes anchoring in shallow bays close to the beach, diving off the deck with your kids and drinking cocktails at sundown, then consider a catamaran. More stability and minimum heeling can help to avoid seasickness and sufficiently more space on deck and inside with makes the catamaran a good choice for large groups or as a party boat. Catamarans offer a good balance between sailing performance and comfort.
Our most popular model is the Lagoon 40 and encompasses Lagoon’s signature design. It’s extremely roomy, with a light and airy apartment-like interior. Accommodating all levels of sailors, even complete beginners, it’s an excellent option for young children and older passengers. The Lagoon 40 is stable, comfortable and luxurious whether sailing or powerboating with the added bonus of being able to moor in shallower water. This sleek and modern beauty can accommodate up to 12 people and has a comfortable cockpit. The large aft and spacious swim platform assures smooth entrance and exit from the water and easy access to the tender. Performance features include a self-tacking jib for simplified maneuvers, a main sail, with a high aspect ratio, which allows for better capture of airflow in the upper parts of the sail, and a large forward triangle for a wider choice of downwind sails.
For a touch of luxury and privacy on a pleasure cruise, the Lagoon 40 is ideal.
The Bali 45 is a strongly-built performance cruiser that won’t disappoint. New specifications have led to expansive living with a panoramic view and good, natural ventilation. Vast indoor and outdoor living spaces and an elegant design offer an extremely comfortable and luxurious setting to enjoy the sea life. On deck is a big forward cockpit with removable tables and a sunbathing area. Constructed with a resin-infused foam core, it is a light yet strong boat that handles well on waves. Waves breaking on the foredeck disappear quickly due to the scuppers. The Bali 45 has a very high freeboard and excellent bridge deck clearance, which makes it a very dry boat.
Known for its safety and maneuverability, another top performing catamaran to set sail on this summer!
The great debate over which is better – one or two hulls – is one that many a sailor enjoys having on deck while sipping something cold. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both, it usually just comes down to personal taste, intended use of the sailing boat and your sailing destination. Either way, take your pick and happy sailing!
By Merryn Wainwright