Sailing Europe: Croatian Boating Itinerary

If you are considering sailing Europe, then Croatia could be the perfect destination. This beautiful coastline off the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea offers pristine beauty and more than 1500 islands.

Our contact Romeo Demes from Charter Orvas has given us some insider tips on the nicest areas to sail to in Croatia.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the Lastovo Archipelago Natural Park and the Island Mljet National Park where you can view exotic flora and fauna. There are several yacht charters where you may rent a boat and sail on your own or you may choose to use the numerous cruise tours offered by different hotels.

Highlights: Dubrovnik is probably the first place that comes to mind when you think of Croatia. This walled Medieval city whose walls have totally stood the test of time is a beautiful coastal town that borders the Adriatic. It is home to quite a number of islands like the Elafiti Islands which make the perfect environment for an exciting sail and excursion. For a feel of some great historical architecture, visit Kornati town located on the Kornati Island where you’ll also find the knight’s game of Moreska is still practiced.

Recommended route: Dubrovnik to Lopud to Saplunar Bay to Pomena to Lastovo to Korcula to Polace and back to Dubrovnik and at each stop, it is best to spend a full day so as to enjoy all that Croatia has to offer.

Sailing Europe: Croatian guide

Image source: Orvas Yachting

Kornati Islands

The Kornati Islands are a cluster of many islands including the Pag, Pasman, Dugi Otok, earning it the name Kornati Archipelago. Its indented coastline together with the perfect wind conditions provide the thrill needed for an exciting sail around these islands.

Highlights: The islands are home to the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Kornati Islands National Park in case you want to get in touch with nature. The historical towns of Zadar and Sibenik are also nice spots to visit.

Recommended route: Sail through to Biograd then to Bozava Bay, to Telascica Bay then to NP Kornati. From there sail to Zlarin, to Skradin, to Vrgada Island, to Biograd then, back to Kornati. Along the way, enjoy the rich Croatian culture, the beautiful weather, warm beaches, deserted islands and the serenity and calm of the waters.

Sailing Europe: Croatian guide for Kornati

Island of Vis

Vis, the hidden gem of Croatia is home to some of the most exciting features of the Mediterranean.

Highlights: Head to the Blue Cave also known as the Blue Grotto and the Zelena Spilja, the Green Cave. These are great places to dive and enter, using their below sea-level entrances. The beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic and the beautiful beaches at Vis make an ideal environment for diving, snorkelling, swimming and excursions.

Recommended route: A great route to follow is from Kastela to Maslinica Bay then to Komiza, then to Bisevo, to Islet Budihovac to Stonicica. From here, sail to Hvar, to Stari Grad to Milna and back to Kastela.

Sailing Europe: sailing in Croatia


Croatia is a sailor’s paradise. Most of it is almost untouched by man. The spectacular coastline, beautiful beaches, peaceful waters and picturesque sights will keep you glued to this country once you visit it.

 We would like to thank Romeo Demes from Charter Orvas for writing this article.

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The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

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Release of Version 2.1 of MaxSea TimeZero Professional Range

We are happy to inform you that version 2.1 of the MaxSea TimeZero professional range MaxSea TimeZero PLOT and ECS has just been released and is available to download now.

Version 2.1 includes a range of innovative new features as well as several corrections. These improvements provide provide commercial fishing vessels and work boats with powerful functions that will make these activities even more efficient. This update is completely free of charge for all existing MaxSea TimeZero ECS and PLOT users!


Read a complete description of the improvements in v2.1 of the MaxSea TimeZero professional range


Here are a few of the main improvements you will find in version 2.1:

New features in MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

  • New 3D WorkSpace: can be set to full screen or split screen (2D/3D), improved display options. See image below:

New 3D display in v2.1

  • The Bathy Recorder function has been completely redesigned – for even more targeted fishing.
  • Addition of Manual Contour Lines and new Contour Line Tool. The contour line interval can be adjusted to a fixed step and user can choose a “highlight” contour line depth. See below image:
New manual contour lines

New features in MaxSea TimeZero ECS and PLOT

  • Proudman Currents are now available for various zones in Europe and the Arabian Gulf.
  • When integrating with a Furuno NavNet 3D or TZtouch MFD, TimeZero can access the NavNet DRS Dual Range capability from a new “Dual Radar” WorkSpace.
  • Fleet Tracking Position Report: TimeZero now automatically creates the Position Report file that can be sent manually or synchronized among multiple vessels using the file hosting service Dropbox. User can choose the frequency of these reports.

Several other new features have also been added to this update, as well as miscellaneous functions and bug corrections.


Price: The update to version 2.1 is totally free for all current MaxSea TimeZero users.

Download: You can contact your regular MaxSea reseller to download this update. Alternatively, you may log into your MyMaxSea account and use the download link in the ‘Downloads’ tab.

Read full description of v2.1 of MaxSea TimeZero Professional Range

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Navigating the lochs in Scotland: Isle of Skye

Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. This week, he tells us about his unforgettable experience, navigating his yacht, the Regina Laska to one of the lochs in Scotland, Loch Scavaig in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. 

Arriving at Loch Scavaig brings a feeling of a total immersion in nature. Cautiously approaching the narrow harbour entrance, I like to compare the notes in the Imray Pilot Book “Skye and North West Scotland” with MaxSea navigation charts. Both the Navionics, Jeppesen and raster charts in MaxSea provide similar chart data and are very helpful.

Lochs in Scotland: Scavaig, Isle of Skype

Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland

My observation at the harbour entrance, however, is that the water depth is slightly less than is claimed in all the available books and charts, and so, boaters should expect water depths of about 1-1.5 m more shallow than charts indicate, not only during low tide.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery

When you arrive at the lagoon, you will be greeted by innumerable seals resting on the soft ground rock or curiously peeping out of the water. So we stare at each other and are enchanted by the contact between humans and animals.

Lochs in Scotland: Seals at the Isle of Skye

The silence of the mountains lying around is only interrupted by one sound – the noise of a waterfall, where the water seems to spring out of the fog into which bore into the mountains. Angelic water?

Lochs in Scotland: Regina Yachting

Slowly, carefully, and with the support of the Furuno NavNet 3D plotter, integrated with MaxSea TimeZero Explorer, we continue into the lagoon. There is no other boat in the area, not a soul. Even our mobile phone doesn’t have reception – no contact with the outside world. Only a small cabin with closed window shutters in the colors of the Scottish flag testifies to the fact that sometimes people here have to seek shelter when the weather becomes too harsh, as is the reputation of Scotland.

The dramatic scenery is breathtaking and so we put our dingy into the water and row ashore. Trails meander along lakes and high up into the mountains with a beautiful view over half Scotland, if not over half of the world. Time and space seem to merge.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery at the Isle of Skye

My charter guests who have travelled with me all the way from Canada on my HR 46 Regina Laska boat, are full of happiness.

In the evening another yacht arrives in the area and anchors next to us. An aluminum yacht that looks as if it has come from as far as Greenland, Svalbard or Antarctica.

We happily sleep in this paradise, until we are awakened the next morning by a motor noise: A tour boat from the nearby mainland. And then another one. And later another. There are lots of hikers who have stopped here for a couple of hours, to see the same beauty that we had enjoyed in our loneliness the night before. But would they experience the same as us?

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery in Scotland

Yes, we think, and enjoy the morning coffee while in the sunlit cockpit.
No heaven can be kept for you alone! “Paradise is a state of mind,” said my charter guest. How true! We recognise that my favorite anchorage is no longer a secret. But as long as we believe it, we could feel unique and special in this world.

With this in mind, we drop anchor and sail instead of continuing to the nearby Talisker distillery.


Leon Schulz’s yacht, the Regina Laska is available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

10 per cent off MaxSea charts

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Jeppesen Charts Updated for Rest of World

The following 38 Jeppesen vector chart zones for the Rest of World have been updated and are available as of Thursday, August 7th, 2014. 

New chart updates: Jeppesen Vector charts for Rest of WorldDownload these nautical charts online from our Chart Catalog

Watch our new video - 5 Interesting Facts about Nautical Charts

Improvements to these Nautical Charts

The chart data in these zones has been updated and improved. Many areas now include additional details, which makes navigating these places simpler and much safer.

Here are some examples of direct comparisons between the last version and new versions of the charts:

BAYKAL AND SIBERIAN LAKES – WVJRSM217MAP6.1:

Old/New Lake Ivan

SYDNEY HARBOUR – MWVJAUM007MAP6.1:

Old /New Sydney Harbour

NORTH – WEST AFRICA – WVJAFM210MAP6.1

Old/New Canaries

See more examples of the new chart updates in our Google+ and Facebook albums.

These charts are available to purchase in the MaxSea webstore, by contacting MaxSea sales at info@maxsea.fr or through your local MaxSea reseller.

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10 per cent off MaxSea charts

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Advice on Boat Propellers from Polar Explorers

What kind of boat propellers do you use? Do you take care of them regularly? MaxSea partners from IMERPOL, Joëlle & Janusz Kurbiel explain the importance of your boat’s propellers. Here, they tell us about their experiences during their polar expeditions:

It can be quite a terrifying experience to navigate a vessel when there is no wind for the sails making all movement entirely dependent on the engine and propeller. However, this situation can often arise. It happened to us several times while navigating around the Poles.

Caged vs. Fixed Propellers

A caged and fixed propeller

Caged vs. non-caged fixed propellers

In the Nordic countries, a kind of protective cage is often built around the propeller which is attached to the hull on small vessels.

Even if this cage effectively protects the propeller against large pieces of ice sliding over it, pieces of debris can still get lodged between the spokes. This could be pieces of wood, ropes, nets or tarpaulins floating in the water or even small pieces of ice. This can be a real pain to remove!

We had protective cages on our vessels Vagabond, Vagabond Vagabond’eux and Exploraglobe. However, for our later vessels Vagabond’eur and Vagabond’elle, we finally opted for a fixed propeller which is unprotected but thicker. These propellers were made especially for us, with an oversized rope cutter.

Strengths of fixed propellers:

  • They allow the driftwood or ice to escape on its own, and
  • If the rope cutter is effective against small ropes, it also protects against nets and other coverings
Glacier images IMERPOL

Ice can cause serious damage to your boat propellers

Recently, during the launch of Vagabond’elle, a piece of carpet got twisted around the propeller. We needed to take the boat out of the water and two of us worked for an hour to remove. You’re either lucky or you’re not…


Interested in learning more about IMERPOL? Here are the previous blog posts they have written for MaxSea:

My Favourite books about the Arctic, by Janusz Kurbiel

The Vikings in the conquest of America

Borealis Expedition: pollution of the Arctic

MaxSea Happy Users: Borealis Expedition 2011-2012

 

 

Cold Weather Sailing Guide

 

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Important Chart Warning: Caution with Vertical Clearances on some Canada Raster Charts

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) would like to let you know of that the vertical clearances (bridges, etc…) on charts and equivalent BSB 1313, 1314, 4026, 4275, 2250, 2283-1, 2283-2, 4266, 4201 are inaccurate. Caution.

The MapMedia mm3d Charts concerned are:

Canada Chart – MWRMNA80MAP (only East Coast and Great Lakes)

Canada Nautical Chart - MWRMNA80MAP

Great Lakes – West Chart – WRMNA900MAP

Great Lakes - West Nautical Chart - WRMNA900MAP

Great Lakes – East Chart – WRMNA901MAP

Great Lakes - East Nautical Chart - WRMNA901MAP

Canada – St Lawrence River Chart – WRMNA902MAP

Canada - St Lawrence River Nautical Chart - WRMNA902MAP

Canada – Newfoundland Chart – WRMNA903MAP

Canada - Newfoundland Nautical Chart - WRMNA903MAP

Feel free to contact us if you need any further information.

New MaxSea Chart RSS Feed

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How to Anchor a Boat with MaxSea TimeZero

Experienced sailors often say that mooring is the most difficult part of sailing. This week, MaxSea partner Leon Schulz talks to us about how to anchor a boat, using MaxSea TimeZero.

Leon outlines the steps to take for a perfect mooring. His boat is equipped with a fully-integrated system: MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, a Furuno BBDS1 sounder, and a Furuno NavNet TZtouch.

How to Anchor a Boat

Leon Schulz’ boat the Regina Laska

  • Understand the sea-floor. Navigate around the anchorage area many times. This is done to record bathymetric information so you know what kind of sea-floor you’re dealing with. To record this data, I use my MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, integrated with a Furuno BBDS1 Sounder.

Anchoring a boat with Furuno BBDS1

The BBDS1 sounder collects and sends bottom classification data to MaxSea TimeZero software. I can also share this new data-rich bathy chart with the integrated Furuno NavNet TZtouch system. Sand or clay is best for anchoring.

  • Check tidal range by displaying tidal data in MaxSea TimeZero. This is a really important step to know how much your boat will be raised or lowered by the tide, or vice versa.

How to anchor a boat with tidal data

You don’t want the boat’s keel to hit the ground during the night, just because the water has disappeared from under the boat. You must also avoid having the boat’s anchor break loose because the boat is suddenly 3 or more meters higher water than when it arrived!

  •  Calculate your desired minimum depth based on my boat’s draught + safety distance under the keel + allowance for tidal changes. Try to find a spot where the boat can swing freely in all directions according to changes in the wind or the tidal current.
  • Take a last look at the Furuno BBDS1 sounder to check the depth and soil conditions and to see if the boat is in the tidal flow or in an area of strong wind and bring the boat to a complete standstill.
  • Lower your anchor slowly until it reaches the ground. You can check the markings on the chain or just listen to how the anchor runs more smoothly when it has reached the bottom.
  • Give the signal to the helmsman to reverse the boat slowly while letting out the chain. At a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5 (from the highest tides expected), stop the windlass.
  • Wait until the anchor sets and the boat turns into the wind. Then it’s time to stretch the chain by reversing the gear carefully. Do so cautiously, so that there is no residue in the chain.
  • Once the engine is stopped, set the snubber. This is the piece of rope that is hung with a claw hook into the chain and relieved with the help of a jerk. This also makes the disturbing noise disappear from the chain rubbing against the bow roller.
  • In windy conditions, put a mooring sail aft, so the bow always points into the wind.

The advantage of MaxSea TimeZero is that you can so easily switch charts. So I often use raster maps at anchor, because there is a lot more information that are interesting for the anchors located. For example, the underwater cable at Iona (see image below).

Anchoring a boat with raster charts

Anchoring the boat off Iona, Scotland

Even small anchors are located on the raster maps. In comparison, the vector charts give less information about the anchorage.

Now it’s done, you can sleep soundly, even if the wind should freshen up in the night or the wind direction changes.


Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. His yacht, the Regina Laska is also available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

10 point safety checklist

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