Questions and answers on yacht chartering
Section 1
  • Questions and answers

    Questions and answers

What sailing licence or boat licence do I need in the Mediterranean?

For all countries, in principle a German skipper needs the German  SBF-See (Sportbootführerschein See) or SKS (Sportküstenschifferschein)

Particularities for Greece: as well as the skipper, a second person is required as co-skipper, who must at least have sailing experience (documented). The simplest way would be for the co-skipper also to hold a Sportbootführerschein. But he or she does not need the same formal qualification as the captain, for example a Binnenschein (inland waters certificate) would be sufficient, or even just his or her own declaration of navigational experience. This statement can be made on the appropriate form and is enough for the authorities. We can provide you with this document (Co-Skipper Official Statement) if need be.

Particularities for Croatia: the skipper or a crew member must hold a radio certificate. It is possible to get a Croatian radio certificate on the spot at short notice. It costs about EUR 55, and can be obtained from certain harbour authorities.

See also our information on licences in Croatia

For example in Zadar at the harbour office:

23000 Zadar
Telephone: 00385 (0)23 / 254888
Fax: 00385 (0)23 / 250235
Cost about €55, on Fridays and Wednesdays 
(As of 24.01.2014)

What is a permit or transit log?

These amount to a kind of navigation permit for the sea area concerned, for which you have to pay a fee to the state. In Germany and Scandinavia there is no such requirement, but in the Mediterranean it is normal practice for the various countries.

The permit is obtained at the charter base harbour before the charter starts. Charterers must simply send us their crew list in good time before the charter period, so that the permit can be applied for.

May I sail a charter yacht from Turkey to Greece?

Yes, it is relatively easy. There are clear rules for clearing in and out in each country. But you must remember that both states have designated particular harbours as "ports of entry".

Right way: with a Turkish yacht you may sail freely in Greek waters after clearing in. 

Wrong way: with a Greek yacht, however, you may not sail just as you wish in Turkey, the regulations there are much stricter. You may clear in with the Greek boat, but after that you are not allowed simply to sail into the nearest Turkish harbour, but must go back to Greece.  

How does booking with PCO work?

When you reserve a yacht with us, we immediately contact the owner/charter base and book it. They will normally hold it for you for 7 days. We send you the charter contract and other documents (data sheet, insurance papers, directions to the pick-up base, packing list etc) directly by post and by e-mail. You then have a week to check all the information and, if you find it satisfactory, to sign the contract and send it to us. Finally we will return the countersigned, operative contract to you again.

In principle the contract is between you as charterer and the owner of the particular boat you have chosen. PCO has an agency agreement with the owner.

When must the various payments be made?

The initial down payment (in accordance with the contract) is due as soon as you have received the signed contract back again, The balance should be paid 4 weeks before the start of your cruise. For some yachts the security bond and the final cleaning fee must also be made over before the start of the charter.

How do I provide the security deposit?

The security bond in fact allows the owner or the charter base to recover any damages to the yacht that are not covered by insurance. The procedure is similar to that for hire cars. At the Mediterranean charter bases you generally lodge the security by credit card. This may be a sizeable sum, and it is best to check that your credit limit and the amount available on your card are sufficient before you start your journey, or there may be delays when picking up the boat.

A good tip in this regard: you can insure the security bond, all yacht insurers normally offer this service.

Sportbootführerschein in Spanien

The regulations on skippers' licences in Spain are similar to the German ones.

Führerscheinvorschriften für Segler in Kroatien

The regulations on skippers' licences for sailors and motor-boat users in Croatia are similar to the German ones

Teplitzer Allee 16-18
24146 Kiel 
Tel.: +49 (0)431 - 71 97 97 0
Fax: +49 (0)431 - 71 97 97 3

See our Baltic Sea charters at

Büro Kiel

PCO Yachting
Teplitzer Allee 16-18
24146 Kiel
Telefon: 0431-7197970
Fax:     0431-7197973