Beauty of the Maltese waters for sailors and sea lovers
There is so much to see under the water...
As a location for scuba diving, Malta is considered to be either the best, or one of the best, locations in Europe depending upon who you asked. In fact, in early 2013 Gozo was recognised as being the 3rd best location in the world for scuba.
Combine a location like Gozo and the snorkelling and diving available with some nice restaurants to drop into and wonderful features like Fungus Rock and the Azure Window and you have a spectacular day out!
There are other locations, of course. Our sailing trips can take you to the harder to reach locations off Lampedusa, for example, a truly breathtaking destination.
The video on the right was shot by Mark, a local, while freediving off the coast of Comino, a small island that sits in between Malta1
. As you can see, the water is crystal clear and the wreck is within reach of most divers. Days like this can make for a spectacular trip!
The only downside with a day of diving like this is that it interrupts the sailing! For longer journeys, to Sicily for example, the sailing needs to take precedent, but once there, the locations for a dive are wonderful. There is such a rich variety of fish and sea life that it must be seen.
Navigation in the Maltese waters
Being in the Mediterranean Maltese waters are non tidal, hence most of the navigation done does not take into consideration tide but does need to consider leeway and currents. The surrounding seas of Malta are very well marked with the appropriate navigation buoyage signals, both very visible during the day and night with the appropriate lighting.
The most commonly used charts are the Admiralty Charts (BA Charts) which Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). All our vessels are in fact equipped with large scal and small scale BA charts.
Malta is also situated close to traffic channels for large ships and often tankers and cargo ships are anchored on close by banks for either bunkering or simply for shelter. Often such shipping requires due consideration during navigation planning and also sailing.
Why Should You Join Us In Malta?
We love sailing and are lucky enough to be based in one of the best locations in Europe for the summer. The sunshine is virtually guaranteed for several months at a time, the sea is warm, the winds are relatively calm and everyone can have some fun.
From a sailing perspective3
, the light winds and calm seas that are typical in summer are not great, but if you are planning a trip or day out with newcomers to the water then it is ideal. The worst possible first trip is one with choppy waters and strong winds. Virtually every new sailor will feel sick under those conditions and that is no fun for anyone.
Since Malta is quite small, it is possible to sail much of the island in one or two days, depending on the weather. This offers a great view of the different coastlines and rocks, including the spectacular cliffs around Gozo. We start our trips from the marina in the Grand Harbour. The history of Birgu and the Three Cities, Valletta4
and those imposing defensive walls are quite a sight from the water, as are all the yachts and moorings.
There is a lot to see to the south of Malta, with locations like St Peter's Pool, Dingli Cliffs and the island of Fifla all being popular. It can be nice to set down for a few hours for lunch in the fishing villages of Marsascala and Marsaxlokk.
Hopefully it goes without saying that your own private yacht5
is a wonderful way to visit the Blue Lagoon or Crystal Bay of Comino.
In other words, sailing in Malta can be a fun part of a summer holiday for people of any age and ability.
Take Your Safety Seriously
If you are a seasoned sailor you would appreciate the importance of safety at sea. Sailing is great, fun and exhilarating, but the savvy sailor enjoys a sail knowing that the boat s/he is on has all the safety equipment required for emergency situations. Unfortunately the inexperienced sailor who charters a boat for a day would not know what to look out for to ensure that the boat is safe.
Below are the questions that we suggest you ask your skipper before agreeing to charter a yacht. There is no good reason why you should take safety risks at sea.
What Questions Should You Ask?
Commercially endorsed vessels, which are the only ones meant to be used for chartering, should have all the life saving equipment on board, however it is good to have a quick check when chartering.
For ease of reference it is good to make a list of this equipment so as to ensure to look out for them.
The most basic would be ensuring that the vessel has a two life rings, one attached to the boat and one attached to a danbuoy; make sure you have life jackets on board which are in date and which are easily accessible. You may be a good swimmer however this is the piece of equipment that will save you if you fall in the sea unconscious.
The liferaft should be suitable for the amount of people on the boat and should be serviced regularly, expiry dates are on the life raft itself. Check that your DSC radio (insist on DSC) is connected to your GPS, if you send a mayday your position is automatically sent in.
Ensure there are appropriate fire extinguishers on board and that these are serviced regularly. Ask where the fire extinguisher for the engine bay is too.
Life saving equipment is expensive and requires regular servicing. Nonetheless these are the things which distinguish the serious skippers from the cowboys.
Our last word of advice is to look at the CE plate of the boat, often near the companion way, and check the legal maximum amount of passengers allowed on the boat. If the CE plate says that the vessel should have a maximum of ten people on board and there are fifteen of you, in case of emergency there will not be enough equipment to go around.
What Does All This Mean?
There are charter firms all around the world that take shortcuts with safety because it is easier and because complying with regulations is expensive. Often, not always but often, when you find the cheapest price possible for a charter it is the reduced safety standards that enables this low price.
We are not suggesting that you should not try and find a competitive price, but you ought to be aware of how and why one price can be substantially lower than another. Hopefully, by explaining this issue clearly we have helped you to become a more knowledgeable consumer.
If you would like to discuss the safety measures that we take on our yachts we will be pleased to explain and demonstrate them to you.
Book Your Sailing Holiday In Malta Today
We have arranged trips for work colleagues, extended families, families with young children and groups of friends. Some take the sailing very seriously and are building up hours on the water towards a qualification, while others are lazing around in the sun with a glass of wine and a book. Dropping anchor and jumping in for a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea is also great fun. Often there is some of all these activities in the day.
The pace of life is certainly slower and if you can't find relaxation during a few days of gentle sailing in the sun, you need a longer holiday!
If you are interested in the longer trips we take during summer, to Sicily, Lampedusa or Pantelleria, for example, the plans and routes can be seen on other pages of this site.
You will also find details on the pages of this site about our yacht chartering service. Whether you can sail and have the required certifications or not, there is a way for you to charter a yacht in Malta. It might be that you need a skipper to join you, or that you can rent without help (known as a bareboat charter). Either way, there are options here to assist and a wide range of prices to suit every budget, with available boats to hire in every class.
It is also possible to arrange either a private yacht charter for you and your family, or with another group or family to reduce the costs. Again, this helps you to tailor your yachting experience to your own preferences and budget while still being able to charter and having a great time.
If you want to charter with another family, it is obviously easier if you happen to already the other group. Ideally, this is easiest for a day trip. However, in the past we have introduced complete strangers at the start of a sailing holiday and everyone has been firm friends at the end.
Having lived in Malta for our entire lives and been around boats for many years, we know almost everyone there is here, which means that we can help with virtually any type of boat rental that you might desire. Get in touch and test us out!
If this all sounds too good to be true, we think it is! We have a wonderful time in summer on and in the water and would love to have you come and join us for few days to have your own trip of a lifetime.
If you would like to experience a few days of this life in Malta, please contact us and we can discuss your requirements and preferred dates. We hope to hear from you soon!