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Croatia Boating

This part of our page brings you boating relevant information, document and navigation conduct regulations included. To skip down to the subject of your intrest click on one of the links below. To come back here click go to top beneath the subject.


Navigation Information

Croatian Coast

Backed by the high mountains of the Dinaric Alps the mainland coast is generally high and pitoresque, with steep cliffs in places. The coast is mostly indented, deeply in many places. Close inshore depths vary considerably.

The coastline is bordered everywhere by islands, islets, rocks and shoals so the number of 1,185 doesn't come as a surprise. The islands and islets are good marks. Only 50 of the islands are inhabited, others are generally a paradise for lone boaters.

National parks along the coast or on the coastline:

Island Mljet,

River Krka,

Island Kornati,

Harbour Telašćica,

Islands of Brijuni

Along the coast there are more than 350 natural harbors and marinas suitable for sailing boats and motor boats.

The Adriatic Sea represents the most deeply protruding arm of the Mediterranean connected to it by the Strait of Otranto. The Adriatic Sea spreads in the direction southeast-northwest in a length of 870 km, with an average width of 160 km.

The territory of the Republic of Croatia comprises 48% of the coastal belt and 97% of coastline around the islands of the Adriatic Sea.

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Main winds in the Adriatic

The maestral is a northwesterly wind that appears in periods of high air pressure, usually around 11a.m. and brings good weather.

It can reach a force up to 5 and causes rough seas. It dies down in the late afternoon, and the following day - after a calm night - starts blowing at a similar force as the previous day.

Burin is a wind that blows from the opposite direction of the maestral.

It usually blows at night, mostly from the north, northeast in the northern Adriatic, and from the east or southeast in the southern Adriatic. It is strongest before dawn and soon dies down afterwards.

Bora is a strong northeasterly wind that appears in periods of high air pressure, it blows from the mainland towards the sea in powerful gusts.

It is hardly predictable in spite of early warning: the coastal mountain peaks are covered by small clouds and the sea surface in the northeastern part spumes.

The greater the distance from the coast, the weaker the force of gusts is. In the summer the bora usually blows only a few hours, but sometimes it can last up to a day or two.

It can be extremely strong in the Kvarner area, along the Velebit Channel, and around Šibenik, Split, Pelješac and Dubrovnik.

Jugo (scirocco) is a warm and humid southeasterly wind that from October to the end of January brings a lot of rain. Calm sea and a heavy cloud cover in the south are signs of the jugo slowly approaching and raising high waves. The jugo often blows for several days (in summer up to 3 days, in winter up to 3 weeks), while rough seas can last a longer period. From time to time this wind also brings the reddish-brown sand from Africa. It should be remembered that the jugo can change its direction in just a few minutes and turn into a very strong bora (northeasterly wind). The jugo is a typical wind of the Southern Adriatic where it lasts longer than in its northern part.

Nevera is a very strong westerly wind that brings bad weather. It mostly blows in summer. It strikes suddenly and vehemently making the sea rough, but mostly lasts shortly. It is usually accompanied by thunder. When its stops blowing the air is fresh and pleasant. It is most common in the Northern Adriatic.

Other winds in the Adriatic are:

lebić - southwesterly,

levant - strong southeasterly,

tramontana - cold northerly.

High and stable air pressure usually brings winds that during the night blow from the mainland, and daily winds that blow from the sea.

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Currents and tidal streams

The primary circulation of the Adriatic is anti-clockwise with much variability. The Mediterranean tidal wave lasts 12 hours. The height of the tidal wave is 25 cm at the Strait of Otranto to 80 cm in the far north.

The in-going flow enters on the E side of the Strait of Otranto and progress erratically N along the W coast of Albania then onwards all the way north to Pula (Istria, Croatia)

There are many deviations through the islands but the main direction is NW with variable currents fanning out towards the W in central parts.

At times, due to local winds and external pressure effects, interaction between in and out-going flows produce marked but limited eddies.

After cessation of strong winds there are particularly strong flows in narrow channels caused by offset water level.

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Entering Croatia

The skipper of the boat entering the Republic of Croatia by sea shall by shortest way enter the nearest port open for international traffic as to carry out borderline control, obtain a vignette and certify the crew list at the nearest Harbor Master's Office or its branch office.

The skipper of the boat entering the Republic of Croatia by land or whose vessel is tended in a marina or other approved site in the Republic of Croatia shall, before leaving port, obtain the vignette and certify the crew list at the Harbor Master's office or its branch office.

The vignette is not obligatory for boats whose length is less then 2.5m or whose overall engine power does not exceed 5 kW.

The vessel shall be marked by a vignette at the visible place whereas the vignette is valid one year upon its issue.

A vessel arriving by land shall be reported orally at the border crossing, and afterwards at the Harbor Master's Office (or branch office) following the same procedure of registration as vessels arriving by sea.

The maximum allowed size of a hauled vehicle in Croatia is 18 m long and 2.55 m wide.

In cases of excess width a special permit shall be required and escort is obligatory. Information available at the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development of the Republic of Croatia: http://www.mmtpr.hr


Border Crossings

Permanent maritime border crossings:

Umag, Poreč, Rovinj, Pula, Raša (Bršica), Rijeka, Mali Lošinj, Zadar, Šibenik, Split, Ploče, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Vela Luka , Ubli.

Seasonal maritime border crossings (open from April 1 - October 31):

ACI marina Umag, Novigrad, Sali, Božava, Primošten, Hvar, Stari Grad (Hvar), Vis, Komiža and Cavtat.

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Required Documentation

The skipper shall possess evidence that he is competent for boat handling pursuant to the national regulations of the flag state or an appropriate certificate pursuant to the regulations of the Republic of Croatia.

If, pursuant to the national regulations of the flag state, the skipper does not need to possess evidence that he is competent for boat handling, he shall obtain appropriate evidence pursuant to the regulations of the Republic of Croatia.

All boats sailing to Croatia shall possess the following original documents:

>> vignette

>> certified crew list and passenger list

>> certified list of persons aboard (for vessels where change of crew is foreseen while sailing in Croatia)

>> certificate of seaworthiness

>> evidence that the skipper is competent for boat handling

>> evidence of third party insurance policy (for vessels whose engine power exceeds 15 kW)

>> ownership certificate or authorization for the use of vessel

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Regattas holders / participants info

Foreign vessels taking part in sports competitions in the Republic of Croatia do not need to possess a vignette providing the organizer of the sports competition has reported the vessels to the competent Harbor Master's Office 5 days prior to the competition the latest. Along with the application, the organizer of the sports competition shall submit a list of persons staying aboard. All sports competitions shall be approved by the Croatian Sailing Federation.
Info: http://www.hjs.hr

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Vignette fees:

Obtaining a vignette comprises payment of the following fees:

>> navigation security fee

>> security navigation facilities fee (Light Dues)

>> maritime information chart fee

>> administrative tax

The navigation security fee when obtaining a vignette depends on the length of vessel and is as follows:

For boats:

Up to 2.5 m long and engine over 5kW 140 kn
2.5-4 m long 210 kn
4-5 m long 280 kn
5-6 m long 350 kn
6-7 m long 525 kn
7-8 m long 630 kn
8-9 m long 735 kn
9-10 m long 840 kn
10-11 m long 945 kn

For yachts:

11-12 m long 1050 kn
12-15 m long 1225 kn
15-20 m long 1400 kn
20-30 m long 1575 kn
over 30 m long 1750 kn

The fees above are reduced by 10% for each consecutive vignette up to max 50% reduction.

The lighthouse fee is 2 USD/m of length for foreign sports and pleasure boats, 4.90 USD/m of length for foreign yachts and 6 USD/m of length for foreign boats engaged in the Adriatic in commercial activities. The paid light due is also valid for a one year period.

The administrative tax is 40 kn.

Maritime information chart fee - as per the tariff of the Croatian Hydrographic Institute.

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Registration Of Persons On Board

The skipper of the vessel where a change of crew is foreseen while sailing in the Croatian waters shall when obtaining a vignette procure a list of persons that will be staying aboard during the validity of the vignette whereas the overall number of persons on the list shall not be greater than twice the vessel's unit capacity increased by 30%.

The list of persons shall not contain persons staying aboard while the vessel is in port or at anchor.

The list of persons may be filled in completely when obtaining the vignette or can also be filled in subsequently at the first embarkation of the person from the list the latest. If the list is filled in subsequently it shall be certified each time at the Harbors Master's Office or Branch Office.

The number of changes in the list is not limited.

If the skipper of the vessel does not intend to change the crew during the validity of the vignette while sailing in Croatian waters no further registration at the Harbor Master's Office or Branch Office is needed.

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Tourist Tax and Flat rate Tourist Tax

Tourist Tax is payable daily. More info on Tourist Tax click here.

For holders of an annual or several-years berth in marinas of the Croatian Adriatic shall pay the tourist tax flat rate.

The tourist tax flat rate is around 400.00 kuna. The flat rate is paid once a year and covers all stays of the owner and his guests in his domicile marina regardless of the duration of stay.

All holders of the Agreement on annual berth shall pay the flat rate regardless of whether the agreement covers the sea berth or storage of vessel on land.

While staying outside the contractual marina, the vessel owner as well as all other persons on board shall pay the daily tourist tax for each day of stay in a marina or port.

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Entering a vessel in the Croatian Boat Register

(By this action the boat comes under Croatian flag)

Pursuant to the Croatian law all boats over 2.5 m long or boats whose overall engine power is greater than 5 kW shall be entered in the boat register. The boats are entered in the Register by the Harbor Master's Office or its branch office.

A boat wholly or partly owned by a foreign citizen or person without citizenship and without residence in Croatia may be entered in the Croatian boat register at his request, if the boat has not been entered in the foreign register and if mostly staying in the sea of the Republic of Croatia.

In order to enter a boat in the Croatian boat register the following documents are required:

>> boat ownership certificate (purchase agreement, receipt, customs declaration, construction certificate, etc.)

>> document as evidence of displacement and deadweight of boat intended for commercial activities

>> evidence of registration for commercial activity boats (e.g. charter)

>> removal from the register as evidence that the boat has been deleted from the foreign register, if the boat is being transferred from a foreign register into the Croatian register

>> copy of obligatory insurance policy if boat engine exceeds 15 kW

>> evidence of paid customs and tax obligations

>> evidence of see worthiness (inspection record, construction certificate, etc.)

Having entered the boat, a navigation permit is issued that must be kept on board at all times.

More Information: www.mmtpr.hr

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Maritime traffic info

The Harbor Master's Office is the competent body in charge of order in ports and all other parts of internal sea waters and the Croatian territorial sea waters.

When entering and leaving port, at the posted sign for reduced speed, beside places where coastal and underwater works are being carried out, as well as at marked dive sites, boats shall navigate with minimum speed as to avoid any damage possibly caused by waves due to navigation.

Sports and other activities may be carried out on waterways only with the approval of the Harbor Master's Office.

When navigating boats shall not approach the coast as follows:

>> public transport vessels at a distance less than 300m

>> pleasure boats at a distance less than 200m

>> motor boats and sailing boats at a distance less than 50m

Boats, motor boats and sailing boats may navigate at a distance even closer to the coast if required so by the configuration of the waterway, but they shall reduce their speed to such enabling them easy and quick stopping or turning.

Rowboats may navigate at a distance less than 50m from the coast.

In the area near beaches, all boats shall navigate at a distance greater than 50m from the enclosure of the marked bathing area i.e. 150m from the coast of a natural beach.

Speedboats, jet propelled boats and hovercraft may skim only in an area where such is permitted, but not closer than 300m from the coast.

Areas where skimming and water-skiing is forbidden shall be determined by and marked by the Harbor Master's Office.

Wind surfing is not allowed in the area of port entrances, in narrow water route areas, at a distance less than 50m from the coast of a natural beach nor within tended beaches.

Persons engaged in spear fishing or diving shall pull behind them along the sea surface a yellow or orange balloon with a diameter not less than 30cm.

The owner or holder of a VHF radio station aboard the yacht or boat shall not transmit false or incorrect signals and information particularly for danger, emergency, safety or identification.

Non-compliance with the traffic regulations is subject to penalty.

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Harbour regulations

In most marinas all guests and employees shall obey the harbor code of conduct standardized in principle for all marinas and consists of the following:

>> the owner of the vessel shall provide a third party insurance policy
for each boat calling in a marina the sailor shall take the documents of the vessel as well as the navigation license and deposit them at the reception of the marina

>> besides the documents of the vessel, holders of annual or permanent berth shall keep at the reception the keys of the vessel
once the berth holder takes over the documents (as well as the keys of the vessel for holders of the annual/permanent berth) the marina shall not be liable regardless whether the vessel left the marina

>> a person authorized by the marina may if necessary transfer the vessel to another berth against prior notification of the owner

>> the owner of the vessel shall provide appropriate equipment such as awning, lines and firefighting devices

>> skimming or surfing is not allowed in marinas or their immediate waters

>> waste oil, grease and other waste shall be deposited in appropriate containers

>> any sea or environment pollution is subject to severe penalty

>> boat sanitary facilities are not to be used in marinas

>> the maximum speed within the marina waters is 2 knots

>> after leaving the vessel all power and water supply shall be removed from the vessel

>> cleaning of the boat is additionally charged mostly in all marinas, as well as potable water supply

>> any greater repairs on the vessel that could disturb other guests or possibly cause damage on the neighboring vessels are not permitted

>> most marinas provide parking places for cars subject to availability at extra cost

Besides the general code of conduct each marina possesses a special harbor code of conduct that is an integral part of its commercial business conditions taking into consideration the peculiarities of each marina and its guests.

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Weather forecast and warnings

he Marine Meteorological Center, over coastal radio stations, broadcasts global (entire Adriatic), regional (for certain areas, e.g. Kvarner, Kvarneric, the Velebit Channel, Split area, open sea of the Central Adriatic) or local weather forecasts (ports, anchorages, marinas, etc.)

Forecast 12+12 or 24 hours broadcast by:

Frequency mark A
Channel: Ch 24
Type of emission F3E
Power (kW) 0.02
English and Croatian, time: 05.35, 14.35, 19.35  

Frequency mark A B
Channel Ch 07, 21, 28 Ch 518
Type of emission F3E F1B
Power (kW) 0.02 0.5
English and Croatian, time: 05.45, 12.45, 19.45

Frequency mark A
Channel Ch 07, 04
Type of emission F3E
Power (kW) 0.02
English and Croatian, time: 06.25, 13.20, 21.20

Contiuous weather forecasts:
Harbour Office VHF channel VHF range/area
PULA Ch 73 Northern Adriatic - west coast of Istria
RIJEKA Ch 69 Northern Adriatic - eastern part 
SPLIT Ch 67   Central Adriatic - eastern part 
DUBROVNIK Ch 73 Southern Adriatic - eastern part 

NAVTEX system (system of maritime meteorological and navigational warnings).
Through the coastal radio station SPLIT Croatia performs the activities of NAVTEX.

B: NAVTEX, English, time: 02.50, 06.50, 10.50, 14.50, 18.50, 22.50

INTERNET SITE: http://meteo.hr/index.php
Weather forecasts on the Internet

At the reception desk in nearly all marinas (+24+96 hours) and Harbor Master's Offices (+24+48 hours). HPT voice service (+12+24+48 hours).

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Yacht Charter / Boat Charter

There are more than several agencies offering yacht charter on the Adriatic and the choice of yachts is growing by the year. Some agencies are also offering sailing schools for the begginers and adventure programms for the advanced mariners.

For more info on yacht and boat charter on the Croatian Adriatic you are free to contact us.


Gas stations and Marinas

For information on gas stations visit: http://www.ina.hr

For information on marina locations and marina details visit: http://www.aci-club.hr/


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