How to choose the right boat for your next charter holidays

Choosing the right boat for your next charter experience is an everlasting dilemma. Is a sailing boat a better choice than a motorboat? It is better to pick a sailing boat or a catamaran? If you are determined to go sailing, should you choose a cruiser boat or a performance sailboat?

In our NCP & mare charter fleet, you can choose among all mentioned types of boats. Our wide boat range is unique to the Adriatic Sea and together with the excellent location of Marina Mandalina in town of Sibenik presents a great starting point with an easy access to the most interesting destinations on the Croatian coastline.

Most boaters, however, are already decided between sailing boats and motorboats. Dedicated sailors rarely charter a motorboat, whereas skippers of motor yachts occasionally rent catamarans or sailing boats when they are looking for a different experience or coming in a bigger group. In the following paragraphs, we will try to explain the reasons behind each choice and help you choose the right boat for your needs.


When to choose motor boat for charter?

The main choice between different motorboats is between the big ones that usually require a professional skipper and smaller ones that you can drive yourself. If you wish to have more comfort and worry less about the route, weather, anchorage and safety, you should choose a bigger boat with a professional skipper who will take care of the boat even when you go ashore.

In NCP&mare we have many excellent professional skippers, who maintain our boats year-round and know them to the last nook and cranny. With all the bigger motorboats you can also rent a Jet Ski, Sea-Doo or stand-up paddleboard. We have folding bikes for rent as well, which can provide an even more active vacation.

Finally, the main advantage of chartering a motorboat is in faster movement between destinations and experiencing more of local destinations.

For the most luxurious vacation, we recommend Johnson 87 “Johnson Baby”, on which a 4 person crew will take care of all of Your needs. A slightly smaller, but still grand option is a Sunseeker Manhattan 60 “Ruckspin”. Sunseeker is renowned as a premium brand of motorboats and will fulfill even the highest expectations. Last but not least, choose Azimut 58 “Sabijac” power boat if you are looking for more Italian charm.

In the smaller motor boats category, which doesn’t require a professional skipper, you can choose between faster ones or slower ones (also called trawler). In NCP&mare charter, all motor boats are equipped with maneuvering systems that will help you in marinas and ports (bowt hruster + stern thruster or joystick controller).

All the larger motor yachts also have built-in generator and air conditioning systems for cooling and heating, which makes your vacation considerably more comfortable. That is why we recommend those boats especially to older boaters and all families with kids who prefer agility over sailing and look for more spare time for swimming or spending time in different town ports. Because of their speed, they will allow you to discover more of the Adriatic Sea. Finally, a faster boat also provides an easier escape from the bad weather in case of the last-minute forecast changes.

For young families, we recommend extremely agile and economical Beneteau Antares 36. Because of its versatility, we have as much as three boats of this type in our offer: “Capricorn, Sveti Nikola, Mandalina II”. All of them are equipped with everything that bigger boats have including generator, air conditioning, bow thruster, stern thruster and Capricorn even with a radar, which makes them appropriate for all skippers, even less experienced ones and those who expect a lot for a reasonable price. Another option is Marex 375, which was also chosen as a “Boat of the year”. It is a meticulously built and highly practical boat for families or couples. Marex received multiple awards for this boat in the category between 30 and 40 feet. We are confident that every boater will be excited about its agility and usability and despite being mid sized, this boat has many advantages that we usually link with bigger boats.

Beneteau Trawler 47 “Ocean Dreamer” is a tranquil classic that accommodates as much as 8 guests! Two families with small kids can easily have enough space. Alternatively, a family with grandparents will have a peaceful and enjoyable vacation on the Trawler. And though as any Trawler primarily built for comfortable and safe cruising with it's 850 horse powers it still provides full motoring thrills or fast escape if needed.

For those with a more sporty character, Fairline Targa 52 “The blue one” or Sessa C52 “Sabijac” are the right choice. Those two boats without a flybridge enable loads of socializing for two couples with outside grill and enough space for relaxing on the cushions or fishing. The performance of both boats with 700 horsepowers is just thrilling!


When to pick sailing charter in Croatia?

When choosing a sailing boat you need to know that at NCP&mare we distinguish the sailing boats into two subcategories “performance” and “cruising”. The “performance” category contains mostly Grand Soleil yachts because they have exceptional sailing capabilities. They are appropriate for clients who's priorities are better performance and optimal efficiency when sailing. NCP& mare is also an exclusive dealer of the Grand Soleil brand, which makes the boats very well cared for. All Grand Soleil boats have spinnaker as standard equipment and a built-in heating system, which makes them appropriate also for out of season rental when experienced sailors can test their capabilities in more demanding sailing conditions. Because of all this, those boats are primarily chosen by crews who look for a great sailing experience, want to compete at regattas or enjoy active team building. Nevertheless, they are appropriate also for families who are looking for a serious sailing vacation. Spacious and agile Grand Soleil 50 “Kety” is appropriate for bigger families and team buildings, because it’s quick and easily maneuverable and is a good pick for regattas as well. We recommend Grand Soleil 39 “Ziggy” to families who wish to experience sailing or to a group of six sailing enthusiasts. Or you can choose classically designed Grand Soleil 43 „ Skalice „ and Grand Soleil 46.3 „ Anatela „ known also as small Swans offering spacious layouts combined with great performance and building quality.

In the “cruising” category we offer a wide range of sailing boats of different lengths, manufacturers, and with various equipment. For those looking for maximum comfort, we offer sailing boats with generator and both heating and air conditioning like Hanse 508, Hanse 505 or Oceanis 50. All of these sailing boats are surprisingly good for sailing, so they have more to offer than just plain comfort. In general, a longer boat means more comfort. All our sailing boats are equipped with tools for easier and safer handling, so those looking for comfort shouldn’t be scared of renting a bigger vessel. Sometimes it is better to leave one of this empty and use it as storage or an additional cabin for those seeking some quiet time. To avoid unwanted conflicts on your vacation due to lack of space, we always recommend a bigger boat to have more space also on deck. That is why we recommend Hanse 505, Hanse 508 and Oceanis 50 for relaxation, comfort and leisurely sailing vacation.

If you love grilled foods, we recommend Dufour 460 with a built-in grill located outside in the cockpit, so that you can enjoy the company while preparing delicious dinner.

We always advise our clients to take a close look at the equipment that each boat offers.

If you have small kids or if you plan to bring one of your pets along on vacation, please inform us about it upfront so that we have sufficient time to prepare the safety nets on deck and adequate life jackets in order to ensure the safety of your loved ones while on vacation. On most boats, you can also bring along the stand-up paddleboard or a folding bike. Even with smaller sailing boats, you have an option to hire a professional skipper, if you don’t feel comfortable operating the vessel yourself.

You can read more about skippered sailing in this article.


When to choose catamaran boat for charter?

In our charter, a group of males rented a sailing boat every year. A few years ago they decided to try out a catamaran instead and ever since they didn’t change back to a sailing boat. Catamarans in some sense combine advantages of sailing boats and motorboats. With two engines, a catamaran is agile, offers plenty of comfort, is easy to maneuver and even small catamarans have built-in air conditioning and generator. In the last few years, the offer of catamarans in the Jadran ( Adriatic ) sea has increased a lot, which is a consequence of their general popularity. However, there are some things You need to keep in mind when chartering a catamarans, mainly, their width prevents them from mooring in some smaller ports, so if you are renting a catamaran, keep in mind that you might have to spend more nights anchored or tied on a buoy. That is not a huge problem though, because most catamarans have enough autonomy regarding sufficient water and fuel and larger ones ( Lagoon 42 and larger ) and even some smaller ones ( Lagoons 380 „Maya“ and „Grey Pearl“ ) are fitted with generator and air conditioning as well. All the smaller catamarans that do not have generator are fitted with large solar panels.

That is why there’s no dilemma for whom the catamaran is or isn’t appropriate. It can be rented by anyone and we would recommend it to any crew. It has enough space for bigger companies, it’s swift as a traveler and almost as agile as a sailboat. The only difference between catamarans in our fleet is their size. Lagoon 450 can be rented by two big families because it has enough space for 12 people, with 8 berths and 4 additional ones in shared spaces. The same goes for Lagoon 440 or Lagoon 42. For those who would like to spend more time anchored and are more ecologically oriented, we offer Lagoons 400 “Duplo” or „ Stray Cat „ , which feature solar panels that fill the batteries. Solar panels equip also the smaller Lagoons 39 “Bob cat” and „ My Cat „Lagoon 380 „ Twixie“ and Leopard 38 „ Adamus „, which can also host 8-12 people.


Day rentals

Finally, our location in Marina Mandalina offers one final option for boat rental. In the marina, there is a Hotel D-Resort with four and a half stars, which is located just a few steps from our charter reception desk. If you are staying at the hotel, you can decide for one or a few days rental with or without a professional skipper and enjoy a trip to Kornati, Šibenik archipelago or even Hvar island. A novelty in our offer is a Leader 33 “Il Sogno”, which is ideal for such daily trips.

We hope that we made a good boat comparison that make it easier for you to decide which boat is the right choice for your next unforgettable vacation. If you are still not sure or if you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email to

Although this article is about choosing the right charter boat for your next vacation with a rented boat, it can be very useful also to all of you, thinking of buying a new one. It is not really a buying guide, but since we are also a boat trader (dealer) for Croatia, and offer also a charter management program, do not hesitate to get in touch about this matter. We have many different brands of boat for sale (new boats and used boats) and our staff will be more than happy to advise you on what to look for when buying a boat.




About author

How to choose the right boat for your next charter holidays
Paško Klisović
Sibenik, 19.1.2024
25+ years of nautical & yacht charter experience. Managing NCP Charter (NCP&Mare) since 2005. Current president of Croatian nautical industry association and Croatian Charter industry association within Croatian chamber of commerce. Member of tourist board of City of Šibenik as representative of nautical tourism.
Rick H. Netherlands sailed on
Rick H. | Netherlands - Charter
Rick H. | Netherlands - Charter

Last week we rented the Sportski Vuk (Grand Soleil 37R). I would like to share that we really enjoyed sailing the boat.
The boat was in a good condition and the service of the crew was great. Kike responded very promptly on our questions while sailing.

See you again!

Grand Soleil 37R, 20.-27.08.2022.
François S. France sailed on
François S. | France - Charter
François S. | France - Charter
Hi Sandra, Hi Ratko, Hi everybody from NCP Charter,

We thank you a lot for this very nice sailing trip we made with Dufour 460 - "Get Lucky" from Sibenik around the astonishing Adriatic islands.
We have been very impressed by the quality of your organisation, and will keep preciously the memory of your kindness: please continue to do so!

If any of you come to France, keep our contact: we live in "Manche", where sailing is an other story, beautifull too...

Best regards, François ("bucket man"), Marion, Bastien, Emeline
Dufour 460, 20.-27.08.2022.

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