Renting a boat in Croatia: A complete guide

Renting a boat in Croatia - Triplockr

Private boat tours, boat, and yacht rentals are very popular with tourists looking to explore the Croatian coast, its islands, and famous destinations off Split. Boat rentals are available in all major cities and islands like Hvar. You can choose from a wide variety of vessels depending on your budget and group size.

Renting a boat or booking a private boat tour is a great option to explore attractions near Split like Blue cave, Green cave, Stiniva beach. The average cost of renting a boat for a day is around 220 EUR for a group of 4-5 people. It is recommended to rent a  boat with a skipper as they are trained for local sea and weather conditions. If you are renting a boat without a skipper, then at least one person in the group should have a valid license. 

There are a number of organized group tours and group charters that take you to attractions around Split but these do not offer the flexibility of spending a day at sea at your leisure. Most group tours will let you spend a limited amount of time on beaches or swimming.

We highly recommend considering a private boat rental especially if you are in a group since the overall price of boat rental might work out to be lesser than group payment for a tour.

How much does it cost to rent a boat in Croatia?

The cost of boat rentals can vary depending on your choice of vessel, rental period, destinations, and the season. Rental prices are usually a bit lower during the shoulder season in Croatia (May-Jun, Sept). Most boat rental quotes are on a daily rental basis but expenses for skipper, fuel, and any other services that you might require are usually over and above this price.

Boat type Capacity Avg. Speed Approx. Cost Note
Speedboat (small) 4 pax 28 kts Day rental – 140 EUR; Skipper and fuel additional Rental period 9am to 630pm; refueling required depending on destinations
Speedboat (small) 5 pax 30 kts Day rental – 160 EUR; Skipper and fuel additional Rental period 9am to 630pm; refueling required depending on destinations
Speedboat (large) 10-12 pax 48 kts Day rental – 600 EUR; Skipper and fuel additional Ideal for large groups or families; luggage storage and berths could be available
Catamarans 12 pax above 50 kts Day rental – upward of 1000 EUR Ideal for large groups; usually require a minimum rental period
Charter Yacht 12 pax above 50 kts Day rental – upward of 2000 EUR; Ideal for large groups; usually require a minimum rental period

Which type of boat should I consider for my trip? 

croatia boat rental

Speedboats are usually a great option to consider for day rentals. They are quite economical and fast enough to cover major attractions and even sea transfers to various islands near Split.

Catamarans are more spacious and ideal for bigger groups. They are more stable than speedboats but could be slowed down through rough seas. Most catamarans are equipped with facilities like storage, berths, toilets, etc.

Sailing boats, sailing, and motor yachts should be considered if you plan on sailing through the Adriatic sea over multiple days. These are not only stable even during rough waters but far more luxurious experience.

Do I need to worry about boat speed?

If you are renting a speedboat, then you should go for a boat speed of about 28knts (which is about 50kmph). If you do plan to cover multiple destinations then a boat with higher bhp (around 250BHP) and speed (over 35knts) can be considered.

What are ‘Bareboat’ rentals?

‘Bareboat’ rental in sailing terms means renting a boat without a crew and skipper. With such rental, you will have the option to chart your own course and itinerary. But for a bareboat rental, you will need at least one person in your group with a valid license.

‘Bareboat rentals with a skipper’ is a great option even if you are seasoned sailor since most skippers are trained local sea and weather conditions

Do I need a license to rent a boat or yacht in Croatia?

You will need a valid license (Navigation and VHF license) to charter a boat without a skipper in Croatia. ‘BOAT LIDER CATEGORY B ​’ license is required to manage your own or a rented boat/yacht for chartering in territorial waters of Croatia only.

You will need to take a 3-day course followed by an examination to obtain the license. It costs about 550 EUR per person. Read further details on YachtingAcademyCroatia.

Most boat rental companies will require you to submit your license details at the the time of booking. Some operators might also validate the original documentation before handing over the vessel.

What is the sailing season in Croatia?

The boating and sailing season in Croatia is from May to October. The sea temperature during these months is about 20 deg C and ideal for sailing and water activities. The general weather in most coastal cities in Croatia is around 25 deg C but can go to about 35 deg C during peak summer.

What are the best experiences to explore with a rental boat?

Croatian coast is one of the most popular sailing destinations in all of the Mediterranean. With its crystal clear, calm, and shark-free waters, the coast is one of the safest to navigate and has many locations to explore. You can either opt for a day rental to explore beaches and caves off Split or go for a longer sailing tour to explore the beautiful islands of Hvar, Vis around Split to Korcula and Mljet islands near Dubrovnik.

Blue Cave and 5 islands – Day trip from Split or Hvar

This is one of the most popular trips off Split where you get to experience the natural phenomenon of Blue Cave on Biševo Island, go swimming in Green cave, and visit Paklinski islands, secluded beaches like Stiniva.

Blue cave phenomenon is best visible between 11 am and 12 noon when the sun rays pass through the under water opening and reflect back, and the water goes silver

You can work with your skipper to customize the itinerary to avoid the mad rush at Green cave, visit Blue cave when the illumination is at its best, and also choose which islands you would like to visit.

croatia boat rental brac island

Day trip to Blue lagoon and 3 islands – Day trip from Split or Hvar

This is another great trip to explore either from Split to Hvar. You get a chance to visit the famous Zlatni rat beach (Golden horn) on the island of Brac, and also go swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of Blue Lagoon.

Day trip to Elaphati islands from Dubrovnik 

This is a great trip to escape the crowds of Dubrovnik’s main city. You can swim in Kolocep’s Blue Caves, explore hidden caves at the southern side of the island and customize your itinerary to explore Lokrum or other islands around Dubrovnik.

Scuba Diving excursions across Croatia

Whether you are a diving enthusiast or a certified diver, you should not miss the exciting sites that Croatia has to offer. You can look to utilize your boat rental to plan for diving excursions available across cities like Split, Dubrovnik, or at islands like Vis, Brac.

Read our detailed post on Diving Sites across Croatia and how to plan your diving experience.

How to book your boat rental?

The booking process for boat rentals in Croatia is straightforward and can either be done online or in person. We highly recommend booking your rentals online and in advance to lock in the best deals even during peak seasons. You can either book directly with individual operators or aggregate websites. In either of these options, you will be required to submit the requisite documents and make a part payment to confirm your booking.

  1. Evaluate your requirements 

Your decision to rent a private boat or a private tour will depend on a number of factors:

    • Group size. Boat rentals are great even if you are traveling as a couple since there are many options to rent a small speed boat with and without a skipper.
    • Sailing area and destinations to cover. You can customize your itinerary to include places of your choice. This might impact the overall pricing of your rental.
    • Renting with a skipper. If you rent a boat then a skipper is required if no one in the group has a valid license.
    • Budget. Boat rentals are usually more economical than an organized tour especially if you are traveling in a group.
    • Duration of rental required. Day boat rentals are economical and easily available.
    • Additional services required – You can look to avail additional services such as sea activities (paddling, banana boats, etc.), equipment (snorkeling, etc.) along with your boat rental. If you are traveling directly from the airport, then check if the vessel has luggage storage space. Small boats and speedboats do not have toilets on-board.
  1. Check boat rental operators and vessel availability

    Depending on your sailing area and starting point choose your rental operator. Most of these operators have their pick up points in the main cities like Split or the bigger islands like Hvar. Choose the vessel of your choice.

  2. Contact Operator

    If you are booking directly with an operator, you can either fill up an inquiry form on their website or contact them directly to discuss your rental requirements. If you are booking through aggregate sites like ClickandBoat, then you can contact individual providers based on your shortlisted choices.

  3. Get Quote

    Most operators will come back to you with a quote for rental based on your requirements. This could vary based on the season, destinations to be covered, and vessel availability.

  4. Submit documents and part payment to confirm.

    Along with the quote, the operators will request for requisite documents and pre-payment required to confirm your booking. If you are renting a boat without a skipper then a valid boat license needs to be submitted. Once the documents have been verified, you can do the pre-payment to confirm the booking. The balance payment is usually done when the vessel is handed over.

Best way to book boat rentals in Croatia

You can either book boat rentals either online or in-person in major Croatian cities and islands. If you are booking online, then you can do this either through the website of an operator or through one of the aggregate website which has better deals at times.

ClickandBoat is almost like Airbnb for boat rentals where boat owners and experienced sailors offer their boat or yacht for rentals.  Booking is completely online and you have a choice to book your rental with or without skipper. The site requires you to provide a security deposit which is usually equivalent to a days rental.

SkipperCity is another well-known website for boat rentals not only across Croatia but other countries like Greece & Malta. They have seasoned skippers to accompany during the trip and you can also explore useful travel guides on their website.

GetMyBoat is another popular website for boat rentals across Croatia.

YachtBooker is a good one if you are looking to exclusively book yacht trips.

Top boat rentals in Split

Split has 4 main nautical marinas – ACI Marina Split, Marina Zenta, Marina Spinut, and Marina Kastela. ACI Marina is located near the city center and has a great variety of vessels on offer. Marina Kastela is the next best option for rentals any type of charter with or without skipper and crew.

  1. Excursion Dalmatia – is very popular  for boat rentals and has great options for small and midsize boats
  2. Adriatic Transfers – another popular operator for boat rentals and private tours
  3. Marinero sailing – Aside of the boat rentals, Marinero offers great options for full-day or half-day sailing and private sailing tours
  4. Fair Wind – is a family run business specializing in yacht rentals and tours

Top boat rentals in Hvar

  1. Hvar Boats – offer boat rentals, private and group tours.
  2. Hvar Tours – offer rentals of a variety of vessels (sailboats, motorboats, and yachts). Organize private tours, sea transfers, sea activities, and bachelorette and bachelor parties.
  3. RentaboatHvar – great prices for day rentals
  4. Mario Rent – great for all type of rentals including boat, bike rentals in Hvar

Top boat rentals in Dubrovnik 

There are two main areas where boat rentals are available in Dubrovnik – Port of Dubrovnik and ACI Marina. Most operators will have boat availability at both places.

  1. Nautal – great options for
  2. DubrovnikBoatRentals – provides private boat tours with skippers only
  3. DubrovnikBoatRent – boat rentals with or without a skipper

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