Boat Rental in Split, Croatia: Tips and Advice

Caroline Morse Teel is the Managing Editor for SmarterTravel Media. Follow her adventures around the world on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

See recent posts by Caroline Morse Teel

Editor’s Note: This story is sponsored by SamBoat.

Spend enough time in Split, Croatia staring at the stunning turquoise waters just offshore, and you’ll want to get out on the water. A cruise is the best way to see this coastal city’s true beauty, and renting a boat is a must-do activity for visitors to Split.

Cruise up and down Split’s scenic coastline, or head out to the nearby Croatian islands for a secluded escape. 

Renting a boat as a tourist can be intimidating—unless you book through SamBoat. Here’s everything you need to know about renting a boat in Split. 

Related: The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Pick the Perfect Boat

SamBoat

What kind of boat should you rent for your Croatian cruise? It depends on your plans. If you’d like to do an overnight or multinight sail, you’ll obviously want a larger boat with bedrooms and bathrooms onboard. 

If you’re a novice boater, a catamaran will be a good choice to rent, as they are typically more stable and safer than a sailboat. They will also rock and pitch less on rough seas, making it more comfortable for passengers prone to seasickness. Catamarans are usually larger than speedboats and are good for bigger groups. 

However, a sailboat is a good classic option if you have an experienced operator at the helm and want to cruise along with the wind.

If you’re looking to travel long distances (and go fast) you’ll want to rent a motorboat. 

Budget will also play a large factor in deciding what type of boat to rent. You can find small boats for a lower price, or opt to splurge on a yacht that features comforts such as running water, air conditioning, a kitchen, etc.

Decide if You Need a Skipper

You’ll need a valid Navigation and VHF license to rent any type of boat in Croatia. If you don’t have one, hiring a skipper is mandatory—port authorities will check these documents, and ask you about your previous sailing experience to make sure that you’re seaworthy. For example, if you’ve only sailed a small boat before, you might not be allowed to take out a larger vessel. 

Even if you do have a boating license, you’re on vacation and might want to sit back, relax (and enjoy a beer) while the skipper does all the hard work. Of course, if sailing is your passion, you can rent “bareboat,” meaning without a skipper.

Related: The Best Whale Watching Destinations in the U.S.

Where to Rent a Boat in Split, Croatia

Boats in the marina in Split, Croatia
ilijaa | Adobe Stock

You can easily rent a boat in Split online through SamBoat, a yacht charter company that makes hiring a vessel and skipper simple. 

SamBoat offers a wide selection of sailboats, motorboats, RIBs, catamarans, yachts and canal boats. Rentals in Split start at 50 Euros per day. 

On SamBoat, you can search for a vessel and filter by type of boat, type of rental (bareboat, with a skipper, or with a guide), boat size, age, motor power, equipment, number of cabins/berths, brand, model, and more. 

Opt to book instantly or message with the boat owner to ask questions. 

Boats on SamBoat are rented out by boat owners, as well as professional companies. 

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