What is a flotilla sailing holiday?

Jul 15, 2016 BY Paul McWilliams

For those new to sailing or considering a sailing break for the first time, a flotilla sailing holiday is a great way to fall in love with the sport. But what is a flotilla sailing holiday? We’ll explain just what it is and give an insight into some of the benefits of sailing as part of a flotilla .

flotilla sailing holiday flickr image by easysailing

A definition

Essentially, flotilla sailing involves a group of like minded sailors getting together in a group adventure with multiple boats. Whether that’s on a chartered sailing trip for beginners or a series of experienced sailors taking their own boats out together.

There is one lead crew in any flotilla, and it is usually their job to plot a route, create an itinerary, and to ensure there is enough quay space and moorings for all the other crafts.

Flotilla sailing holidays are very popular in the Mediterranean, particularly around the Ionian Sea exploring the Greek Islands and up the Adriatic Sea and the Croatian coast. They are also popular in the Caribbean on island hopping adventures.

Flotilla sailing holidays flickr image by DanHeap77

The benefits of a flotilla sailing holiday

One of the major benefits is the social aspect of flotilla sailing. Not only do you get to sail with a varied group of people, at the end of the day when the boat is safely moored, there is the chance to get together and enjoy a group meal and drinks.

In terms of a holiday experience – and especially for beginners – it is a great introduction to the social side of sailing.

From a technical perspective, flotilla sailing lets you learn from both first and second hand experience. Share your stories with fellow sailing pupils and tap into the knowledge base of the greater number of experienced sailors in the flotilla.

Flotilla sailing holidays Wikimedia image by Michal Osmenda

Flotilla vs solo sailing

Although flotilla sailing is a great way in to the sport, it is not for everyone. A flotilla is only as strong as its weakest member. That does mean that more experienced sailors looking to test their skills might want to break away.

Solo sailing adventures are usually recommended for far more experienced sailors and provide an entirely different type of experience, where relying on your skills becomes essential to a safe voyage.

There is safety in numbers on a flotilla sailing holiday, which means that if you do get into trouble, there will be someone on hand to help and show you how to correct your mistake, which is a luxury you wouldn’t have if you were on your own.

Croatia sailing holidays Wikimedia image by Shanticm

Of course, it has to be said that there is some room for the middle ground. Some flotillas have a lead boat but it doesn’t need to be followed too rigidly. There is often scope for exploration and adventure within the flotilla system.

While some experienced sailors might not enjoy all the aspects of flotilla sailing, there is little doubt that a flotilla sailing holiday is a great introduction to the sport, and one that encourages fun, learning and confidence in a group setting.

If we have inspired you to go on a flotilla sailing holiday then please check out our sailing discounts to save yourself a packet!


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