If you want to escape the British winter, your best option is a bareboat charter to enjoy warm weather sailing in the Canary Islands. The Spanish Canary Islands that is off the coast of West Africa boasts of a perfect climate, wonderful scenery and affordable prices. It is the middle of winter but the weather forecast is a promising 22oC plus with ideal sailing winds of Force 3-4 and sunshine throughout the day.
Many of the one-design class world championships are being held in the Canary Islands because the prevailing north-east trade winds are fairly consistent. There are seven sailing islands that include Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro that are within a day’s sail from each other. Aside from the favorable climate, you have a cruising ground that has a spectacular background.
In recent years, the well kept sailing secrets of the Canary Islands have been discovered by foreign yachts. Marinas and harbours have to be improved and excellent facilities installed because most of the visiting sailors use the Canary Islands as the staging post for the Atlantic crossing that is usually a part of a cruising trip.
English is spoken well in the Canary Islands and the locals do not have problems communicating with sailors from the European Union. The big chandlers and yards are experienced at dealing with blue water sailors but sometimes, obtaining spare parts can be a long and complex process. The islands have a different administration and tax status to the EU meaning imports have to pass through the Spanish system, then the Gran Canaria and eventually to where you are in the islands.
Over the last 15 years, many marinas have been built with plenty of berths for visitors and long term moorings at reasonable prices. An additional bonus is the Canary Islands is a duty-free zone.
If your purpose for visiting the Canary Islands is to enjoy a sailing holiday, there is bareboat charter all year round. The bareboat charter is intended for people for people with sailing experience; however, you can hire a skipper who is well experienced and skilled with sailing.