Simpson Marine Search Yachts
10th June 2015

4 Essential things to know on a Thailand bareboat charter

Catamaran boat with a group of friends enjoying their chartered boat.

Essential things to know

If you love the idea of doing a Thailand bareboat charter, then read our essential things to know on a Thailand bareboat charter to get the best out of your holiday.


Catamaran boat in Thailand which can enjoy a year round sailing opportunity.

Thailand Weather

As Thailand is located very close to the equa Yestor it is a year round sailing destination, though there are 2 distinct seasons – wet (southwest monsoon) and dry (northeast monsoon). The dry season runs from November to April, with stable wind conditions and temperatures, normally around 30 Degrees, so it is a great time to visit for reliably good weather, but if you want some more wind and better sailing conditions for your Thailand bareboat charter then the the wet season would be better for you. Generally during the wet season you will get some rain periods, but normally only for a couple of hours during the afternoon or evening. In September and October you can expect much longer rain periods where it may last for several days.

Couple of points to note regarding the weather – if doing your Thailand bareboat charter during the wet season then you can’t visit the Similan Islands, and anchorages on the west coast of Phuket aren’t accessible, but there are plenty of recommended anchorages on the east side of the Islands or in protected bays.

Getting around

Navigating on a Thailand bareboat charter, will require a good grasp of reading the paper charts, as GPS and chart plotters can’t be relied on alone as there are many areas of shallow and protected waters to be aware of.

Night sailing is forbidden in Thai waters – it is normally recommended that you reach your anchorage by 4pm in the afternoons, so it is important to plan your itinerary properly and know where you are going. Daylight hours are normally between 6am and 6pm.

Small traditional fishing boats in Thailand.

Small Fishing Boats

Beware also that fishing is a bit part of the Thai industry, so when cruising around on your Thailand bareboat charter, then look out for the many fisher nets around. The ends of the nets are often marked with flags, but look out for small fishing boats around as they will often be the first sign of nets in the water. It is also worth keeping your eye out for bigger trawler boats around as they will often be towing nets behind them. Familiarise yourself with the buoyage markings which are the same as in European waters eg Red for Port and Green for Starboard.

Tidal Range

There is a high and low tide to be aware of in Thai waters, from between 1.5 and 2.5 metres. You can get the most up to date tide timetables from our base once your arrive at your yacht for your holiday. It is also worth noting that there can be currents if you are sailing in narrow gaps between small islands. You will have a full yacht briefing and guide to the local area though, once you arrive for your Thailand bareboat charter, which is invaluable for cruising this area.

Topping up your Supplies

 Places to refill your water and fuel for your yacht, at one of the many marinas on Phuket

Topping up your Supplies

There are plenty of places to refill your water and fuel for your yacht, at one of the many marinas on Phuket, and in some of the larger islands. For provisioning, there are many options too – Phuket and Krabi have some great, big supermarkets for you to stock up your provisions and drinks. Not to mention smaller places en-route such as Chalong, Phi Phi or in Phang Nga Bay.

Of course as well, one of the great thing about being at sea on your bareboat charter, is taking advantage of the exceptionally fresh seafood that you can buy from the local markets or directly from the fishermen from their boats! If you don’t want to be cooking on board on your holiday, then of course there are a plethora of restaurants and local bistros dotted throughout the islands where you can enjoy the delicious Thai cuisine. In the bigger towns, like Phuket, there are also many many places to eat offering a full range of international cuisine.

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