Rent a boat is surely an exciting way to discover the beauty of the Gulf of Orose: you will be able to reach all the beaches and caves up to Capo Monte Santo.
Renting prices are different in high and low season.
These guidelines are ment to help you enjoy a safe boat experience.
To rent a boat you should be at least 18 years old. A Boat-license is mandatory in order to conduct engines higher than 40hp or to sail farther than 6 miles from the coast. With a 40hp (average engine in Cala Gonone boat rentals) on a 5 meters long boat you can carry up to 5/6 adult of average weight.
Even though these boats are supposed to carry 7/8 people, we strongly recommend you not to sail close to the maximum load. In this case, saving money would imply an extremely low navigation speed (less than 10 knots): it would take more than two hours to reach Cala Goloritzè, the farthest beach.
Moreover, the engine will overcome rough sea conditions better if regular crew is loaded. We suggest you to hire just one boat for 6 adults; 8 people is the maximum crew allowed and it's proper only if two of them are children: otherwise, the boat may be too heavy.
Always check the general condition of the vessel when you rent it, especially the integrity of propeller and motor foot. Check out the required safety equipment, especially the presence of paddles and lifejackets for all people. Ask to check on the fuel level in the tank and to teach you how to eject the water from the boat in case of emergency
Take a picture of the screw before the departure to avoid unfair compensation.
Most of the rental boat in Cala Gonone are equipped with an outboard 40hp engine with a pilot console, a gear lever and an electric trim for motor lifting.
The gears are three: forward, backward and neutral. In case of obstacles or swimmers close to the propeller, the neutral position is recommended to avoid harming people.
Before switching-on the engine the gear must be in neutral position. Boat's gearshift is very sensitive: always remember to do things slowly and maneuver using positions "in gear" without unnecessary acceleration, especially in the early stages of learning.
Driving on the open sea is easy. Maneuvers in the harbor, in the lanes or with obstacles are more complicated. The best advice we can give you is to always check the direction of the motor before engaging the gear. During the maneuver for turn the boat in tight spaces, many people first accelerate with turned rudder and then try to correct the direction finding many difficulties. You have to think as if you are in the car, without a brake. Depending on the rotation direction, the propeller gives a boost forward or backward; push of the propeller and hull's friction on the water moves the boat or stop it.
The “Abbrivio” (Headway), the amount of motion that the boat has when it ceases the propulsion, is one of the most important concepts to perform a correct approach at a place. Try to calculate it when you get close to a dock or shore.
The inclination of the rudder (governed by pilot boat) determines the rotation of the vessel. If the propeller approaches floating objects such as the lines of the lanes, you should turn off the engine or put the gear in neutral and use the oars.
Never lift a running engine out of water: you risk serious damage and you could wound swimmers. The cooling circuit works with the intake of sea water, if it can't reach water, the engine overheats. Moreover, the noise of a marine engine disturbs people around you.
You have to navigate (with engine on) at 200 meters from the beaches and, in any case, outside the bathing areas marked with buoys or floating ropes. For approaches within 200 meters is necessary to navigate perpendicular to the coastline at a reduced speed.
Pay attention to swimmers outside the bathing areas without a marker buoy, especially scuba divers. The red and white flag of a diving boat must be well exposed; in case of flag up, keep a minimum distance of 50 meters from the boat. You will find lanes of buoys along the beaches that reach the shore: you can get closer with engine on driving at 3 knots, giving priority to vessels in maneuvering.
You should do the last meters with engine off, lift it to avoid touching the propeller and use the headway.
When you are at the shore, especially with waves of undertow, prevent the boat goes sideways keeping firmly the prow and the perpendicular position of the vessel.
Once all people come down to the shore with baggage, the driver must bring the boat over the line of buoys that goes parallel to the beach, which divides the bathing area from the transit and mooring area of vessels.
The driver can ask a ride from another boat to reach back the beach or swim, helping himself with the lane rope.
Each boat is equipped with an hall type anchor with a couple of meters long chain and a 20-25 meters long rope. Before dropping the anchor, there are few assessments to be done. If there are other boats moored, check how they are positioned to wind and sea current. Otherwise, choose a space considering the sea bottom and try to drop the anchor on a sandy sea bottom. Then, slowly slide the cord in water: there must be a certain distance between the boat and the anchor so that works properly. If the boat moves too close to the floating lane ropes or other boats, try to recover a bit of rope on board or drop the anchor again, farther.
Some people fix the anchor as soon as it reaches the sea bottom: having a weight of only 4 or 6 kg, it will not get stucked on the seabed. We recommend you ( especially in case of rough sea or wind) to leave as much rope as possible in the water and secure it to the boat with a fine knot, leaving the engine down to prevent propeller collision with other boats.
To avoid anchor snagging when you are leaving, rescue the rope slowly bringing your boat to it (and not vice versa); once the rope will be perpendicular to the seabed, get it back. If the anchor snags, leave a few meters rope and try again. Strenght is unuseful, you can't lift the cliff, you need only patience; it could be useful to dive with a mask to understand the situation. An extreme solution can be to recover the rope to make it almost perpendicular to the seabed, fix it to the bow cleat, start the engine and turn the boat in the opposite direction to the current; then try to pull the anchor directly with the engine in reverse gear, without forcing too much.
This procedure is suggested for expert people: if it doesn't work, ask for the help of a skipper in the area or just release the rope on the water.
Our part of gulf is protected from most of current. Only sirocco, levanter and tramontane represent a navigation problem; mistral and westerly, when they reach gusts greater then 30 knots, can be dangerous for navigation, especially if you get away from the coast
Suggestion in case of Sirocco
It is one of the most frequently current in summer. Usually it rises up at lunchtime, when temperatures increase, making you navigate on favor of the waves at the return. Our advice is to go early in the morning heading directly for Cala Goloritzè.
Get off at all beaches is impossible and exhausting: you should choose a bay in the morning and enjoy it. Cala Mariolu is one of the most protected in the case of wind from south-east . At the shore, in the approaching lane, delegates of the beach that will provide assistance for docking. Let's give them the contribution of 1€ for beaches cleaning and bathing assistance. Cala Luna is also sheltered from the sirocco current: you can visit it in the afternoon. In the case of rough sea do not enter into Bue Marino caves.
Suggestion in case of Northeaster
The sea from the north and north-east quadrants creates serious difficulty coming back to Cala Gonone. Sporadic during the summer, the Tramontane waves come to visit us in August. In these days rental companies prefer to avoid the excursions; ourselves we advise you to postpone it or, if possible, to opt for ferries limiting the hike to Cala Luna. If you are already traveling on the gulf and you see waves arriving from Cala Gonone, come back at least to Cala Luna, more sheltered then other beaches from these currents.
Do not approach the shore because undertow is very strong and you risk to run ashore. If sea conditions suddenly change and you are away from harbour, come back at low speed, trying to cross the waves at the bow, and not crosswise or frontally.
Suggestion in case of Mistral
In Mistral and Westerly days you can better appreciate the colors of the Gulf of Orosei. Winds from the ground clean up the sea and the sky gives the surface unique reflections. In the town of Cala Gonone gusts from west and northwest quadrants increase, channeling themselves in the mountains behind the village.
Spending the night in Cala Gonone someone could think, earing mistral noise, that the day after the sea excursion will not be possible. Instead the high cliff from Cala Luna to Capo Monte Santo protects boats, as long as they navigate close to the coast. from harbour to Cala Luna you can take some squirt of water raised by the wind; remember to keep phones and cameras in a safe place. Anyway, if the mistral exceed 30 knots, you should not go without experience.
The most reliable website to check sea conditions is Lamma Sardegna, at this link. Visit it at night before, choosing the time you are interested for and "Sardinia" region. If wave's height in Gulf of Orosei is pointed out by purple colour, reevaluate your excursion or, if you decide to undertake it, read this article again!
The boat driver has civil and penal responsibility of crew and boat. We recommend maximum accuracy, respect for swimmers and especially for the nature. Waste must be bring back to the harbour, where you can find differentiated dustbins. Do not throw cigarettes on the beach: leave the place uncontaminated and inform beach supervisor about other people's rudeness.
Sport fishing is not allowed from Oddoana up to Capo Monte Santo within 500m from the coast. In the sea, if you see someone in troublehelp him. Performed properly anchors. Do not attach to lanyards of floating buoys that are unable to support the weight of a boat, and do not leave your vehicle on the shore. Imagine the situation if all drivers of boats did it.
Finally, we wish you the best experience in the Gulf of Orosei and we invite you to consult our Boat Rental in Cala Gonone and Excursions in the Gulf of Orosei, where you can find the companies that will make your excursion unforgettable.