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Canary Islands

From SkipperGuide, the online cruising guide for sailing areas around the world

waters Atlantic
political Europe > Spain
Canary Islands
Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, westwards from the African continent at high of Marocco. Political they belong to Spain.

Sailing at the Canary Islands is possible over the whole year. The temperatures are varying the whole year around 20°C to 27°C. The most time, the trade winds will bring good sailing conditions. Because of funnel- and cape effects the wind will get accelerated up to gale (F8 and more) in some areas. Beside the wind there is often swell, which can get quite high because of some thousand miles of open sea. Typically it will get about 1-3 m high, but because of the long wave length it is mostly not critical.

Because of these conditions the Canaries are often described as demanding cruising area.

There are not too many safe anchorages, the distances between the marinas and the very different condition of the marinas makes this area difficult and it is not recommended for beginners. On the other hand, many sailors will gather here in the autumn for their trips over the Atlantic Oceans. This gives this location a special charm, that you can also find only e.g. at Horta on the Azores. The picture at the marinas and anchorages is more dominated by circumnavigators than by bareboat charter crews.


[edit] Islands

Lanzarote · Fuerteventura · Gran Canaria · Tenerife · La Gomera · La Palma · El Hierro

[edit] Tips for the sailing trip

The Canaries offers some possibilities for interesting and sportive sailing trips. As starting point, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria or Tenerife will be suitable.

Tips for the sailing trips you can find at the articles for the several islands.

[edit] Bareboat charter

There are few bareboat charter opportunities at the Canary Islands, including Nautilus Yachting and ClubSail. The yachts seem to be in a good condition. Spanish regulations do not require automatic life vests at charter vessels. The one, who will avoid spending his sailing trip in foam core vests, should ask before chartering, if the ship is equipped with automatic air chamber life vests or bring their own (but check before that the transport by airplane is possible – it can differ from one airline to the other!)

[edit] Further tips and recommendations

  • Shopping: Shopping is often a problem. There are not too many supermarkets which are easy to reach from the marinas. It is no mistake to use each possibility for shopping.

[edit] Literature

Jimmy Cornell, Canary Islands Cruising Guide (5th Edition); World Cruising Club Publications, 2006 (ISBN 0-9517486-7-X £15.00, CA URN 16749)
short summary here
Anne Hammick, Gavin McLaren - Atlantic Crossing Guide, Adlard Coles Nautical; 5th edition (October 2003) 
Standard work of the Royal Cruising Club with all notable details for an Atlantic trip and information about the most important marinas round the Atlantic Ocean, including the Canaries, Acores, Bermuda, etc.
Anne Hammick - Atlantic Islands - Canaries,Maderia,Azores,Cape Verde, Imray Laurie Norie