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Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Funchal

Yacht Charter Funchal

On a Funchal yacht charter with Borrow a Boat you can explore much of the Madeiran archipelago within an easy sail. Whatever you want from a Madeira yacht charter, from enjoying the walking and culture to whale watching and water sports, a Funchal sailing holiday is going to be an unforgettable experience.

Administered by Portugal, Funchal is Madeira's capital and has a population of around 100,000 residents on a mountainous terrain. Flying in can be exciting with pilots requiring special certification to land at the main airport whose runway begins and ends at the top of cliffs!

The city has an old town (Zona Velha) that is a fun place to explore, though do be aware that this is a city where tourism is core to its economy and can be rammed tight in the peak season, especially when a cruise ship has docked. The Farmer's Market will be where you want to victual, and is a place where you will discover all sorts of fruits you have never even seen at home.

A 20 minute cable car takes you to the top of Funchal to a place called Monte which has some fantastic monuments and churches. For those after a bit of a fun way back down, you can be pushed down the steep slopes back into town on a wicker sled. Though the true adrenaline junkie may doze off, those who don't do extreme rollercoasters or downhill mountain bike riding will find it a thrill!

Explore Funchal By Renting A Yacht

Sitting around 280 nautical miles north of the Spanish administered Canaries, Madeira and its smaller islands are a great escape from the unpredictable weather of Europe. Sometimes described as having a climate of permanent summer, they are fertile and mountainous. Like the Azores further to the north, they are a tourist destination more suited to active travel.

Being peaks in the sub-ocean Mid Atlantic Ridge, there is an upwelling of nutrients that bring plankton and this makes the archipelago an important feeding ground for a range of species of migratory whale that pass through on their endless journey. This makes for great whale and dolphin watching, and if you're into snorkelling or scuba diving you're in for a treat too with a riot of marine life (that you may end up eating in the restaurants ashore or catching them fishing too!).

Just inland from the fertile coastline plains on Madeira Island are a network of Levada agriculture irrigation channels that reach 1000 metres up the island's interior. With something like 1,860 miles of them around Madeira, many with footpaths close by, these make for a good chance to lose yourself in the lush jungle and mountains of the main island.

For those who just want to chill on a beach? On mainland Madeira these are often volcanic black sand or pebbly. Porto Santo, the second biggest island in the archipelago, meets this need - with 9km of golden sandy beach they often say there is little else to do there but hang out on the beach!

How To Get To Funchal

Funchal Airport

Portugal's 4th largest airport in terms of weekly flights, Funchal's Cristiano Ronaldo Airport has airlines serving it from most of Europe. The marina is a short taxi ride from the airport.

Marinas In Funchal

Marina do Funchal

Marina do Funchal is a mid-sized marina close to the old town of Funchal. It is a yacht charter hub with charter companies and boat owner offering crewed charter and bareboat boat rental of luxury catamaran, monohull sailing boat, luxury yacht charter and motor yacht charter yachts.

Berth Characteristics:

210 berths

Max Length 20m (65 Feet)

Max Draught 3.5m (11.5 Feet)

List of additional amenities: Shore power, water, WiFi, shower/WC, launderette, garbage disposal, cash machine, hotel, restaurant.

Suggested Sailing Routes From Funchal

On a bareboat charter or skippered charter sailing yacht or motor boat charter out of Funchal, you're likely to sail largely around Madeira Island with two longer legs to Porto Santo and back. Let's look at a typical sailing holiday itinerary.

7 Days - Madeira Archipelago: Your shakedown leg will take you to the oldest town on Madeira, Canisal, before a long day's beating up the trade winds to the island of Porto Santo. Spend the next day and night there before doing downwind to Ihyas Deserta (literally a desert island) for a quiet evening the next day. Another glorious day's running to the west of Madeira Island and round to Calheta on the south coast of the island. Here you can either explore the sugar cane factory or imported-golden- sand beach before a short sail east back to Funchal for handover.

Best Times To Hire A Yacht In Funchal

There is a year round sailing season in Madeira thanks to its location on the Atlantic. The Trade winds can be fun but are reliable and steady. With the Gulf Stream keeping the seas warm year round, it is largely down to whether you don't mind a bit of warm rain in the winter months on your sailing trip or want blazing subtropical heat and crowds of fellow tourists in the peak summer months of July and August? If you can get to the archipelago outside of school holidays then you will see the best of it without the crowds, though a cruise ship arriving can make things a little busier whenever they turn up.

The Climate

Trade Winds

These come from the NE and can get up to an exciting 20 knots but are extremely reliable. It can get into the 30 degree C range in mid-summer, during the dry months. It rains more in the northern hemisphere winter but that said, the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees C.


What should I consider when hiring a Yacht or Boat?

The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a skipper, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.

What are the Marinas in Funchal?

Marina do Funchal has 210 berths and takes a vessel of up to 20 metres. This is a major yacht rental hub and is largely for boat owner/charter companies only. Visiting yachts should try the town quay.

When are the best times to hire a boat in Funchal?

There is a year round sailing season in Madeira thanks to its location on the Atlantic. The Trade winds can be fun but are reliable and steady. With the Gulf Stream keeping the seas warm year round, it is largely down to whether you don't mind a bit of warm rain in the winter months on your sailing trip or want blazing subtropical heat and crowds of fellow tourists in the peak summer months of July and August?

Do you have to pay a deposit when hiring a Yacht in Funchal?

You will typically pay 50% up front on booking the yacht hire and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.

What happens if my Yacht breaks down?

If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.

What should I think of before I hire a Yacht or Boat in Funchal?

You should consider do you have the experience to handle the yacht charter or boat rental before you book and where do you want to go along with what the weather will be like. Have something for cooler winds but be prepared for fierce heat in summer.

What Qualifications Do I need to hire a boat or yacht?

If you want to sail without a skipper then you will need relevant qualifications like RYA Day Skipper/International Certificate of Competence (ICC)/ASA 104 Bareboat certificate or the US Sailing Certificate. For small 'day boats' or if you choose to have a crewed yacht charter you typically don't require licences.