Yachting and Sailing in Cyprus

A brief overview of the sailing conditions and contacts for people with boats and yachts in the Cyprus seas...

The Cypriot summer is usually sunny with little or no rain. Summer winds (Meltemi) blow from April to October and while gentle in the mornings, they pick up over the course of the day.

Summer wind is South Westerly starting from the south in the mornings and picking up and shifting westward in the afternoon reaching about 15 to 25 knots wind speed.

Winter winds may change to South East and blow to speeds of 10 to 20 knots, usually during December and January. The island has winter rainfall, mostly in December and January.

The Cyprus Sailing Federation oversees all sailing events and organises racing and training, as well as yachting regattas, throughout the year.

Yacht Clubs and Marinas

These local yacht clubs and marinas are all CYA members:

It is possible to sail and set anchor anywhere except at beaches, in swimming areas or natural reserves. Full information is available from the marinas and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

Registration of Small Vessels and Recreational Boats

Recreational craft in Cyprus must be registered either in the Register of Cyprus Ships or in the Register of Small Vessels. A recreational craft is defined as "any boat of any type intended for sports and leisure purposes of hull length from 2.5m to 24m, regardless of the means of propulsion". Jet skis are included in this general category, however canoes and kayaks, pedalos, sail and surfboards (including powered surfboards) are not.

The Department of Merchant Shipping provides comprehensive information on boat ownership licencing, registration, markings and more.

High Speed Small Craft

A high-speed small vessel is any boat up to 15 metres which can carry one or more people, seated or standing and which as an outboard or inboard motor that can go at speeds of at least 15 knots.

For registration purposes, these craft fall into one of two categories:

  1. Category A: small high-speed small craft for private, non-commercial use only
  2. Category B: small high-speed small craft rented out for hire

All high-speed small vessels must be clearly marked on both sides of the stern with a registration number. Category B vessels must include the letter "B" written after the registration number. The size and placement of the registration number is regulated by law.

Licence to operate

Operators of high speed small craft must be licenced. As with learning to drive a car, an applicant must first pass a learner's test (must be at least 17 years of age) in order to then take the driver's test and do the practical training. Boat driving training and tests can be taken at nautical clubs.

Visitors to Cyprus staying for under 30 days may be allowed to drive a hired motor boat without a Cyprus licence provided the owner is satisfied that they are competent and they sign a binding declaration of competence with the owner.

Small-craft engine regulations

European standard regulations are in place for small boats and their engines with regards to noise and emissions.

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