Sailing around the Koh Chang Islands has slowly but surely gained a foothold over the last few years, with yachts now a common sight in the surrounding waters off Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Koh Mak and Koh Wai.
There are two main companies operating in the area, Sailing Koh Chang (Aqua Charters) and Gulf Charters, both based down in Salak Phet in the far south east of the island. At selected times of year, Mandala Yachting is a third option for skippered day charters from Bang Bao Pier or Salak Phet, as well as 2 to 3 day live aboards.
Monohull choices include Catalina 375, Jenneau Sun Odyssey 33i, Beneteau 44.3 and 55.4, Jenneau Sun Odyssey 409, Bavaria 45, whilst multihulls feature the Island Spirit 38, 41 and Lagoon 400s, 420, 421. Yachts are bareboat charters, though skippers may be available for certain vessels.
Standard charters are for 7 days. One week is normally defined as from 15.00 on the first day to 09.00 on the eighth day.
Licences and Anchorages – Koh Chang Sailing
Sailing in the Koh Chang islands is at Experience Level 2, with no licenses required by the authorities, though certificates should always be carried. The 200bt fee for the National Park is per person per day, with 50bt for the boat.
The pincipal cruising areas extend from the northern tip of Koh Chang, past Koh Klum, Koh Wai, Koh Mak, Koh Kham, Koh Rang and down to the southern end of Koh Kood, with anchorages in many different bays along the way, all clearly charted.
It is actually possible to go further to the Cambodian maritime border, but night sailing is not permitted and stops are at anchor, with mooring buoys being no longer permitted in Thailand.
The companies only open from October to May, when the prevailing winds from the north east are at their best and the weather is dry and generally calm.
The Companies – Koh Chang Sailing
Sailing Koh Chang (Aqua Charters)
Based at Island View, Salak Phet
Bareboat only, bareboat with crew, bareboat with skipper among the options offered on keelboats and multi-hull including Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i, Jenneau Sun Odyssey 409 (x 2), Lagoon 420 and Lagoon 421. Advice on itinerary planning, support. 7 days charter the norm. Fuel, WiFi, SUP etc. extra.
- Jenneau Sun Odyssey 33i (2 cabins), Nov to Dec 1,490 EUR a week, 25/12 to 31/12 – 2,290 EUR, Jan to Feb – 1,599 EUR . Skipper +150 EUR a day and food.
- Jenneau Sun Odyssey 409 (3 cabins) – Nov to Dec 1,590 EUR a week, 25/12 to 31/12 – 2,990 EUR, Jan to Feb – 2,490 EUR . Skipper +150 EUR a day and food.
- Lagoon 421 (4 cabins), Nov to Dec 5,090 EUR a week, 25/12 to 31/12 – 7,290 EUR, Jan to Feb – 6,999 EUR . Obligatory cleaning 200 EUR
- Lagoon 420 (4 cabins) Nov to Dec 4,560 EUR a week, 25/12 to 31/12 – 6,540 EUR, Jan to Feb – 6,999 EUR. Obligatory cleaning 200 EUR
- Day Trips from 2,000bt per person – availability depends on other charters. Leave from Salak Phet.
Based at Koh Chang Marina, Salak Phet
Bareboat only, bareboat with crew, bareboat with skipper among options offered on monohulls and catamarans including Catalina 375, Beneteau 44.3 and 54, Bavaria C45, Island Spirit 38 and 41 and Lagoon 400s- yachts from 4 years to 15 years old. Advice on itinerary planning, support, provisioning. Fuel extra. October to May only.
- Catalina 375 (2 cabin) – $2,200 (Oct) to $3,900 (peak) a week
- Beneteau 44.3 (3 cabin) – $1, 700 (Oct) to $2,800 (peak)
- Beneteau 54 (4 cabin) – $2,450 (Oct) to $4,900 (peak)
- Bavaria C45 (4 cabin) – $3,420 (Oct) to $6,380 (peak)
- Island Spirit 38 (4 cabin) – $3,048 (Oct) to $5,600 (peak)
- Lagoon 38 (5 cabins) – $3,200 (Oct) to $6,500 (peak)
- Island Spirit 41 (4 cabin) – $4,880 (Oct) to $7,696 (peak)
- Lagoon 400s (5 cabins) – $5,360 (Oct) to $9,620 (peak)
Based at Island View, Salak Phet
Skippered day charters in the Narin Thip, 42ft Jenneau, usually from 09.30 to 17.00 taking in Koh Ngam, Koh Wai, Koh Lao Nai or Wai Chek Beach. Overnights also available with itineraries including Koh Mak, Koh Kham, Koh Rang and Koh Kood depending on the number of days at sea. Meeting point is at Salak Phet Resort.
- From 6,000 THB for 1 day charter, with SUP boards, snorkel gear, cold drinks, water all included. Food at Koh Wai paid by customer. 6 persons maximum.
- From 12,000 THB for 2 days/1 night charter, with 6,000 THB each additional day. Breakfast is included but Koh Rang tax (200bt per person) and any food during the trip are paid by the customer. No diesel surcharge. 4 persons maximum.
Sea kayaking is another great way to explore the archipelago or nearer to home, the offshore islands. Many of the resorts have the standard Feelfree sit-on-top variety and rates range from 300bt for a half day to 500bt for the whole 8 hours.
The islands off Klong Prao Beach and Kai Bae Beach are the most popular, but Klong Son has two small uninhabited spots which are good for snorkeling and the paddle from Lonely Beach to Bailan Beach along the coast is another pleasant day out, though it does get dangerous beyond the southern cape in Bailan Beach itself.
On the east coast, Salak Khok Kayak Station rents out its kayaks for exploring the mangrove forest and the bay itself at Salak Khok, whilst the resorts on either side of Salak Phet bay are within easy paddle distance of the islands in the middle, principally Koh Sai Khao, which has a little beach.
S.E.A Kayaking Koh Chang
Based at Baan Suan, Klong Prao
Professional sea kayaking company that runs full tours into the archipelago – half or full days off to the islands off Kai Bae or Salak Phet as well as expeditions over 3, 5, 7 and 9 days to Koh Wai, Koh Klum, Koh Laoya and Koh Mak and 12 days to Koh Mak and Koh Kood. BCU 3 star courses. Full safety and insurance, North Shore kayaks (sit-in), experienced UK Canoeists.
- Per Person: 4,000bt (1 day) to 78,000bt (12 days including all equipment, guest house or hammock accommodation, food and water)
SUP (Stand-up Paddling)
You can try SUP (Stand-up Paddling) on the northern canal in Klong Prao at Iyara SUP Station – turn in at Ramayana Resort and follow the lane to the very end. Prices are 500bt per person for a 90 minute session, with an instructor on hand as needed.
Alternatively, head to Sea Paradise in Bang Bao Beach who also have a good selection of boards . It’s about a third of the way down the sand, 5 minutes walk from the bridge.
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