Sailing on Lake Como: skippered boats (the ‘Limo’ option)

For visitors to Lake Como, the word ‘sailing’ can mean a number of different things. For example, a group of people can charter a boat with a skipper, rather like hiring a Limo with a chauffeur. Alternatively, one or two people can arrange the sailing equivalent of self drive hire – renting a smaller boat to sail in for a few hours, or even days. And a third option, for those who don’t yet know how to sail a boat, is to take a course that will give them that basic ability within a week, with only a couple of hours of lessons a day. The most common arrangement at Lake Como is to offer ‘self drive’ hire and lessons in one location, but there are a couple of centres that provide skippered boats.

‘Sailing Days’, based in Como, is a good example of the ‘Limo’ option. It hires out seven different boats – from seven to thirteen metres long – all with a skipper and one or more cabins and toilets.

Depending on which boat you choose, it:

  • sails from Lecco, Menaggio or Gravedona
  • carries from four to ten passengers, and
  • costs from €370 to €580 per day plus €0.50 per mile for fuel (cost excludes 20% vat)

The reason why the service operates from those locations is that the best winds are found in the northern parts of the Lake and in the eastern branch, above Lecco.

The Annje Bonnje Sailing School, based in Pianello Del Lario, appears to offer a range of courses and boat hire with and without skipper. The Annje Bonnje Sailing School website is in Italian only

Comolakeboats, in Domaso, hires out one ‘five passenger’ J80 sailboat, with skipper, for €190 for three hours or €290 for five hours. It also offers waterskiing and wakeboarding, as well as motor boat hire.

Hiring a boat with a skipper is a way of finding out what sailing feels like, which is often a lot more exciting than you expected. And if a few hours on a skippered boat gives you an appetite for more, you could take a short course of lessons, which will give you the ability to sail by yourself or with a partner. You won’t be able to take a ‘Limo’ out onto the water, but you can hire smaller boats, which are more fun, because you’re closer to the water.