India - Profile
- Cochin (Kochi) is conveniently placed close to the Red Sea route and as cruising along the coast offers limited attractions, those who are short of time would do better to use Cochin as a base and tour inland from there. India's first marina opened here on Bolgatty Island, April 2010.
- Bombay (Mumbai) is best if wishing to travel inland; plus some of the customs officials are keen and experienced sailors. Note however increased security here mentioned below 2015.
- The Andaman Islands are an archipelago of some 200 islands lying west of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Yachts are now welcome to stop here (with an Indian visa) and the islands are becoming a popular area for boats from Phuket, especially those on their way to the Red Sea.
- North Sentinel Island in Eastern India, which lies to the west of the southern part of South Andaman Island, has a 3 mile exclusion zone around it. The Sentinelese people who live on this small island actively and violently reject contact and are considered the most isolated people in the world.
- The east coast is not normally visited by yachts, although Madras (Chennai) is a port of entry.
- There are small workshops capable of simple repairs, but spare parts are almost unobtainable so you should have all essentials on board. There are several boatyards with slipways, but they are not used to dealing with keeled yachts so should only be used if absolutely necessary.
- Following the explosion of a boat as part of an alleged terrorist attack off the Mumbai (Bombay) coast in January 2015, there may well be a clamping down of security. Expect to have your paperwork checked by military or coast guard at anchorages and in ports. See news item here.
- Note: It is essential to apply for visas in advance if planning to visit India or the Andaman Islands.
It is advisable to consult a travel advice website such as the UK's FCO website for advice on the latest security situation.
The coastal regions can be very hot and humid and the best time to visit is during the NE monsoon from November to April, when it is dry and sunny, and if cruising the SW coast the harbours are more protected. In the SW monsoon period the west coast is mostly unprotected, there being rain and heavy swell from June to October.
Weather Forecasts from the India Meteorological Department
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page
Mumbai (Bombay), Cochin and Mormugao (Goa) are the only recommended ports of entry for visiting yachts.