Morocco - Profile
- In spite of its strategic position close to the sailing routes between Europe, the Mediterranean, Madeira and the Canary Islands, many yachts don't visit Morocco. In recent years however, yachting facilities have improved here, particularly on the Atlantic coast where there are new marinas in the capital Rabat, Mohammedia, Casablanca and Agadir.
- The Atlantic coast of Morocco stretches for 1,000 miles down the coast of Africa from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Sahara. There are long distances between ports of refuge and inside the 100m contour yachts should be alert to the dangers of snagging fishing nets.
- Most of the large ports have a yacht club and there are a certain number of locally owned yachts, but the facilities do not compare with those of the neighbouring countries.
- Formalities appear to be more straightforward than in the past.
- Although the coastline and harbours offer limited cruising, the attractions ashore, such as the old quarters and markets of some ports or the country beyond them, may make a visit to Morocco worthwhile.
- Provisioning is good in all major ports, although imported goods are expensive. The fresh produce markets are good everywhere.
- In some ports men calling themselves "shipkeepers" offer their services. They will deal with everything and also ensure that nothing is stolen off the yacht.
- Repair facilities in the bigger ports are adequate and there are small boatyards in both Tangiers and Casablanca which have dealt with yachts in the past and carried out simple repairs. Camping gaz is widely available.
- Local customs mean that shorts for men both and women, and brief or skippy tops and skirts for women are not appropriate for wearing in public.
- There is no way of avoiding "baksheesh" in Morocco, it is a way of life. Essentially it is nothing more than a tip, a thank you for services rendered, but you'll be expected to pay it even if you didn't want the service in the first place. The key is to be prepared with some small change to avoid an upleasant altercation.
- Diesel is very cheap in Morocco, so be sure to top up your tanks before departure.
Safi has no facilities for yachts and cruisers who have visited here have only reported unpleasant experiences (corruption and a break-in/burglary).
On the coast the climate is one of hot summers and mild winters. Westerly winds predominate on the North African coast in winter, while most of the summer the winds are ENE. On the Atlantic coast summer winds are mostly northerly.
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