Sailing is one of those instances when you are completely at the mercy of the weather. As any experienced sea dog can tell you, it’s important to plan your trip carefully according to nature’s whims at each time of year. This is especially true in Thailand, where the wet and dry seasons are very pronounced.
Thailand’s coastal regions have what are known as the Northeast Monsoon (or dry season) and Southwest Monsoon (or rainy season).
The Northeast Monsoon runs from the beginning of November to the end of April. During this time you can expect stable winds from the Northeast, at force 2 to 4. Temperature remain at about 30° C or 86° F. You’ll have nice dry weather and with plenty of sun; ideal for sailing and exploring.
The Southwest Monsoon runs from May to October with south-westerly winds at force 2 to 6. The winds pick up during this season, making for more exciting and challenging sailing. You will, however, experience a good bit of rain and it may be unpredictable. In the late afternoon there are often 1-2 hour showers. Although rare, you may have extremes of two entire weeks of sunshine or 2-3 days of continuous rain.
During the true monsoon season from July to October there can be extended periods of rain lasting up to 5 days.
The rainy season also prevents visitors from sailing to the Similan Islands or anchoring on the West Coast of Phuket. It’s important to note that on the west coast the rainy season hits hardest between April and October while on the east coast you’ll get the most rain from September to December.
Most sailors agree that the best time for a sailing vacation in Thailand is from November to March, during the cooler Northeast Monsoon season. For more information on chartering in Thailand, contact our friendly advisers.