Do I need a boating license?

Sailing in the Netherlands

To give you the short answer straight away: no, you do not always need a boating license to sail in the Netherlands. In fact, none of our boats require a boating license. 

Depending on the type of boat

Whether or not a boating license is required, firstly depends on the type of boat you will be sailing. A (small) boating license is required for boats that can sail faster than 20 kilometers (~ 12 miles) per hour (a jet ski, for example) and/or boats that are longer than 15 meters (~ 49 feet).

The maximum speed of our boats – such as the sloops and doeraks – is lower than 20 kilometers per hour. Also, they are shorter than 15 meters long. A doerak, for example, is on average 8.5 meters (28 feet) long and sails very calmly: it’s maximum is around 6 to 10 km (4 to 6 miles) per hour. A boat that can sail faster is often not even necessary: ​​on most waters in the Netherlands you are not permitted sail faster than either 6, 9 or 12 kilometer (4, 6 or 7.5 miles) per hour.

Depending on the waters you sail on

We do ask for a boating license and sufficient demonstrable experience if you want to sail particular waters: large waters that have their own unique character and therefore require quite some sailing experience. Examples of these are the Waddenzee, the Oosterschelde and the IJsselmeer.

To prevent you from (accidentally) sailing on a water where a license if permitted (when you don’t have one) we always give you instructions and route advice before you start sailing – based on your personal sailing experience.

Sailing in Germany

Our marina in Germany is located in Brandenburg. Brandenburg is located on the river the Havel. On a 100 kilometer (~124 miles) long part of the Havel and some of its tributaries you can sail without a boating license. What you do need then, is a so-called Charterschein: a temporary license for water sports enthusiasts without a boating license. You can get a Charterschein after following a short practical and theoretical training with us, prior to your rental period. The license is valid for the entire rental period. More information about getting a Charterschein can be found here.

Skipper training: sail the waters well prepared

For people who would like to get some more training before starting their boating holiday, we also offer a special skipper training.

The skipper training is a two-hour long training on your boat, prior to your rental period. During these two hours you will learn about sailing a boat, special manoeuvres and traffic rules on the water. It’s a fun and informative way to gain some more experience with a boat on the water. Sounds interesting? You can find more information about the skipper training here.

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