No navigation licence? No problem!
Bike on board: access to all the nice spots
In order to sail motor and sailing yachts which do not exceed 15 meters and which cannot sail faster than 20 km per hour, you do not need to possess a navigation licence in the Netherlands. You, as a hirer, must indeed know the rules or be informed of them by the yacht charter company. However, these are simple.
Managing director Albert Hendriks of Friesland Holland Tourist Information & Travel Service and Rent a Cruiser: “It is right that the Dutch government does not make the navigation licence compulsory for the category of yachts mentioned above. On most waters in the North of the Netherlands which are sailed by pleasure boats, you do not come across any professional sailing. For example, in Friesland there is absolutely no question of strong currents. The water traffic is slow. The annual number of collisions on recreation waters is especially low.”
For beginners Rent a Cruiser (www.rentacruiser.nl) and Friesland Holland charter companies
(www.frieslandholland.nl) have an instructor who can make someone into a good shipmaster in half a day to one and a half days.
Hendriks: “Sailing is not difficult. You must remain calm, especially during manoeuvres in harbours and in the lock. You have to forget the speed of a car. Many hirers must first acclimatize themselves: become accustomed to another, pleasant atmosphere, the fresh air and the rest in an environment with much nature and history.”