Which boat licence do you need?
Do you have a nice boat in mind or perhaps you have already purchased it? Then it is important to know if you have the right boating license. A distinction is made between Boating License 1 and Boating License 2. Whether you need a boating license depends on the type of boat you have. Which license you need depends on where you are sailing. To be well prepared, we have listed the license requirements for different boats and situations. Also don't forget to look into boat insurance. That way you can be safe on the water.
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Which licence do you need for a speedboat?
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the rules surrounding the boating license are the same. In the rest of Europe, different rules may apply. Whether you need a boating license for a speedboat depends on two factors:
- The length of the boat
- The maximum speed of the boat
The license is required for a speedboat that can go faster than 20 km per hour at full throttle. A speedboat is obviously made to go fast, so you probably need a boating license. If you take your speedboat on rivers, canals and lakes, Permit 1 is sufficient. Are you also going to sail on larger waters? Then you will need Boating License 2.
Which licence do you need for a jet ski or water scooter?
Although a jet ski and and watercraft are the same for the law, there is a difference between them. A watercraft must be operated while seated, while a jet ski can be operated while standing. Of course, this is more difficult, and therefore takes more practice. However, this does not matter for the license. If the jet ski or water scooter goes faster than 20 km per hour (which is in most cases), then you need a license.
With a jet ski or personal watercraft, be sure that the cruising area is appropriate for the vehicle. Usually there are special sections marked for fast boating. This is often quite a distance from shore.
Which boat licence do you need at sea?
To sail your boat at sea, you need Boating License 2. This is also called Limited Watercraft License II. With Sailing License 2 you may also sail on the larger waters and coastal waters. These are larger lakes and the sea, such as the Wadden Sea, IJsselmeer, Markermeer, IJmeer and the Oosterschelde and Westerschelde. An exception is the Gouwzee, which is part of the Markermeer. There you may sail with only Sailing License 1. Before you can get your boating license 2, you must have your boating license 1. It is also possible to get both License 1 and 2 at the same time.
On the Wadden Sea
The Wadden Sea is the inland sea between the Wadden Islands and the North Sea. The Wadden Sea stretches all the way from the Netherlands to Denmark. A beautiful area to sail by boat. To sail a boat on the Wadden Sea you must be in possession of Sailing License 2.
In the North Sea
The North Sea is an exception to the aforementioned rules. In fact, you do not need a license to sail on the North Sea. For the seaports, however, you do need a license. So if you want to go to sea through the seaports, you will still need a license. So in this case, you need at least Sailing License 1.
On the Markermeer
The Markermeer lies between North Holland and Flevoland. To the northeast it borders the IJsselmeer and to the south it merges with the IJmeer. For sailing on the Markermeer you need license 2. An exception is the Gouwzee. The Gouwzee lies between Volendam, Marken and Monnickendam. Here you may also sail with only permit 1. In most places the water there is quite shallow.
On the IJsselmeer
The IJsselmeer is the largest lake in the Netherlands and a wonderful place to sail. To sail on the IJsselmeer, you must be in possession of Sailing License 2. On calm days the IJsselmeer is a pleasant sailing area, but as soon as the wind force increases, sailing on the IJsselmeer can be treacherous. Therefore it is important that you know how to deal with such boating situations.
Which boat licence do you need abroad?
If you want to sail abroad, you need an ICC. ICC stands for International Certificate of Competency. It is a translation of the boating license into English. All boating licenses that are newly issued automatically also get an ICC. If you have Sailing License 1, you get the ICC for inland waters. If you have Sailing License 2, you get the ICC for inland and coastal waters. When and which license you need varies from country to country.
Before you go out on the water, it is of course important that you have enough basic knowledge about boating, the boat, safety precautions and the regulations that apply in that country.
Frequently asked questions about the boat licence
Which boat licence do you need in France?
To sail on France's rivers, inland lakes and canals, you need Sailing License 1 (ICC for inland waters). On the coast, you need Sailing License 2 (ICC for inland and coastal waters). For a boat shorter than 20 meters with an engine of 6 hp or more, a boating license is always required.
Which boat licence do you need in Greece?
If you want to sail in Greece, two persons on board must have an ICC for inland and coastal waters (Boating License 2). Or the skipper must provide a statement that there is a second person on board with sufficient boating experience. An international insurance certificate is also required.
Which boat licence do you need in Croatia?
If you stay in Croatia within 1 nautical mile (that's 1852 meters) from the mainland or islands, then Boating License 1 (ICC for inland waters) is sufficient. Do you sail further than 1 nautical mile from the coast? Then you need to be in possession of Sailing License 2 (ICC for inland and coastal waters).
Which boat licence do you need in Spain?
In Spain, an ICC is mandatory if your boat has more than 9.5 HP. If you want to sail along the coast, you need the ICC for inland and coastal waters (Boating License 2).
Which boat licence do you need on Lake Garda?
If you want to sail on lakes in Italy, such as Lake Garda, you need Boating License 1. Sailing along the coast requires Sailing License 2.
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