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Rules for driving safely and quickly in the Netherlands


Rules also apply on the water. Every boat operator must know these rules so that he knows how to himself
behaves correctly and what he can expect from other road users. Rules are necessary to a
to ensure safe and smooth traffic management. They contribute to accidents, dangerous traffic behavior
and avoid unwanted nuisance. In addition, clear rules of conduct contribute to nature and
Environmental protection.
In Chapter 8 of the Dutch Inland Waterway Police Regulations (BPR) – that also on the waters of the
Rheinschifffahrtspolizeiordnung applies (RPR area) – you will find general regulations and important information
for fast motor boats. Anyone who drives a fast motorboat on Dutch waters and waterways must do so
Comply with rules and regulations. In this brochure we would like to explain these rules and regulations in more detail.

What is a fast motorboat?

A fast motorboat is a small ship that is less than 20 meters in length and that can travel faster than 20 km / h (10.8 knots). This also includes water scooters.
Please note: The driver of a fast motorboat must be at least 18 years old! A small open motorboat
To be allowed to drive that is no longer than 7 meters and cannot go faster than a maximum of 13 kilometers per hour (7 knots), the driver must be at least 12 years old. An adult in a small inflatable boat with a small 4 hp outboard motor will probably not be able to drive 20 km / h or 10.8 knots on this boat, a child will probably be able to. If your child drives the boat alone and can therefore drive faster than 20 km / h, they are not allowed to drive this motorized inflatable boat.


The boat operator
The driver of a fast motorboat / water scooter must:

  • be able to drive the vehicle safely.
  • be at least 18 years old.
  • have a valid sports boat license. For most inland waters, the certificate of competency is sufficient
    Dutch boat license “Klein Vaarbewijs Part 1” (a boat license for the Dutch
    Rivers, canals and lakes). For the large bodies of water, the sport boat license “Klein Vaarbewijs, Part II” (a
    Sports boat license for all Dutch inland waters) mandatory. It refers to
    the following waters and main waterways: the Ooster- and Westerschelde, the IJsselmeer, the Markermeer,
    the Dutch Wadden Sea, the Ems and the Dollart. The Dutch foundation VAMEX ( can
    Inform you in more detail about this.
  • sit in the seat provided for the driver while driving.
  • when driving the motorboat standing up, wear a life jacket, unless the boat contains others to do so
    Devices. Water scooter drivers must always wear a life jacket.
  • prevent the obstruction or endangerment of other water sports enthusiasts and water users.
  • Adhere to the permitted speeds shown on signs, boards and official water maps.
  • Avoid unnecessary noise or unnecessary running of the engine when the vehicle is stationary.
    • to adhere to the alcohol regulations. The permitted per mille rate was reduced to 0.5 per mille in 2010.
  • have a registration certificate for his vehicle.

You can obtain this certificate from
Dutch Road Transport Authority (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer, RDW) in Veendam. Either on
the website or at any major Dutch post office that also issues vehicle registration documents.
If you want to sell your fast motorboat, the new owner must first have the boat in his name
overwrite it before he can use it. The transfer of the registration certificate from one to another
Private individuals can do this at the RDW or at the larger Dutch post offices. However, this becomes common
to forget. No declaration of assignment is issued for motor boats.

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The watercraft: furnishings and fittings

  • The approval mark (the so-called Y number) must be on both sides of the boat. This
    The approval mark must be clearly visible in a color that differs from the background. In addition, it must
    correspond to the legally prescribed dimensions described in Chapter 8 of the BPR.
  • The engine must be flawless from a technical point of view, so that there is no nuisance from exhaust gases, smoke or steam
    or smoke can arise. There must be no risk of fire or explosion.
  • The exhaust of the engine must be provided with a functioning silencer that complies with the applicable laws and
    Complies with regulations regarding noise pollution.
  • The steering system must be technically sound and functional.
  • The vehicle must have a quick stop switch (dead man’s switch). This switch ensures that the
    The engine is automatically switched off if the driver becomes uncomfortable or if he falls overboard.
  • A life jacket must be at hand for every passenger.
  • There must be an operational fire extinguisher that is regularly (every two years) checked on board the vehicle
    are located.
  • In addition, the vehicle driver’s sports boat license, the registration certificate of the
    Vehicle and the Dutch Inland Navigation Police Regulations (BPR). It can also be one
    act digital edition of the BPR. For small open boats it is not compulsory to have an edition of the BPR
    to have on board.
  • There must be a suitable (signal) horn on board.
  • It is advisable to have a paddle and an operational anchor on board. Make sure you do
    Have an anchor of the correct weight suitable for your ship on board.

On the website you will find a brochure about the recommended on-board inventory.

Map with fast travel areas

A maximum speed of 20 km / h applies nationwide on the water, unless there are traffic signs on the shore
or other speeds shown on official water maps. Please note that lower maximum speeds may be required in certain driving and nature areas. A map with high-speed areas
can be found on the website download. This card clearly states:

  • which maximum speeds apply in the various travel areas,
  • where you can go water skiing,
  • in which areas you are allowed to drive fast with a water scooter.

Where you have to drive slower than 20 km / h

The driver of a fast motorboat must not harass or endanger other water sports enthusiasts or water users. In
In the following areas, high-speed motor boats are required to (significantly) reduce their speed:

  • within a distance of 20 meters from a bank, unless otherwise indicated on site
  • within a distance of 50 meters from a swimming facility or a jetty
  • in the vicinity of competitions, water festivals, demonstrations or similar events
  • in poor visibility (less than 500 meters, for example in fog or rain)
  • in a port
  • at night (unless you have an official permit to drive faster)
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Rules for fast motor boats

  • Watch out for other water sports enthusiasts and users, including swimmers, and avoid disturbing waves.
  • Watch out for commercial shipping vehicles. In particular, on the waves and the pull that these big ones
    Ships can cause.
  • Also take into account the large blind spot of up to 350 meters on these ships
  • Keep to the speed limit.
  • Don’t let it come down to a confrontation; try to create a good atmosphere on the
  • Protect nature and the environment.
  • Only launch your boat where it is permitted and watch out for passing ships.
  • Make sure that you know and apply the applicable rules and regulations.
  • Make sure that the required safety equipment is available on board.
  • Get good insurance for your vessel. These measures are in everyone’s interest
    Water sports enthusiasts and those looking for relaxation.
  • Have your registration certificate, your recreational boat license and (personal) ID to hand.
  • But above all: use your wits, not your horsepower!

Shipping traffic has very low accident rates! Help ensure that it stays that way! Good ride!
Driving fast is fun, but too high speeds, too fast and recklessly driving young people and
Water scooters are one of the most common annoyances on the water. Unfortunately, fast drivers don’t have a good reputation.
You should therefore set a good example yourself and observe the applicable rules and regulations.

Law enforcement

The waterway administrations, such as i.a. the Dutch Water Authority (Rijkswaterstaat), the
The National Police Corps (KLPD) and the seaport police are the law enforcement officers on the Dutch waterways. The
Provinces, water boards and the regional police units monitor the regional and local waterways.
You pay particular attention to your driving behavior, check your driving licenses and how you handle alcohol.
Exceptional law enforcement officers are entitled to issue penalty mandates to skippers. The police lead too
Alcohol controls by.

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Tips for recreational boating

  1. Set off well prepared
    Make sure you have current waterway maps
    Bodies of water and waterways that you travel on
    want to have on board. Find out in good time
    about the weather forecast and don’t drive at
    poor visibility or darkness, if not
    is absolutely necessary. Make sure that at
    bad weather everything on board is adequately secured.
  2. Commercial shipping blind spot
    You can use professional boaters if you are in the blind spot
    are in front of their ship, sometimes no longer see.
    This blind spot can be up to 350 meters.
    This corresponds to the length of three football fields
    behind each other! Customize your course and yours
    Speed ​​so that you are not in the blind spot
    of the larger ships. While it is not a guarantee
    but when you see the wheelhouse of the professional ship
    the skipper will probably see you too!
  3. Clear course
    Use your course to clearly indicate how you are going to drive
    to intend. Cross a fairway or one
    Fairway as quickly as possible. So by going into a
    drive in a straight line from one bank to the other.
    Drive in a fairway and on a canal or
    River if possible on the starboard bank and look
    look around regularly. Don’t drive in the middle of the
  4. The blue board
    When a professional ship has a blue sign with a bright one
    white flashing light, then preferably drive
    past the side of the ship where the blue plaque is
    is set. Of course only if they
    Traffic situation on the spot allows this. Think
    You ahead so that you can react quickly. On
    the website you can find one
    Brochure on the blue sign and right of way and
    Overtaking rules on inland waters.
  5. Reduce speed
    Reduce your speed in time so that
    other ships through your stern and bow waves will not
    be hindered.
  1. Marine radio
    If you have a marine radio, are
    You are obliged to eavesdrop on this. Drive you
    therefore always with the ship’s radio switched on.
    (Channel 10) and use the device to dangerous
    Avoid situations. In the so-called
    Block areas, such as traffic posts,
    Locks and bridges, the ones indicated there apply
    Ship radio channels
  2. Signal tone in case of danger
    Show other ships with a long beep
  3. Make way for commercial shipping.
    Drive as far as possible on the starboard side of the
    Fairway and stay a safe distance from
    commercial shipping. Do the commercial shipping
    especially in curves and in ports!
  4. See and be seen
    Make sure that you are clearly visible at all times, too
    can freely look around your boat on all sides and
    can hear the beeps of other vehicles clearly.
  5. Quickly and safely through the lock
    Make sure you are in a lock at both
    Can moor port than starboard. Lay
    You should therefore have fenders and adequate mooring lines
    on both sides of your boat ready before jumping into a
    Drive in the lock. When you’re in front of a lock
    then don’t drive in a circle
    around the lock and don’t wait in the middle
    in front of the lock (you can pass other ships through this
    hinder), but do it at a waiting dock
    firmly. Proceed in the order you arrive at the
    Lock into the lock chamber and close
    Your boat to the other boats.
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I wish you a lot of fun with the boat in our beautiful country, the Netherlands. Please always try to follow the tips, so nothing stands in the way of having fun on the water.

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