Small pleasure boats with low engine power and houseboats can be rented in various countries around the world and in many holiday countries without a boating license. A great option for everyone who dreams of a boat trip but doesn’t have a driver’s license. But you shouldn’t go on board completely unsuspecting, because there are rules that must be observed even on the water.
So that you can enjoy a relaxing moment on the water, we have summarized a few basic boating knowledge for you:
- A boat is not a car! Keep that in mind. A boat has no brakes, at most one reverse gear. When steering, a boat reacts much more slowly than you know it from your car. In the case of currents and waves, the surface you are driving on also moves, you have to take this into account in your maneuvers.
- Waters are not roads! Waters can have different depths, currents, waves and hidden obstacles. Find out about the area and possible dangers, as well as the most important signals and navigation signs. Always observe the surroundings carefully while on a boat and try to anticipate possible dangers.
- There are also traffic rules on the water! To avoid collisions with other boats, there are right of way rules on the water. Roughly speaking, smaller ships have to avoid larger ships because they are more agile. Boats that are more difficult to maneuver have priority. A small pleasure craft must avoid a sailing boat or a fishing boat in action. If two boats of a similar category come towards each other, then both must swerve to starboard, i.e. to the right.
- Approach berthing maneuvers slowly! If you want to moor with the boat, then drive as slowly as possible to the desired point and switch the engine to idle shortly beforehand so that the last momentum gently drifts you onto the jetty or buoy. Do not turn off the engine until you have securely fastened the lines. Learn the most important knots to secure your boat securely. The bowline for mooring to the bollard or buoy, the square knot with headbutt to cover a cleat on the jetty.
- Find out about the weather! Strong wind, fog, storms. A nice boat trip can quickly become uncomfortable if a storm suddenly breaks out. Always check the weather forecast before going on a boat trip.
- Safety first! Check that the necessary safety equipment is on board, especially life jackets!
- Ask the landlord! Let the landlord show you the boat. Do not hesitate to ask him all your questions, he can give you valuable tips about the water and the surrounding area. Save his phone number so you can contact him if necessary.
If you follow the simple rules, you can rent a boat without a license and have a great time on the water.