Sailing holidays without a skipper: when you need a license
When planning a sailing holiday, having a skipper on board can be a necessity – for those who do not have the technical knowledge necessary to drive the vehicle – or even a precise choice, to experience the holiday without having to take care of driving the boat, living every moment in complete freedom and carefree.
When you opt for a sailing holiday, the first decision to make is whether to rent the boat without crew, or complete with crew. If you decide to drive the boat independently, then it is useful to understand when and in what conditions it is necessary to have a boat license in order to sail.
Nautical license: what it is for and when it is necessary to obtain it
Obtaining the nautical license is a way to improve your knowledge of the boat but also of the sea and the principles of navigation. The program necessary to achieve it, in fact, is very vast and ranges from currents to tides, from maritime signals to meteorology. A program, therefore, which transfers a deep knowledge of the sea and which allows you to navigate with greater mastery and safety.
The real ability to steer the boat is then gradually matured with the experience in the field, going out to sea and sailing.
But when is it mandatory to have a boat license to navigate?
On this front, the legislation is complex and has undergone numerous changes over the years.
Essentially the Italian Nautical Code indicates three types of pleasure craft:
- The “pleasure craft“, or any rowing, motor or sailing unit whose length does not exceed 10 meters.
- “Pleasure boats“, or those boats whose length is between 10 and 24 meters (this type includes most of the sailing and motorboats used for tourism or racing purposes).
- The “pleasure boats“, that is all the pleasure boats with a length that goes beyond 24 meters.
The obligation to have a nautical license based on the length of the boat
In Italy it is possible to drive pleasure boats and pleasure boats without the obligation of a boat license, but only under certain conditions. On the other hand, the obligation to have a nautical license is always in force for boats over 24 meters in length.
The obligation to have a nautical license based on the power of the engine and the displacement of the boat
Another important parameter is the power of the boat’s engine. If the engine exceeds 30 kilowatts or 40.8 hp there is always the obligation to drive with a boat license.
To drive pleasure craft without a license, not exceeding 24 meters in length, it is also necessary that the engine displacement does not exceed:
- the 750 cc, if with carburetion or two-stroke injection;
- the 1,000 cc, whether with carburetion or four-stroke outboard injection;
- the 1,300 cc if with carburetion or four-stroke injection on board;
- 2,000 cc if not supercharged diesel cycle;
- the 1,300 cc if in supercharged diesel cycle.
The obligation to have a nautical license based on the distance from the coast
In addition to the length of the boat, the distance from the coast comes into play to establish whether to possess a nautical license.
In practice, the nautical license is always mandatory to sail beyond 6 miles from the coast.
Ultimately, if you are of age, to drive a sailboat without a boat license it is necessary that the boat does not exceed 24 meters in length and that the engine displacement does not exceed specific power parameters based on the characteristics of the carburetion or diesel cycle.
At the same time it is necessary to stay while sailing, within 6 miles from the coast.
For minors, on the other hand, stricter rules apply, it being understood that it is not, however, possible to drive pleasure boats before reaching the age of 18.