Directly to the area characteristics
The region around the IJsselmeer is popular because it is easy to get to by car or train. Above all, sailors from North Rhine-Westphalia and western Lower Saxony, but also from Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, can be there in just a few hours. This is environmentally friendly and has the advantage that you can bring your provisions with you on the way, although the supermarkets in the Netherlands also offer attractive products such as Vl (vanilla pudding in a tetrapak), stroop waffles (caramel biscuits) or all kinds of foods with an Indonesian background
You should briefly find out at the charter station where the car can be parked for the duration of the cruise - this is usually done on the marina site or the surrounding area, usually free of charge. As in Germany, free parking is usually only possible for a fee or for a short time. Prohibitions should be obeyed as much as possible, the fines in Holland are significantly higher than in Germany. Incidentally, this also applies to following the maximum speed. A note: From March 2020, the daytime (6 a.m. to 7 p.m.) on motorways is 100 km / h.
Photo gallery: IJssel and Markermeer
The range of charter fleets is large. The charter hotspot is clearly Lemmer with several large bases. But Lelystad, Stavoren, Workum and Enkhuizen also offer ships of different quality and thus more or less inexpensive. Ultimately, it is advisable to choose the base according to the desired destination. If you want to go towards the islands in the mudflats, a base further north makes sense. If you want to tour the Markermeer with the towns of Hoorn, Edam, Monnickendam and Amsterdam, you might want to charter more southerly. In Monnickendam, the Waterland fleet awaits customers with a special offer: very well-equipped yachts from Dehler and X-Yachts and even a Dragonfly trimaran await customers there. The latter should only be borrowed with experience and a previous training weekend. IJssel and Markermeer should not be navigated with boats under 25 feet.
The charter prices in Holland are cheap, in Europe they are only comparably low on the Baltic Sea. Very popular with customers and moderately popular with providers is the option of charter only for a weekend or over public holidays, which is much more pronounced in the Netherlands than elsewhere, but is not offered by all charter companies. A ship with heating, which can get cold even in summer, is highly recommended. The heat source also helps if oilskins have to be dried. A dinghy is not required, as you always lie in harbors. Some companies offer gennakers; if you can handle it, you will certainly have fun with it.
CHARTER PROVIDER IN THE NETHERLANDS
WIND & WEATHER
Weather statistics Friesland
The Dutch inland sea, like the German coast, is known for its unpredictable summers, even if the super summers like 2018 have been increasing in recent years. From April to the beginning of September, winds from southwest to western directions dominate the picture. They blow around a Beaufort weaker on the IJssel and Markermeer than directly on the coast, the mean is 10 to 14 knots or 3 to 4 Beaufort. Days with rain are always possible, with 13 to 20 days per month from April to October the probability is high. However, due to the perfect tourist infrastructure, you can also spend this ideally on land - hardly a destination that would not offer a perfect alternative program in bad weather.
NAVIGATION & SEAT CREW
The IJsselmeer is not very demanding in terms of navigation. Except for a few well-toned flat areas, it is sufficiently deep everywhere. The distances are manageable, sailing days often do not last longer than three to four hours. The large ports usually also have a place available. However, if you want to lie in a city harbor, you shouldn't arrive too late in the high season, because it can get crowded there. Whether in Enkhuizen, Medemblik, Hindelopen, Makkum, Stavoren, Lemmer or Urk.
With westerly winds of 5 or more Beaufort, some port entrances on the east coast become uncomfortable, both when entering and leaving. The approach to the narrow gully from Workum is difficult, as is the entrance to Hindelopen. Stavoren can always be approached, but the sea can often be confused before entering. However, this only lasts a few hundred meters. So: persevere.
The highest waves on the IJsselmeer are measured in front of the Rotterdamse Hoek between Urk and Lemmer. Even there it can get uncomfortable with westerly winds. The inland sea is notorious for its storm fronts. They mostly come from the southwest and bring strong winds and rain. The water then turns green, the air black. Due to the influence of the wind, the water level in the ports, especially in Lemmer, can then fluctuate strongly, up to 1.20 meters are possible. To avoid surprises caused by such weather phenomena, there is the Centrale Meldpost. It resides in the radio tower in Lelystad and sends an area and weather report every hour at a quarter past on channel 1. You should definitely listen to this area radio.
Open since 2018: the island of Marker Wadden
The same applies to the Markermeer as to its big brother in the north: not very demanding in terms of navigation and sufficiently deep everywhere. However, the Fonteinkruid, an aquatic plant, grows in the Markermeer between June and the end of August. The growth is so pronounced that yachts regularly get caught in it; then sailing is out of the question. The area between Hoorn and Edam should be avoided entirely. The vegetation is less pronounced along the coast of Flevoland. However, fairways are mowed regularly.
The Markermeer has two special features: the Marker Wadden in the northeast corner off Lelystad and the Gouwzee in the southwest. The former is an artificially washed up natural archipelago that yachts can visit. There is a port, as well as rudimentary sanitary facilities. The operators ask you to reserve a berth via the Blue Water app. The Gouwzee is a bay where the towns of Volendam, Marken and Monnickendam are located. All of them are worth seeing and can be reached with a depth of up to two meters, whereby Volendam and Marken are very touristy. In the Gouwzee, it is essential to keep to the fairway exactly!
If you want to visit Amsterdam, you first have to cross the Schellingwouder Bridge and the Oranjesluizen. This works without any problems, but both are closed during rush hour so that road traffic can flow. On weekdays, the bridge is not operated between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Het IJ, a large river / canal, runs through Amsterdam. It has a buoy for recreational yachts next to the main fairway. One should stick to that. There are a number of harbors, starting with Entrepot Dok. Turn to port behind the lock. The other ports are all along the IJ. Aeolus to starboard, followed by the famous Sixhaven, then a little further on the Amsterdam Marina. The MarinWesterdok is located next to the main train station.
Can get full, but is really cozy: the Sixhaven in Amsterdam
Free ferries run regularly from the ports in the north of the IJ to the city.
Bridges and locks: There are only a few structures on the IJssel and Markermeer. In the north there are the locks in Kornwerderzand and Den Oever, which lead into the Wadden Sea, and in the middle there are the passages in Lelystad and Enkhuizen through the Houtribdijk. In the east, the Ketel Bridge leads into the Ketel Sea. The operating times are very long, precise information on each structure is in the Wateralmanak.
PORTS & ANCHORAGE
Lots of marinas. Partly a bit outdated standard in terms of sanitary facilities, mostly places with fixed or floating jetties with stern posts. Most marinas always have a space available, and you often have to register at the reporting piers. Reservations are no longer possible in most ports. In city ports: first come, first served. One often lies there in parcels; if you don't like that, you'd better avoid these systems. Arriving early and sending those who arrive later is the worst seamanship. The sanitary facilities are all ok, if not luxurious. In city ports, the standard is often lower than in marinas.
Those who know the conditions can also anchor nicely on the IJssel and Markermeer
Anchoring is very rare, many charter yachts do not even have an anchor winch and often no chains either. If you still want to anchor, you can do so in Makkum between the lock and the mainland, in Enkhuizen in the Compagnieshaven in front of the Zuiderzeemuseum, in Medemblik at the steam engine museum, in the Gouwzee, in the IJsseloog on the Ketelmeer, in front of the MarinFriese Hoek in Lemmer, in the escape port north of the MarinMuiderzand and before Durgerdam.
LITERATURE & SEA MAPS
The water almanac of the ANWB is an indispensable reference work for every trip. The two-volume work lists, among other things, all telephone numbers, VHF channels and opening times of bridges and locks; In addition, there is all port information. 19.95 euros per volume, available from specialist retailers. Nautical charts: The charts of the ANWB, Satz 1810 IJssel and Markermeer are most frequently used. The cards from NV-Verlag, set NL 3, 49.00 euros are also good. Nautical information is available at www.vaarweginformatie.nl. General information on the fairway, dates, activities, country and people are available on www.stegfunk.de, a portal for water sports enthusiasts in the Netherlands.
AREA CHARACTERISTICS IJSSEL- and MARKERMEER
IJssel and Markermeer are inland areas that feel like real seafaring. Sometimes you can't see the other side, look at an empty horizon. The ports are well developed, and in the old towns from the time when the IJsselmeer was still called the Zuiderzee and was open to the North Sea, the charm from the time when it still smelled of salt here has survived. That makes the area something between inland and sea sails. One can gain first experiences far away from the coasts without them actually being too far away. A protective harbor is usually reached in an hour. The area is ideal for first attempts at walking on large water.
The IJsselmeer can also be different. With (south) westerly winds above 5 Beaufort an unpleasant wave builds up. Because of the shallow water it is very steep. Yachts under 35 feet inevitably get stuck in it. If you have to face it, you have to reckon with two to three knots over the ground and a wild ride, more is not possible with shorter ships. You certainly don't want that. Fortunately, there is always an alternative port on a better course. It is therefore advisable not to stick to the planned destination for too long.
A typical round could look like this:
Day 1: Lemmer to Urk, approx. 16 nautical miles Day 2: Urk to Hoorn, approx. 25 nautical miles Day 3: Hoorn to Enkhuizen, approx. 12 nautical miles Day 4: Enkhuizen to Medemblik, approx. 12 nautical miles Day 5: Medemblik to Makkum, approx. 20 nautical miles Day 6: Makkum to Lemmer, approx. 28 nautical mile
Then you have approached all the important goals without really getting stressed. A special feature on the IJssel and Markermeer is the so-called brown fleet; it is so named because it used to wield dark (brown) sails. These are old cargo ships that have been converted into passenger ships. The captains on the ships are usually a bit headstrong. They are considered professional shipping and therefore enjoy right of way on inland waters, which they also like to take. So it is advisable to keep your distance.
The places themselves are real pearls - be it Hoorn with the cheese market, Urk with its fishing tradition, Enkhuizen as the proud former town of the East India Company or Lemmer with the lively town center, in the middle of which you can conveniently dock. There is enough to see. The short stages are therefore ideal for exploring the towns behind the port.
A special feature is that, if bad weather threatens, you can also flee inside into the waters of Friesland. Then it goes on with pretty towns and many sights. They are described here..