Directly to the area characteristics
The region is popular because it is easy to get to by car or train. Above all, sailors from North Rhine-Westphalia can be on site in a few hours. This is environmentally friendly and has the advantage that you can bring your provisions with you on the way. 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 speed limit is 100 on motorways.
The waters of Friesland at a glance
The range of charter fleets is large and ranges from dinghies and small cruisers to 50-foot charter yachts. The small, inexpensive boats such as the Polyvalk, Fox 22 and the like are particularly popular with young sailors. They are used for water hikes, sometimes with a tent, sometimes with an overnight stay in the youth hostel, quite a unique selling point in Friesland. Nowhere in Europe are there so many small boats as here. But of course there are also the normal charter bases with keel yachts from the usual providers, especially in Lemmer, but also in Stavoren, Sneek, Workum and other places. There is also the opportunity to charter the typical Dutch historical boat types in a very stylish way: Leemsteraken, for example, flat-bottomed steel ships with gaff rigging and wooden masts that have a unique flair and little draft. Handling is not a major problem for experienced sailors, but there is also a detailed briefing.
Photo gallery: Revier-Impressionen Friesland
The charter prices in Holland are cheap, in Europe it is 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. You should only pay attention to the draft of the charter yacht, because the waters are shallow. If you really want to go to all parts of the area, such as the very pretty, astonishingly natural area around the Princenhof, you should not book a boat with a draft of more than 1.2 meters, otherwise you will be denied many sections. Quite a number of the yachts that are offered in Holland have the shipyard versions with the draft-reduced keels as standard.
CHARTER PROVIDER IN THE NETHERLANDS
WIND & WEATHER
Weather statistics Friesland
Like the German coast, the Dutch inland 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 a little weaker here inland than directly on the coast, the mean is 7 to 10 knots or around 3 Beaufort. You should plan for days with rain, 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. The fact is: Anyone who is out and about in Friesland should be prepared for a few bad weather days even in midsummer and of course have full oilskins and boots with them.
NAVIGATION & SEAT CREW
The Dutch waters are often shallow and sometimes narrow - coastal sailors have to adjust a little. The log often shows less than two meters, but ground contact is often harmless because there is soft mud in many places. It gets crowded in summer and on weekends, and inexperienced sailors sometimes have to get used to close encounters in canals.
Bridges: As in the past, only very few are subject to a fee, and some fans still mourn the "Klompengeld" collected with a fishing rod and wooden shoe. If it is due, the amount must be paid appropriately. Jostling in front of the bridge (or lock) is considered to be very gross. It takes some getting used to for those new to the area that they should pass quickly and in close rows when opening the bridge; The bridge keepers, who often stop all car traffic for opening, do not appreciate delays. Sometimes the bridge keepers have lunch break (12 noon to 1 p.m.) and a coffee break (approx. 4.15 p.m. to 5 p.m.), opening times in the summer evenings usually until 8 or 9 p.m.
PORTS & ANCHORAGE
Many marinas, some of which are somewhat outdated in terms of sanitary facilities, mostly places with fixed or floating jetties with stern posts. From June to August they are pretty full from 2pm. If you want to come later, you should make a reservation (numbers in the Almanak district manual). Many quiet moorings "on the green meadow" (so-called Marrekrite places). Lying there is free for three days per place, but the crew should buy (and set) the mandatory Marrekrite pennant, which is available for 15 euros in the tourist offices. The proceeds are used to maintain and maintain the places.
LITERATURE & SEA MAPS
The "Wateralmanak" 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. The app of the Dutch association ANWB is also very useful, it offers water maps, harbor and area information, to be found in the app store or on Google Play. Nautical charts: The cards of the ANWB, sentence 1800 (brand new) are most frequently used. The inland cards from NV Verlag, set NL 6, 49.00 euros are also good.
AREA CHARACTERISTICS FRIESLAND
"Sneekermeer", "Heegermeer", "Tjeukemeer" - in Friesland crews move from one of the roughly 30 more or less large lakes to the next. They are connected by a dense network of canals and rivers, in which one is well protected in all wind and weather. An ideal area, especially for small boats and beginners. If that is too tight for you, you can simply switch to the IJsselmeer for a detour.
In Friesland, crews sail in the middle of the landscape, they become part of it, so to speak; This is an extraordinary, extremely exciting experience especially for sea sailors and those new to the area. The reed-fringed sward of the flat meadows seems close enough to touch. At eye level with ruminating cows and bleating sheep, the boats follow winding rivers or canals.
Once you have arrived in the great old places like Sloten, Sneek or Heeg, you don't think you are on a sailing trip while strolling through town. You can look completely unabashed into the gardens of the residents. In contrast to this are the inland lakes such as the Sneeker or Heegermeer. There everything seems much more generous and wider than it actually is. In the middle of many places there are tiny islands, artificially created and yet idyllic in nature.
There is also a lot of new things to learn about seafaring. For example, that the echo sounder often shows a zero before it comes and still nobody gets disturbed. It's so flat everywhere, but the boggy peat of Friesland forgives almost everything. However, if you want to go to the area with the keel yacht, you have to make compromises: You can reach most places up to a depth of around 1.3 meters, above which it is often too shallow. The shorter the keel, the more exciting corners there are to explore.
Also unusual are the many close encounters with other ships. Otherwise, such proximity is only known from road traffic. Or the mini-maneuvers and waiting circles during the unfamiliar stop in front of bridges and locks. Not to mention the surreal feeling of floating over a four-lane motorway in your own yacht - aqueducts make it possible. And everywhere dinghies and small cruisers that seem almost extinct on the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who tackle the area can only sail inside - or dare to expand in one fell swoop via Harlingen into the Waddenzee and then into the IJsselmeer. Depending on the wind direction, such a round is sometimes better sailed with, sometimes counter-clockwise. Definitely a perfect trip for a varied week.