Documents for navigating foreign waters

In the following post, we are going to speak about the basic requirements and needs to handle your boat in foreign waters, or even outside of Spain if your boat carries a Spanish flag. This post talks about the documents that you should take with you wether you are the skipper or if you opt for a boat rental instead.

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First of all, we would like to make it clear, there will be no trouble as long as all the papers are in order and the skipper/capitan has a suitable nautical qualification.

Nautical Qualifications

There are various types of nautical qualifications but a Spaniard must obtain the folowing qualifications in order to sail outside of Spain.

Many years ago there was no ownserhip of the seas, they did not belong to anyone and were completely free to use. However, this was in 1609, times have changed and this is no longer the case.

For recreational trips, each boat is goverened by the regulations of the country in which it sails. Thus, if your journey is in Spanish waters, you are subject to Spanish navigational laws. We always have to comply with the rules that apply to Spanish flagged vessels, and not only this, but also meet the  requirements surrounding; security, boarding regulations, IALA warning lights, contraband regulations, drugs, stowaways, contamination, etc.

In order to sail in foreign waters without violating rules, Spanish-flagged ships need to obtain the aforementioned titles. As we have said the titles are enforced strictly. It should also be taken into account that except the navigation license, all titles will expire.

Boat registration and sailing permits

If you are thinking of entering foreign waters it is incredibly important to always take with you the boat registration documents, which confirm the owner, rights of use to the boat, insurance, etc. 

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All boats must have compulsory insurance that you must carry with you at all times (the valid insurance policy as well as the proof of annual payment) 

Just as you would carry a driving license for a car, it is equally important to carry a sailing permit. This permit contains the following data; name, NIB, license plate, technical characteristics, sailing area, propulsion, required qualifications, owners data. Additionally, the sailing permit must be renewed periodically. If the length of the boat is less than 6 metres, it must be renewed every 5 years. If it is longer than 6 metres, there will be periodic inspections which will be noted on the ´Certificado de Navegabilidad´. When they expire a permit must be issued. 

Other necessary documents to sail Spanish vessels in foreign waters

Wherever you plan to sail, always take with you onboard;

  • The boats papers
  • Original registration documents
  • Rol or Sailing license 
  • Boat Station license (LEB)
  • Operator´s certificate 
  • Original policy document and the recepit showing the insurance is valid
  • Finally, check the terratorial limits that appear in your policy and have civil responsibility coverage in mind

These are all the neccesary papers to sail in waters of the European Union as well as the Sailing qualifications we have talked about previously.

Of course, don´t forget your personal docmentation as well such as your passport and European health insurance card (EHIC).

With all of this information, we are here to help whenever you need!

Enjoy your journey!

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