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Sailing boat


What documentation is required to sail in Spain?

In Spain you need the pleasure craft operator card to sail a recreational craft in the case of sailing vessels of more than 5 metres in length, with an engine over 4 metres in length and with a capacity greater than 10 kilowatts. In addition, it is necessary to have an operator card for the handling of any watercraft (except for rented vessels in certain circuits). For citizens of countries that are not members of the European Union, a certification of the operator card may be required, which must be requested at the consulate.

If you navigate your own boat, when entering port you must present documentation that, in accordance with the country of registration and flag, shows proof of ownership, and in addition compulsory insurance, whose policy must cover at least 150,000 Euros in damages to third parties. In the event that authorities find the existence of elements in the ship which affect maritime safety or the environment they may prevent anchoring, leaving or entering the port.

To rent a boat, if the operator card was not obtained in Spain, you must file an authorisation of the Harbour Master of the jurisdiction, which states that the powers granted are the same as the foreign certification. This authorisation may be applied for in person or at the rental agency. Normally, it is very quick, because the captains have a list of equivalencies of the certificates. The boat documentation will be provided by the rental company.

High speed or dynamically supported craft are subject to special control: they must communicate their navigation plans, place their EAV badge in a place visible from the sky, and dock in specific locations.

Since conditions may vary, we suggest that you contact the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to verify these requirements before you start your trip.

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