Recreational boating

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Recreational boating is the generic term for non-commercial -powered shipping with any watercraft on all types of waters ( inland , coastal waters and offshore ) and adjusts the contrast to commercially operated commercial shipping is.

Strictly speaking, the term was a subsection of recreational shipping ; however, this term is no longer common and is mostly used, if at all, as "sport and recreational shipping".


Sport shipping in today's sense began around 1910 , when internal combustion engines became so small and reliable that they could also be installed in watercraft. With the same engine power, these engines were much smaller, cheaper and easier to operate than the steam engines that had been common up to that point . Those who could afford it bought a "pleasure boat", as the name for sport and leisure boats was at the time. Especially around metropolises like Berlin , Paris , London or Constantinople , the spread of such watercraft boomed, which led to the fact that the responsible authorities in the respective states began to make a legally anchored distinction between commercial and non-commercial shipping.

In the economic boom up to the stock market crash in 1928 , the "pleasure boats" became bigger and more seaworthy. Before 1920, the defined differences between commercial and non-commercial shipping had been extended from inland shipping to (high) sea ​​shipping .

Legal differences from commercial shipping

The biggest differences between professional and recreational shipping from a legal point of view can be summarized as follows:

  • Depending on the state, simpler or even no nautical patents are required to operate non-commercial watercraft.

There are two limits in Germany : From 15  HP or more than 11.03 kilowatts of mechanical drive power, measured on the propeller shaft (or on the drive shaft of the motor on a Flettner drive ), a sports boat license is required. From a total length of 15 meters ( Lüa , length overall) of the watercraft, the sport boat certificate / Rhine sport boat license is also required on inland waterways. On some inland waters, for example in Berlin , a sports boat license is also required from a certain sail area . In other countries there are partly different regulations.

In Norway, for example, only the Lüa of the watercraft counts, which ends at 14.99 m without a license.

In Sweden , only the possible top speed of the watercraft is decisive for the driver's license requirement. The limit is drawn at 40 knots (almost 75 km / h).

The same applies to Denmark , where the driving license requirement results from the boat length in meters squared plus the number 3; d. In other words, a boat with a length of 6 m and more than 39 kW requires a sports boat license to operate.

If a ship visits the territorial waters of other countries, the driving license regulations of the country whose flag the ship is flying apply on board. An exemption from a driving license does not, however, relieve the skipper of the duty of knowing and observing the traffic rules when driving his watercraft, as well as being able to operate his watercraft at all. In addition, even for a watercraft that actually does not require a license, in certain heavily trafficked regions (in Germany, for example on the Rhine ), the license exemption ends at smaller than the usual limits or does not exist at all.

  • Some busy shipping lanes, such as the Kiel Canal , may be used by pleasure craft not be driven at night, twilight or poor visibility, regardless of the driver's license of the skipper .
  • On certain waters (in Germany e.g. on the Rhine) under certain circumstances (e.g. after reaching high water mark 1 at the reference level) there is also an obligation for pleasure craft to operate a radio device (a radiotelephone certificate is required for this). In contrast to commercial shipping, the devices do not need to be duplicated. In addition, there is no body of water that requires a pilot for pleasure craft, as long as the vehicle does not exceed certain sizes (e.g. 500 GRT in the Kiel Canal  ).

In any case, the difference between commercial and non-commercial shipping cannot always be determined by the size of the watercraft. A large luxury yacht can legally be regarded as a pleasure craft, while a small rubber dinghy of a frigate , a passenger ship or a shipyard is part of professional shipping because it is operated commercially.

The international collision prevention rules make no distinction between sport and commercial shipping . There are only a few specifications that depend on the size of the ships (for example, the lights ). The rules of evasion between watercraft also apply regardless of the purpose of the ships and also regardless of the size of the ships. In the interests of good seamanship and consideration, pleasure craft skippers nevertheless avoid the large ships that are difficult to maneuver, especially in narrow fairways.

Individual evidence

  1. Water sports - leisure boating and charter license regulations. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on May 11, 2013 ; Retrieved May 21, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

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