License Requirements for Sailing in French Waters

France is known for its crystal clear waters, as well as its range in food and chocolates. However, one of France’s most telling and exquisite aspects is its ports and bays. It is riddled with docking vessels and families taking their sailboat out for a spin. France is the place to be for a boating expedition or a family holiday at sea. Though many love France for its extensive boats and sailing products, some many regulations and rules must be followed. These rules, however severe they may be, are well abided by and followed without hesitation. One of these rules includes the necessity of a permit or boating license to pilot or captain a boat in French waters. Seemingly simple to acquire, obtaining a permit for sailing in France is anything but simple. For example, there are boundless amounts of requirements that must first be received and met to be able to obtain a fully functioning license for sailing. There are many forms of sailing licenses in France. Each is created for different types of holders and the types of boats that they sail.

French Sailing Licenses

When it comes to sailing or gaining a permit for your boat, you must realize when it is that you actually require a license. Permits and licenses are not necessary for sailing a vessel that has a horsepower less than 6 or that is less than 4.5 kilowatts. However, vessels such as jet skis and other crafts which are similar exceed the limit and require the presence of a permit or license. There are three categories available in gaining a sailing license in France. They are:

Recreational Permit (Permis Plaisance)

The recreational permit is a newly introduced system in France. Also known as the Permis Plaisance, the system was introduced in the 1st January 2008. It is divided into four parts; these parts function differently and outline different purposes. There are also four permits. There is a permit that is dedicated to sea waters, and also another that is for inland expeditions. To apply for any of the licenses; however, the applicant must be above a certain age and must also pass through a theoretical and practical examination to determine their knowledge in times of crisis. The testing process is known to be taxing and requires much effort from the applicant. A maximum of only four error is allowed in the theoretical test, and a minimum of 3 hours of practical training is necessary at a training center.

Each type of permit for sailing can be extended. However, this can only be accomplished through the completion of additional tests to refresh and test your knowledge on how to deal with a boat and to also check your decision-making skills. Permits such as deep-sea and large ricer craft, require not only more testing but also more hours of training in the field to maximize the knowledge.


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