I have never been boating before. Will I be able to navigate the boat safely after the tutorial?
Our instructor will start the tutorial by showing you all the important parts of the boat and explain how they work. Then, you will go for a test run where the instructor will also teach you how to moore, what to do with the ropes and which knots you should use. As soon as the instructor has got the impression that the important parts where well understood he will "let you free".
Let's assume that you go for a try but feel very insecure about your first boating experiments. In this case please do not hesitate to ask for a more extended instruction (even when you had already left port). If you inform the clerk at the reception desk about your wish, one of the instructors will - after having done the first round of tutorial runs - come aboard and go through all the difficult points with you. Please be aware that you might have to wait a while - in extreme cases (days with lots of tutorial runs to be held) this second instruction might have place not earlier than the next day.
Can I book a boat like Ilse, Fantasy, Rhapsody, Lady M. or Aqua Cosmos without having any boating experience at all?
Yes, that is possible IF you book a boating instruction with "Skippers Start Help", as well. SSH is a specialized school where you can take boating lessons with a private teacher for one day. You and your boat will be picked up at the charter base in Sneek and be brought to the marina of SSH. During a one-hour lesson you will learn about how to navigate in theory and the entire next day, an instructor of SSH will go practising with you and your crew. Ask for more information and order forms or contact them directly at www.schippersstarthulp.nl.
By the way: These lessons are not exclusively for the capitains of the larger boats. Maybe you feel like "refreshening your memory" - please feel free to book such an instruction, too.
I do have a boat driver's licence - is this sufficient to rent a boat of Ilse-, Fantasy-, Rhapsody-, Lady M.- or Aqua Cosmos class?
If you book a boat of this kind we expect from you that you know how to handel boats of this size. It is not the papers which are important, but the hands-on experience. If you have a boat driver's licence but only little or no driving experience then you will have to attend a 3 hours skippertraining. This training takes place at the start-out day, after the technical tutorial by one of our employees and will be given by an SSH (Schippers Start Hulp) instructor. The easiest way is to order such a lesson at the same time as your boat - we will take care the the driving instructor will be here on time.
For Aqua Cosmos, the skipper training is not sufficient, you will need a boating instruction as mentioned in the question above.
Why can't we cruise the Dutch shallows with your boats?
Our boats are typical canal boats, built for piloting the inland waterways. Some parts of the technical equipment are therefore only suitable for sweet water, they could be damaged when used in salty water. And above all, our insurance only covers cruises on inland waterways.
The charter contract states that "cruising the big rivers" is not allowed. What does that mean?
Big rivers in the Netherlands would be IJssel, Rhine, Maas etc. Waterways such as e.g. Prinses-Margriet-Kanaal can be used without any problem as it is "only" a canal.
Can I travel to Amsterdam by boat in one week?
Theoretically, the distance from Sneek to Amsterdam via the so-called Randmeren can be done in one week. It is a journey of about 25 hours one way, not including waiting hours before bridges and locks. If you prefer to relax during your boating holiday, we would recommend you either to book a two weeks-holiday or go to Amsterdam by car on a day during your holiday. By car, you can reach Amsterdam within less than two hours and you can be back on board for the night.
Can I bring my pet? How many pets are allowed on board?
In principle, pets are allowed on board of our yachts. We ask a small fee for this extra passenger and ask you to bring your darling's basket and feeding bowl from home to make sure that Rex and Kitty are feeling well on board. Please note that we have set a maximum of 3 animals per boat and that rodents and exotic animals are not allowed.
Where can I park my car during my holiday?
Your car can be parked free of charge on our large parking space. The premises are guarded 24 hours a day and the gate will be closed during the night (from midnight and 7.30 a.m.)
How much money (coins) do I need for the bridges and locks for one week?
It strongly depends on the type of boat and the tour you would like to travel. Anyhow, an average of 25-30 Euro should be sufficient for one week.
Do I have to fill up the tank during my journey?
The diesel tank is large enough to travel certainly one, sometimes even two weeks. Therefore, we advise all guests who will be boating for several weeks to fill-up once a week. If you travel only one week it will sufficient to fill the tank when you are back at the home base.
The water tank has to be filled up every 2-3 days. It seems almost unbelievable - but you generally use more water than one would expect (the period mentioned is based on years of experience and has proofed to be correct with all our boats). Costs for water and diesel have to be paid by the lessee.
Can I charge my cell phone or video camera on board?
That depends on the power supply aboard. Using a charging flex as they are used in cars, you can charge your cell phone on every type of boat. Your video camera needs 220 V and therefore can only be charged on boats with either a 220 V converter or a 220 V shore-connection.
We would like to do the cleaning of our boat by ourselves. What do you expect to be done?
If you do the cleaning yourself, we ask you to: do the dishes and stow them in the cupboards dry, empty the garbage bin, wipe the surfaces and clean the floor (when your boat has a carpeted floor, you can borrow a vacuum cleaner at the reception desk). Please do not forget the bathrooms. On the outside of the boat a bucket of water and a little scrub with the brush are sufficient
A tip: While cruising you will see boat owners making a little tour around their boat every morning to wash away the "fresh dirt". A work of 3 minutes which will give you a lot of pleasure at the end of your journey - imitation recommended.
On a start-out day, how long will the reception desk being occupied?
The clerk will normally be present at the desk from 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. After 5.30 p.m. (until 8 p.m.) you can contact one of our employees on the premises.
We would like to go to town tonight. When do you close the gate?
The gate will be closed at midnight and will be opened around 7.30 a.m.
Untill what time can I use the shower?
The sanitary rooms for our guest are open 24 hours a day. Please make sure that you have enough 50 cent-coins with you. For 50 cent you can shower approx. 3 minutes.