Everything about sailing on the Wad with a flat bottom
On this page you will find useful tips and answers to frequently asked questions about renting a flat-bottomed sailing boat. Whether you want to sail on the Wadden Sea or discover the Frisian lakes: with our flat-bottomed saling boats, we guarantee it will be an enjoyable adventure.
The flat-bottomed sailing boat rentals‘ boarding harbour:
Oostmahorn 31, 9133 DT
A harbour with all possibilities, with spacious closed parking spaces and loading and unloading possibilities next to the boat. All maintenance options are also at hand, incl. ship crane and mast crane.
And if is really windy or if the tide isn’t favourable, you can sail to Dokkum for a night.
From the harbor you sail onto the Lauwersmeer! Then you sail straight through the area where bald eagles’ breed and kingfishers are still seen regularly, the Otter has also settled here.
It is 1.5 hours sailing to the sea lock, which gives you the chance to get used to the boat before you enter the sea lock.
The boats are allowed to depart from Lauwersmeer harbour between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., which leaves you plenty of time to reach the sea lock or Schiermonnikoog.
When you return you can refuel with water and diesel in the harbour. The harbour is equipped with great facilities so staying a night isn’t a punishment.
Returning the flat bottomed sailing boat:
Unless otherwise agreed, the sailing boat must be returned no later than 10.00 a.m. The sailing boat must be clean inside and outside, with full tanks and your luggage already taken off-board.
Where can you refuel water and diesel in Lauwersoog?
This is of course possible in the harbour. Or in Lauwersoog or harbour Oostmahorn. Having difficulties refuelling? With the help of the diesel jerry can onboard you can easily refuel. You can refill the jerry can at the gas station in Ee, about 6 km from the berth. Of course we can also do that for you.
Make sure there is always at least 10 liters of diesel in the tank! There can be large waves on the Wadden Sea which means the diesel in the tank can move considerably. The motor can start ‘gasping for air’ which can result in a standstill. So make sure you refuel on time! This is a basic safety rule: make sure your tank is full.
How do left and right turning propellers work?
A right-turning propeller (all 9 ships except Vrouwe Neeltje) pulls to the left when sailing backwards.
Very useful to know in for example the lock!
How do you find out how the propellers work? If possible, sail straight into the wind, turn the engine off and then put it in reverse at half throttle. If the stern pulls to the left; then you have a right-turning propeller and you should try to moor on the port side. You can of course also take a look under the engine hatch.
How do you sail away from the lower shore when there are strong winds?
- Use a bow spring (rope from front bollard to a point on the shore somewhere amidships and back again and then a maximum of 1 turn around the bollard and keep it in your hand)
- 2 or 3 fenders at the front of the boat between shore and boat, and 1 fender in your hand
- then the skipper turns the rudder to the shore and gives the throttle a slight push forward
- make sure the spring is tight!
- the boat then turns with the bow to the shore!
- If necessary, the skipper should accelerate a little bit more until the ship is almost perpendicular to the quay (possibly lower an extra fender in between) and thus with the back in the wind
- then release the ropes and reverse
- go backwards as far as needed to sail away safely and then lower the leeboard if necessary to be able to make a shorter turn
- the spring is also an excellent aid when mooring high shore
Is the anchor stuck?
- bring the anchor chain in as far as possible
- start the engine
- 3 to 4 meters of chain
- secure the chain, but not directly on the winch!
- then sail over the anchor at half throttle
- stop the engine and haul the anchor
How do you prevent damage to the sailing boat?
Most damage occurs to the mountain wood when mooring. This cannot always be prevented, but hanging the fenders correctly does help! When mooring, both in the lock and at the jetty, always consciously choose a port or starboard side and then hang 2 fenders at the level of the leeboards, hang the round fender halfway between the leeboards and the front of the boat and the 3rd fender loosely behind the skipper. You hang the 4th fender on the other leeboard. Should you unexpectedly moor on the other side, then there is enough time to hang the fenders correctly and bring the round fender to the other side. If you don’t have time to move the fenders, you can hold the round fender in your hand, then you can always lower it if needed.
Get out as early as possible with low tide. On the jib with wind and tide through the channels. Is the ship running aground? Jib down, drop anchor and wait until you are clear. Anchor up, jib and repeat. Wonderful to do, you can see the entire landscape of gullies passing by. 10 to 1 you can also see the seals lying on the plates. And you can clearly see where you can fall nicely dry.
Tips for sailing on the Wadden Sea:
Many skippers sail carefully from buoy to buoy and follow the channel. Which is a shame because it means you miss all the sailing fun. Since the Wadden Sea is fairly flat in many places, you can quietly sail larger parts of the Wad than just those channels. You can also easily go outside a few buoys. Just make sure you have 2 hours of tide behind you (which is about 60cm of water), look carefully at the map (and possibly look at the depth gauge) and sail. If that doesn’t work, you can go back or prepare the ship for a few hours on the dry. Falling dry with the Vollenhovense Bollen is easy. This increases the size of the sailable Wad and makes your sailing experience even better!
Other tips sailing with a flat bottom:
- After falling dry, it is advisable to wait a while before starting the engine until there is more than enough water under the keel. This may prevent the cooling water inlet from becoming clogged or the impeller being damaged by sand being sucked in.
- The sea lock at Lauwersoog has a system to prevent salt water from entering the Lauwersmeer. This means that you always have inflowing water under the ship coming from the Lauwersmeer. So fasten the rear truss first! All Bollen like to moor on the port side in the lock.
- If the tide is against or there is a lot of wind, then it is definitely recommended to spend a night in Dokkum. Only 2 hours sailing and you are in the middle of the quiet center. And Dokkum is very beautiful. The town has a number of excellent and affordable eateries. And if you have time to spare the next day, don’t forget to sail up and down the Raskes just before you sail onto the Lauwersmeer. This is really one of the most beautiful parts of the Lauwersmeer. Great nature on both sides and in Ezumazijl time seems to have stood still for 100 years.
- Reefing the mainsail: the reefing knuckles in the sail only serve to hold the breeches of the sail together. These should never be tight and of course only around the sail! As a rule of thumb: a fist must fit in between. Reef handles that are too tight can easily cause tears in the sail.
- Take a look at http://www.wadvaarders.nl Here you can find a lot of specific information about sailing on the Wadden Sea. From anchoring to falling dry, from the latest data to the latest rules. And you will also find many tips that can certainly enrich your holiday.
- The Schiermonnikoog marina is no longer dredged every year. This means that your ship can sink slightly into the silt. Not a problem in itself, but it is useful to close the shut-off valves for the toilet and cooling water first. This way you prevent things from becoming clogged, which could result in a hot running engine and/or a defective toilet. Do not forget to open the cooling water valve again before starting the engine! This also applies, of course, to drying out in places with a lot of silt! The harbor will be dredged again in 2020.
Eating and drinking at the Lauwersmeer:
- Are you coming back from the Wad and do you need to spend the night on the Lauwersmeer? Through the lock at Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen, turn starboard and eat at Eetcafe De Dream. Honest food, beautiful location, fair prices. You can walk here in 10 minutes from the harbor! Over the lock via the stairs down or after a few hundred meters down on the left.
- On top of the lock you will find Restaurant de Pater and the snack bar is also present.
- In Lauwersoog you will find the “t’Ailand”. Fresh, artisanally caught fish. Only on weekends. You have to walk around the entire fishing harbor, but it is worth it.
- The “Booze Wijf” on the Lauwersmeer is also worth mentioning, well past the entrance of Jachthaven Lauwersoog into the bowl-shaped harbor at BB. Good food, long opening hours, playground for children, nice walks and a beautiful harbor for flat-bottomed boats.
- On Schiermonnikoog, have dinner at Hotel van de Werff, classic and good in a beautiful dining room. Shorts or suit, prom dress or sailing suit, it doesn’t matter there. Must do once in your life.
- Pizzeria d’Angelo in Dokkum, tasty and not expensive.
- And on the Wad itself of course cockles, mussels or Japanese oysters. Simply rinse in salt water. You can also catch a flatfish. Bring cockles and mussels to the boil and eat with a slice of bread and a glass of wine while overlooking the Wad. Simple and delicious, just great!