Our detailed guide to European destinations.
Ship’s registration papers.
Coastal sailing no certificate needed.
In the Schelde estuary the skipper must have a Day Skipper or higher shorebased certificate.
On inland waterways, the skipper must hold the International Certificate of Competence.
Boats must carry the following safety items: tide tables, coloured rockets, safety harnesses, compass, lifejackets, fire extinguishers, first-aid kit, navigation lights, bilge pump, anchor, tools for the engine(s). The boat’s name and home port must be clearly marked on the stern.
Report to Customs?
Not necessary if arriving from EU country. However, visiting yachts from the UK must report to the Maritime Police on entry, and present a special form obtained from the RYA.
Obtain a licence for the Flemish waterways from Mr A. De Becker, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (Maritime Department), Aarlenstraat 104, 1040 Brussels. Tel: 00322 233 1281 or Fax: 00322 230 1969. If arriving in Belgium via inland waterway, report to waterways tax office at first lock you come to, and fill in an entry declaration. An exit declaration will be required before you leave Belgium. You will need a rectangular red flag with a white rectangle in the middle, to be flown to indicate to lock keepers that you wish to pass through the next lock.
Widely available, duty free.
Shore power 220V AC
Widely available in marinas.
Local gas has different fittings.
Less than UK.
Belgian franc (100 centimes).
Widely accepted, Visa more so than Mastercard. Can be used in cashpoints.
Can be changed in banks.
Distress calls monitored on Ch 16 by coastal stations. Good lifeboat coverage. Rescue coordinated from Oostende. For medical advice call Radiomedical Oostende on Ch 16.
Marine emergency 100
Calling from mobile 112
Must have certificate of vaccination against rabies. Must have been vaccinated at least 30 days, and at most six months, before arrival. Also needs certificate of health from a vet, issued not more than seven days before arrival.
Use minimum of two F5 coins, or cards bought from newsagents.
Dialling code to UK
0044 then the number, omitting the first 0.
BBC Radio 4 long wave shipping forecasts and gale warnings for Thames area. Oostende coast radio broadcasts forecasts in English and Dutch on Ch 27 at 0820 and 1720 GMT.
Trailer max dimensions: height 4m, width 2.5m, length 12m. Car + trailer max length 18m.
Charts and books
Macmillan Nautical Almanac.
North Sea Passage Pilot. Brian Navin. Imray.
Rue d’Arlon 85, Brussels. Tel: 0032 287 6211. Visit www.british-embassy.be
Tourist office in UK
Belgian Tourist Office, 31 Pepper Street, London E14 9RW. Tel: 020 7867 0311, Visit www.visitbelgium.com or e-mail www.visitbelgium.com/bto/bxguest.htm
Dutch in the northern part (Flanders) and French in the Southern part (Walloonia).