Fascinating and sporting hobby at the same time

Sailing is a fascinating way of experiencing nature. Travelling all over the world just with the force of the wind is an old dream of mankind – a particularly climate-friendly way of spending the nicest days of the year. Being on board, surrounded by sun, wind and waves – nature at its best!

Whether you are on a fast high-tech yacht or an elegant wooden boat – the spectrum of “sports equipment” is huge. The same applies to the areas and options. It stretches from the comfortable coastal cruisers off Germany’s coasts through to the sporting dinghy on one of the many inland lakes, from surfing on the Bodden waters through to an Atlantic crossing.

There are sailing clubs with their own landing stages and club houses in the most beautiful places of the country, where guests and anyone interested are more than welcome to come in and find low-price offers for newcomers.

A versatile maritime world of harbours, events, clothing, equipment and magazines has developed around sailing sports.

Learning

Experienced north German yachtsmen describe the prerequisites for learning to sail as follows: "Keen Schiet inne Büx und klar im Kopp". Translated, this means: Anyone with normal physical health who is not afraid of water can learn how to sail. It even works at an early age.

However: Sailing should be learnt under expert instruction. Sailing schools for example can teach many detailed features, skills and the handling of sails, ropes and boats.

If you want to get a taste: Perhaps one of your friends is into sailing and can take you along on a trip. Or you might ask at a sailing school or a local sailing club whether test sailing trips are offered. Your next holiday may be a good opportunity to do just that. Many holiday regions and towns near the water offer courses at sailing schools. Even an entire sailing holiday is possible.

Basic sailing course

Generally, anyone can learn how to sail – from a child through to a pensioner. The classical training starts with sailing in a dinghy. Basic knowledge and skills required for sailing are communicated here at first, followed later by learning how to sail yachts, for example, as an advanced application of this fundamental knowledge.

The said basic knowledge is taught in theory and practice by the DSV (Deutscher Segler-Verband e.V./German Sailing Association) and/or the VDS (Verband Deutscher Sportbootschulen e. V./Association of German Boating Schools). The mainly one-week courses can also be easily done on holiday. Almost all relevant sailing schools offer such non-official sailing licences.

Sailing with others - active help from everyone

Even someone simply wanting to go along on a sailing trip needs to have a certain amount of basic knowledge and commitment unless he or she is on a large sailing ship. Depending on the sailing manoeuvre, certain behaviour may be required of the persons on board.

For example, the entire crew sits on the other side of the boat during turning, and during a jibe, the crew needs to duck down, because the main boom, meaning the horizontal part of the main mast, can swing round energetically. On the one hand a certain amount of knowledge is required in order to be able to freely converse with the skipper and to follow important instructions from him if need be.

On the other hand, basic knowledge is, of course, of significance when it comes to your own safety on board.

With the whole family?

Children love sailing. They learn something new, experience new things, their sprit of adventure is roused – and they also relax at the same time.

Of course: Sailing is a hobby for the entire family. Sailing is suitable as soon as children can swim. Whether they sail as one of the crew or even sail an Optimist dinghy on their own. Sailing schools often offer test trips for children. Make use of such an offer and find out whether your child develops an enthusiasm for sailing.

If so, there’s nothing standing in the way of a holiday trip on a sailing boat.

A wide spectrum of water sports activities in partially almost untouched nature opens up along the Baltic coast from Usedom to Schleswig-Holstein.

Lake Constance is a paradise for all water sports lovers. They will all have the time of their lives here and also be able to enjoy the stunning Alpine scenery.

Unspoilt and pristine nature - (c) TMV

About 5,000 lakes sparkle in the Lake District in the blue paradise of Brandenburg/Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. And because many of the lakes are interconnected by rivers and canals, this extensive scenic splendour makes it Europe?s largest waterway network.

Buggy kiting at the North Sea -

Water sports enthusiasts will find ideal conditions on the North Sea coast of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. A surging swell ideal for surfers and diverse landscapes to explore.

The River Elbe and its tributaries are challenging territory due to the partly rather strong current. On the other hand, this furnishes a multitude of water sports options.

The Rhine is one of the longest and most significant rivers in Germany. Its vineyards, its romanticism and the Rhineland lifestyle are well known. After all, a unique culture has developed along its banks and in its valleys over the centuries.

The River Weser originates at Hannoversch-Münden where the Werra and Fulda meet. The River Weser is the only German river that does not flow through any other country. Without its headstreams it is 440 kilometres long and is navigable along its entire length.

Manifold opportunities open up for water sports enthusiasts in the South of Germany: Canoe and boat tours, canyoning and bathing, and even surf and sailing districts are all available on the large lakes and rivers.

Numerous bathing lakes with excellent water quality and a unique lagoon landscape characterise the Spreewald water sports region.

Contact

Deutscher Segler-Verband e.V.

Gründgensstr. 18
22309 Hamburg, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)40 6320090
Fax: +49 (0)40 63200928

E-Mail: info@dsv.org
Internet: www.dsv.org

Contact

Verband Deutscher Sportbootschulen e. V.
Birkental 25
67098 Bad Dürkheim, Germany

Phone: +49 (0)6322 956280
Fax: +49 (0)6322 956281

E-mail: info@sportbootschulen.de
Internet: www.sportbootschulen.de

Information system for waterways

The German Federal Waterways and Shipping Authority offers news, water levels and much more valuable information for inland navigation. This includes water levels and information on pleasure boating. Make use of the Electronic Waterways Information Service (ELWIS) when planning a trip. (Information only available in german at the moment)