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Old 15-09-2013, 12:29   #1
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Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Our dream was to go to Venice in our own boat and go through its canals in our own dinghy. Then we read on CF (Sailing Venice) that only residents are allowed. Then we heard that only boats with motors of less than 10 hp are allowed. And nobody knew anything for sure.

As of today we have figured it out and gone through Venice in our dinghy. We even went through the Grand Canal. Some info:

If your dinghy motor is 9.9 hp or less, you don't need any permission. Just go, but you may want to pick up the charts (see step 3 below).
If your dinghy motor is 10 hp or more, you will need to rent official number plates from City of Venice.

1. First you fill out a simple form. We got ours at marina Vento di Venezia, but you can also pick them up at Tourist Information in San Marco Square (see below for directions).

2. Then you need to take it to Tourist Information, a.k.a. Ufficio IAT, in San Marco Square. It is located at the south west corner of the square under the arched walkthrough: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=45.43...num=1&t=h&z=19 You will need to pay 10 EUR + 30 EUR deposit for the plates.

3. After, you will need to go to another Tourist Information, a.k.a. Ufficio IAT, on the west side of Schiavoni (?) park, just south of San Marco: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=45.43...num=1&t=m&z=19 to pick up the nautical charts and guide to the entire lagoon. These charts are free.

That's it. The whole ordeal took us 15 min and only because there was a small lineup at San Marco IAT.

A few notes about going into canals:

- Obey the signs at canal entrances. You will find the reference to all signs in the booklet included with the charts.
- In major waterways traffic separation is usual port to port. In small canals it's starboard to starboard (quite confusing).
- We would pass gondolas in small canals only after they would signal that it's ok to do so.
- Navionics on iPad doesn't show some canals.
- The Grand Canal is scary! A lot of vaporettos, water taxis, and private boats. Worse than going through New York in a boat We were glad we had taken the vaporetto a few times before venturing in our dinghy, because then we more or less understood the traffic pattern.


Another unexpected bonus of getting these temporary number plates is that the charts show all allowed anchorages and free moorings in the entire lagoon. In addition, the charts also suggest the most scenic route to take through the lagoon and the booklet describes points of interest.

Ah, Venice
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Old 15-09-2013, 12:37   #2
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

What a great post! I hope to experience it myself one day and use your advice. But at least I have been there, amazing place particularly if you go beyond the touristy stuff and read up on the history.


Onno
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Old 15-09-2013, 12:45   #3
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Great info, thanks.
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:37   #4
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Since being there as a child I always wanted to go back in my own boat like you. It won't happen but I am happy it can be done and you got to see it.
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Old 15-09-2013, 14:42   #5
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Thanks very much!

Have you considered passing this info on to noonsite?

Paul
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Old 15-09-2013, 17:43   #6
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great post, excellent dream fodder...

is kayaking around the canals allowed, and doable you think?
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Old 15-09-2013, 17:51   #7
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

if you don't post photos, i will torpedo your boat.
this sounds friggin awesome!
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Old 15-09-2013, 19:38   #8
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Yes, that was an informative post. Thank you for sharing. I'm thinking we will head up there in 2015. I want to explore Montenegro more also.
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Old 16-09-2013, 00:41   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Normanby View Post
great post, excellent dream fodder...

is kayaking around the canals allowed, and doable you think?
We've seen kayaks on the main thoroughfare and in... Grand Canal. Two or three at a time. As I understand there's even some rental agency for kayaks here, guided tours. Haven't seen them in smaller canals, but it was raining outside. And some canals are too narrow for paddles. Each narrow canal has the min width posted at the entrance.
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Old 16-09-2013, 00:57   #10
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Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Thanks very much!

Have you considered passing this info on to noonsite?

Paul
Yes, I emailed it to them.
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Old 16-09-2013, 01:24   #11
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Very cool! And now you really do need to post some pictures.
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Old 25-09-2013, 02:50   #12
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Normanby View Post
great post, excellent dream fodder...
is kayaking around the canals allowed, and doable you think?
+1 GREAT POST - Katiusha ...will likely/hopefully come in handy next year.
You came by dinghy/had somebody wait in it while you visited those Ufficio IAT at San Marco?

btw: figuring it from Vaporetto travel is a feat in itself - beeing capt'n there sure requires nerves of steel - it's chaos pure

@Normanby: friends used Venice Kayak - guided sea kayak tours in Venice, Italy
"great tour guides" but the wife was hit by the wake of a motorboat and says "never again in this kind of traffic".
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Old 25-09-2013, 02:58   #13
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Re: Canals of Venice in the Dinghy

I would think that kayaks at dusk/night would be great on some of the inner canals.

Where did you keep your boat in Venice? Just curious as to what kind of marinas/moorings there are in that area.
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Old 25-09-2013, 12:50   #14
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+1 GREAT POST - Katiusha ...will likely/hopefully come in handy next year. You came by dinghy/had somebody wait in it while you visited those Ufficio IAT at San Marco?
Nah, we didn't chance it just in case some policemen was having a bad day... Never know.

We have only gone in a dinghy to sightsee (without getting out of it) and to go grocery shopping near Giardini vaporetto stop. My other half waited while I was shopping.

You know, I'm not quite sure where you could park the dinghy near San Marco unless you used a dock of a restaurant, bar, or shop. All other places near disembarkments look spoken for. But maybe you could. Didn't consider getting out of the dinghy because house walls didn't look like they would be kind to the tubes of our dinghy.
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Old 25-09-2013, 13:03   #15
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I would think that kayaks at dusk/night would be great on some of the inner canals. Where did you keep your boat in Venice? Just curious as to what kind of marinas/moorings there are in that area.
Sorry, but I think that kayaks in dusk or dark in Venice might be only for thrill seekers. It might be interesting in inner canals (though judging by examples of regurgitated last-night dinners on some of the parked boats, the ambiance might be different of what you're expecting). But there are still vaporettos, gondolas, and speed boats roaming the waters. If you do go at night, would be interesting to hear your story. I'd suggest you check with the rental place, maybe they don't allow kayaks at night in the city (or only with proper nav lights?)

We went to Vento di Venezia on Certosa island across from Saint Elena marina. We liked it as it was quieter and more greenery. This is where Venetians come for a break out in the nature. There is a kayak rental place there and a nice network of smaller canals to go through. From the marina you see Murano and sunsets over Murano are beautiful.

The free chart of the Laguna shows all free moorings and anchorages in the area, but we didn't have a chance to explore them.
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