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.
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.