Originally Posted by psk125
This confuses me. I read frequently about French sailors on websites discussing getting permits for coastwise (permis cotier) and bluewater (permis hauturier). There is even one for rivers (permis fluvial) Is this just a title or affadavit that enables people to charter
? They also talk a lot on French websites about certain boats being restricted to sailing within x miles of a harbor. The posters wonder if they're allowed to sail between port A and port B if they're too far apart. Other boats are permitted to venture further out, and a third class is allowed to go to sea. This three-tier system seems to be based on size, equipment
carried, and an inspection
or submission to the Affaires Maritimes bureau. Doesn't sound unfettered to me.
Permits are needed for power boats only (if french flag): the coastwise allows you to sail within 6 miles from a sheltered area, the bluewater is a "no limit" permit
. That's for recreational crafts.
If you're doing commercial
chartering, it's a bit different: you need a professional certification
(capitaine 200, or 500,... or more, which are STWC 95 certifications) and the ship has to be authorized by the Merchant Navy
Recreational sailing ships don't need any permit
On rivers, all ships (sailed or powered) need a "fluvial" permit, but, for short trips, sailing boats may get a temporary license (for instance to cruise
from Atlantic to Med, by Canal du Midi). Sea going permits are valid on rivers.
As for your question "certain boats being restricted to sailing within x miles of a harbor"
it's a different problem. Formerly, french recreational boats were divided into 6 classes
according to their length, bulding strurdiness...:
1 st: no limit
2 nd: 200 miles within a shelter
3rd: 60 miles within a shelter
4 th: 20 miles
5 th: 5 miles
6th: inshore (2 miles)
It was a legal
obligation: a skipper
sailing further these limits may be prosecuted.
Nowadays it's an european regulation: boats are classified in A, B, C, D, ... building classes
, according to their ability in supporting wind
For instance A
means the ship can support wind
stronger than 8 Beaufort
and waves higher than 4 meters, D
means wind less than 4 Beaufort
and waves less than 0.50 meters.
But the only legal
obligation for a skipper is to choose the safety
equipement; coastal (whithin 6 miles of a sheltered area) or bluewater: you could cross the Atlantic Ocean
on a D class boat as longer you've got the bluewater safety
gears, it's not illegal, it's the skipper's liability.
Of course, in case of accident
you'll have to deal with your insurance
company, which could blame you for not respecting european classification...
Pupuce (yachtmaster instructor)