The Cruising Association publishes a series of guides to navigation on the basis of direct experience of Members. This new guide is a very important and valuable guide for those intending to use the Netherlands inland waterways. – Highly Recommended
NAME: Through The Netherlands via the Standing Mast Routes FILE: R2826 AUTHOR: Andy Mulholland, James Littlewood, editor Gordon Knight PUBLISHER: Cruising Association BINDING: soft back PAGES: 48 PRICE: £10.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Standing Mast Routes, yachts, motor yachts, sail boats, Netherlands, Holland, schuyt, lock, bridge, meer
IMAGE: B2826.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y4dgm5lw LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Cruising Association publishes a series of guides to navigation on the basis of direct experience of Members. This new guide is a very important and valuable guide for those intending to use the Netherlands inland waterways. - Highly Recommended The Netherlands has expanded by reclaiming land from the sea which has also had an impact on the extensive network of lakes and waterways. These waterways serve several purposes, providing routes for commercial and leisure/sport vessels, regulating water within the country and being an important part of the sea defence system. For the size of the country the extensive network is remarkable but it also, like many countries, has to accommodate rail and road networks, provide a lock system to maintain stable water levels and cope with demands for housing, agriculture and manufacturing. For the sailor, coming into the waterway network from the sea, it is essential to understand the potential dangers and the most suitable routes for the craft being sailed. The Netherlands waterways are both a magnet for leisure/sports sailors from other countries and a method of sailing from the North Sea to the Baltic in the relative safety and protection of the inland waters. For some, there will also be a desire to use these waterways as a gateway into the waterways of neighbouring countries. Some will arrive in motor yachts, but many will arrive in sail boats with standing masts. Both types of craft will have a water draft and both will have an air draft. It is therefore critical to understand the depth of water and the height of obstructions crossing the waterways. This means that this new guide is vital reading for both types of vessel, as is knowledge of places where vessels can moor, refuel and resupply. As this guide has been based on the direct experience of Cruising Association Members it offers practical advice that is current and accurate, coming from sailors with considerable experience of sailing the waters. The Netherlands has always been careful to ensure that roads and railways do not unduly impede navigation of the inland waterways. In contrast, the Broads, just across the North Sea in Eastern England, has been rather less hospitable, with planning authorities allowing all sorts of low fixed bridges to save money for road and rail networks. The result is that many sail boats using these waterways are forced to mount their masts in tabernacles to allow them to drop the mast to shoot low bridges. However, that still leaves an air draft to be considered and they are also likely to have a lifting keel to reduce water draft when not under sail. Every year, a number of these boats sail across the North sea to explore the Netherlands internal waterways and to use them as a short cut to the Baltic. That they could shoot Dutch bridges without them being raised does not mean that they should, or would be permitted to, so that information in this guide is equally important to them. In general terms, motor yachts will have a lower water draft and air draft requirement than sailing yachts of a similar length. Inland waterways frequently offer a clear draft of 1.5 metres upwards. Typically depths of 2 to 4 metres will be common and, if regular dredging is not undertaken, there will stretches where that depth reduces on one or both sides of a channel. If air draft is not a consideration, there will still be, in many cases, locks at some point to regulate the depth of the waterway. It may be that the skipper has to moor up to open a pair of lock gates and then close them behind the vessel before opening sluices to fill or empty the lock to allow a safe exit. It may also be the case that sailors are not permitted to operate the locks which are manned by professional lock keepers and there may be schedules of opening times. This is all vital information that will make the difference between a safe and enjoyable cruise, or an experience best avoided. Air draft can make for a more complex set of considerations. Generally, bridges across a waterway may have set opening times or require the sailor to radio ahead and follow instructions. The Netherlands has an amazing number of bridges with considerable variation in type. Many will not completely open, but rise to provide for a greater air draft, some may swing up to leave clear air draft and others will raise, providing clear air draft for at least part of the width of the waterway. For most stretches of waterway in the Netherlands, depth is regulated and not tidal, but there are some stretches that are tidal and there may be seasonal variation in water levels. The Standing Mast Route traverses four Regions of the Netherlands and it is not a single Route, but there is collaborative agreement between various Dutch bodies to link together and manage their various waterways. That may seem a recipe for disaster, but the Netherlands developed from Seven Provinces, each with significant autonomy and once with three Admiralties, providing protection for the country and its trade routes. A long time ago, the Netherlands developed a unique and effective environment of collaboration that is demonstrated by the smooth running Standing Mast Route. The guide has many excellent full colour photographs to support the clear text. Although the guide is primarily intended for Cruising Association Members, it is essential reading for any sailor visiting the Netherlands in a private yacht, or sailing the waterways in a hire craft, or as a passenger on a cruise boat. It is also an excellent source of information on the waterways and surrounding areas for anyone wishing to improve knowledge of the Netherlands. All of this at a very low price. For the keen sailor, the guide includes a 25% off the first year's membership of the Cruising Association with access to a range of very attractive facilities and services. An app is available to provid an inter active service.