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LIVING IN SPAIN

How do I get my boat licence in Spain?

Have you ever dreamed of getting your boat licence in Spain and exploring its spectacular coastlines from the water? Here’s how to go about it, from what type of licence you need to how much it will cost you.

boats in Spain
How to get a boat licence in Spain? Photo: Christo Anestev / Pixabay

Living in Spain you may have chosen like many foreigners do, to live near the coast in order to make the most of the great weather and the Mediterranean Sea.

You may be content exploring the coastline by swimming, stand-up paddleboard or kayak, but you may also want to explore further and get your boat licence.

Even if you don’t buy your own boat in Spain, you will still need a licence to be able to rent and drive certain boats while you’re on holiday.

How does getting your boat licence in Spain work and what type of boats do you need it for?

If you have a boat that is longer than 5 meters and is more powerful than 10 KW, it is mandatory to have a boat licence in Spain. It won’t be necessary for very small boats, peddle boats, kayaks or canoes.

There are several different types of boat licences in Spain, so in order to know which you’ll need, you’ll first need to know what type of boat you want it for.

The process is somewhat similar to getting a driving licence for a car, you will need to first take a course or some lessons, followed by an exam before you are awarded your boat licence. You can do this at many different sailing schools, located in marinas across the country.

You can visit the site Titulosnauticos.net to find your nearest sailing school, where you can take lessons, as well as the necessary exams.

READ ALSO – Brexit: UK nautical qualifications to be recognised in Spain by the summer

Different types of boat licences in Spain

Licencia de Navegación

The simplest type of licence in Spain is the Licencia de Navegación, which allows you to be able to drive small boats of up to six metres in length. You will only be able to sail in the daytime and can only go up to two miles from the coast or port.

In order to get this licence, you will have to take at least a two-hour lesson, where you will learn how to access channels through marked and unmarked beaches, regulations regarding maritime traffic and inland navigation in ports. This will be followed by a four-hour practical exam out on the water, showing the examiner how you can safely navigate and follow all the rules.  

The lesson will cost around €130, while the practical exam to obtain your licence will cost around €80.

Título de Patrón para la Navegación Básica (PNB)

The Basic Navigation Licence will allow you to drive jet skis, motor boats up to 7.5 metres in length and sailing boats up to 8 metres in length. With this licence you are allowed to go a maximum of 5 miles from the coast at any time, including at night-time. In order to get this permit, you will need to take a course, as well as a practical exam, like above. This generally costs between €250 and €350.

El Título de Patrón para las Embarcaciones de Recreo (PER)
The Recreational Boat Skipper licence is one of the most popular as it allows you to drive sailing and motor boats up to 12 metres in length. Your permit allows you to go up to 12 miles away from the coast and sail between the islands of the Canary and Balearic archipelagos too. The cost of this ranges between €500 and €700.

To get this licence, you will have to pass a multiple choice exam, undergo a 16-hour basic safety and navigation practical course and a theoretical radio operator course which will take around 12 hours.

Patrón de Yate

In order to get your Yacht Skipper licence, you will first have to have the Recreational Boat Skipper licence above. This permit allows you to operate sail and motor boats of up to 20 metres in length and up to 60 miles from the coast.

As well as already having a licence, to upgrade it to this one, you will need to do a theoretical exam, as well as 48-hour practical cruise test. This usually costs between €600 and €700.

Remember that as well as having your licence, you will need to take out adequate insurance to be able to drive a boat here. 

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LIVING IN SPAIN

What will Spain’s test to buy or adopt a dog consist of?

Like many people in Spain, if you’re looking to buy or adopt a dog, you will now have to undergo a training course beforehand, to be allowed to become a pet owner. Here’s what you need to know and what it will entail.

What will Spain's test to buy or adopt a dog consist of?

So many people own a dog in Spain that there are more dogs than children under the age of 15. In fact, there are an estimated 13 million pets registered in the country and around one-quarter of all Spanish households have one or more.

But if you want to become a dog owner, the situation is about to change. You can now no longer just contact a shelter and adopt a dog or buy one from a breeder, without going through a special training course first.

Spain’s Council of Ministers approved on August 1st, in the second round of the Animal Rights Law, a pioneering rule to guarantee the welfare of animals within a common legal framework.  

READ ALSO: What are the rules on taking your pets on holiday in Spain?

The law seeks to put an end to the mistreatment, abandonment, and sacrifice of animals and promotes responsible ownership and coexistence with animals, as well as establishing a set of obligations for pet owners.  

One of the most talked about parts of the law is the test that owners will need to go through in order to be able to buy or adopt a dog.

The accredited training course will be mandatory in order to guarantee that you are able to take care of your dog properly.  

The law states that all dogs must be “easy to keep in captivity” or that their accommodation must “meet the conditions so that they can adequately develop their basic physiological, ethological and ecological needs”.  The law also prohibits the ownership of “dangerous dog breeds”.  

READ ALSO: What you need to consider before adopting a rescue dog in Spain

What will the new course to own a dog entail?

The course will be online, free and simple.

General director of Animal Rights, Sergio García Torres said: “We are talking about a short training course. It’s very similar to courses that food handlers take to work in restaurants. It’s a free course that is done online and is relatively easy”, he said.

As part of the course, you will also have to take out civil liability insurance, in order to protect third parties, and must agree that you will not leave your dog alone at home for more than 24 hours or locked up on a balcony, terrace or patio. 

In the case of other pets, such as cats, they will not be allowed to be left alone for more than three days. 

García Torres indicated that course will promote responsible dog ownership, by trying to eliminate behaviours such as not picking up dog poo in the streets, for example. 

In addition, both the owner and the pet must pass a “test to assess their aptitude to function in the social sphere,” according to the bill. However, it remains to be seen whether this test must be passed by all dogs and what form it will take.

What else does the new law cover?

Another of the most relevant and significant aspects of this new animal law is the “zero sacrifice” clause. This means that pets will not be allowed to be killed for reasons to do with overpopulation, money, lack of space, not being able to find a home, old age, illness (if it’s treatable), or behavioural problems that can be fixed. 

To prevent the abandonment of animals, the bill also prohibits pet breeding, except for registered professionals, as well as the sale of cats, dogs and ferrets in pet stores.

READ ALSO – IN DEPTH: Will bullfighting ever be banned in Spain?

“This law allows us to move in the right direction. Its measures are supported by between 80 and 90 percent of the population. It’s a law of common sense and that brings us more in line with the rest of Europe,” said the Minister for Social Rights Ione Belarra. 

Specifically, she hopes that it will put an end to “the very serious problem” of animal abuse. The minister stressed that those who do abuse animals could face up to 36 months in prison.

In January 2022 a new law in Spain took effect recognising pets as “sentient beings” for the first time. 

 

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