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Folders  |  Messing about on the water in Lisbon
Messing about on the water in Lisbon
Mariana Santillan
Messing about on the water in Lisbon
Messing about on the water in Lisbon

Lisbon is a magical city where wild extravagance exists alongside everyday normality. One of its most tempting extravagances – the Tagus river – lies at our feet.

For centuries, the changing, sparkling, uncontrolled movements of the river add beauty to the city, bringing back men and dreams from distant lands, and stealing boats filled with hopes to seek distant lands…

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, when close to the Belém tower and blinded by the light from the Tagus, salty breeze in hair, who has not felt the urge to set sail and head for the open seas? Likewise: on an evening, when looking onto the seaweed-smelling waters from a terrace, who hasn’t felt the spirit of an old sea dog stir deep inside?

For those who want to set sail and discover the Lisbon coastline in search of adventure, be warned that before doing so, you must prove your navigational talents, for nowadays nobody is a born sailor, it’s a skill one must acquire!

What sorts of licence exist?

Principiante (Learner):
•    For a sailing boat or motor boat up to 5 metres long and a power of up to 4.5 kW.
•    Daylight navigation for a distance of up to 1 nautical mile from the linha de baixa-mar (low tide mark).

Marinheiro (Maritime):
•    For boats up to 7 metres in length.
•    Daylight navigation for a distance of up to 3 nautical miles from the shore and 6 miles from the nearest sheltered port.

Patrão local (Local skipper):
•    Navigation up to 10 miles from a sheltered port and 5 nautical miles from the coast.

Patrão de costa (Coastal skipper):
•    Navigation up to 25 miles from the coast.

Patrão de alto mar (Open sea skipper):
•    Unlimited navigation.


Getting a licence: no big deal
In order to pass the exams that give access to the various licences, you must start by following the appropriate training course for each. There are several clubs and schools accredited to give lessons by the Instituto Portuário e dos Transportes Marítimos (www.imarpor.pt).
 

Cost and duration of courses (unofficial estimations)


Principiante: 260€: Duration: 30h

Marinheiro: 260€: Duration: 30h

Patrão Local: 450-600€: Duration: 40h

Patrão de Costa: 675-800€: Duration: 70h

Patrão de Alto Mar: 800 - 1090€: Duration: 100-130h


Costs usually include registration/membership fee, course materials, as well as costs for passing exams and the licence test. For more details on how to go about getting a licence, renewals, costs and so on, see:
http://www.portaldomar.pt/NauticadeRecreio/CartasdeNavegador/index.htm



Some schools and the training courses they offer:
Principiante (learner),  marinheiro (maritime), patrão local (local skipper), patrão de costa (coastal skipper), patrão de alto mar (open sea skipper)


Examples of coursework specific to licences:

Marinheiro
Knowledge of basic information on sail or motor boats
General information on tides, currents and winds
Basic laws from the “Regulamento da Náutica de Recreio” and the “Regulamento Internacional para Evitar Abalroamentos no Mar” (Pleasure boating regulations and the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea)
How to steer and manoeuvre a boat
Safety and life on board
Basic first aid
Basic engine maintenance and usage
Conservation of the marine environment
Basic know-how on how to navigate
Practical lessons in daylight navigation


Patrão Local
Knowledge of apparatus, manoeuvring sails, proper engine and navigational instrument usage
How to skipper and steer a sailing or motor boat
The Earth and associated concepts
General information on maritime maps and Mercator maps and how to use them
Terrestrial magnetism and needles
Lighthouses and buoys
Dead reckoning, coastal and narrow channel navigation
Tides, currents and winds
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
General weather knowledge
Safety and life on board
Lessons in Class A wireless telephony
Basic engine maintenance and usage
Basic first aid
Practical lessons in daylight navigation


Patrão de Costa
General knowledge on boat stability
Dead reckoning, coastal and narrow channel navigation
General information on electronic navigation
Odometers and compasses
Sextant
Tides
Maritime meteorology
Communications
Navigational safety and preserving human life at sea
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea
International Code of Maritime Signals
Basic first aid
Practical daylight and night time navigation with at least a 12-hour outing

Patrão de Alto Mar
This training basically takes place on the high seas (without limits)
Knowledge of weather, introduction to nautical astronomy and nautical almanac
Plotting and observation of stars using a sextant and real heights of planets and stars observed
Azimuth calculation, special calculation of longitudes and latitudes and determining one’s position
Route planning and publications
Orthodromic, loxodromic and mixed routes
Electronic navigation
Communications
Safety, preservation of human life at sea, environmental protection, International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea and International Code of Maritime Signals
General meteorology and basic oceanography
First aid
Practical daylight and night time navigation with at least a 24-hour outing

Special for children
Because Portugal is a country with strong maritime traditions, young children want to take to the seas. There are various classes in navigation for children, usually from the age of 7 onwards. But they will have to wait until they reach 16 in order to pass the beginner’s licence. Before then, they can enjoy discovering the world of navigation.


  
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