Germany - Profile
- Germany occupies a central position in Europe with coasts on both the North and Baltic Seas. The most important navigable rivers in continental Europe, the Rhine and the Danube, also flow through German territory.
- Although one of the most active sailing nations in Europe, Germany is not generally regarded as a cruising destination and most German sailors prefer to do their cruising away from home.
- Cruising opportunities on the North Sea coast are rather limited and the restrictions imposed on cruising in some of the German Frisian Islands have reduced the destinations ever further, but the eastern part of Germany offers many more Baltic ports to the German cruising portfolio. There are several attractive historic towns to visit here, as well as the island of Rügen and the surrounding area.
- The only contact many visiting yachts have with Germany is the Kiel Canal, the convenient shortcut from the North Sea to the Baltic. Those with more time on hand may be tempted to sail up the narrow estuaries to the old Hanseatic ports of Hamburg, Bremen or Lübeck.
- The most extensive repair facilities are concentrated around the main sailing centres at Hamburg, Kiel and Bremen. Here also there is a comprehensive range of marine supplies. Marinas and small boatyards, however, are spread around the entire coastline and also in the rivers and estuaries.
- Cuxhaven Marina, at the mouth of the Elbe, is an excellent place to prepare for the transit of the Kiel Canal towards the Baltic. Kiel is the place to stop for boats transiting the canal in the opposite direction.
Germany has a temperate climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The coastal areas are generally milder than inland in the winter. In the North Sea the predominating winds are SW or W. The incidence of gales is low in summer but increases in spring and autumn. Gales usually veer from SW to NW producing cross seas. Winds on the Baltic coast are variable.
The VHF weather forcasts are outsourced to the DP07 which is a commercial company. Radio checks, travel reports and other communications require a paid subscription. Radio traffic is on standard VHF channels and it is possible to listen the weather forecasts. There are no pre-anouncements on channel 16, but working channels and times are found in pilot books.
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