Netherlands - Profile
- In the Netherlands one is never too far away from water and the centre of the country is occupied by the IJsselmeer (formerly called Zuiderzee), until it was dammed off from the sea. Most cruising is concentrated in the IJsselmeer, Wadden Sea and Frisian Islands, an area of sand dunes, intricate channels and picturesque ports. The western part has deeper water and a keeled yacht has access everywhere, whereas a shallow draft is essential in the eastern part. The Ijsselmeer opens up to the tidal Waddenzee waters both at the western part at Den Oever, and east at Kornwerderzand. At IJmuiden one can pass through a lock to reach the IJsselmeer and Amsterdam.
- Another excellent cruising ground is Zeeland, in the south-west, which can be reached via the Walcheren Canal at Vlissingen or through the locks on the Oosterschelde. For yachts coming from the south making landfall in Zeeland (Flushing), there is an inland route that can be negotiated mast up [in dutch: Staande Mast Route] all the way to Friesland and the Friesian islands. In strong westerlies and northwesterlies, this might be the only way to make northing - and a pleasant trip too. It is even possible to sail right through the heart of Amsterdam once a night in convoy, which is a spectacular affair. Allow four days for the whole trip.
- Cruising along the North Sea coast is more challenging on account of the strong tides, sand banks and onshore winds. From Vlissingen in the south-west to Delfzijl in the north-east, there are several good yacht harbours in which to shelter in case of bad weather.
- The Frisian Islands have many sheltered harbours on the east side facing the Wadden Sea, which are good starting points to explore the liquid world of the Netherlands.
- As can be expected in a water-based nation with a great maritime past, boating facilities are good everywhere. There are shops in all the small ports and fuel is available in most marinas and harbours on the dock. Along the coast there are marinas with repair facilities at Vlissingen and Breskens, both of which are convenient if coming from the south.
- There are good facilities also in Zeeland, particularly at the marinas at Zierikzee and Colijnsplaat. Good facilities are also available at Den Helder, with smaller marinas and a limited range of repair facilities at Terschelling and Vlieland.
- Amsterdam is often visited by foreign sailors and now that the new marina there is open, there is much more space to accommodate visiting yachts.
- Across the Wadden Sea on the mainland, Harlingen is a picturesque port with good facilities. In the north, best facilities are at Delfzijl, which is reached by sailing up the Ems.
The climate is normally temperate, and rainfall is frequent all year round. In the summer, the average temperature is about 20°C on the coast, and in January the average temperature is between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius. The prevailing winds are W or SW and most gales also come from those directions.
I don't know where you got that information but the statement about it rarely being colder than 7°C is incorrect. In the winter the temperature here can go below 7°C for a month or more. Just take a look the climatological information, in January the average temperature is between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius. It rarely goes below -10, but it pretty much constantly goes below 7°C in the winter.
Weather forecasts in Dutch and English are broadcast at 0805, 1305, 1905, 2305LT on VHF 23, 83 and DSC
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.
Some ports have customs only in the summer months, such as Roompot Sluis and Oost Vlieland. All these ports, except Scheveningen give access to the inland waterway system of The Netherlands.
* indicates port of entry