In Portugal, as in the rest of Europe, the law does not require you to have a boating license for boats under 15 m long and with a maximum speed of 12 km/h. The entity renting the boat is also responsible for ensuring the ideal technical conditions and for providing safety equipment, such as an eco sounder/sonar, a GPS navigation technology, special maps and a mobile phone. You are also required to take out an insurance policy with a security deposit to cover all the inherent risks and to limit the area where the rental takes place.
All our houseboats (Nicols) meet these criteria, therefore in the light of European legislation we comply with the conditions for its application. Clients are briefed in detail about the characteristics of the boat, sailing conditions on the lake and technical details, and will have to do some practical exercises to show that they are fit to sail the boat. Note that after the 2-hour training (approx.), the client is fit to sail that boat on the Alqueva Lake during the rental period. No title or aptitude certificate will be given for any other boat anywhere else or at any other time other than specified for this rental.
Like other European countries, the Portuguese law on this activity does not require a "seaman's book" for the rental of boats such as ours, under special conditions, as the client himself will sail the boat:
1. We provide specific training for the local sailing conditions and regulations, adapted to the particular characteristics of the vessel in question, which implies that clients must wait at least two hours before they are handed the boat, so that they can receive theoretical and practical training and are declared fit for sailing the boat;
2. This privilege is possible because the rental site - the Alqueva Dam - is enclosed and is not connected to the sea, has no currents or the typical ripples of the sea, and because sailing is not allowed at night;
3. The boats only have one engine and their maximum speed limit is 6 knots, i.e., about 11 km/h;
4. Out boats are equipped with special auxiliary sailing equipment, for e.g., GPS with local mapping and indication of safe routes, eco sounder /sonar to scan the lake depth with active alarms and mobile phone;
5. In addition to the GPS/Chart Plotter, clients receive a paper map showing the navigation channels and other information;
6. The Amieira Marina guarantees the safety conditions and characteristics of the rented boat;
7. When the client rents a boat, a 650€ security deposit must be paid to ensure damages to the vessel and civil liability in the amount of 4 600 000 Euros;
8. The fact that you have receive the required training for sailing your rented boat does not entitle you to rent any other boat (even if a similar one), anywhere else or at any other time. It is only valid for your rented boat, on the Alqueva Lake, during the rental period.