Published January 25 2022

Reading time: 4 min

And if you take advantage of your holidays in the area to become a boating pro? In Cabourg as in Dives-sur-Mer, there are different schools where you can pass your boating license on the Côte Fleurie. So put on a raincoat, and discover the wonderful feeling of freedom that navigation provides...

The basics of the boat license

Entrée d'un bateau dans le port de Dives

First of all, know that there are different kinds of boat license. 

  • The first is the boating license coastal option. This allows you to learn to drive a pleasure boat with a motor of more than 6 horsepower, at sea, on lakes or on closed bodies of water up to 6 miles from a coastal shelter ( approximately 12 km), day and night.
  • The second is the inland waters license, required for navigating lakes, rivers or canals. It is mandatory for boats with more than 6 horses.
  • Finally, the last type of permit is offshore extension, which allows navigation more than 12 km from the coast. With the latter, on the sea, on lakes or closed water bodies, you are free! Be careful, however, to obtain it you will already need to hold a coastal option yachting license.

What are the conditions for passing your boating licence?

If you think it is absolutely necessary to have grown up by the sea or to have sailed once in your life to pass your boating license, think again! The only real requirement is to be over 16 years old.

In Cabourg, School boat of the Menhir trains you for the different types of license: coastal, inland waters or offshore option.

As far as the coastal or river license is concerned, the exam consists of a theoretical part in the form of MCQs, and a practical part spread over four hours of navigation. A bit like the car license, the theoretical part is revised with the help of a small learning booklet, and the practical part is done accompanied by an instructor, who will first take you to the port basin, in the Dives estuary then in the open sea, in order to acquire a real beginning of experience. 

Once the two tests have been validated, you will be able to discover the new sensations that being alone at sea gives you, with the sky as your horizon...

You will then have plenty of time to observe the remarkable sites of the Côte Fleurie from the sea: the Casino de Cabourg, the Grand Hotel, the Marina of Deauville, the old port of Honfleur, the mouth of the Seine with the Normandy bridge, or the mouth of theOrne. You can even push to the Vaches Noires Cliffs, where you can approach the beach since it is not a swimming area!

Renting a boat without a licence, is it possible?

If you are short on time or if you are not tempted to pass the boat license, you can also decide to just rent a soft boat or a kayak for the day, which do not require a license, perfect for exploring the coast in safely and spend an exotic moment.

In a kayak, you recover from the effort by taking a break for swimming or ice cream on the edge of the beach... A great idea for an activity to discover the joys of boating as a family!