By David Peck
Launching Options and Sites
Proposed Itinerary and Routes
Charts and Documentation
This report gives details and suggestions for a proposed Cape Cutter Rally, to take place in Holland. The route and itinerary have been compiled with the aid of two friends (David and Christine Chamberlain) who have extensive experience cruising in Dutch waters over many years.
Dutch inland waters have been chosen because, in our opinion, they offer extensive relatively sheltered cruising, ideally suited to small boats like the Cape Cutter. Also there are numerous marinas, showers, restaurants and picturesque towns and quays suited to boats like ours with limited on-board living facilities. All venues are Marina based except for the one in Zierikzee, which would be a raft up in the town centre but there are excellent showers and facilities.
The sailing area proposed is in the South Western part of Holland in the Zeeland region. The proposed rally will take place on the Veerse Meere and the Oosterschelde. The Veerse Meere is non tidal and a very sheltered area of water whilst the Oosterschelde is tidal and a little more exposed. (See maps)
Two dates are considered, one at the beginning of the year to take place during the Spring Bank Holiday week when UK schools are on holiday (the same period as the 2016 Chichester Rally):-
The other date is to be later in the year when hopefully the weather will be a little warmer and UK schools are again on holiday:-
The start days on the Friday (pm) are to enable the ferry night crossings to be taken (dep. Approx. midnight) and arrive in Holland at 8.00am Saturday morning. Day crossings on a very crowded boat are best avoided. You just waste a whole day and arrive when everything is shutting up!
For people travelling from the UK there is obviously the need to cross the sea to Holland at some place, either the North Sea or Dover Straights. For people coming from Holland (two CC19 owners living in Holland have expressed an interest) or elsewhere in Europe, their travel will naturally be by road. They should plan their journey to arrive at the launching site approximately mid-morning on the Saturday of the week chosen.
For people from the UK, the easiest choice is a ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, also for those travelling from the North of England there is a Hull to Rotterdam route.
The travel time from The Hook of Holland or Rotterdam to the proposed launching sites near Veere is approximately just under 2 hours when towing. Note: It is advisable to disable “Ferries” if using a Sat-Nav for navigation as you could end up going over some costly local ferries near Rotterdam! Set or take a route along the N57 highway. This will take you along the picturesque coastal route and across the massive and impressive sea defence dams (well worth seeing)!
Other alternatives are either taking the Channel Tunnel or the ferry from Dover. This will, of course, mean a much longer drive on some very congested roads. The Dover Ferry and Tunnel costs will be cheaper, however (see below)
A final option for the bold is to sail across! In the past this was normal practice for small boats and I did it several times with just a paper chart and a compass in a 22ft boat (no radios or electronic position devices). So it is possible if you have the time to select your weather. Even my friends this year, during the latter part of their vacation, with their 40ft boat, were anxiously looking at the weather forecasts, being worker bees and needing to return to their hive on time. By taking the ferry or tunnel there are no such worries.
The most direct ferry crossing is the Stena Line from Harwich to The Hook of Holland. This operates two crossings every day in each direction. One is a day crossing departing around 09.00hrs and arriving the same day at around 17.15hrs. The other is a night crossing leaving at 23.00hrs and arriving next day at 08.00hrs.
Choosing as an example, by taking the night ferry on Friday and arriving Saturday with a 4×4 car, 2 passengers, trailer up to 8m, 2 berth cabin (mandatory on night crossings), having flexible tickets (can be changed or refunded) the current return price (June 2017) is £461.00 (see below):-
Passengers & Vehicles
2x 1x 1x 8m trailer
Sailings & Fares
Harwich – Hook of Holland
Fri 02 Jun 2017, 23:00 – 08:00
Hook of Holland – Harwich
Sat 10 Jun 2017, 22:00 – 06:00
1 × 2-berth inside cabin
1 × 2-berth inside cabin
From Hull to Rotterdam return – on the same dates and night crossings, the PO Ferries price with standard tickets is surprisingly much higher at Total: £772.00. The sea distance from Hull to Rotterdam is a lot further but at that price difference, I would have thought it worth driving down to Harwich!
The Eurotunnel return – on the same dates is currently £364.00 with standard tickets. This appears an attractive price but, depending on actual times, you may have to stay somewhere overnight?
From Dover to Calais return – on the same dates using PO Ferries is currently £280.00 (say £300.00). The same possibility of an overnight stay applies?
Group Discounts – It was hoped to obtain a group discount by all travelling on the same ferry. However, because the travel dates given fall during their peak periods, they have advised that the ferries will be fully booked and cannot therefore offer us a discount.
Launching options and sites
There are several launching options and sites but all the recommended ones are located at Oostwatering near the town of Veere on the Veerse Meer.
Option 1- Crane lift at the marina Jachtwerf, Oostwatering, Veere BV.
This is a commercial marina with a well-equipped chandlery, workshops and yard with a crane for lifting your boat from your trailer straight into the water. They claim they could launch 10 boats (CC19’s) on a Saturday afternoon. I have been launched and retrieved here twice without any problems. There is also a car park where you can leave your cars and a trailer park. This is a good option if you do not want to get your trailer wet (or your feet). It is also the only marina where you can be crane launched and lifted out on a Saturday.
They are prepared to give a discount price for CC19 members attending the rally and using their marina. I do not have a price at present but I have been asked to email them nearer the date when we have more details of numbers. As an indication of costs, I was charged this year 139.00Euros for crane launching and lift out, trailer storage for 10 days and 4 nights in their marina.
The Jachtwerf Marina also has a single slipway alongside its Brasserie restaurant (see photos) but if a slipway launching is going to be favoured then the option below at the neighbouring W.V. Arne Marina is best considered.
Whistling Rufus being craned in
Option 2 – Slipway launching at W.V. Arne, Oostwatering, Veere
This is a marina and club that runs as a cooperative and you have to be a member to have a permanent berth or be launched by crane. The waiting time for membership is over 4 years! Visitors are welcome to stay at the marina and fees are collected via a Harbour Masters office in the normal way. The W.V. Arne Harbour Manager has said that they could not launch us by crane but we could launch ourselves on their dinghy slipways. These are located immediately to the east of Jachtwerf Marina’s own single slipway. There are four slipways in total, so we would not have a problem queuing.
We have been quoted for 14 days, use of slipway, parking trailers in the locked Dinghy Park and parking of our cars in a barrier controlled car park in the marina 51,18 Euros and 9,57 Euros per day when our boats are berthed in the marina (2017 prices). This seems good value. The slipways are excellent with an agreeable slope and depth and well fendered sides. There are also taps with hoses for washing our trailers and boats. (See photographs)
1st pair of slipways
2nd pair of slipways
Strangely, I never saw anyone using the slipways all the time I was there!
The Marina at W.V. Arne also has a clubhouse with bar and restaurant. The restaurant was not functioning properly when I was there but the Harbour Manager informed me they were putting it out to new franchisers next year so it should be up and running if we wished to use it.
W.V. Arne also has club and marina facilities at Middleburg
Proposed Itinerary and Routes (see also charts of routes)
The itinerary and dates are for one week only. People staying on for say a second week would be free to then choose their own itinerary. The dates are speculative at present and if these proposals are accepted, the actual dates chosen may be altered to suit any final agreed times.
Arrive mid-morning at Oostwatering, rig boats and launch either using slipway or by crane (to be decided-see above).
Berth boat in marina. Berth allocations to be obtained from Marina Harbour Masters
18.00 – 18.30hrs Dine either in the W.V. Arne Club restaurant or the Oostdok Brasserie (to be decided)
Mid-morning – Sail from Oostwatering to Kortgene (Delta Marina) – 9.0NM
(See charts of Route 1 below)
This should be a fairly easy sail (depending of course on weather conditions-no tides) to the far end of the Veerse Meer. There are several Islands to sail pass where courses can be taken to pass on either side. The main channels are well buoyed.
The marina is large with all the usual facilities. Berthing is like many in Holland, whereby you tie up between posts at the stern and a pontoon on the bows. Get the stern lines on first. The marina will be advised in advance how many CC19’s, with their boat names, will be arriving. Obtain a berth allocation from HM office on arrival either by mobile phone or VHF radio (Please see notes on VHF radios under “Other Considerations”). Alternatively, tie up on the outer pontoon and walk to the HM office and obtain berth allocation. You can at the same time and have a look at your berth in advance. You may also be able to pick up other CC19 members if you need a hand.
Note: This marina is the only one in the Veerse Meere providing both Petrol and diesel (from a self-service pump on the outer pontoon).
Delta Marina- the Oosterschelde can be seen at the extreme top of photo
18.00 – 18.30hrs Dine at Grand Café de Loods in Kortgene
There are two restaurants in the marina (one tried) but it was thought the Grande Café de Loods in nearby Kortenge (also tried in the past) would be better. They will provide vegetarian meals if requested in advance (see notes re vegetarian food in “Other Considerations” section.
Early morning – Sail from Kortgene to Sint Annaland (Jachthaven) – 14.0NM
(See charts of Route 2 above and below)
This is the longest leg of the cruise and involves leaving the Veerse Meere via the Zandkreeksluis, a lock taking you into the tidal Oosterschelde. This is a large lock that has large commercial barges passing through. It can get very crowded. My advice is, if you have to wait (there are signal lights), hover around fairly close to the entrance but don’t be the first in or you will have to tie up to some high bollards set into the walls. It is best to let a few large yachts go in first and tie up and then ask permission to go alongside them.
This approach is much easier than trying to tie up alongside the wall yourself. If there are lots of boats you may be directed by staff standing up on top of the wall but ignore them if they ask you to go somewhere that involves a manoeuvre you think is too difficult. The boats can end up being tied up to 3 or 4 abreast. Don’t hang back too far at the entrance or you may not get in and it’s quite a wait for the next lock opening.
Because the Oosterschelde is tidal and the route is in the form of a dog’s leg, one part will be against the tide and the other part with the tide. There are drying sand banks but the channels are well buoyed. The best routes to take can be advised before departure. Using the dates given as an example (31.07.17) the first leg will be with the tide and the second leg into Sint Annaland, against it. (PS When I sailed these routes I always seemed to be sailing against strong winds and the tide but still made adequate progress-take enough fuel though in case the winds die).
The Jachthaven marina at Sint Annaland is very modern and well equipped. It has the normal marina floating pontoons to berth against. Again the marina will be advised in advance of those arriving.
18.30 – 19.00 Dine in the Buutengaets restaurant. This restaurant is situated in the marina with beautiful views across the water.
Mid-morning – Sail from Sint Annaland to Zierikzee – 12.5NM
(See Charts of Route 3 below)
This will be a straight forward sail along well buoyed channels towards the north eastern end of the 3NM road bridge joining Duiveland to Noord Beveland. There is a lifting bridge section close to the land at the N.E end for yachts with masts exceeding 15m in height but CC19’s can easily pass under any span. There are dedicated spans to pass under but they are not well defined so most small yachts just appear to choose their own span. You could of course just pass under the lifting section, just to be cheeky! On the dates given, tides would be favourable.
Once under the bridge there is an open entrance to a 2NM long canal taking you to the quay in the centre of Zierikzee. This would be a raft-up but the Harbour Master would try and reserve a space for us so we could all be together. There are excellent toilet and shower facilities ashore.
18.00 – 18.30hrs dine at restaurant still to be decided. There are numerous choices here in Zierikzee.
This is a really attractive town to explore with numerous cafes and restaurants.
Entering Zierikzee along the canal
Dining in Zierikzee
Canal in town centre
Rafted up in Zierikzee
Harbour master collecting his dues
Late morning – Sail from Zierikzee to Colinsplaat Jachthaven – 5.0NM
(See charts showing Route 4)
This is a short sail, so no need to leave early. It would give extra time to explore Zierikzee. The route is parallel all the way along the bridge and is buoyed. At the date and time indicated, the cross tide flowing under the bridge would ensure you were taken away from the structures, so no problems. If different times are chose you would just be advised not to get too close to the stone pillars. This is an authorised buoyed route for boats that need to use the sole lifting bridge section to pass under.
The marina is very modern with floating pontoon berths. On arriving, you tie up on an outer pontoon, speak to the harbourmaster, via the intercom, giving your details, and your allocated space will flash up on a large electronic chart of the marina. They would be given our details before arrival.
Photo of the bridge taken from the marina showing the 3NM long bridge in the background
Marina at Colijnsplaat
18.30hrs – 19.00hrs Dine in the Marina Yacht Club
Yacht Club and Restaurant
Main dining area
Alternative private dining area and meeting room offered to us
Again, vegetarian food at the Yacht Club can be provided if requested in advance.
Mid-morning – Sail from Colijnsplaat to Oranjeplaat Jachthaven – 8.0NM
(See charts showing route 5)
This is a medium distance sail taking us back along the Noord Beveland shoreline and through the Zandkreeksluis lock into the Veerse Meer.
Oranjeplaat Jachthaven is another co-operative run marina situated in a quiet, sheltered, wooded area. You berth here between piles in a similar manner to the Delta Marina.
The marina has a yacht club with bar which we would be welcome to use.
18.30 – 19.00hrs Dine in the very smart Oranjeplaat Restaurant situated in the marina (see their website- usual vegetarian food request applies) .
Mid-morning – Sail from Oranjeplaat to either Veere or back to Oostwatering – 4.0NM
The decision for either Veere or Oostwatering has still to be made as the Veere Harbour Master is concerned that there may be too many of us to accommodate. The harbour is very small! This, I believe would have to be decided closer to the actual day. However, Veere is a “must visit” place so even if we have to return to Oostwatering, we can take the short walk along the very pleasant coastal footpath into the ancient town of Veere and enjoy its splendours.
Also, because the distance on this leg is short, it gives the opportunity to visit some of the islands for picnicking, swimming or organizing some other event – to be decided.
The Harbour at Veere
The Veere quay outside the Yacht Club
16.00 – 16.30 Dine at the Veere Yacht Club and sign your boat into their register.
This is also a must (so no snacking in advance)
My dinner at the Veere Yacht Club – the meals come with many side dishes!
Early Morning – Return to launching sites to haul out our boats, de-rig and prepare them for the return journey home.
For those staying on, they could decide on other venues to visit.
Goes – Accessed via canal off the Oosterschelde – Old typical Dutch town –popular
Roompot – South Western part of the Ooosterschelde – Near the entrance from the North Sea.
Burghsluis – North western part of the Oosterschelde – Very attractive.
Others to be added later.
Toilets, showers and laundry – All the proposed venues have excellent facilities. The showers at Oostwatering (W.V. Arne and Jachtwerf marinas) require coins to operate them.
Oostwatering – Good well equipped Chandlery in the Jachtwerf marina. Nearest shops are in Middleburgh – car required.
Kortenge – Good Chandlery in the Delta Marina. Some shops in the town for basic groceries (Spar). Usual café’s and small restaurants
Sint Annaland – Excellent supermarket near the marina, usual cafés and small restaurants.
Zierikzee – All necessary shops and plenty of restaurants.
Colijnsplaat – Usual cafés and small restaurants. Some shops in the town for basic groceries (Spar).
Oranjeplaat – No facilities. The nearest small village is some distance away.
Veere – Plenty of restaurants and cafés but surprisingly, no shops!
Charts and Documentation
You will probably have electronic charts on a chart plotter or on phone or tablet but it advisable to have some paper charts as well. The best charts are the official “Dienst der Hydrografie” charts number 1805 for the Oosterschelde, Veerse Meer en Grevelingenmeer. There are 6 double sided sheets and you would need 4 of them for the routes proposed. I believe you can buy them individually but as the complete set comes in a waterproof holder, this is the best option; especially if you intend to stay on and explore further afield. In 2013 the charts cost 29.45 EUR from the chandlers in Oostwatering. You could order from them in advance and pick them up on arrival.
1085 Dutch Chart Folder
There is a very thick book, a bit like a “Reeds” that you are supposed to carry on your boat. As it is printed solely in Dutch, it’s regarded as a bit of a joke by UK sailors but I do carry one. I cannot remember the name as it is kept in the hold for ballast, so I will advise further when I’ve retrieved it.
SSR (Small Ship’s Register) – You will need the certificate for this.
Insurance Certificate – Not certain this is required legally but best to carry it. To be checked out.
The costs for the travel and launching have already been covered in their own sections.
Marina charges – these vary quite considerably but happily are all lower than you would pay in the UK. The price I paid per night for a length of 5.8m and electricity in each of the marinas was as follows:-
Delta Marina (Kortgene) 18.66 EUR
Sint Annaland 12.85 EUR
Zierikzee 11.00 EUR
Colijnsplaat 13.04 EUR
Meals – Meals are not cheap in Holland and you can expect to pay the price of the average UK restaurant. There do not appear to be the equivalent of cheap Pub meals or cheap UK Yacht Club type meals. Look on the websites for the chosen restaurants to try and get a comparison. There are a few menus that have been automatically translated into English.
Food and drinks bought from stores and supermarkets seemed to be similarly priced to UK equivalent outlets.
VHF Radios – The marina channel in Holland is 31. Unfortunately UK radios, for some reason, do not have this. If you buy a new one you can specify it when ordering. It may be possible to have an existing one modified but in lots of cases, it would probably be cheaper to buy a new one. Alternatively, ensure you have the marina telephone numbers to hand.
Flares or rockets – Do not take these on the ferry. You will be asked if you have them on board and they will confiscate them!
Language – All Dutch people speak excellent English. There seems little point in asking if they do, even if it may appear polite.
Credit Cards – Not all UK credit cards are accepted in Holland, so be prepared to take some extra Euros.
Menus – Although all the Dutch speak excellent English, very few menus are available in English (not in the south of Holland anyway)! They will of course translate for you. I hope to get some of the menus at the chosen restaurants translated by a friend who has a Dutch husband. Some of the websites for the restaurants may automatically translate them through Google translate, however.
Vegetarian food – Virtually unheard of in Holland. My friend with the Dutch husband who visits Holland regularly, has confirmed this. All the restaurants listed have confirmed they will offer vegetarian dishes if requested in advance. Since my conversations about it with the restauranteurs, I notice that the Grand Café de Loods in Kortenge have added some “veggie” dishes to their menu (such is the power of the Cape Cutter Association)!!!
David Peck 20.11.16