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Old 20.05.2020, 20:10
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Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

Hi everyone,

I'm eager to have some fun on the lake but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to boating. I want something along the lines of renting a boat and taking a cruise around a lake with my girlfriend. Or buying a small inflatable rowing boat.

What's the best thing for a newbie to do? Where do I start? What should I know?
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Old 21.05.2020, 07:58
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

I’m further down the lake. Here you can rent human powered vessels, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, pedalos. If you want to rent anything powered above 3hp (??) the driver needs a license.

If you don’t have a license and you want to take a lake cruise try the CGN. Their paddle steamers have 1st class and a restaurant.
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Old 21.05.2020, 12:37
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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Hi everyone,

I'm eager to have some fun on the lake but I'm a complete newbie when it comes to boating. I want something along the lines of renting a boat and taking a cruise around a lake with my girlfriend. Or buying a small inflatable rowing boat.

What's the best thing for a newbie to do? Where do I start? What should I know?
Well I expect you can probably do the dinghy stuff or similar stuff, provide there is no motor involved.

But the rest is like a person who has not learned to drive deciding to take a road trip.... you need training and a license.
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Old 21.05.2020, 13:54
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

I bought a small inflatable boat (3 m) with a small electrical engine, so if you have some specific questions about that - I can help.

Rules might differ based on the specific body of water, but in general:
- boats <= 2.5 m of length must not (and can not) be registered and can not have an engine. Thus, you can buy a 2.5 boat, attach paddles to it and just throw it into the water but you can't go over 150 m from the shore.
- boats >2.5 m of length must be registered, regardless of the engine (with the exception of "beach crafts"). Here you should expect everything you'd expect from a "big boat", even if we are speaking about a 3m dinghy without an engine: you'll need to register it, get a license plate, pass the inspection, pay annual taxes, get yourself an insurance, obtain necessary safety equipment, etc.

License is a different story, it is based on the engine: under 6kw of engine (or no engine at all) you don't need one. Once again, often changes for specific bodies of water (especially the ones that are shared with another country, such as Geneva lake).
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Old 25.05.2020, 16:38
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

Thanks for your replies everyone!

Yeah, probably a good idea to start small. So if I have a boat less than 2.5m, I cannot attach a motor to it, even the weakest one?

How does licensing and registration work in Switzerland? Is there something like a boat school I'll have to do if I want one?
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Old 25.05.2020, 17:28
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

Try searching for “Lausanne Boat School”
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Old 25.05.2020, 18:33
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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Rules might differ based on the specific body of water, but in general:
- boats <= 2.5 m of length must not (and can not) be registered a.
Just a small English language lesson. "must not" means "it is forbidden to".

You missed a new class of boats (added January 1st 2020): up to 4.5 meters, according EN ISO 6185-1: 2001 Part 1, no motor, no sail, inflatable at least two chambers, no fixed floor. No registration needed. Can only be used on rivers, or within 150 meters of the lake shore or its mother ship.

Boats, rafts etc. which do not have to be registered must however spot somewhere visible, address and name of the owner or holder.

See Art. 16 of the relevant ordinance.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...252/index.html

Important to know there are special rules on the Bodensee/Lake Constance, Lac Léman/Lake Geneva, and Lago Maggiore as they border to other countries.
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Old 25.05.2020, 20:38
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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So if I have a boat less than 2.5m, I cannot attach a motor to it, even the weakest one?
Yep - you can't

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How does licensing and registration work in Switzerland? Is there something like a boat school I'll have to do if I want one?
For the license, as someone mentioned, you can search for a school. For the registration - I did it at the nearest Wasserschutzpolizei. I'd suggest you just go there once to chat with them, in my case they were very helpful and I went there several times (cos I wanted to buy the dinghy abroad, and that added some bureaucracy).
Overall I suggest you to clearly understand the legal aspects and understand all the required pieces of paper you will need if you want to register the boat before buying anything, otherwise you might buy a boat / engine that in Switzerland can be legally used only as a doorstop, as it happened to me

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Just a small English language lesson. "must not" means "it is forbidden to".

You missed a new class of boats (added January 1st 2020): up to 4.5 meters, according EN ISO 6185-1: 2001 Part 1, no motor, no sail, inflatable at least two chambers, no fixed floor. No registration needed. Can only be used on rivers, or within 150 meters of the lake shore or its mother ship.
Fair, I actually wanted to use "have to", but the statement is still correct: boats under 2.5 may not be registered

Thanks for the update on the new class of boats, did not know it. Overall, it looks like it's something that you might have expected already to be classified as a "beach craft" though - but this makes it more explicit.
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Old 13.06.2020, 10:37
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

So if I buy a 2.5m+ boat, where do I register it?
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Old 13.06.2020, 12:12
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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So if I buy a 2.5m+ boat, where do I register it?
In Zurich I did it as "Schifffahrtskontrolle des Kantons Zürich", not sure what is the analogous entity in Vaud.

What I did is simply to find something that sounded relevant on Google Maps (it was "Wassershutzpolizei"), asked them and they redirected me to the correct office. I'd suggest you just make a couple of phone calls, figure out what's the right office, and go chat with them to get an idea of what will be required.

Just to give you an idea of what Vaud's might look like, these are the Zurich and Tessin registration forms.
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Old 13.06.2020, 17:00
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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So if I buy a 2.5m+ boat, where do I register it?
Maybe consider joining a boating club. Much less expensive (at least in the short run), some boats are probably available immediately to members, merrier because more people, and it may be a door-opener to befriend some locals. And reliable knowledge at hand WRT to the requirements for this boat or that.
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Old 18.06.2020, 08:17
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

Good idea about the boating club! Does anyone know such a club for Lausanne? A quick search only yielded a rowing club, which I understand is not really the same. I'm interested in a quiet day on the lake in a 2-seated boat with my girlfriend, not rowing all day with eight strangers to prepare for competition.
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Old 18.06.2020, 09:45
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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Good idea about the boating club! Does anyone know such a club for Lausanne? A quick search only yielded a rowing club, which I understand is not really the same. I'm interested in a quiet day on the lake in a 2-seated boat with my girlfriend, not rowing all day with eight strangers to prepare for competition.
Rent a pedalo, lots of opportunities down at Ouchy.
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Old 18.06.2020, 09:51
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

So I did some calling around. It seems in Vaud registrations are handled by Cantonal Automobiles and Navigation Service and the registration is described here. On the phone, I was told that for a small boat from a local store, I'll need only the following docs:

- Id card
- Registration form
- "Carte grise"

My French isn't that good, so I didn't quite get the "Carte grise" part. Google translate says it's a "registration card" – but getting such a card is precisely why I'm applying. Have you heard of anything similar, or have I most probably mistranslated it?

One way or another, just ordered my first boat – super thrilled to get active on the water!

Last edited by FlyingDove; 18.06.2020 at 10:11.
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Old 18.06.2020, 10:58
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

If you don't mind telling us, what type of boat and (electric?) engine did you order? I have a cheap little Intex, which I once considered getting an engine and registration for (laziness won).
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Old 18.06.2020, 13:52
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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So I did some calling around. It seems in Vaud registrations are handled by Cantonal Automobiles and Navigation Service and the registration is described here. On the phone, I was told that for a small boat from a local store, I'll need only the following docs:

- Id card
- Registration form
- "Carte grise"

My French isn't that good, so I didn't quite get the "Carte grise" part. Google translate says it's a "registration card" – but getting such a card is precisely why I'm applying. Have you heard of anything similar, or have I most probably mistranslated it?

One way or another, just ordered my first boat – super thrilled to get active on the water!
Are you going for an engine-less boat?
The "gray card" part indeed seems confusing: it is basically the registration card that you are trying to obtain from them (same as for the car for example).

Overall is a surprisingly low amount of docs, engine docs apart, for the simply dinghy I had to provide also the certificate of 2013/53/EU conformity for the boat, technical manuals and a proof of insurance (+ other stuff, but only because I bought it outside of Switzerland). I guess it may be different by canton (which would be still weird, since once you get a licence plate you can go on water in other cantons).

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If you don't mind telling us, what type of boat and (electric?) engine did you order? I have a cheap little Intex, which I once considered getting an engine and registration for (laziness won).
Don't quote me on this, but I think that you should check with the responsible office: if we are speaking about something like this, it might be considered a beach craft and not possible to register. As the bare minimum they will want to see some official docs where it says what kind of engines your boat can support (and the engine you are trying to register must be inside those characteristics).
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Old 18.06.2020, 14:07
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

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Don't quote me on this, but I think that you should check with the responsible office: if we are speaking about something like this, it might be considered a beach craft and not possible to register.
Thanks. The one in your link is under 2.5m. I have the 3-person version, which is 2.95m and is also the dinkiest boat the Intex motor mount fits on. If laziness ever loses I shall try to fight it out with the authorities...
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Old 18.06.2020, 15:09
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

Do you have a car? If so you have a carte gris for the car. Since the registration people are the same for cars and boats they likely asked for that so they could easily find you in their system.

If you don’t have one, you don’t have one.
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Old 18.06.2020, 19:38
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

I got this boat: https://www.galaxus.ch/fr/s3/product...flables-446237

It's 2.9m, no engine. In the form it states that crafts longer than 2.5 are to be registered, but it also says that "beach crafts" are not. I guess I'll just send them the form and the docs via email and if I don't need registration, they'll tell me so.
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Old 19.06.2020, 17:08
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Re: Boating options on Lac Leman in Lausanne

That's the same one I have. If you didn't buy an engine you certainly won't need to register anything.
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