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How to get your boating license in Barcelona

Written by Christine

One of Barcelona’s greatest attractions is its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea where you can partake in many different aquatic activities and take in some sun at the beach. Barcelona also has several harbors where avid boaters house their boats throughout the year to enjoy the life aquatic. If you’re looking to get your boating license in Barcelona here are some of the things you should know and how to go about getting it.

Basic facts

Photo by VisualHunt

If you have a boat that is longer than 5 meters in length and is more powerful than 10 Kw, you need to legally have a boating license in Spain. A boating license isn’t needed for small boats like canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats. Once you know whether or not you need a license, you then have to determine which kind you need and for which type of vessel. The license that you apply for will depend on the size of the boat that you plan to sail as well as the power of the motor (if there is one).

Related article: Get married on a boat in Barcelona

The next steps

Getting a boating license in Barcelona is a similar process to getting a driving license in the fact that you must take a theoretical course, pass the written test, and then apply for the título de recreo. This is the paper that legally gives you the right to operate a boat in Spain. You must also keep in mind that once you are ready to hit the high seas you must also purchase insurance for yachts, motor yachts, jet skis, or jet bikes if this applies to you. It’s important to have both the license and the insurance while you are using your boat or there could be serious consequences if you are caught without them.

Related article: Where to rent yachts and boats in Barcelona

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Boating schools in Barcelona

Photo by Chirag D. Shah via VisualHunt

There are several sailing clubs and boating schools in Barcelona and the surrounding areas that will help you to get the proper documentation to start cruising. This detailed list shows sailing clubs that will provide you with the theoretical class as well as the practice hours. Courses for beginners can be as short as 5 days, learning the basics of navigation, safety, and how to operate a dinghy. Courses for more advanced sailors are typically longer and teach more detailed maneuvers and nighttime practice. Once you pass your course and log in some practice, you are ready to take your test and apply for your boating license!

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About the author


Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!


  • Is it possible to take the course on English. My Spanish is not that good at mo. Getting better though.
    Or one to one teaching I have certificate of confidence but it’s not recognized of you are a spannish resident

    Thank you
    Sandy ( Maurice)

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