Sailing in Denmark

Information about the rules for boat licences and sailing permits, including details of local sailing associations...

Sailing is one of Denmark's most popular sports. The Danish Sailing Association (Dansk Sejlunion - DS) is the national organisation for racing and recreational boating. The Association's website provides up-to-date information about sailing in Danish waters, boat safety, tips and advice, information about harbours, as well as buying and selling boats.

Danish waters are accurately marked. Information on buoy marking and anchorage can be found in the Association's guide book, the TursejlerhÄndbogen, or on the Danish Sailing Association website: Click here (in Danish).

Safety at Sea

  • Danish Coast Guard - emergency Tel: 112
  • For a sailing forecast and weather conditions: Click here

Rules at Sea

The Danish Sailing Association outlines important rules that should be followed when at sea.

  • Boats over 15m in length must have a captain who has a Yacht Skipper 3 Certificate of Competency
  • All crew members, whether they are hired or volunteers must receive basic safety instructions on what to do in case of a fire, man overboard, and other accidents. The crew must also know how to avoid contamination by ship-generated waste
  • A boat must be in seaworthy condition, which includes having enough crew members, provisions and equipment, and in being in a good condition for receiving, transporting and storing cargo. Cargo must be properly stowed; the ship must not be overloaded and its stability must be ensured. Hatches must be securely closed and battened down, unless conditions permit otherwise

Alcohol at sea

For captains and crew of boats over 15m, speedboats and water scooters, the limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.50 percent per 1,000 grams of blood. The strict penalties that apply to drink driving also apply to navigating at sea under the influence of alcohol.

Life jackets

All small pleasure craft in Denmark must have the same number of life jackets on board as there are persons on board. Life jackets must be SOLAS-, CE- or DVN-approved.


The driver of a speedboat must have a speedboat driver's licence and be over 16 years of age.


There are 150 yellow buoys in Danish waters marked with the letters DS which can only be used by club members who are affiliated with the Dansk Sejlunion. Similarly, buoys marked with FV are the property of the state and cannot be used by other vessels.

Harbour and mooring etiquette

In Danish harbours and mooring places, sailors should abide by the written and unwritten rules regarding mooring etiquette, respecting nature and the environment.

  • Green sign: a sailor can use the mooring berth
  • Red sign: the berth is unavailable

As berths for guest yachts are rare in Denmark, several vessels usually moor alongside each other. Similar-sized vessels should also moor alongside each other.