Recreational or commercial voyages?

The requirements that apply when you go sailing depend on whether the voyage is for recreational or commercial purposes. For example, voyages for schools and institutions are commercial, whereas voyages for members of sailing clubs and associations are recreational. Furthermore, a number of additional requirements apply if the vessel carries more than 12 persons

It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the regulations that apply if you are going sailing.

Examples of commercial voyages

The following  voyages are commercial:

  • Voyages with school children
  • Voyages with kindergarten children
  • Voyages with youth school pupils
  • Voyages with continuation school or folk high school pupils
  • Voyages with rest home residents
  • Voyages with residents at young people's hostels

You are not covered by the regulations if the activity at sea is not part of a commercial context. Examples can be associations such as the sea scouts under the Danish Guide and Scout Association or the Boys' Brigade and rowing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing and water-skiing clubs organised under the Sports Confederation of Denmark which are engaged in activities at sea for its own members. If the activity is directed at persons outside the club, you are covered by the regulations.

When are you covered by the regulations on small commercial vessels?

You are covered if the vessel carries up to 12 persons and if it is used as part of a commercial context, as explained in the definition above.

In case of doubt, the Danish Maritime Authority will decide whether or not the vessel is covered by the regulations.

Are sailing club activities covered by the regulations?

Sailing clubs' general activities with their members are not generally covered by the regulations on commercial voyages. This is the case because their general activities are not considered to be of a commercial nature.
However, the activities of sailing clubs may be covered by the regulations on commercial voyages. When we assess a particular activity, we inter alia attach importance to whether the sailing club receives a fee for the voyages concerned and to the participating yachtsmen's affiliation with the clubs. In case of, for example, a stag party or a team-building event where the club receives a fee for the activity, the voyage of the sailing club may be covered by the regulations on commercial voyages.


There are exceptions from the above-mentioned examples of commercial voyages. Though the participants pay for the costs related to a voyage with the club's vessels on a few occasions, it is not necessarily a question of a commercial voyage. The sailing club can arrange special days when the club members, volunteers and other especially interested parties can take part in a match-race or other voyages without them being considered commercial. This can, for example, be the case in connection with the club's anniversary or open house events with a view to promoting the sailing club's activities.

You can read more about the regulations applicable to schools and institutions here


Ship Survey, Certification and Manning