Sailing across IJsselmeer

Sooner or later, every aficionado of large water bodies will set course for IJsselmeer. The loop consisting of Markermeer, IJsselmeer, Ketelmeer, the lakes between former coast and empoldered land and IJmeer, offers a lot to water sports enthusiasts.

Experience is a must for this large body of water, the former Zuiderzee. Our seaworthy cutter yachts are very well suited for these conditions.

Picturesque and charming villages

In contrast to modern marinas, the Frisian villages and towns in which they are located are often picturesque and charming, such as Makkum, Workum and Hindeloopen. You will see stunning mansions that have been lovingly restored and which are reminders of the heyday of fishing and trade. Similar places can also be found in the province of North Holland. Examples are Medemblik, Enkhuizen, Hoorn and Monnikendam. Another place worth visiting is the picturesque peninsula of Marken, from where you can sail to Volendam.

On a beautiful summer's day, the white sails of sailing boats can be seen everywhere. On the shores of IJsselmeer are numerous charming and busy marinas.

Sailing routes IJsselmeer

Picturesque village
Windmills on the IJsselmeer

Good to know

IJsselmeer is a large expanse of water. Although you can see at least one shore on a clear day, a harbour is always a long way away when things go wrong. The boat has to be properly equipped for such waters. Therefore, there must always be a reliable waterways map (map 1810) on board and at least a compass, a log, a watch and a plotter. Having GPS equipment on board makes navigation a whole lot easier. If visibility is poor, you have to be able to find your way using maps. Properly dimensioned anchor equipment is essential. You have to be able to shelter from rough weather. You should, of course, also have life jackets and distress rockets and there should also be a radio on board so that you can monitor the weather forecasts. A marine telephone is also advisable (you will need to obtain the necessary papers) because large areas of the IJsselmeer are not covered by the GSM network.


IJsselmeer is known for its short swells. That is not so dangerous by itself, but it must be taken into account. Motor yachts in particular experience a lot of hindrance from transversely incoming steep waves. If the vessel does not have the required stability, it will even risk capsizing. Safe sailing is a matter of assessing the conditions of a certain route in advance and to select a safe heading when you are being surprised by excessive swells.