You’ve found your dream home, you enjoy the views and lifestyle that Lake Como offers, but you now want the next desirable item – a speed boat, but you don’t where to start. Here are some points to guide you.
1. Do I need a Licence?
Yes and no. If you are happy with a boat with a smaller engine (40hp or lower) you are not required to have a licence.
2. I want a faster boat so I need a licence – where do I start?
To apply for the licence, you need to have completed a suitable course of instruction. If your Italian is good you might choose to do this in Italy. Some clients have opted for the RYA Powerboat Level 2 Course available in the UK. The course generally lasts two days and at the end of the course you are then eligible to apply for the ICC. In the US a suitable course is the US sailing “Bareboat Cruising Course”, or the ASA “104 Bareboat Cruising Course”. In Germany the “Sportbootführerschein See”, in Belgium the “Algemeen Stuurbrevet” or the “Brevet de conduite général”, or in France the “Le Permis Plaisance”. A similar/equivalent certification from any recognized sailing association will also be accepted.
A suitable course typically costs around €200.
3. Ensure you apply for your ICC/IPC
The speed boat licence is better known as the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) or the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC).
So, you now have your licence and need to ensure you have somewhere to moor your boat. There are plenty of private mooring places on Lake Como and we can help you find somewhere suitable. We rent a space on a private mooring in Argegno at a cost of €1,500 per annum. The costs and availability will vary depending on your location.
5. Buying a Boat on Lake Como
There is a range of boat builders and yards around the lake, who can offer everything from the top end newly built boats to relatively economic pre-owned boats. There are also plenty of individuals who are looking to sell their beautifully maintained boats who advertise in places you might not usually find, or else hope to sell by word of mouth. Ask us for any advice you would like and we will help you to track down a suitable model at the right price.
6. Don’t forget Boat Insurance
It’s a legal requirement to have boat insurance. If buying second-hand find out who the boat was previously insured with as that can make the whole process easier. Our boat is 170bhp and our insurance costs €200 per annum.
7. Where can I go on my new boat?
The lake is made for exploration by boat! Most of the lakefront restaurants have their own guest moorings and you can easily cross the lake to a desirable spot on the other side which might otherwise be a long drive. Pulling into Menaggio in the summer on your own boat undoubtedly beats the usual hunt for a place to park your car.
Our favourite spot for dropping anchor on a hot day is in the calm waters of Isola Comacina so that we can go for a swim. And amongst the crop of good lakefront restaurants one of our favourites is Crotto dei Platini, just to the south of Argegno.
Just remember – stay out of the way of the ferries and stay well clear of swimmers.
8. How do I refuel my boat?
We use the on-lake filling station in Tremezzo. And we also have two 20L fuel containers that we fill from the local petrol station. Be warned the price of fuel from the on-lake filling stations is significantly higher than at a petrol station. We also highly recommend keeping a full metal fuel container on board with at least 10 litres of emergency fuel so that you don’t find yourself out of fuel and drifting aimlessly awaiting a tow!
9. Are there any rules or regulations I need to know about?
Yes! You must carry the following – life jackets for each person on board, life ring with 30m of floating rope, bilge pump and a fire extinguisher.
Maximum speed is 27 knots (50kmh)
10. Can you water-ski / wakeboard on Lake Como?
Yes, but follow these rules…
– Minimum distance from the shore 300m
– Maximum speed of 27 knots (50kmh)
– Allowed from 08:00 to 20:00
– 2 people on board with licenses and expert swimmers
– Use of life jacket mandatory
– It’s forbidden to use rubber donuts or rings behind a boat
– Do not ski in the Bay of Piona and between Isola Comacina and the shore
11. Winter Boat Storage – what is the cost?
Most of our clients prefer to take their boat out of the water for the winter months when they are not going to be using it. One option is to purchase a spare garage and to keep your boat there on a trailer in the winter, if it is not too big for a garage. Alternatively 6 months’ indoor winter boat storage costs in the region of €1,100 for a boat 6m in length.
12. Hints and Tips
Ensure you always carry the following documentation on the boat: your licence, insurance and proof of ownership. Best to have a copy and to keep the the original proof of ownership safely ashore.
Always have an emergency fuel supply.
When docking or mooring – take your time and be in control.
Traffic on the lake is usually light but the high speed ferry in particular can come up on your quickly so always remember to check behind you before making any manoeuvre.
Always have extra mooring ropes.
Check your lights before using your boat in the evening or at night.
If going out on your boat on your own make sure someone else knows where you’re going and carry a mobile phone.
Drinking water, sunglasses and a hat are always good to have.
Importantly – enjoy owning and using your boat on Lake Como, it is a great way to explore and to enjoy the lake when the road traffic is moving slowly!