For chartering a sailboat with inboard or outboard engine at Lake Balaton, you need a certificate of competence for pleasure craft operation under sail and power, which justifies that you are aware of the general rules of the road, but it is advisable for you to get acquainted with some special rules to be adhered to when sailing at Lake Balaton. Since around the Lake you can charter mainly sailing small vessels, in this guide you can find the basic rules applying to vessels of this type. The complete rules of the road applying to all water craft in Hungary can be found in the Navigation Regulations of Hungary (unfortrunately only in Hungarian).

Although this guide was made up on the basis of the Navigation Regulations of Hungary it cannot be regarded as an official English language translation of the basic rules and, in case of doubt the text in Hungarian language of the Navigation Regulations of Hungary prevails.

In the Regulations there are some terms the exact meaning of which can be found on the page of Definitions.


To sail a charter boat at Lake Balaton, you need the following documents on board:

a) the original copy of the International Card for Pleasure Craft (Hajólevél) of the yacht chartered;
b) the Extract of the Boating Licence (Hajózási Engedély) of the charter company;
c) your Certificate of Competence for operating small sailing vessel and small motor vessel;
d) your passport.

If you cannot present any of the above-mentioned documents in case of a police control, you have to sail out to the nearest harbour immediately and you can also be fined.

Charter sailing vessels in Hungary have all the equipment prescribed by the rules of law, and before sailing out you have to get acquainted with the proper use of them. Among them you can find the navigation lights and shapes to be exhibited by sailing small vessels, the purpose of which is to make your craft visible and identifiable, in fact, they define how your craft should look like.

On the waters you will see a lot of other craft, bouys and marks. It is advisable for you to get some ideas about the features of these objects in order to identify them because they might have some influence on your sailing. Of them, vessels other than sailing small vessels are of high importance, because it can happen that they move through the water, so it is vital for you to recognize the navigation lights and shapes they exhibit (I suppose you can identify your own small vessel by her navigation lights). Besides vessels, you also have to be aware of the meaning of the different navigation marks such as buoys, signposts and markings.

On sailing through the water you might come across with a lot of obstructions and you have to do your best to avoid any collision. Of them, the other vessels present the most serious danger, but fortunately most skippers and captains know the rules of the road and they are able to apply them properly, so you can have a chance to survive your holiday at the Hungarian Sea if you also adhere to the navigation regulations.