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Holland by boat: Discover the IJsselmeer from Enkhuizen.

IJssel sea sunset

If you want to explore the IJsselmeer with your own or a chartered boat, Enkhuizen is the ideal starting point and destination: In addition to four marinas in well-protected locations and excellent service, a beautiful old town with quaint pubs and restaurants beckons for an evening stroll, the Zuiderzee Museum vividly tells about the history of shipping and trade in the region – and you’re always on the safe side, because Enkhuizen also has a SeaHelp base.

If you have a few days and want to explore the Ijsselmeer with your own or chartered boat, Enkhuizen is an ideal starting point and destination (see here for necessary licenses). Enkhuizen is located just an hour’s drive northeast of Amsterdam and is easily accessible via Purmerend and Hoorn. The town is considered by many to be the most beautifully preserved town on the IJsselmeer.

In the 17th century, also known as the Golden Century, the herring town of Enkhuizen on the southwest of the IJsselmeer was the richest and most powerful town on the Zuiderzee. Here was the base of the naval fleet, the then famous and powerful Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) had its headquarters in the Pepperhuis, and over 400 fishing boats, so-called Haringsbuizen, are said to have been moored here close together. The Frisian VOC coin was struck in Enkhuizen, and the town was famous for its good mapmakers, nautical chart draughtsmen.


Enkhuizen (Netherlands)


Not one but five well-protected harbors vie for the favor of sports skippers in Enkhuizen

Those who want to moor in Enkhuizen today are spoiled for choice: no less than five harbors vie for the favor of sports skippers: entering the Krabbersgat from the northeast (fire in line 220 degrees), they are Compagnieshaven, Binnenhaven, Oude-, Buis- and Osterhaven. They are strung like pearls on a string just north of the Houtrib dike, which separates the southern Markermeer from the northern IJsselmeer.

The largest (private) harbor is Compagnieshaven, which offers 700 berths and full service. Arriving boats are best to pass through first to the registration jetty near the harbormaster’s building at the southeast end of the jetties, where they will be assigned their berth. A boat fueling station is also located here.




The harbor offers, among other things, toilets, showers, washing machines and dryers, a slipway and a crane, there is a restaurant (De Mastenbar), a small supermarket that is also open on Sundays, an outfitter (Joosten Watersport), sailmakers and repair and service companies. Compagnieshaven Enkhuizen, Compagnieshaven 7, 1601 ZA Enkhuizen,, tel. 0228 313 353.




The largest harbor is Compagnieshaven, those who like it quiet and green moor at Buishaven

The Buishaven in Enkhuizen is the second port of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Zeil- & Roeivereniging. In the beautifully situated harbor you can lie quietly, protected and surrounded by greenery at floating pontoons, there is electricity and water at the pier as well as showers and toilets (which are located in the harbor office). The city center with its many sights, stores and restaurants can be reached after a ten-minute walk.

The harbor is next to the train station, and just south of it in the entrance is another harbor, the Krabbershaven. Across the way on the Gependam are clearly visible the (residential) sailing ships Zeilschip Weelvart and Driemastklipper Radboud. Buyshaven, Flevolaan 6, 1601 MA Enkhuizen,, tel. 0228 315 660.




Whoever wants to enter the Oude Haven must pass the Drommedaris – and pass the white drawbridge

In the municipal harbors of Enkhuizen there are no less than three mooring options for pleasure boats: Buitenhaven, Oude- and and Oosterhaven. The Oude Haven with a few, nice guest berths is located behind the so-called Drommedaris, a mighty old fortress tower, which is one of Enhuizen’s landmarks when entering from the sea. The bridge is operated on demand by the harbor service.




All three sites are a stone’s throw from the city center. There are two toilet facilities; free wifi, a sewage station and containers for waste. Visitors are required to register here. The harbormaster will stop by to check identification; passports, ID cards and driver’s licenses are accepted. Contact: Gemeentelijke havens, Havenweg 3, 1601 GA Enkhuizen,, tel. 0228312444.

Enkhuizen is also worth a (longer) stay – there is much to see and experience here

It is worth spending at least one (better two) days here in Enkhuizen, because there is – besides some cozy restaurants and cafes in the old town also a lot of culture to experience. In first place for many sport skippers is the Zuiderzee Museum. In the Pepperhuis, the former packing house of the VOC, the East India Company, you can see old ships, traditional costumes and historical fishing equipment, interesting not only for sailors and motorboat drivers.

The Buitenmuseum is an open-air museum that looks like a small village. Here, visitors are transported back in time as they stroll through old cobbled streets. There are about 140 well-preserved historical buildings; visitors can experience old crafts live or taste delicious smoked fish. Children can build boats from a wooden shoe, sail in a polder boat, play old Dutch games, dress up or walk on stilts.

Zuiderzee, Buiten and Fleesenscheepjesmuseum are just a few of the many destinations nearby

At the Flessenscheepjesmuseum, located in the 17th-century house of the old lockkeeper, you can learn all about how the miniature ships get into the bottles, and visitors can marvel at one of the largest collections of so-called ships in bottles in all shapes and sizes, some of which even date back to the VOC era.

At the Enkhuizer Almanak Museum, you can learn all about it through a special brochure that is published annually – and has been since the 16th century. At that time many people could not read and write, for this reason special brochures with pictures, not unlike today’s comics, were produced at that time to inform the inhabitants of Enkhuizen, some of whom numbered up to 60,000 in the 17th century.

If children are on board, a visit to nearby Sprookjeswonderland is not to be missed. In addition to a gnome village and a playground, a petting zoo beckons, and there are regular fairy tale performances and other events for kids in this expansive park.

The Drommedaris is almost 500 years old and it is impossible to imagine life in the Enhuizer without it

And – of course, the Drommedaris is definitely worth a visit. Formerly serving as a defense tower for the Oude Haven, as a prison, telephone and telegraph office, the round tower with the picturesque white drawbridge is an indispensable part of the life of the Enkhuizer. Today, the almost 500-year-old Drom (also called Ketenpoort) is a lively cultural center with a stage, three halls and a café.

If you moor your boat in the Buitenhaven (see above), you’ll have the strikingly shaped, rounded structure right in front of you, and in the late afternoon you can listen to the tower’s chimes.

Safely underway on the IJsselmeer: in Enkhuizen there is also a SeaHelp base

Good to know: in Enkhuizen (in the Compagnieshaven) there is also a SeaHelp response boat. The 8.5-meter inflatable boat of Tim de Boer, who coordinates the rescue missions on behalf of SeaHelp with the boats of his company Reddingsdienst, is equipped with a powerful 250 hp outboard and is on site in no time – the best conditions for a cruise to explore the IJsselmeer safely and at leisure.


Anchoring in the IJsselmeer


Prerequisite is membership in Europe’s largest breakdown and recovery service for recreational boating to provide assistance in non-life threatening situations.

The Stavoren, Enkhuizen, Edam and Muiderzand bases are operated jointly with SeaHelp’s Dutch partner Reddingsdienst. Helpline telephone number for the Netherlands: 0043 50 43 112.


24h EMERGENCY CALL EUROPE: 0043 50 43 112

In an emergency, SeaHelp’s response boats can be called using the handy SeaHelp app, or by calling the free emergency number for Europe 0043 50 43 112 (or the alternative emergency number for Europe 00385 919 112 112.

Download SeaHelp app:

SeaHelp app with emergency call function for Android smartphonesSeaHelp app with emergency call feature for Apple iPhone smartphones

* terminal or telecommunication service charges may apply

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