German Burocrazy

"If you want to get stuff done, get a German" 
-- Some Aussie dude I once bought a car from

Yeah, plenty folks over here pride themselves for their work. But let me tell you a story about bureaucrats. And yes, it’s so long and complicated that I don’t know how to make it entertaining.

So I have a commercial grade skipper license for coastal waters (motor/sail). Since regulations, signs and stuff differ on inland waters I have to make another license for that, which I’m totally fine with. It’s 180 multiple choice questions, with a selection of 30ish in the exam. The fastest folks finished their tests after five minutes, literally.

You have to apply for the thing, adding a health certificate (had to get a new one, since my old one was older than a year, 25€) a picture and around 70€ in fees.

After passing the exam, I returned my coastal license and now I have to wait up to a month for my new license card for coastal skippering (motor & sail) and inland (engine only) since it’s printed by the government. Then I have to fill out another form, add another picture and send my new license to the same address again. Pay another 30ish Euros. Wait up to another month. And then I finally will receive my license card for sail&motor inland/coastal. So two month and around 140€ for five minutes of exam.

This is not including multiple phone calls & emails to figure out the process. Did I mention the process changed while I was in it at least once?

So, this is the new and improved process for the new plastique license card. Wanna know how it was in the old days (like pre 2018)? You apply for the exam, pass it and get your new license handed immediately.

Success! (mostly)

Location: Emden, Germany
Odo: 309107

So yeah, there they are. My license to operate “pleasure craft” on waterways navigable by sea-going ships (required if your vessel sports more than 15hp). The other one is optional / only required if you work as a commercial skipper on pleasure crafts in coastal waters not exceeding 12 nautical miles (german version of the “yachtmaster coastal”, thats the one where you actually learn how to sail a yacht). And the last one for buying / handling distress signals such as caliber 4 rockets.

Achievements unlocked!

Achievements unlocked! A proper summary of the last autumn/winter

Ah, and some money in the bank. The only license which is missing is my radio certificate (SRC). I flunked that one because I forgot to mention the current time when ending distress communication. Whatever… I will not make the same mistake in real life because I’m not allowed to carry a radio to actually make distress calls. I mean, imagine what would happen if I omit the current time! Some bloke might have to look at his own clock in case he is interested in the exact moment when everything was back in order.

So yeah, we might take an educated guess what comes next… Let’s say I already found out that the forecastle of a Albin Vega is not long enough for me but for example a kings cruiser (successor of the folkeboot) or a Thames Marine Mirage 28 suit me just fine.

Wedding Presents #1

I try to avoid weddings wherever I could. After a couple of years it was time to re-evaluate my stance on them. Yep, still not my kind of party even though I really like the folks who got married.

They wanted money for a present, attaching it to a postcard is not that personal so I needed something different to attach the dough to. Since the groom is a petrol-head liking trashy things (driving things like MZ Motorcycles and a Buick) it seemed appropriate to dig through the trash container and spend an hour welding together trash.


forgot to take a picture of the finished product, this is only tacked together

Unfortunately the heart broke during transport when I strapped it to my bike with a ratched strap (one half fell off). I cobbled it together on the spot with a ratchet strap. Luckily nobody was upset getting a broken heart made almost entirely out of brake parts as a present. You probably could take that the wrong way…

The most upsetting thing to me was that one of my welds broke. In the end not too surprising since brake discs are mostly made of grey cast iron and you can’t MIG/MAG weld that. That means you can but it’s by far not as strong as it might look like. I forgot to take a picture but you could clearly see the grainy structure of the cast iron still sticking to the weld. So the weld actually didn’t break but pulled all the tiny grains it was attached to out of the brake disc…