Friesland - the Yachting Province of the Netherlands

Friesland is a historical province of the Netherlands with roots dating back to long before the country was formed. Frisians have a distinct culture and language, and an affinity for anything water-related. The province is famous for its extensive network of canals, and it is not uncommon in Friesland to be sitting in a field and watch a mast mysteriously float by, unknowing that there is a canal behind the grasses. Consulting Services

Friesland Workum

Once every few years, the canals in Friesland freeze over enough to host the famous "Elfstedentocht" -- the world's largest and longest speed skating competition. This tour of 11 historic Frisian towns spans almost 200 km and, under the rare circumstances where the ice is thick enough to host the event, entices a national excitement. The loop begins in Leeuwarden and includes the towns of Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Stavoren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker, Dokkum, and then back to Leeuwarden.


The Frisian Lakes Project

With around 35,000 yachts in marinas and canals, the province of Friesland is regarded as the most popular yachting area in The Netherlands. To improve the quality of the yachting network, the province invested over € 400 million into the yachting infrastructure in a 15 year period (2000 – 2016) through the ‘Frisian Lakes Project’. It resulted in new aqua ducts, higher bridges, dredging projects, new yachting routes and better facilities.

In recent years, the focus has been on optimizing the quality and functionality of the most important yachting cities and villages, in order to raise the expenditures. Several of our participants have been involved in waterfront developments and improvements in Friesland. WA Yachting Consultants were commissioned by the Province of Friesland to conduct a Master Plan Pre-Study to determine where and which investments were most promising. SWOT analyses were assessed in 20 yachting cities and villages. It involved site visits with representatives of the province, municipalities, landscape architects and sometimes our other Waterfronts NL partners.

What the waterfront is for yachtsmen is often regarded as the backyard for bordering industrial companies and private gardens, evident in the presence of unfriendly prohibition signage and rubbish. The results of the SWOT analyses resulted in many recommendations, plans and suggestions that have been implemented in recent years.

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