Flying the Belgian Flag
28 August 2014 | Port d'Aiguadolç
A recent change in Spanish legislation has eliminated the requirement for residents to register their boats under Spanish flag. Therefore, as a Belgian citizen, I have taken the opportunity to register Iris under Belgian flag. As a matter of fact you see a lot of Belgian flags appearing in Spanish marinas since even Spanish skippers are changing flag because of the many advantages of flying the Belgian one. Among these advantages is that I'm allowed to sail all over the world (no more permitted navigation zones depending on safety equipment and certifications), no more ridiculous and expensive 5-yearly 'technical vehicle inspections', no more need to hire expensive authorized equipment installers if I buy a new GPS, etc. In short, less money and less rules.
Also, the "séptima" (7th) suffix has been dropped from the boat's name and Iris is now again just called "Iris". According to Belgian rules the name of a ship's home port is to be written on the transom. Being free to choose whatever city, I chose my home town "Antwerp".