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Old 14-06-2013, 12:58   #1
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Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

We are looking to spend 6 months on a houseboat in the French canal and river system. Is it better to purchase a boat and sell it, or lease. Any resources on buying and leasing in France would be appreciated.
Andy
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Old 14-06-2013, 13:16   #2
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

do you want it to move?

dave
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Old 14-06-2013, 13:42   #3
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We don't want to move, but have spent 7-10 day trips on the canals near Dijon and on the Canal Du Midi. We think a six month trip would be nice. Early in the planning phase right now. We have rented from LeBoat in the past and had one good and one bad experience.
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Old 14-06-2013, 13:46   #4
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

FRANCE BOAT / BARGE/HOUSEBOAT Vacation rental, vacation direct by owners, Boat / Barge/Houseboat France B&B, Gte - Self Catering, Vacation rental
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Old 14-06-2013, 14:17   #5
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

As a one time 6 month trip, I think you are right on the boarder.

While the rental companies likely will give you a discount, renting for 6 months is still going to be very expensive and likely they will have limits on where you can go with the boat.

If you buy: I assume you will want to buy a turn key boat prior to arriving as a couple months outfitting and repairing would eat up too much of your 6 months. That means a healthy chunk of cash up front as you won't want to mess around with boats that are "deals". Then having to pay someone to sell it after you leave while still paying for the care and maintenance while waiting for a buyer. Plus you are on the hook for all the maintenance and repairs until it sells. That's also not going to be cheap and there is a big risk if you buy a lemon you may eat almost the entire price of the boat.

If you had said 3 months, I would say rent as the cost of buying would be relatively unchanged but the rental cost would likely drop by almost 50%.
If you had said 1 yr, renting would be double over a 6 month lease and you could include a couple months at the start to check out boats in person and do a little outfitting likely bringing down the purchase price and reducing the chance of buying a lemon. Also you have the option to put the boat up for sale a month or so before your are done to jump start the sales process.
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Old 14-06-2013, 15:33   #6
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

Seems like you'd get less headaches by leasing.
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Old 14-06-2013, 17:47   #7
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

It's a trip I'd love to do one day.

I considered buying, but the boats ain't cheap and may be hard to sell.

What I though would be the best way would be to break it up into several trips, one in each region. I'm considering scheduling it so that it all happens outside peak holiday times and not booking till the last minute after checking the weather.

There are many reasonably priced hotels in France so I'm thinking that staying in them while waiting for good weather is not going to break the bank and could be very pleasant.

Combined with itinerant Moselle River cruising it could be the holiday of a lifetime.
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Old 14-06-2013, 20:08   #8
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

fwiw, there's a website somewhere about a new england couple, schoolteachers, who summer in the french canals on a small motorboat they bought a few years ago. they haul it when not using it.

it's not 'houseboat' size, but then apparently their budget isn't either....
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Old 14-06-2013, 22:03   #9
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

Sorry Dave..... I misread your post. Yes we would like it to move and we would like to travel for the entire six months. The reason I thought buying may be a better option is that an Australian we met there in 2009 purchased his boat and said it was less expensive than renting from LeBoat or one of those big companies.
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Old 14-06-2013, 22:11   #10
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

Sorry Dave I misread your message. Yes we do want it to move and would be traveling for the entire six months.
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Old 14-06-2013, 22:45   #11
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

I wonder if you could pick up a shoal-draft sailboat and remove the mast. That would be an economical way of cruising the French canals.
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Old 15-06-2013, 00:47   #12
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Re: Buying or leasing a houseboat in France

To be truthful you won't see much of the system if you only want to move for 6 months, unless you want to be up sparrowfart and cruise till dusk. Many people do and go back home and say they've 'done' the Midi and it was boring. The whole idea is to chill out and SLOW RIGHT DOWN, take time to visit the local sights/amenities. My winter base is in Narbonne on the Canal du Robine (the canals are closed from 31st Oct until 1st of April) but we take the whole summer to cruise to Bordeaux with diversions up the rivers Baise & the Lot. Google 'How To Cruise Between Two Sea's' We take the same time for a trip up the Moselle and back. We live onboard permanently but if you're not retired I'd create a syndicate with family/friends, buy a good boat and take your holidays over 10 years or so visiting different countries in Europe. Above all take the time to enjoy it (you'll also learn more about cheeses and wine than you ever knew before if you visit the cave's) local vineyards.
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Old 15-06-2013, 05:47   #13
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For 6 months , you'd be better buying then renting but it could cause a big delay at the end. ( you may be able to agree a sale near the start of yiu give a good discount.

Hiring a movable boat for that time , would be very expensive.

Dave
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Old 16-06-2013, 15:04   #14
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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
To be truthful you won't see much of the system if you only want to move for 6 months, unless you want to be up sparrowfart and cruise till dusk. Many people do and go back home and say they've 'done' the Midi and it was boring. The whole idea is to chill out and SLOW RIGHT DOWN, take time to visit the local sights/amenities. My winter base is in Narbonne on the Canal du Robine (the canals are closed from 31st Oct until 1st of April) but we take the whole summer to cruise to Bordeaux with diversions up the rivers Baise & the Lot. Google 'How To Cruise Between Two Sea's' We take the same time for a trip up the Moselle and back. We live onboard permanently but if you're not retired I'd create a syndicate with family/friends, buy a good boat and take your holidays over 10 years or so visiting different countries in Europe. Above all take the time to enjoy it (you'll also learn more about cheeses and wine than you ever knew before if you visit the cave's) local vineyards.
We would love to be able to afford to do something like this on yearly basis, but I would not have the time or the money. We did the Canal Du Midi last year an preferred the Burgundy area that we went to in 2009. Wish now that I would have gotten more information from the Australian we met in 2009 that did a similar trip.
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Old 16-06-2013, 18:41   #15
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Originally Posted by Irish rambler View Post
To be truthful you won't see much of the system if you only want to move for 6 months, unless you want to be up sparrowfart and cruise till dusk. Many people do and go back home and say they've 'done' the Midi and it was boring. The whole idea is to chill out and SLOW RIGHT DOWN, take time to visit the local sights/amenities. My winter base is in Narbonne on the Canal du Robine (the canals are closed from 31st Oct until 1st of April) but we take the whole summer to cruise to Bordeaux with diversions up the rivers Baise & the Lot. Google 'How To Cruise Between Two Sea's' We take the same time for a trip up the Moselle and back. We live onboard permanently but if you're not retired I'd create a syndicate with family/friends, buy a good boat and take your holidays over 10 years or so visiting different countries in Europe. Above all take the time to enjoy it (you'll also learn more about cheeses and wine than you ever knew before if you visit the cave's) local vineyards.
While this idea is great , few people have the time . I have a friend that has just spent 6 months on the French Canals and enjoyed it . It was his own boat through.


Dave
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