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Old 21-02-2016, 03:18   #1
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Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Finally bought a Contessa 28 a few weeks ago in The Netherlands and plan to spend about 6 months each year in Europe including UK. I live in Australia am 71 with a Chinese wife 58. I hope to introduce her to a way of life that won't frighten her too much so we will start off in the canal system and do a Channel crossing this summer. The boat has a tabernacle system for the mast and draws 4ft 10 so I'm hoping this will be a reasonable vessel for this purpose.

We arrive in Amsterdam April 20th and leave October 15th. Any thoughts or advise would be appreciated as it's been a long time since I've been in Europe, so we don't really know what to expect but I figure as long as we live through the experience that's a positive. I hope to show her that this way of life does have it's pleasurable moments.

i bought the boat without seeing it but that's another story !! Seems to have a caring owner with recent upgrades. John
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Old 21-02-2016, 03:45   #2
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

You are assuming the UK will be part of Europe this summer, actually the UK is thinking of lifting up the draw bridge and putting two fingers up to the EU in a vote on 23 Jun 16. However, I think we will still allow visitors

With a draft of 4'10" and a tabernacle, you could probably cruiser quite a long way up the Thames for an interesting trip. You would need a short term licence and an inspection but nothing that most well found yachts couldn't pass.

Just watch the weather in the Channel and North Sea in October as the low pressure systems will be rolling in from the West with wet stormy weather and strong SW winds.

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Old 21-02-2016, 03:59   #3
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

You've presumably bottomed out the visa restrictions? If not, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_r...alian_citizens. You'll have to be out of the Schengen zone before 15 July if you're returning on 15 October, whereas you can stay for up to six months in the UK (we're kinder to Aussies than the Dutch!).

I think you're wise to spend the first three months travelling via the inland waterways into France then presumably crossing from Calais. That's a gentle introduction to living aboard for your wife before tackling the challenge of breaking her in on an offshore passage.

You ought to consider joining the UK Cruising Association (Join the CA | CA), which would give you access to a wealth of information about cruising the inland waterways and the Channel coasts.

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Old 21-02-2016, 04:04   #4
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Pete,

I am a UK citizen ( born there ) and Australian but will be getting my wife a visa for Europe and UK I hope. She arrives back from China in 2 days and we will start the process.

Yes, the plan is to lower the mast and cruise up the Thames, not sure how far we will go but it will depend on how friendly the natives are. Also she can only get a 3 month visa ( I believe ) for European countries so we will have to spend 3 months in the UK.
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Old 21-02-2016, 04:11   #5
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

The Thames all the way up to Lechlade follows the route of the old river, so whilst the banks are quite shallow there is a channel in the middle with 2m of water. However, it does wander all over the river so it would challenging in the upper Thames and provide hours of entertainment, for those sat on the river banks, been there and got the t shirt.

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Old 21-02-2016, 04:13   #6
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Gordon,

I will look into joining. I will also be careful about picking the weather as she has only sailed on Sydney harbour. I told her that Chinese were the first great navigators across the worlds oceans but she's not falling for it!!!

I still have some Sturgeon that we bought in Mexico and plan to give her a dose of that.
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Old 21-02-2016, 04:20   #7
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Pete, I will now look up where Lechlade is. Sounds interesting.
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Old 21-02-2016, 04:45   #8
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Hey John,

It sounds like a great trip that you are planning! My wife and I are currently in Amsterdam, but will be moving on before you arrive. We did the canals this past summer and are having our rig replaced before we sail north to Norway this summer!

The Dutch canals are really nice, and many can be transited with your mast up. Check out the ANWB. They produce "waterkaarten" canal maps with a lot of information on them. Even better is their iPhone/iPad app which you need a subscription for but is only about 10 euros/month and you can buy one month at a time. There is even a "staandemastroute" that goes all the way across the Netherlands with your mast up!
Dutch Waterways : Inland Waterways of the Netherlands : By Louise Busby - has updates in English about the canals.

Check out EUROPA - European Union website, the official EU website for additional information regarding your wife's visa situation. They have useful information, and we had some e-mail communication with Dutch immigration to clarify our situation. They were courteous, professional and prompt.

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Old 21-02-2016, 05:30   #9
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Thanks Brian,

Lots of info that you sent us. I will look into all this. It's very late here and I have to get a boat off a slip early tomorrow at high tide so it will have to wait. But thanks. We wanted to stay longer in Europe but it seems that Chinese might not be welcome for more than 90 days in each 180 day period. John
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Old 21-02-2016, 07:13   #10
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Do not forget... you will need to get an Inland Waterways certification to do the Canal systems in Europe..
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Old 21-02-2016, 08:31   #11
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Agree with Brian: the Dutch canals are very worthwhile and there's a route for sailboats with masts up: http://www.varendoejesamen.nl/sites/...te-2014-EN.pdf (English version).

Having lived here all my life and having sailed (both on sailboats and powered boats) pretty much every canal, river and puddle we have, I have to say that this is a beautiful little country when seen from the water.

Most people feel the midnight sail through Amsterdam is something special. And it is, to be honest

I'm in Rotterdam, feel free to PM me when you're in the Netherlands and have any questions.
Side note: most Dutch people speak English, especially those under 50, so it shouldn't be too hard to talk with people you meet here.
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Old 21-02-2016, 08:32   #12
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

John, the certification is called a CEVNI, and it gives you the do and do nots of sailing the canals, signs, speed limits, anchoring/mooring etc. You can get flip cards with all the designated signs, online. You can study an online course, but there is a physical examination (ie not online) Check with the RYA for further details. Happy sailing!
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Old 21-02-2016, 08:49   #13
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by nebeluk View Post
John, the certification is called a CEVNI, and it gives you the do and do nots of sailing the canals, signs, speed limits, anchoring/mooring etc. You can get flip cards with all the designated signs, online. You can study an online course, but there is a physical examination (ie not online) Check with the RYA for further details. Happy sailing!
You should get an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) which is pretty basic. If you have any RYA quals you can probably just get one issued (cost about £25) - or probaly get one issued in Australia too but I don't know. If not it is a fairly easy exam. As mentioned you need to get it CEVNI endorsement (for the ICC) for inland waterways but you can do that bit on line including the exam. Check it out on the RYA website.

The CA The Cruising Association is also a good suggestion. There is a wealth of information available on their website and they have a network of volunteer local represenatives (known as HLRs) who can help out in the event of problems.
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Old 21-02-2016, 09:44   #14
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

If you're going to head up the Thames at some point there's a few places you can tie up.
Just inside the estuary is the Medway and theres a sheltered spot just inside the entrance called Queenbourgh where you can pick up a mooring buoy.
(Water taxi on Sat & Sun only)
Further up the Thames there's a few yacht clubs where you can pick up a mooring buoy.
The first Marina is Gravesend (only high water lock) then Gallions Reach, South Dock, Limehouse and Tower Bridge.
After that there are low bridges and fast tides in places.
South Dock is a council run Marina and not too expensive (for London!) They also have the facilities to drop and store your mast if you want to motor up the Thames.
Depending on your draught you can get as far as Oxford. You will need a British Waterways licence after Teddington.
Limehouse is also a great Marina for exploring London run by BW.
London Bridge is next to the Tower of London, mooring and service fees are pretty high.
North of the Thames you have some excellent sailing rivers and coastline.
The Crouch and especially the Blackwater have some great little places to visit.
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Old 21-02-2016, 09:47   #15
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Re: Cruising Europe UK this coming summer

Don´t forget to take a look at the Baltic Sea before you went back to the other side of this world!
I am sure you would enjoy sailing in the skerries in Sweden and Denmark without tide.
The Swedish coast in the West along Bohuslän and the east coast in the Baltic Sea, has many big skerries (Sw. skärgårdar - archipelagos), especially Stockholm archipelago.
Easiest to go there is by the Kiel Channel.
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