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Old 03-07-2013, 01:44   #16
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

It's a good judgement to stick with Biscay France November through to April. Yes, it is possible to day hop from port to port around much of the Biscay coasts, but two of those hops need reliable weather and swell windows. One is the 150nm from Gironde to whichever all weather/all swell harbour you select in Spain. The other is the 100nm gap between the all weathr harbours of Santander and Gijon in N Spain. In winter months it's quite easy to be holed up for 3 or 4 weeks in a row waiting for both swell and winds to allow a safe ride.

Biscay France offers some safe winter cruising. A bit chilly and wet at times; hope you'e got a heater! There are some great small towns which stay alive all winter; many summer holiday spots effectively shut down. And some good rivers to explore inland a little - the Launay (rade de Brest) and the Villaine, as well as the more obvious Gironde.

Rummage around the Biscay pages of my web site to see sketch maps and descriptions of places worth visiting, and look at the North Spain pages to identify the harbours which can be accessed in all conditions (they're in green text!)

You've got the Schengen visa rules sorted. With respect to your French visa, the theory is that this allows you only 90 days out of any 180 into any other Schengen country. However, there are no border checks to enforce that regulation that I'm aware of. So it sounds as if your Schengen limitations will start after that first year is over. Nip across to Morocco just before your year is up, then re-enter for your first 90/180.

Places to escape Schengen when in the Med; Croatia, Tunisia, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, Cyprus, the Levant, N Africa. Security issues in the last two at the moment!
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:00   #17
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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For all the VISA and VAT issues, the boat will be US registered and as Iíve confirmed that means I do not need to pay VAT for 18 months while in the EU. If I leave the EU (and have documentation to prove it) that will reset the 18 month window. But that only applies to the boat itself, not the people on it.
Are you buying a European boat that VAT has already been paid upon? In that case your worry would be not to lose the VAT paid status...


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For the people there is the visa issue. I have been researching the Schengen rules and understand the 90 day out of 180 day limits. This would essentially make it impossible for us to cruise Europe. So, we are planning on getting a 12 month ďLong Stay VisaĒ for France. We will be spending several months there from November through spring. At that point we will be cruising down and into the Med. We will be back into France on the coast of the Med for a while as well. It is extremely difficult to understand exactly how our time in other countries will be treated.
The thing is: when cruising within the Schengen area there is no need to clear in and out of ports. So you will arrive in France on your French Visa, and your pasport will be stamped. However, when you then sail from France to Spain you don't have to clear out of France and in to Spain, and you won't receive a passport stamp. Within the Schengen area there is free circulation of persons, and you don't have to show an ID, or have your passport stamped when crossing the border.
So even though you're only supposed to stay 90 days out of 180 outside of France there really isn't a way for the authorities to find out if you're staying longer. So I wouldn't worry too much.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:21   #18
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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Thanks for all the input and hanami2, I appreciate all that detail, it will be very helpful. If you are still in Les Sables d'Olonne come November we may get to meet. That is actually where Iíll be picking up the boat.

Dave, the Lagoon is about 3 feet too wide to make it through the canals based on the research I have done. That would have been a fantastic way to work our way to the Med, but unless I learn how to get the catamaran up on one hull, I wonít fit.

[
No problem, but when you will be collecting the Lagoon I will in Las Palmas getting ready to cross the Atlantic, heading to St Lucia. I already did it and that's the best time for this.

Regarding canals you won't be able to use them with a Lagoon: much too wide and be aware that to navigate canals, in France, you need a special license. May be you already have one in your country but just make sure it will be accepted over here. You won't need it to navigate some rivers like the Charente, which you may try as Rochefort (up this river) is a nice city with a good marina in the center. Same for Les Sables: if you intend to stay go to the marina that is in the fishing harbor. It is right in the middle of the city and it is called 'Quai Garnier'. At this time of the year there will be plenty of space, including my berth for a year at least. The only issue is the wifi that can be a bit poor and expensive. For free wifi go to the sea front to a bar-retaurant called 'Le Navarin'. It is right back the main church and the market: it is OK and the wifi is free a-with good bandwidth.

Whilst in Les Sable if you look for a good pizzeria go for "Don Ricco". It is located 'rue des Ecoliers' **. That's within the city and it is definitely the best one: not many 'non-residents' go there.

It you have electronics or electrical to fix, the best place is Robin Marine, facing the pontoon you will be on and you can mention 'Hanami' (that's my boat's name) they know me well and ask for Thierry Chevillon.
All the best.

** 'Rue des Ecoliers' would translate into 'School boys' street'
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:15   #19
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

Thinking about this a bit more, I see it less as a PITA to be overcome and more of an opportunity........principally to explore inland of France (and other bits of Europe - most of it is not on the coast!), even by heading down to the Med to have a scout around for places to visit for the summer (albeit a lot of places will be closed!, nonetheless the locals all still live there and eat! - having own transport means not being restricted to the coast as perhaps will be later)........and also IMO just because on a boat for an extended period does not mean that can't go away on holiday!, could even fly down to the Canaries for some cheap winter sun (and pretend it is boat trip research )........or even further afield!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:46   #20
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Just be aware of a few things

Staying in France , more then 183 days can make you a tax resident , if that becomes the case , you will loose the 18 month VAT exemption. ( even though in practice the authorities can't really discover this. )

With a long stay visa , France becomes your " home" hence the Schengen 180 day clock , f which you are allowed 90 contiguous days ) only runs when you go outside France. However since there are no border or passports stamps , again oversight is virtually impossible. In essence your 1year visa will allow you 1year inside the whole area are no one can actually check where in the Schengen area you've travelled to

At the end of the long stay visa, you can then arrange to have two back to back,90 day periods , allowing you in effect a further 6 months.

So the first 18 months can be handed reasonably legally. Once the Schengen period expires you then will have to stay outside for 3 months
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:03   #21
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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However since there are no border or passports stamps , again oversight is virtually impossible. In essence your 1year visa will allow you 1year inside the whole area are no one can actually check where in the Schengen area you've travelled to
That's true, nevertheless as you aren't a european citizen and have a non european boat you should/could go to the port authorities in every new country you are entering (particularly Greece) and have your papers stamped. This will prove where you were and when.
This may solve the French Tax issue but not the VAT one.
Hence you will have to leave Europe for a while from time to time.
Remember that Norway, England, British Chanel Islands and Gibraltar are not part of the Schengen area. When in the med, just cross to Morocco and you leave Europe. Turkey isn't part of it yet and is a good place for wintering as well as Tunisia. To boot those places are cheap ones.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:30   #22
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That's true, nevertheless as you aren't a european citizen and have a non european boat you should/could go to the port authorities in every new country you are entering (particularly Greece) and have your papers stamped. This will prove where you were and when.
This may solve the French Tax issue but not the VAT one.
Hence you will have to leave Europe for a while from time to time.
Remember that Norway, England, British Chanel Islands and Gibraltar are not part of the Schengen area. When in the med, just cross to Morocco and you leave Europe. Turkey isn't part of it yet and is a good place for wintering as well as Tunisia. To boot those places are cheap ones.
When someone mentions " England " I get worried. !! , I presume you mean the UK . England is not a country.

Firstly in Europe getting your passport stamped is nearly impossible, especially in ports. Most marinas you arrive at will have no immigration facilities and once inside the Schengen area you DO NOT need to repeatedly clear in and out. In practice if you are travelling on a extended 1year French visa , the authorities cannot detect what Schengen countries you were in during that time. , for all they know , you never left France! , the Schengen area by design is border less. You will spend many fruitless hours looking for passport officials to stamp anything !! ( this is a good thing by the way )

Note that unlike the vat issue , once you run out of Schengen time , ie 90 in 180 , or in practice 3 months in 6 months, you must leave for a further 3 months.

nOTE Norway is In the Schengen. Area

The UK, Republic of Ireland , channel Isles, Gibraltar ( as are all British Overseas Territories ) African Med countries , and Croatia ( until, 2015) , Turkey are not part of Schengen


Note that the Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland , though under the 1978 Interpretation Act, they are part of the British Islands ( which is not to be confused with the British Isles, which is a geographic term , and includes the island of ireland , though dont annoy Irishmen with that debate ) , as the channel are Crown dependancies, originally being part of the Duchy of Normandy ( English kings only spoke English from 1400s on) , so technically they are still owned directly by the Crown , they are technically Balliwicks


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Old 03-07-2013, 12:42   #23
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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When someone mentions " England " I get worried. !! , I presume you mean the UK . England is not a country.
I think furriners recognise the reality that the UK is really a fiction created to avoid saying England plus colonies. IIRC the term UK only came into usage well after it was invented, as a form of politeness to hide the reality (to stop the Jocks and the Paddies getting uppity).

And just to clarify, whilst technically we in Jersey are the oldest possession of the English Crown - nonetheless we own England, it's a finders keepers thing from 1066 . History is written by the Winners .
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:52   #24
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I think furriners recognise the reality that the UK is really a fiction created to avoid saying England plus colonies. IIRC the term UK only came into usage well after it was invented, as a form of politeness to hide the reality (to stop the Jocks and the Paddies getting uppity).

And just to clarify, whilst technically we in Jersey are the oldest possession of the English Crown - nonetheless we own England, it's a finders keepers thing from 1066 . History is written by the Winners .
All down to Cromwell , really

But the UK , as in the UK GB&NI is the title !

Yes it should all be given back to the Duchy of Normandy , it all went downhill after 1204 in my view ! ( i blame king Philip II meeself ) its never been the same since English kings had to learn English

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Old 03-07-2013, 13:01   #25
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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All down to Cromwell , really

But the UK , as in the UK GB&NI is the title !

Yes it should all be given back to the Duchy of Normandy , it all went downhill after 1204 in my view ! ( i blame king Philip II meeself ) its never been the same since English kings had to learn English

Dave
Moves afoot down here to go independent (and that coming from the lords and masters not from us plebs!, most of whom are English, plus Poles and Portuguese - us locals are ethnic minorities ), me is firmly against , not so much because I am bothered about being under the English Crown (who cares?) but because not so keen to be ruled by a local coalition of Spivs, Kiddy Fiddlers and Expat Little Englanders without any oversight........I mention that because I quite fancy setting up The Normandy Re-unification Party in opposition . Of course the folks across the water would have to learn English..........
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Old 03-07-2013, 13:26   #26
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Moves afoot down here to go independent (and that coming from the lords and masters not from us plebs!, most of whom are English, plus Poles and Portuguese - us locals are ethnic minorities ), me is firmly against , not so much because I am bothered about being under the English Crown (who cares?) but because not so keen to be ruled by a local coalition of Spivs, Kiddy Fiddlers and Expat Little Englanders without any oversight........I mention that because I quite fancy setting up The Normandy Re-unification Party in opposition . Of course the folks across the water would have to learn English..........
That's sounds a viable party , I mean your future Atlantic French colonies are getting restless for change even now. Opportunities abound. The current clown in Versailles is no Philip II.

I contribute , and we could buy a few scrap Humber Pigs and invade , ( rumour has it some well defined plans are around somewhere ) , we could be in Paris in a few hours ( mustn't forget to bring a few euros to pay the tolls )

We need a King , or maybe we could be all modern and declare a Republic of Normandy. Think of the new parliament buildings in Saint Helier , then we'd have a commission, new taxes , rules , regulations directives , errrrrr, hmmmmm......

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Old 03-07-2013, 13:51   #27
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When someone mentions " England " I get worried. !! , I presume you mean the UK . England is not a country.
But England is a country. I've always thought tat England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were the countries tat make up the UK. And England as its own soccer team!
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Old 03-07-2013, 13:57   #28
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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We need a King , or maybe we could be all modern and declare a Republic of Normandy. Think of the new parliament buildings in Saint Helier , then we'd have a commission, new taxes , rules , regulations directives , errrrrr, hmmmmm......

Dave
By nature I am a Republican, but if a King were desperately needed...........

.....oh the laws and regs I could make .
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Old 03-07-2013, 14:07   #29
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pirate Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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But England is a country. I've always thought tat England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were the countries tat make up the UK. And England as its own soccer team!
Yup... yer right on there mate...
also Scotland wants Independence soon... so must be a separate country/colony..
be a bludi relief if you ask me... getting rid of the Jocks in Parliament would be a relief..
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Old 03-07-2013, 14:15   #30
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Re: New Cruiser debating the Atlantic Coast of France, Spain, and Portugal

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But England is a country. I've always thought tat England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were the countries tat make up the UK. And England as its own soccer team!
England and Scotland are Countries, just not independent ones. I think 50/50 on the Scots going Independent this time, but likely will happen within 20 years.

Wales is a principality (kinda like Monaco - except with crappier weather. and more sheep), AFAIK it has never been a country (except in own minds!), but slightly more than a region of England (lots of hills and SFA meant that the English never re-populated the place, so nowadays lots of natives still).

Northern Ireland is the bit left over from past mistakes. I think it is semi-autonomous but never a country.....will rejoin (southern) Ireland sooner or later. Unless Oil is discovered .
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