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Old 09-06-2013, 16:59   #1
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New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Hello, we are brand new cruisers scheduled to pick up our Lagoon 380 in Les Sables-dʼOlonne in late October. We do not intend to brave the Bay of Biscay in winter and were looking for recommendations on marinas where we can live aboard and prepare and get familiar with the new boat. We are looking for reasonable to inexpensive price. The goal is to eventually make it down the coast and into the med when the weather gets better. Also, given we will need to purchase some equipment for the boat is the Atlantic coast of France reasonable as we have heard it can be expensive.

Thanks
Angela
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Old 09-06-2013, 17:43   #2
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Welcome to Cruisers Forum arhoton.Good luck with the new boat.Can't comment on the atlantic coast of France,as I am on the other side. Good to have you aboard.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:22   #3
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Thanks Haw1961!
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:45   #4
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pirate Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Look up La Roche Bernard... it a tad N of La Rochelle up a tidal estuary to a river lock.. once through there's a few miles of lovely inland cruising.. and a large selection of mooring and pontoon berths from basic to 'with facilities'...
Lovely town and area..
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Old 10-06-2013, 19:28   #5
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

If you are patient you may well be able to get around to Portugal with a good weather window. I did this last January - from Bordeaux to Lisbon on a four day window. You cant assume you will get one but they do happen now and then.
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Old 11-06-2013, 00:56   #6
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I'd agree with boatman , stay put , lovely area, good food , not expensive and not a bad place to fit out. You can also debug the boat over the winter with the dealer nearby

Dave
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:45   #7
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

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...... You can also debug the boat over the winter with the dealer nearby

Dave


Yet to meet a new boat owner without warranty issues to sort out.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:50   #8
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Agreed on staying around the area. I would head to La Rochelle, or Ile de Re. Im not sure if you would fit in there but I heard its reasonably priced and a very nice place. You can probably stay on the Lagoon pontoon for a few weeks for free in Les Sable D'ollone to save a few bucks. We picked up our L380 a little over a year ago there, stayed 5 nights then headed to La Rochelle to have solar, WM and a fe other items fitted. Prices in La Rochelle were much better than Les Sables. La Rochelle offers free berthing while you are having work done as well, but they may still try hit you with a bill afterwards. Try do a deal with whoever is doing the work. I think October rates would be less and there would be more space available than when we were there in May. La Rochelle is a beautiful town as well and you can easily enjoy a couple of months there at least. The marina is huge and I wouldn't think a 6 month berth would be more than 3000 euro. The bay is well protected and theres nice day sailing to and around the islands. I haven't been there in Winter though so I can't comment on how cold it might get, but in May we were swimming off Ile de Re on a 28 degree day although the water was only about 16.
You could leave there around May next year, maybe earlier to head South. You can coast hop/day sail most of the way. We aimed for La Coruna but the wind sent us to Santander, about a 36hr sail, and coast hopped most of the way to the Med.
You should definately take it slow and enjoy this part of the world. The people are great, great food, especially if you like octopuss! and really cheap marinas. May in the Med for a L380 averages 50 euro/night, May in Northern Spain and portigal averages 30 euro/night. Double both in high season. And the Spaniish Ria's are fantastic cruising grounds. Lots of safe anchorages and no crowds.
More details of the area are on our blog and you can shoot me an email if you need any details on contractors and suppliers around La Rochelle, which reminds me, La Rochelle also has the best chandlers found anywhere in our travels, all right at the marina, so it was simple to outfit all we needed in one place.
Sephina
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:19   #9
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Thank you all for the comments/suggestions! We are very excited and this information helps validate the research we have been doing. We are currently thinking we would like to go down to La Rochelle so great to know that others would agree with that suggestion. The weather will not be great but monte as you suggested it is a nice town, we can get the work done that we want and if the weather isn't too bad we can get to know our boat with a few day sails.

The only snag we have run into is the Schengen as we are US citizens and we are trying to figure out how we could make this timing work and still cruise the med next summer. We have chartered in the Caribbean for years except for a trip last summer to Greece so we really want to do the med first especially since our boat is already in that side of the world. All suggestions welcome, especially about 'leaving' your boat in La Rochelle for a period of time if we have to leave the Schengen area.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:30   #10
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pirate Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arhoton View Post
Thank you all for the comments/suggestions! We are very excited and this information helps validate the research we have been doing. We are currently thinking we would like to go down to La Rochelle so great to know that others would agree with that suggestion. The weather will not be great but monte as you suggested it is a nice town, we can get the work done that we want and if the weather isn't too bad we can get to know our boat with a few day sails.

The only snag we have run into is the Schengen as we are US citizens and we are trying to figure out how we could make this timing work and still cruise the med next summer. We have chartered in the Caribbean for years except for a trip last summer to Greece so we really want to do the med first especially since our boat is already in that side of the world. All suggestions welcome, especially about 'leaving' your boat in La Rochelle for a period of time if we have to leave the Schengen area.
Well make sure you have ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW.... along with as much official triple stamped paper work as you come down the Portuguese coast... see the Thread
Are you put off cruising the EU... been based here 6yrs and its the 1st time I've heard of this kind of grief.. have seen HM's get pissed off with folk and kick em out.. and know quite a few boats that should have been re-registered in Portugal.. under the rules and a blind eye's been turned...
I'd also be wary in S. Spain...
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arhoton View Post
Thank you all for the comments/suggestions! We are very excited and this information helps validate the research we have been doing. We are currently thinking we would like to go down to La Rochelle so great to know that others would agree with that suggestion. The weather will not be great but monte as you suggested it is a nice town, we can get the work done that we want and if the weather isn't too bad we can get to know our boat with a few day sails.

The only snag we have run into is the Schengen as we are US citizens and we are trying to figure out how we could make this timing work and still cruise the med next summer. We have chartered in the Caribbean for years except for a trip last summer to Greece so we really want to do the med first especially since our boat is already in that side of the world. All suggestions welcome, especially about 'leaving' your boat in La Rochelle for a period of time if we have to leave the Schengen area.
There are some long term stay visas in France that can be accessed. Talk to your French consul at home.

Dave
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:40   #12
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Well make sure you have ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW.... along with as much official triple stamped paper work as you come down the Portuguese coast... see the Thread
Are you put off cruising the EU... been based here 6yrs and its the 1st time I've heard of this kind of grief.. have seen HM's get pissed off with folk and kick em out.. and know quite a few boats that should have been re-registered in Portugal.. under the rules and a blind eye's been turned...
I'd also be wary in S. Spain...
I think it's not correct to use that experience of a cruiser who left their boat for a very long time in Portugal and then compare this. You must understand the issues rather then just generate more myth

That issue is basically a cruiser that kept the boat in Portuguese waters for over 18 months , but is trying to establish a claim that it was broken by a trip outside territorial waters . This will not apply to the OP

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:51   #13
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Thanks Dave. Talked to the consulate today and the long term visitor French visa does look like a good option.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:00   #14
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Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Quote:
Thanks Dave. Talked to the consulate today and the long term visitor French visa does look like a good option.
Great , France is one of the easiest countries to access long stay visas and being a bit of a Francophile , the best place to stay.

( and yes the weather in the winter will be wet and windy , just like Ireland the UK etc, the only thing they do get a reasonable summer)

dont forget to foray into the nearby wine regions, especially the little wine co-ops, its cheaper then water!!

Dave
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:08   #15
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pirate Re: New Cruiser, Winter in Atlantic Coast France?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I think it's not correct to use that experience of a cruiser who left their boat for a very long time in Portugal and then compare this. You must understand the issues rather then just generate more myth

That issue is basically a cruiser that kept the boat in Portuguese waters for over 18 months , but is trying to establish a claim that it was broken by a trip outside territorial waters . This will not apply to the OP

dave
The impression I got was that they had come down from the UK after an extended stay in France... and Portugal won't accept the the evidence presented.. not spreading myths mate..
I'm one of the few who've never had problems... and say Portugals a great place... however I do know anally retentive folk who push their luck and get clobbered.. remember a situation in Portimao mid 90's.. arrogant git was anchoring his cat in a posted 'protected area' by the opposite shore of the river... then got all uptight when the Policia Maritima jumped on him after 2 cautions/requests to move..
Big article in Yachting Monthly about 'Draconian Portugal'...
If you look back... more myths in your posts by 10/1....
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