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Old 28-07-2016, 15:35   #1
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New to the med - help wanted!

Hi there people of the cruisers forum. We are a family of 5 from Nz planning to quit the real world buy a boat in Greece around March/April 2017 and live aboard at least for one season, maybe more. We have yachting experience in NZ waters but have never sailed the Med and have zero contacts there. Any advice on best places to buy a boat and any trustworthy, English speaking yacht brokers in Greece or Turkey that you can recommend would be super helpful. We were originally looking at buying a blue water cruiser with full skeg (eg a Moody or similar) and doing the ARC to the Caribbean at the end of the season but now we think there's so much to see in the Med we should stay longer and perhaps buy a cheaper and bigger boat more suited to Med cruising eg an ex-charter Beneteau Cyclades (sorry I think that spelling is wrong but hopefully you know what I mean) there's so many of them and we will get a much bigger more comfortable boat it appears for a much more reasonable price. Opinions on this would be appreciated too. Any other family's with kids living on yachts in the Greek islands out there? We would love some contacts too. Our kids will be aged 14,11 and 10 next year. That's all for now thanks for the help in advance.
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Old 28-07-2016, 15:53   #2
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Give some thought to Lefkas in Greece. Great little island with lots of Brits and the odd Kiwi, LOL. There is an excellent British broker there and a good British Surveyor. Very good selection of boats to view. A couple of great yards that are reasonable and offer good workmanship.

We bought a Moody there and have done a lot of sailing in the last few years, excellent choice but you are right you can buy a newer,larger and cheaper Benni that will do the job in the Med quite nicely.

We did 2 years in the Med and could have stayed longer but we crossed over and are checking out the Caribbean. Favorite country was Turkey. Good Luck!
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Old 28-07-2016, 16:07   #3
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Hey thanks for that! Do you know the name of the broker in Lefkas? If you were us would you buy the moody or the Beneteau type yacht? How many years do you think you would happily do the med before wanting to explore more? I'm interested you say turkey was your favourite should we be buying a boat there instead? If so, where? Thanks again for your help!
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Old 28-07-2016, 16:32   #4
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

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Originally Posted by robbinsfamily View Post
Hey thanks for that! Do you know the name of the broker in Lefkas? If you were us would you buy the moody or the Beneteau type yacht? How many years do you think you would happily do the med before wanting to explore more? I'm interested you say turkey was your favourite should we be buying a boat there instead? If so, where? Thanks again for your help!
Williams and Smithells, they are based in London with a branch in Greece, very good honest folks, highly recommended.
My wife wanted a center cockpit and I wanted a good boat, Moody worked out very well for us, excellent sea boat. We are in it for the long haul and wanted to travel off the milk runs but I have nothing bad to say about a Benni or similar boat as I think for your plans they should work out fine. Having said that the Cyclades models are built the lightest and cheapest and are not high on my list for offshore work but thats just me. There are tons of boats to choose from so you should not have a issue in that department.
Turkey was a real great experience but I'm much more comfortable dealing with the British when it comes to boat buying,quality surveyors and the like but again, that's just me.
Turkey is a vast country and sailing the west coast doesnt allow you to see what Turkey has to offer. We found that the airlines were dirt cheap and your better off using a marina as a base and get in some land traveling. Greece is lots of fun and has a lot to offer as well and much of it can be done by boat. We were really moving to see all that we could in 2 years and we certainly didn't even come close to covering most of it.
The culture and history is in my opinion the greatest in the world and right behind that is the food. The sailing....not so much!
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Old 29-07-2016, 01:43   #5
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

A couple of comments:
1. Turkey is a great cruising area. Most cruisers stay in the south, but we really enjoyed the Black Sea where few cruising boats go.
2. Buying a bigger boat for the Med will make the already high Marina prices even higher.
3. The Med is small, so I would look at any boats that fit your needs wherever they are. It's easy to sail back to Greece or Turkey from anywhere. We have been told that one of the best places to buy or sell a boat is Mallorca. Just a thought.
4. Remember as NZ citizens you will fall under the 90 days out of 180 days visa rules in most of the EU.
5. Have a great adventure. The Med is really fun, but there are a lot of boats. A great adventure would be to buy a boat in the Med, cruise a couple of years and then sail back to New Zealand. the crossing of the Pacific and the remote islands were our favorite places.
BTW, we loved sailing in New Zealand! Currently we are in Croatia, heading to Albania and then Italy.
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Old 29-07-2016, 01:52   #6
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Don't limit your search to Greece, check the yachtworld.com listings for all of Europe and the entire Med. We purchased our boat in the UK and sailed it down and into the Med.
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Old 29-07-2016, 01:56   #7
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

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Originally Posted by Jim Thomsen View Post
4. Remember as NZ citizens you will fall under the 90 days out of 180 days visa rules in most of the EU.
5. Have a great adventure. The Med is really fun, but there are a lot of boats. A great adventure would be to buy a boat in the Med, cruise a couple of years and then sail back to New Zealand. the crossing of the Pacific and the remote islands were our favorite places.
BTW, we loved sailing in New Zealand! Currently we are in Croatia, heading to Albania and then Italy.
All good advice, except there are legal ways to stay in the Med indefinitely with your NZ visa. You just need to move the boat around a little and visit some excellent spots in Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey, Albania which are outside the Shengen treaty.
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Old 29-07-2016, 03:30   #8
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

I met a Kiwi/Aussie couple who arranged a 12 month visa for Greece. I would suggest that you talk to your nearest Greek embassy about it. It will save a lot of hassles with the Schengen.

When I bought my boat (UK reg in Greece) it was a private sale and as I was wary of the process, I engaged Williams and Smithells to broker the deal for me.

As for the Blue water V Beneteau Cyclades or similar. The ARC always has many Beneteau Cyclades or similar doing the crossing and going way beyond. So even if you buy a boat for the med, don't discount sailing it home if you find the time.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:15   #9
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Some comments:
1. The Cyclades range was an attempt by Beneteau to launch an lower priced range of boats - I would not recommend such a boat to someone who is considering a Moody. Moody is one of the upper class boats and entirely different in behaviour, being heavy weight where the Cyclades is light and of very good workmanship where the Cyclades is mediocre at best.
2. The Lefkas based broker is good. I have surveyed a boat purchased through him by a client of mine. They behaved professionally throughout the deal.
3. There is a respected surveyor in Athens - William Walsh. I do not know him personally but people I know and trust think highly of him.
You may reach him through:

Walsh Marine – Yacht Surveyor Based in Athens Greece
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:22   #10
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Hi, all. My first post and couldn't resist posting in response to some Kiwi input. I am a NZ resident but am lucky enough to have an English passport. I am just in the final stages of purchasing a First 47.7. I looked in Europe then found this one in the UK just 35mins from where my daughter lives in Hampshire. I believe a good First 47.7 is well up to the challenges of open-waters and as you say, has plenty of room with reasonable comfort for the price. I'll keep her here in England over the winter and then start heading down the Med way from next season. Will rely on a few friends joining me from time to time to make up the numbers.
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Old 29-07-2016, 08:23   #11
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

We are a family of four doing this NOW! Only started this season and have just sailed our cat from France (west coast) to Mallorca.

Our girls are 8 and 10.

We are planning on doing the Greek Islands next season if you want to keep in touch!
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Old 29-07-2016, 09:33   #12
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

we bought our ship in Croatia 6 years ago through Adrian Nicolle from Nicolle & Associates based in The UK. He suggested we retain Mikhael Promirac based in Split, Croatia from Bach Yacthing, a broker from the Nederlands with offices in Croatia. We had top service and councelling. We can also recommend SKYachting in Turkey. They are professional and honest. They operate a charter company but also act as agent for their own fleet as well as for private owners. We know them well as they carry maintenance of our ship since 2013.
Good luck!
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Old 29-07-2016, 12:21   #13
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Not sure if you are interested in catamarans at all, but we just finished our 3 year sailing adventure and are now selling our catamaran which is in Preveza, right near Lefkas. If interested just private message me. The Med is fantastic, your family will love it.
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Old 29-07-2016, 12:40   #14
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Welcome to both newcomers!

I think all the info to this point has been spot on. I'd add you should investigate the VAT issues. VAT paid means you may keep your boat in the EU indefinitely; non-VAT paid means you must leave, at least for a short time, after 18 months. There are lots of threads here which deal with both the VAT issue & Schengen (the 90 day restriction in each 180).

Sunbird Yacht Brokers are UK based but with offices in Mallorca & Turkey. We've used them & found them good. I suspect there are more boats for sale in & around Mallorca than just about anywhere in the Med. As stated earlier, buy wherever & then start your journey.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a good Bene but a Moody is a step above. Also as mentioned earlier, the bigger the boat the higher the mooring fees. This may be a significant factor if you intend to spend a lot of time in marinas. In Spain at least, rates tend to go up every 2 meters; rates are based on 10 m & below, 12 m & below, 14 & below, and so on. So a 11m boat costs the same as a 12 m boat, but a 12.2 m boat or a 13 m costs the same as a 14 m boat.

Don't rush off to the Caribbean! We've been in both & by far prefer the Med. As Robert says, 2 years would be a real rush, especially with the Schengen limitations.

Have fun!
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Old 29-07-2016, 14:27   #15
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Re: New to the med - help wanted!

Hey everyone thanks for the input - very exciting for us to hear from people who have been doing this already and the advice has been great.

One important thing I forgot to mention is that my mother is Dutch so I have a Dutch passport (as well as a NZ one) and so do the three kids it's just my husband who only has a NZ passport, so does anyone knows if we can easily get a resident visa or something for him?

Re the VAT that was interesting as I didn't know, when you say you can take the boat out after 18 months. Can you just go to Tunisia and straight back again or similar or do you have to stay away for a certain time. Links to relevant threads about this would be helpful.

Also does anyone know of a good app for finding other cruising families in the Med?
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