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Old 23-01-2016, 09:35   #1
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Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Hello to those on the other side of the pond. We are planning to arrive in the UK this summer, and are sort of scouting around for a good place to keep the boat in the water for the winter, being on board for some of the time, some not, so we want to find a place that is totally secure in a bad blow.

We're thinking that the UK might be a better choice just because we understand the VAT rules a little better (not that they're simpler, we've just spent more time learning) than we do the rules in Norway. But, if we can overwinter in a safe harbor with good amenities in Norway, we would be perfectly happy to do that.

Yes, we have good heat, and have shoveled snow off the deck before. We don't mind.

Anyway, can some of you over there recommend some possibilities as a good place to investigate? A place with a few liveaboard neighbors and decent walking/public transport access to shopping and recreation are preferred. We are 55 feet with a 10 foot draft.

Thanks, TJ
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:18   #2
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pirate Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Norway... I like Bergen.. and the train ride to Voss.. if you like skiing..
Dunno about facilities now though.. it was a bit ago.
UK... Falmouth for more clement winters..
Poole Harbour for great weekend winter cruising.. Solent to the East and as far as Salcombe to the West..
and lots of available berths as everyone hauls for winter.
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:25   #3
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

I don't know if this will help but here goes... On Facebook join a group called "Liveaboard Sailboats". There are quite a few(3-5?) in Norway and they may be able to give you up to date info on what works there. I would just post the same question there and see what happens. Good luck!
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:33   #4
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
A place with a few liveaboard neighbors and decent walking/public transport access to shopping and recreation are preferred. We are 55 feet with a 10 foot draft.
I don't know about Norway, but the UK is close to the Netherlands - and it's a lot cheaper here I don't know if it's an option to stay here instead of Norway / UK and it's not my intention to complicate matters for you - so please ignore this post if the choice is Norway / UK

I'm in Rotterdam, open connection to the sea and a friendly liveaboard community. All shopping can be done within 10 minutes walking distance (one big supermarket is even right next to the marina). Best public transport ever here too, and all the stops within walking distance from the marina. And, a big plus during winter: luxury showers, open 24/7/365. Same with the water - no walking around with cans when it's freezing, looking for fresh water.
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:44   #5
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Norway... I like Bergen.. and the train ride to Voss.. if you like skiing..
Dunno about facilities now though.. it was a bit ago.
UK... Falmouth for more clement winters..
Poole Harbour for great weekend winter cruising.. Solent to the East and as far as Salcombe to the West..
and lots of available berths as everyone hauls for winter.
Totally love Norway, and Bergen is wonderful, but there are few options for visiting yacht berths. Basically you just tie up to the town key, which is wonderful and surprisingly cheap… but basic and I am not sure about long term. Frankly there are quite a few drunks on the street at weekends also… So my vote would be for Oslo. Also in Norway and has several excellent marinas right in the heart of downtown! If cost no object, that would definitely be my choice over anywhere in the UK.
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:47   #6
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Norway... I like Bergen.. and the train ride to Voss.. if you like skiing..
Dunno about facilities now though.. it was a bit ago.
UK... Falmouth for more clement winters..
Poole Harbour for great weekend winter cruising.. Solent to the East and as far as Salcombe to the West..
and lots of available berths as everyone hauls for winter.
This.

The UK South Coast is very warm compared to Norway. I am in Cowes writing this and it is +10C, although it's already night here. It rarely freezes here (palm trees grow in Southampton; and lemons in the Scilly Isles) and you don't need to do any winterization. So it's a great place to live aboard over the winter, and you can sail all winter long.

Winter cruising here is fantastic -- berthing is cheap, there's always space. And plenty of wind!

You can basically pick any place on the coast from the Solent West (Falmouth, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Weymouth, Poole are all fantastic places), but I would choose the Solent, myself, in your case. Advantages of the Solent:

1. Sheltered waters.
2. Incredible density of places to go -- Southampton, Portsmouth, Hamble, Beaulieu, Lymington, Yarmouth, Cowes are all in the Solent, and on top of that there are some fine anchorages.
3. Every possible marine service you could ever want.
4. Easy to get to London (little over an hour from Southampton Central to Waterloo).
5. Easy to get to Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
6. Sailing community and fellowship.
7. Plenty of racing if you're into that, all winter long.

If you feel like an adventure you can also dash across the Channel to Cherbourg, St. Vaast, or Channel Islands.

More advantages of the UK: No Schengen visa problems (Yanks get six months every time they enter, vs. limit of 3 months out of any 6, for all Schengen countries collectively).
Relatively cheap red diesel fuel.


Pretty much ideal place for overwintering in Northern Europe.

Just be sure to plan to be gone by the end of March, because the berthing prices go up about 400%!
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:55   #7
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
This.

The UK South Coast is very warm compared to Norway. I am in Cowes writing this and it is +10C, although it's already night here. It rarely freezes here (palm trees grow in Southampton; and lemons in the Scilly Isles) and you don't need to do any winterization. So it's a great place to live aboard over the winter, and you can sail all winter long.

Winter cruising here is fantastic -- berthing is cheap, there's always space. And plenty of wind!

You can basically pick any place on the coast from the Solent West (Falmouth, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Weymouth, Poole are all fantastic places), but I would choose the Solent, myself, in your case. Advantages of the Solent:

1. Sheltered waters.
2. Incredible density of places to go -- Southampton, Portsmouth, Hamble, Beaulieu, Lymington, Yarmouth, Cowes are all in the Solent, and on top of that there are some fine anchorages.
3. Every possible marine service you could ever want.
4. Easy to get to London (little over an hour from Southampton Central to Waterloo).
5. Easy to get to Heathrow or Gatwick airports.
6. Sailing community and fellowship.
7. Plenty of racing if you're into that, all winter long.

If you feel like an adventure you can also dash across the Channel to Cherbourg, St. Vaast, or Channel Islands.

More advantages of the UK: No Schengen visa problems (Yanks get six months every time they enter, vs. limit of 3 months out of any 6, for all Schengen countries collectively).
Relatively cheap red diesel fuel.


Pretty much ideal place for overwintering in Northern Europe.

Just be sure to plan to be gone by the end of March, because the berthing prices go up about 400%!
Yeah… I agree… it's just that I have a soft spot for Norway
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:57   #8
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
I don't know about Norway, but the UK is close to the Netherlands - and it's a lot cheaper here I don't know if it's an option to stay here instead of Norway / UK and it's not my intention to complicate matters for you - so please ignore this post if the choice is Norway / UK

I'm in Rotterdam, open connection to the sea and a friendly liveaboard community. All shopping can be done within 10 minutes walking distance (one big supermarket is even right next to the marina). Best public transport ever here too, and all the stops within walking distance from the marina. And, a big plus during winter: luxury showers, open 24/7/365. Same with the water - no walking around with cans when it's freezing, looking for fresh water.
The Dutch coast is lovely. Avoid Ijmuiden, but Den Helder is lovely, and one hot tip which is not in any of the cruising guides is Scheveningen. This is the former commercial port of Den Haag, now partially converted to yacht berthing. It's a friendly place and a short taxi ride to the joys of Den Haag. A huge new performing arts center was under construction when we were there, so there may be cultural life in the immediate vicinity, too. You can also get right into Amsterdam if you are willing to spend a day getting through the canals and locks. I don't know about Rotterdam, but Lizzy Belle can tell you about that.

Keep in mind, however, that this is the North Sea! ("Nordsee ist Mordsee!"). This is a very cold, very harsh and very inhospitable place in the winter, at least if you want to go sailing. The Southern Netherlands coast is an unbroken lee shore with hardly any shelter anywhere. Not sure I'd want to be there in the winter. If you keep going, and hang a right after the Dover Strait, you will find yourself in a very different climate, with palm trees. The English Channel is also a formidable piece of water, but compared to the North Sea, it's practically Caribbean.
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:59   #9
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Lots of nice harbours in Norway.
We are spending the weekend in the boat now. (Oslo)

Should mention the Norwegian currency is really cheap for foreigners right now. You get 8,8 NOK pr dollar.. compared to 5,8 two years ago.
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Old 23-01-2016, 11:01   #10
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Yeah… I agree… it's just that I have a soft spot for Norway
Right, so what was her name, this "soft spot"?
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Old 23-01-2016, 11:30   #11
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

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Keep in mind, however, that this is the North Sea! ("Nordsee ist Mordsee!").
True enough, tho there is sailing to be done even in winter If not comfy going out alone, there are sailing clubs that organize winter sailing trips as well.

But again, NL wasn't the OP's question, but I posted anyway since the costs (of living) might be a consideration, and we do tick all the boxes the OP listed
If NL is an option, feel free to PM me with any questions. If not, ignore me
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Old 23-01-2016, 11:45   #12
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Thanks, everyone.

I think that we will be confining our consideration to the UK and Norway for the moment. I think that I would prefer something other than what we are sailing on for spending time in the NL. The deep draft will be an issue for many places there, I believe. (Not in Rotterdam, of course...)

Besides, my wife is German and for some reason she has a genetic aversion to most things Dutch. I have no explanation for this, being a yank and all. Maybe she doesn't like the cheese there?

We do understand the weather there, hence the question about finding a secure marina for the inevitable bad blow. Mostly, the boat's left alone from January to March, anyway.

Specifically to Dockhead, April's still pretty rugged on the weather front. Where does one go after 4/1 to avoid the big price hike? Have you gone to the Baltic that early?

Good info on Shengen, too. For some reason, I thought they were in on both the customs and immigration side. Good news.

Thanks, everybody, TJ
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Old 23-01-2016, 11:55   #13
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pirate Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Thanks, everyone.

I think that we will be confining our consideration to the UK and Norway for the moment. I think that I would prefer something other than what we are sailing on for spending time in the NL. The deep draft will be an issue for many places there, I believe. (Not in Rotterdam, of course...)

Besides, my wife is German and for some reason she has a genetic aversion to most things Dutch. I have no explanation for this, being a yank and all. Maybe she doesn't like the cheese there?

We do understand the weather there, hence the question about finding a secure marina for the inevitable bad blow. Mostly, the boat's left alone from January to March, anyway.

Specifically to Dockhead, April's still pretty rugged on the weather front. Where does one go after 4/1 to avoid the big price hike? Have you gone to the Baltic that early?

Good info on Shengen, too. For some reason, I thought they were in on both the customs and immigration side. Good news.

Thanks, everybody, TJ
Head for the moorings or slowly cruise W.. good anchorages all the way.
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Old 23-01-2016, 11:59   #14
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

As already mentioned by offpist, the marina in Oslo city center is a nce place. Probably 50+ boats staying over the winter with people living in them (a lot of students). You find it here; Marina - Aker Brygge
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:14   #15
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Re: Winter harbor in UK or Norway

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Thanks, everyone.

I think that we will be confining our consideration to the UK and Norway for the moment. I think that I would prefer something other than what we are sailing on for spending time in the NL. The deep draft will be an issue for many places there, I believe. (Not in Rotterdam, of course...)

Besides, my wife is German and for some reason she has a genetic aversion to most things Dutch. I have no explanation for this, being a yank and all. Maybe she doesn't like the cheese there?

We do understand the weather there, hence the question about finding a secure marina for the inevitable bad blow. Mostly, the boat's left alone from January to March, anyway.

Specifically to Dockhead, April's still pretty rugged on the weather front. Where does one go after 4/1 to avoid the big price hike? Have you gone to the Baltic that early?

Good info on Shengen, too. For some reason, I thought they were in on both the customs and immigration side. Good news.

Thanks, everybody, TJ
Where you go depends on what direction you're going. You can go across the Channel to France, which is much cheaper than the UK South Coast (and which has its very many charms).

If you're going into the Baltic, then you can start making your way up the coast -- and Netherlands would be a great place to spend April.

We traditionally leave for the Baltic at the end of April, and early May is still fairly dicey in the North Sea, but there are weather windows, especially if you're not in a hurry and are just day sailing up the coast.

That's a rather bleak coast, but what harbors there are have plenty of shelter.

Kiel is feasible in April, but it's fairly expensive (still 1/2 the cost of UK S. Coast, however). I believe you can anchor in the Kieler Fjord.

You could go up to Norway, but that will be quite a bit out of your way if you're headed into the Baltic.


You can also spend April at anchor somewhere in the Solent, which has good shelter, since you've got the Isle of Wight between you and the open sea. Or you can sublet a non-walk ashore mooring on the Hamble for a reasonable price.

Theoretically you can anchor out in Poole Harbor, but I'm not sure if you could find a good spot with your draft.


And here's a hot tip for you -- the Liegeverein Cuxhaven is insanely cheap and well located. It's rather basic, but in a "cheap and cheerful" way. There's excellent shopping at the nearby Real hypermarket, and it's a short train ride into Hamburg. They charge you half price (!) of their already ridiculously cheap mooring fees in case you're not on that boat, so this is a perfect place to leave the boat if you have to fly someplace for some reason and leave the boat behind. I can get you in touch with the friendly and helpful Hafenmeister there if you want to try that (you will want to speak German with him, however; I don't think he speaks any English). See: LCF Cuxhaven - Liegegemeinschaft Cuxhaven-Fährhafen e.V. - Home

The LCF facility is located in the former Amerikahafen, which is where most German immigrants to the U.S. in the 19th century sailed from. There is a very cool museum about that, adjoining the marina.
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