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Old 27-03-2015, 06:21   #1
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Japan to Taiwan?

I'm interested in the possibility of buying a small sailing yacht in Japan and taking it to Taiwan, where it would be based.

I understand that the Taiwanese regulatory requirements are rather onerous, being mostly designed for commercial vessels. I've also been told that they don't permitt the importation of anything older than 10 years. I'm hoping it will be possible to avoid these hurdles by foreign registry.

I'm a British citizen, and the UK Small Ships Register would be the obvious choice, since its cheap (25 quid for 5 years, according to the RYA) and doesn't require a survey. However, although I still own a flat, and thus I have an address in the UK, I'm not normally resident there and so am technically barred from the SSR.

The "traditional" Part1 registry seems to be available, and isn't that expensive (124 quid then a tenner a year in renewal fees) but requires a survey and more documentation, which may be difficult to get for a Japanese boat.

From a look around this forum, flags that may be a bit more expensive, but perhaps more convenient include Langkawi (about 400 euros plus 90 euros renewal plus agents fees) and, slightly surprisingly, Holland (about the same charges but possible online so no agents fees). As far as I can tell, VAT and certification of conformity with the EC Recreation Craft Directive aren't issues if you don't intend taking the boat to Europe.

Pavillon Hollandais - Immatriculation de bateaux de plaisance sous pavillon hollandais

I havn't yet considered the potential perils of the passage, though some "island hopping" looks possible. Assuming I carry on in my present job, the two windows of opportunity would be about a months winter vacation around Feb (Chinese New Year) and a couple of months July-August. I'm going to Japan next week and hope to find time to visit a broker or two.

I'd be very interested in any comments on the feasability of this idea, though I realise that detailed knowledge of Taiwanese and Japanese regulations is hard to come by.

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Old 24-04-2015, 21:49   #2
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Re: Japan to Taiwan?

Good starting point might be Naha in Okinawa. I've not been there but you can search the noonsite website for info. There is also an annual race from ishigaki to Keelung in Taiwan. It's about 150 miles. The trouble with this area is its a typhoon magnet. July and August are peak typhoon months. And in the winter months you get very strong monsoon winds. The safer time of year to sail around there is probably right now. It's very early in the typhoon season still... Although there was a super typhoon that went through the northern Philippines a few weeks ago.

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Old 28-05-2015, 01:15   #3
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Re: Japan to Taiwan?

Yes, thought typhoon timing was likely to be a problem.

Mooring availability in Taiwan seems now to be another. When I last looked into this a few years ago (when I was thinking of sourcing a boat in HK, which would have been a very dangerous return trip) there weren't many moorings but demand was very low so you could still get them free or cheap.

What seems to have happened in the interim is that a few "marine services" companies have started-up to exploit/create the gradually rising demand, and block-booked the govt-supplied moorings.

If you buy a used boat (imported from Japan) from them you get a mooring, but you pay a hefty price premium on the boat.

Inevitable, I suppose. Should have moved quicker.
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Old 20-08-2015, 07:33   #4
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Re: Japan to Taiwan?

Hey, do you know what's needed to buy a boat in Japan? I mean licence-wise, export permit, etc...
I've also been looking at the possibility of buying there and sailing to Hong Kong. Mooring in HK's typhoon shelters seems affordable and registration pretty straight-forward. One just needs the local Pleasure Vessel Operator's Licence.
Does anybody have the experience of doing something similar?
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