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Old 15-04-2012, 08:25   #1
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In love with a French kitty

I've seen a boat I'm rather interested in, but it's in France. I'm in the States.

Would anyone be kind enough to share any experiences or insight on purchasing a cat in France and bringing it across the pond?

Cultural differences in negotiation tactics?
Delivery skippers/outfitting?
Maybe shipping across?

anything else?

With thanks in advance,
tami
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Old 15-04-2012, 14:56   #2
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Consult with Boatman61 here, or the other skipper posting on his thread. Prices do vary of course, usually with qualifications. I know boatman is on his way to Aussi at the moment.
There are good trade winds to the Carib from Europe, stopping at three island groups on the way. Are you able to share the boat type with us?
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Old 15-04-2012, 20:56   #3
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Hi there

I have recently bought a "french kitty" in France from Australia and found the whole process well worthwhile given a good exchange rate recently and a dawning from french owners that they have to be more aggresive on their offers to get a sale nowadays.

I have a few observations.
  • use a reputable broker - it makes the whole process of dealing with officials after the sale much easier. it took an experienced professional a month to complete the whole documentary process and I would hate to think how long it would have taken if I tried it on my own in broken french. I would go so far as to say if you dont feel good about the broker then stop then - that boat is off limits.
  • I am still working through the registration here on Oz as they didnt take too well to french bill of sale etc. If i did it again i would insist on an english as well as french set of docs.
  • Be patient in negotiating. just like elsewhere some sellers havnt yet recognised the state of the market and wont respond quickly to low ball offers. but give them time and they may come back. It took 2 months before my seller came back with a reasonable offer and by putting in a bunch of lowballs on a few cats I was the first call when they did decide to meet the market. I ended up buying where at least one other buyer would have paid.
  • put down a refundable deposit and execute a MOA (memo of agreement) BEFORE leaving to inspect. i nearly lost my boat to another buyer after forking out the 2k for airfares to inspect because i didnt do this.
  • shipping was very expensive when i looked especially on cats- delivery either self or professional would be the way to go. Roughly work on 20k by ship or 12k by skipper for the atlantic for a 40 to 45 footer. We have elected to sail the med for awhile (which is a nice bonus) and then look at delivery options down the track (if we dont have time to do it oursleves that is) For us it makes sense to buy there and sail back as to start a circum in oz means tangling with the somalis which my wife is not keen to do (and fair enuff)
  • I may be wrong but i get the impression the market is pretty seasonal ie i was one of only a few buyers in Nov/dec but they seemed to come out of the woodwork in april looking for a boat for summer.
cheers
Barra
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Old 16-04-2012, 01:27   #4
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Sound advice there. Certainly the med has a lot to offer if you have the time. Delivery to USA does add to the cost of ownership.
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Old 16-04-2012, 04:30   #5
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Re: Shipping France
Hi there, I shipped my Salina 48 from France to South Africa as follows in 2010:

1) With delivery crew (2 skippers) from La Rochelle to Antwerp. Myself and girlfriend on board. Great little trip, fantastic ports to visit on 5 day trip.
2) De-masted and shrink wrapped in Antwerp, shipped with MACS in hold, no other cargo in hold except mast in cradle.
3) Discharged directly into water in Durban, motored to her mooring, re-masted and sailing 4 days later.
4) No damage.
5) No wear and tear and abuse by delivery crew whom you dont know.

My opinion:
1) Be very careful to buy anything from skipper delivery provider, mine sold me an old Epirb (two years old) at new price, me being a complete novice did not pick this up until I had eprib serviced. Big bucks to have unit serviced and had to replace auto activation unit.
2) I highly recommend the following service providers:

www.bowline.eu contact Nicolas Eeckhoud n.eeckhoudt@belgo.be or info@bowline.eu he arranged everything in Antwerp including the taxi to take us to the airport.

Lloyds surveyor - NV Beeckman de Vos contact Roland Geyssens RolandGeyssens@bdv.be

Shrinkwrap your boat, the dirt during the voyage is crazy, also keeps unwanted hands off.

Use a surveyor and put him in charge at loading. Make sure everyone else knows he is in charge.

The stevedores that did our handling in Antwerp were highly competent.

Use a diver to secure slings.

Some shipping lines offer on deck shipping with mast up, do not recommend as three yachts that I know off have been lost overboard.

In the end, I got a brand new yacht to my home port with no damage in 21 days. Well worth the money.

Good luck.
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:31   #6
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Thanks to you all for your insights
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Old 16-04-2012, 16:52   #7
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Re: In love with a French kitty

Another data point though a bit dated and to a different destination: In 2003, our new FP Belize was delivered from the factory to Vancouver, BC, strapped to the cover of a hold on a freighter. It was not shrink wrapped but I wish it had been - took 4 days of hard scrubbing to get the dirt off. Cost: $50,000 US.
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