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Old 03-11-2018, 00:00   #1
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Recommend a chandler in Europe please

Hi all,

I am buying an ex charter cat in Croatia and intend to refit/modify it for cruising and liveaboard.

I am going to do the refit in N.Africa and I will need to buy as much materials and equipment before I leave Croatia/Italy or Greece.

That includes:
  • Radar and other electronics.
  • Solar panels and controllers
  • Watermaker
  • Glass fibre
  • Resin
  • Lithium batteries and their BMS
  • and of course more....

Anyone can recommend one or more chandler that can sell and send me tax free goods while I am still in Europe?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:51   #2
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

Not sure why you want to do the refit in N. Africa - We had great results in some we had done by EuroMarine in Dubrovnik - We watched them prep charter boats and got to know them when they did some work on SoulMates - we were impressed with their work and work ethic -
Not sure what you think you will find in N Africa - we spent 2 winters in Tunisia and not much there
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:36   #3
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

I have done most of the refit of our Lagoon myself, mainly copper coat antifouling, electric system and electronics overhaul in a marina in France.

It included the conversion of the galley from propane to electric appliances, new countertop design, some storage compartments under the beds, 1000Ah LiFePO4 battery, 5kVA inverter, solar, refit new chartplotter, wind sensor, forward scan, new anchor, sewing new cushions, new matresses, repairs on the heads etc.

All material purchased during last winter online and shipped to my home, then broght to the vessel and installed myself. Some parts even imported from the US, like sunbrela fabric and solenoids. Use Amazon, eBay, Sailrite and all the marine products online shops to find what you need.

Raisin, fibreglas, gel coat etc. for repairs and small projects can be purchased anywhere in local marina stores. If you need larger batches go online. Try to do most of the work yourself, get the right tools, learn the lines in your boat, this will pay off when cruising. You need a cheap place and nice weather to haul out the vessel and work there with access to water, power and shower. Most marinas have workshops around for stainless steel work, engine repairs, electronics and fiberglass work, also furniture, sail repairs etc. Sometimes you even can borrow tools or get some parts or use a vice in the workshops if you ask friendly, let them do some money too and participate on some of your projects.
They will help you if you need their services.

Also there are always other liveabords around that do refits on their boats and may help you out in the community if you give them a hand too or - as payd jobs. This is how many livaboards finance their lifestyle by offering their skills to others, sometimes they even get hired by the shop owners for various projects when in need.

You will learn a lot there, including tips where to find the stuff you need or the skills you want, there are local yachties too working on their boats, they speak the language and know the culture, they can help you strike some deals and negotiate also find you the right people or shops nearby...

It is worth doing it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:03   #4
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

i do use svb24.com which it has fair prrices
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:34   #5
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

The best chandlers we found for variety and availability were in Malta. I can't speak as to price. There were numerous chandlers here with everything I could imagine. It was a giant toy store.

Cheers!

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Old 03-11-2018, 05:41   #6
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pirate Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

I would do the shopping and fit out in Malta rather than N Africa..
Best tax rates inn the EU.. nearly.. and everyone speaks English.
https://mmtaxadvisors.com/home/busin...oaAgVwEALw_wcB
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:28   #7
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

If you find a discounting chandlery in Europe, please send up a flare or PM me.

I have found that it can be cheaper to buy Sunbrella (for example) from Defender in the US, pay the postage and the German customs duties and still save quite a bit from any Sunbrella vendor in Europe.

I try to buy all or most of my materials and equipment from Defender as they really discount the prices.

I also heard that if your vessel is "in transit" sometimes one can collect deliveries and then leave the country without paying import duties. If you are leaving from Croatia (EU) to Tunisia (NOT EU), this might work.

I don't think the Europeans know the word "discount".

West System epoxy resin is $99 a gallon in the US and 140 EUROS!!! in Germany. I saw a Seatalk converter set in Holland for 140 euros and found the same set in the States for 80. And so on...
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:31   #8
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

We found very good support in Athens....but the marinas were not cheap! We found/bought new Raymarine electronic+autopilot equipment there, a new anchor, several electrical fittings/c-bs, and lots of other equipment, all at a reasonable price. We also found a really good rigger, who solved an in-mast furler issue we'd put up with for several years.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:40   #9
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

For rigging in Athens , Meltemi yachting have been really cheap and good to me .
I did all.my standing and running rigging there .
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Old 03-11-2018, 16:06   #10
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

What about Turkey? Great prices on parts and labor.
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Old 03-11-2018, 20:17   #11
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
The best chandlers we found for variety and availability were in Malta. I can't speak as to price. There were numerous chandlers here with everything I could imagine. It was a giant toy store.

Cheers!

Steve
I second that Malta has great chandleries but they are not tax free although have a slightly lower tax rate then other EU countries. If you want tax free then you will probably have to go to Gibraltar to pick the gear up - you can ship there from anywhere in Europe or the States etc. Theoretically you can have gear shipped in on a “yacht in transit basis” in some countries (provide the vessel isn’t EU flagged) but good luck actually doing it. Disagree about comments on Tunisia - it is very good for stainless, fabric work etc but dont know about electrical work. Turkey also very good for all work and also have substantial chandlery businesses. Marmaris has an FP repair agent who are very good with cats - OSS in Albatros marina Marmaris - the owner under the handle ‘Yeloya’ is a frequent contributor on this forum.
Good luck
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:18   #12
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

Thanks all,

something I didn't say and you didn't know is that I have been bought a new Salina 48 in France in 2010, had it fitout in LaRochelle by a local firm, sailed her to Turkey and finished installing electronics that i bought from the USA and got delivered in France before leaving it.

Been to Athens and bought stuff, but the marinas are way over my budget, same as France, Italy or Spain.
Got s/s and canvas work done in Turkey of the best quality I know.
I am also friend with Yeloya.

I then lived aboard 5 years and crossed both Atlantic and Pacific before selling her in Sydney in 2015.

Of all the places I have been, Croatia was the one I didn't like the most. I met nice people, but the officials are obtuse and marinas expensive.

Before the Salina, I built a Schionning 12m cat, I know fiberglass etc, so I intend to live aboard and do most of the refit/modifications myself.

I originally was going to do that in Turkey since I like it there and have many friends, but it gets cold in winter and it is a longer delivery trip.
I have been in Morocco and found very cheap, with great marinas, but a somewhat lack of tradesmen, also a longer trip than Tunisia.

Recently heard a lot of good stories about Tunisia and am in correspondence with a couple of liveaboards that also put me in touch with tradesmen.
Everybody's suggestion was that, even if I can get things in Tunisia, to bring with me as much gear as possible.
I can live aboard on the hard and get reasonably cheap trades and very cheap hardstanding costs.

I am registering the boat as Australian vessel, so I want to buy all tax exempt. Very difficult or nearly impossible to do that in Turkey, but I am not sure about Italy or Greece.
I have friends in Italy, near Bari and in Greece near Preveza. Been in both places, my idea is to stop there long enough to get gear delivered.

Hence my request for recommendation about an European online chandler that will deliver tax exempt to me.
On the other hand, I did have an account with Defender, so I might resurrect that and see what I can get shipped what not.

Anyway, any suggestions most welcome!
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:46   #13
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I take it you are an EU Citizen and cannot follow the normal VAT reclamation route.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:29   #14
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

I cannot comment about where to get work done.

In relation to chandlery, the Americans on the list are probably right about items being cheaper in the US than in Europe. Need to check the freight cost though.

If you do decide to source in Europe, then there are many discount chandlers. Really you simply need to do the legwork on your PC and look up the cost of specific items in the UK and other countries. Do not worry too much about language as many of the continental sites have English language pages as well. Whether it is worth even trying to order heavy wet items is an open question.

I can say from experience that the UK sites will send VAT free to Gibraltar to a yacht in transit. I wish I could say that you could buy cheaply in Gib but effectively there is no competition so there are no real deals.
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Old 04-11-2018, 22:30   #15
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Re: Recommend a chandler in Europe please

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I take it you are an EU Citizen and cannot follow the normal VAT reclamation route.
I have dual, In this case, I will be using my Australian citizenship to purchase the boat and register her in Oz. So, she'll be flying the Au fag.

Alita, thanks for that.
That's why I am posting here, want to see if anyone has already bought through one of the many online chandlers in EU and what experience they had.
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