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Old 01-10-2013, 07:01   #1
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A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Hi,
We are in our seventh year living aboard. We are 24/7 cruisers. We just made some news by doing a live-aboard circumnavigation of Europe.

Untitled

We love our old 25 year old Catalac Catamaran. It took us 38 days at sea to get her across the Atlantic to England. Now we have finished a 494 day trip from the North Sea (via Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers to the Black Sea) and via Bosporus to Istanbul and across Turkey to the Aegean Sea - where we continued to circle to the Right till we got back to England. We will spend another great winter in London, living in museums and pubs daily while we spend our time in a marina next to the TOWER OF LONDON. Life as a liveaboard is good and we recommend cutting those dock lines and exploring. We double-hand only and are "chicken sailors". We cannot believe it is so easy. So far we have been to coasts of 5 continents and in 44 countries while retired and on social security.

I tried unsuccessfully to add video, but you can see a 45 second video of us smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic taken by a passing Dutch family if you put the following words into YOUTUBE: Angel Louise Sail

Everyone keep having fun and keep this great resource here going!
Ed and Sue .... on ANGEL LOUISE, now lying London
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:19   #2
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Ed and Sue: I would like to dock in London as you are doing. What is the water depth? And what is the cost to dock? Do you need special papers to enter the river? My boat is 52' with 15' beam and 7' draft.
Thanks
Kingwoodie
s/v "The Lady Margaret Ann"
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:39   #3
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Sounds like a very interesting cruise. I plan to leave for Europe in a couple of years after I leave retire so, if I may, I have lots of questions.

First, an issue that has been discussed and debated on the forum a number of times, how did you deal with the 90 Schengen stay limit for US citizens? Seems like you stayed much longer than 90 days within the Schengen countries.

Oh and by the way, welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:10   #4
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

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Originally Posted by kingwoodie View Post
Ed and Sue: I would like to dock in London as you are doing. What is the water depth? And what is the cost to dock? Do you need special papers to enter the river? My boat is 52' with 15' beam and 7' draft.
Thanks
Kingwoodie
s/v "The Lady Margaret Ann"

Shouldnt be a problem, Id reccomend st Katherines Dock, right in the heart of London, its a tidal marina with lock gates

marina.reception@skdocks.co.uk for details

No special papers need for the river. just sail on up. ( see Thames barrier for info)

dave
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Old 01-10-2013, 19:25   #5
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Cruising in Europe is hard due to two hurdles for Americans. !) you are bound by 26 countries treaty obligations to EU that is called Schengen Treaty. It limits you to only 90 days in any 180 days ... if you have more days than that you are subject to fines and immigration violation provisions. 2) If you are in Europe more than 18 months you are subject to VAT tax on your boat (about 18% of the value of your boat)

You can avoid Schengen legally by getting out for 3 months in every six months. In Eastern Europe Bulgaria and Romania were outside of Schengen. We also got back time by going to Tunisia and later Morocco. In the Western Med, you can hole up in Gibraltar, or in the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, or in England or Ireland - which will give you six months! Go to the US Government website for info on the restrictions kept by the Secretary of State web site. You have to actually be out of Schengen territory for 90 days in every 180, which makes cruising a little hard.

To avoid the VAT tax you need to go to Morocco or to Tunisia. Some assessors in Porto in Portugal have recently denied relief from VAT tax if the person only went to the Channel Islands.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:38   #6
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

St Katharine Docks... great spot next to Tower of London! However space is limited. Make sure you have reservations. We had applied and waited five months in advance and only were confirmed a month before we had planned to arrive. But hands down, they are the best place to stay if you want to see London. Second choice is Limehouse Basin.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:54   #7
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Winter in London?

Won't that get a little cold? Oh, I see you're from Wisconsin, so I guess you're used to it...

Great cruising story.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:02   #8
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Awsome. Do you have a blog?

We are looking into a similar trip in the near future.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:05   #9
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Did you need a special permit for the Rhine river? I have heard one would need a licence to navigate each section of the river. I hope I'm wrong. I wish you good stay in London.
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:22   #10
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

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Did you need a special permit for the Rhine river? I have heard one would need a licence to navigate each section of the river. I hope I'm wrong. I wish you good stay in London.
T.
CEVNI endorsement to the ICC is required in general to cruise the inland waterways in mainland Europe. Not sure if an additional permit or license is required for the Rhine.

Here is a link to an article about the requirements.

Proof of Competency for European Countries — Noonsite
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:44   #11
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

and we never saw you in Morlaix ah well so you missed one of the most beautiful towns in Brittany 15th century.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:31   #12
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Followup on our trip and plans...

LONDON TEMPERATURE
We are originally from Iowa... before 6 years of cruising 24/7. London does not freeze in winter due to effect of Gulf Stream. LONDON was once the largest city in the world. It has untold museums, pubs, and historic sights to see every day. After crossing Atlantic in 2011 we stayed that winter until May of 2012 in London. That time was not enough time but was the most wonderful winter of our lives... The weather in London has average highs of Nov 52, Dec 47, Jan 47, and Feb 52... but the pubs and places we go are warm, and our boat has a portable electric radiator that keeps it toasty.

REGULATIONS ON THE RHINE
Private vessels that are short are immune from regulations governing commercial ships (the length of our 41 foot boat saved us). BUT YOU HAVE NO RIGHT OF WAY UNDER ANY CONDITIONS IF THERE IS A COMMERCIAL SHIP CONFLICTING. We had commercial USCG licenses but EU does not care for those, so we got an International Certificate of Competence which included test for canals CEVNI. Only had to display license once (in Romania)!

FUTURE PLANS
We will stop again in France, and the rest of the coasts as we go south next Spring and will cross back to Caribbean in winter.

PICTURES OF US IN THE OCTOBER issue of LATITUDE 38 (US's best sailing mag and free from San Francisco put on the web .... you can download the monthly issue on Latitude 38 - The West's Leading Sailing and Marine Magazine
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:45   #13
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

I enjoyed our time cycling together in Menorca. How's your new yanmar engine working out? My wife and I had a great time in the Balerics and Southern Spain this summer. Are you now in the Canaries?

Ken
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:53   #14
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

of choice, personally I would winter in spain or france, assuming you can get a berth and near a major city. The UK isnt normally too cold in winter, but it can be wet and dreary, whereas further south , its chilly and dry.

London is not a cheap place to live either compared to southern Europe,

But of course things like Schengen etc complicate things for US cruisers.

Perhaps London is just too familiar to me, however , but then it does have the advantage of a common language ( well sort of !) .

Dave
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:54   #15
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Re: A Live-aboard couple in Europe

Quote:
To avoid the VAT tax you need to go to Morocco or to Tunisia. Some assessors in Porto in Portugal have recently denied relief from VAT tax if the person only went to the Channel Islands.
Thats cause the Channels Islands are inside the EU Customs union for the purposes of VAT assessment on goods and their movement in the Union. The CI can never be used to reset the VAT clock.
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