Originally Posted by AD 2
Thanks for all the advice and suggestions, guys. We've been in touch with a bunch of places, and have come to the conclusion that the south coast of england
is really expensive, especially since it's going to be some time before we're able to permanently relocate there. So we're looking at keeping the boat across the water
in France. Does anyone have any experience of keeping a a UK registered boat in France? Any likely/possible nightmares we should be aware of?
Many Brits keep their boats in Brittany, which is far cheaper than the South Coast of England.
I don't think there are any nightmares at all -- this is a very, very, very, very beautiful, wild, fascinating place, much wilder than the English
side. Did I mention how beautiful it is?
It's pretty easy to get back across using the various high speed ferry
Paradoxically, it's harder to get to an airport
, than it is to get back to England. This is a remote
place and it can be quite awkward to get to Paris.
Also there is not all that much English
spoken in these places. I have been in chandleries in Brittany where 10 people were working, and not a single
person could be found who could speak any one of the three languages I speak. So if you go for this variant, polish up your French (but that's an actual benefit, not a burden
Besides Brittany, there is also Normandy. Cherbourg for example is a large all weather
, all tide port with very good infrastructure. It's the closest point to England on that coast -- 60 miles to the Needles. But oddly it is hard to get to Paris from Cherbourg. You have to take a slow local train along the coast all the way around to Rouen (passing all the D-Day beaches, by the way), before you can make your course for Paris.
Concerning the expense of the South Coast -- it is only really expensive in summer. Outside of the summer months, there is a wide choice of reasonably priced moorings. You can even have a berth in the fabled Hamble River -- if you sublet a mid-river mooring
from one of the mooring
holders. Apply through the harbormaster's office which handles all those sublets. It costs peanuts. These moorings belong to the Queen, who rents them at far less than the market price
for marina berths. I pay a bit less than $2000 a year, for a 54' boat, which works out to about 100 pounds a month. The waiting list is 20 years, however
. But you can sublet them from people like me who roam far and wide more than half the year.