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Old 19-08-2009, 09:17   #16
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John, thanks for the reply... we just bought "Eku III" in Toronto and are at the RCYC. The previous owner passed away a couple of years ago, and the daughter tried to keep her going for awhile, but I think it was a bit much. Anyway, she has been a bit of a puzzle since her secrets passed with her previous owner. If you would feel safe emailing me the phone number, it would be greatly appreciated, or if you have an email for Pierre Meunier... Debra d.gjendem@rogers.com
Thanks again!
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:47   #17
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Living aboard in France is great, especially inland! We returned here after 3 years sailing the Western Med, which was great, but we love being in France - the culture, the people and the lifestyle. Did I forget the food? !!
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:39   #18
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opps - I see you are in canada. forget all i say about americians, the french love canadians

the main obstacle is unless you are a french or EU citizen, is that you will not be legally allowed to live there for more then 90 days in any six month period , not 183 days as a previous poster says. thats the length of the normal tourist visa, after 90 days you have to leave for the remainder of the 182 days.

NOTE. I you qualify for extended visa ( student, working , etc) that after 183 days you will be a tax resident of france, also you will not be eligable for the 18month temporary import of your boat without VAT being due. What you are considering is more correctly a TOR procedure. ( transfer of residence) and you can bring in all your personal possessions, including a boat completely TAX FREE. but you have to meet all the legal requirements

The french are very friendly towards americans, ( I always shake my head at the public image that your press has painted about france), Remember they helped you in the war of independance, they have quite an emontional attachment to the US. ( unlike the brits , which I have found actually dont like americans! a lot).

As to cruising the midi, this is the smallest gauge canal in france, so check carefully what can fit.

given that france is easily the best place to live , great food, cheap, great people, great public services, trains,buses, culture, etc you do need some basic french however, especially in small shops, talking to ifficialdom, etc.

the atlantic french coast will get very cold in winter, not a lot of snow, but days of cold dreary weather

however unless your french or an EU citizen, a long stay will be impossible

The south of france is much warmer even in winter, but trying to get a long term berth - forgetaboutit. Almost impossible, italy might be better. The only way I can see would be to buy a berth. ( about 100K euros) for 12 metre

as to boat equipment, I wouldnt agree about boat equipment pricing, its a bit higher ( about 10 to 20%) and is similar to all other mainstream EU countries and you can of course order over the Internet, though bringing anything in for the US is too exepnsive with The VAT and carraige ( except for high priced elctronics which might be worth it).

on the west and northern coasts you can get basic items very cheap in stores that sell to the fishing fleets, ( 3 strand rope, paint, galvanised parts etc)

( just back from 4 months on my boat in nice)
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Old 08-09-2009, 15:33   #19
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The Midi is not the 'smallest gauge' French canal - that's probably the very pretty Nivernais in central France. The River Baise, which is not strictly a canal, but is part of the VNF French waterways network is also narrower. As are some of the Breton canals.
But it is world renowned - with good reason - and being a miracle of 17thC engineering, it twists and turns to take maximum advantage of the contours. And it is quite shallow, relatively speaking.
See VNF Facts and figures about costs, depths and heights in the French Canals and Inland Waterways - Grehan's French Inland Waterways, Rivers and Canals Information Guide for comparitive depth/width/air-draft data.

[edit]
I should also say that the French are - quite rightly and understandably - proud of their history, culture and language. Making a decent stab at everyday phrases and requests in French is no more than polite, however inadequate and will be appreciated. Our problem is trying to stop people talking back in English, so we can practice!

There are quite a few Americans here and from I can see, they are treated with the same courtesy openness and friendship that is also part of the culture. You may be right about how Brits view Yanks, but that's a sweeping generalisation, a cliché about both, and maybe has more to do with (past?) Government than individuals. Strike maybe - substitute certainly.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:52   #20
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I haven't sailed in France but I have lived there every summer for the last seven years. I normally arrive sometime in May and leave sometime in September. I come, I stay, I leave and have never had any issue about 90 days.

Dick Pluta
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Old 12-09-2009, 13:58   #21
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Besides the French long term visa which is not difficult to get if you have financial resources and reputable character - there is the problem of get weight. I have lived in Nice several times and after a month or so somehow I put on several kilos of extra weight. Somebody said it was because you cannot seem to stop eating the incredible food. But that is solvable by putting your boat in Cap' d'Age just east of Marseilles. It is a large community of mostly summer time people that only wear sandals and a smile even when grocery shopping. There you will assuredly watch your weight or if watching some of the others, you might lose your appetite for food.
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Old 13-09-2009, 01:18   #22
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The naturist resort community at Cap d'Agde (a small and separate part of the total development that includes a huge marina complex) is the largest in Europe if not the world. Went there for the first time this year (avec clothes). An eye-opener. Certainly not 'The Beautiful People' but - perversely delightfully - very ordinary people of all shapes and sizes and walks of life (incl. judges) and . . . 'interests' (putting it diplomatically) who live for a few weeks au nature. Many of them have been coming for decades, every year, the traditionalists. Others come for what can only be described as - fun and games. Did I say au nature? Quite a lot wear jewellery (?) in some unexpected places, no, entirely expected places! And rubber, leather, zips . . . you get the picture. Just ordinary folks, ordinary human beings. Almost charming. No guns!
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Old 13-09-2009, 06:46   #23
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Grehan - don't you mean - - Almost charming. No "concealed" guns!
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Old 14-09-2009, 08:34   #24
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I normally arrive sometime in May and leave sometime in September. I come, I stay, I leave and have never had any issue about 90 days.
As The schlengen agreement countries tigthen their external borders, overstays are becoming more difficult. But 90 days is the law as a plain tourist

There is a long stay VISA that can be obtained through the french embassy, usual things about financial self-sufficently etc
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