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Old 24-01-2009, 14:35   #1
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Living Aboard a Sail Boat in France

Hi every one,
I am starting to get really tired of the cold winters here in the North East (Great Lakes), and I am considering spending winters either in the south of France in the Med somewhere, or around the Sables d'Olonnes area.
I have no idea what the rules and regulations (the law) state with regards living aboard, that is in marinas, preferably or, on a mooring. I Googled most of the coastal areas of France and the number of marinas is simply amazing.
I'm pretty sure we have a few liveaboard members from France on this cruisers forum and I would really appreciate learning from you personally, since you are already experienced living the life style.
Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
J.P.
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Old 24-01-2009, 18:04   #2
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I spend some time on my boat in Sete, France on the Med. The only thing to watch out for is after 18 months, you have to pay import tax on your boat. However, you can avoid the tax by just leaving the EU briefly. Turkey or North Africa are nice destinations.
Another caution: Boat equipment is outrageously expensive and forget about ordering things over the internet.
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Old 24-01-2009, 18:27   #3
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Tom,
I just read a whole lot of E.U. stuff on VAT and other taxes, nineteen percent on the boat.
Did you stay in a marina, like Marina 34 on Le mole Saint Louis, or did you anchor out some where or lease a mooring.
Other than boat parts and VAT, are navigation/cruising/mooring fees comparable to what we pay for here in North America?
Thanks,
J.P.
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Old 24-01-2009, 20:41   #4
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I stayed in Marina 34 a few days, then anchored free at a town about 15 miles north in the back bay (very nice). The town marina has showers for a small fee and free dinghy dock. I traversed the Canal du Midi to Bordeaux - the charge was 68 euros. Mooring fees are comparable to the US.
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Old 24-01-2009, 23:12   #5
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Tom,
What would keep you from staying there for a couple of years or more other than the VAT. Language, culture or general attitude of the people there.
From Sete to Bordeaux, that's a few miles... Mast down?
Did you enjoy the trip, would you do it again?
J.P.
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Old 25-01-2009, 02:04   #6
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France

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Blalock View Post
I stayed in Marina 34 a few days, then anchored free at a town about 15 miles north in the back bay (very nice). The town marina has showers for a small fee and free dinghy dock. I traversed the Canal du Midi to Bordeaux - the charge was 68 euros. Mooring fees are comparable to the US.

Can you remember the name of the town?
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Old 25-01-2009, 06:19   #7
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I don't know of any reason you can't stay there pretty much permanently. I dropped my mast myself (Prout 37 Snowgoose) and had it put back up again in Pullaic near the Atlantic. I had a wonderful time. I recommend it. The whole trip was great.
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Old 25-01-2009, 06:20   #8
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The name of the town was Bouzigues, about 5 miles north of Sete.
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Old 25-01-2009, 10:12   #9
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Tom,
I'm doing the trip (Google and a very quick computer) from Sete to Toulouse.
There are hundreds of photos along the way, some very low and narrow bridges, many liveaboard barges, houseboats and catamarans... you must have had some pretty tight moments navigating the area.
The scenery is definitely French and simply spectacular, I can hardly imagine the different local wines and food.
What was your personal experience, as an American, with the language and the general attitude of the local population, or, do you speak French?
Would the liveaboard barges draw less than six feet by any chance?
J.P.
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Old 25-01-2009, 10:38   #10
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Some of the bridges are very narrow. The Prout is 15' 3" wide and I just squeezed thru a few bridges with fenders deployed. The people are very friendly and I had no problem with not speaking French. The locals seem not to like the Parisians. Thomas Jeferson did this canal in the 1790s.
I'm told it gets very cold in the winter.
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Old 25-01-2009, 11:18   #11
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Tom,
My research on the Canal du Midi so far indicates Pierre Paul Riquet, at the sweet age of sixty three embarked (no pun) on this project, during the Louis the 14th era.
The canal consists of some one hundred thirty bridges, a couple of viaducts which the canal passes upon, two hundred forty Km long, ten to twenty meters wide and two meters deep (six feet, perfect).
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any data as to the construction participation of Thomas Jeferson on the project.
How many people on your voyage?
BTW, in France, Tom, the only people who can stand the "Parisiens" are the "Parisiens".
In the "country side" as the "Parisiens" refer to any where else than Paris, it's very simple, nobody likes them.
J.P.
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:26   #12
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I noticed in your reply to someone else in this form that you have contact information for Pierre Meunier of Montreal. We just bought a Reliance 44 and would very much appreciate the contact information... thanks!
Debbie
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:45   #13
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Are you by any chance located at Outer Harbour Marina, in Toronto?
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Old 19-08-2009, 08:50   #14
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I do have his number, but I'm not sure I'd want to publish it on the internet.
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Old 19-08-2009, 09:02   #15
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AS a US citizen what visa you get is going to be very dependant...... France enforces the 183 day rule very strictly.
Many Marinas will not allow livaboards on a premanent basis.... thsi is true over most of the EU, you might need to find a mooring. COming Over to the US I was very surprised that there were marinas that allowed one to liveaboard, certainly in the UK I cant think of one. ( many people do, but its under the radar)
I imagine you are going to need something other than a tourist visa, as an EU citizen I certainly do in the US, and most of these laws are reciprocal.
It can and does get cold in the south of france by the way. If you want warm you need to go further south into Spain/ Morocco.
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