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Old 21-06-2006, 03:22   #1
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Looking for a Hand from Greece to France

Im hoping to buy a 52' wooden cruiser this summer and little by little, bring her back to Ireland. Hiring a skipper will bring the costs up to a unmanageable amount but ive never sailed the med and my brother who ll be with me has only really flirted with (irish) blue water. in other words, we know nothing. Does anyone out there know of flottillas heading west from the islands around Athens,or better again a flottila who can lend us a reasonably experienced hand until we find our sea feet. Im thinking of mid july and as to the boat, purchase will depend on her being absolutely sound although we ll have to source navagation and safety eguipment while on the island where she is lying... so any advice on that as well? Its near Athens, as i mentioned.The Boat is 38 years old wooden but hauled and checked every year. I ll be bringing my 8 year old son too, so a lot hinges on any responses i might get. thanks for reading through,
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Old 21-06-2006, 15:15   #2
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Boat: VandeStadt IOR 40' - Insatiable
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Hello Dawn,

Welcome aboard.

It sounds as though you are planning on a pretty major undertaking...not that that should dissuade you...some of the best adventures are when you bite off just a little more than you can chew, and manage to pull it off! I purchased my 40 foot yacht without ever having owned so much as a dinghy, and managed to sail it back home (about 2200km) without too much drama or misadventure, so it can be done!

If you want to try to find crew to help you out, that don't charge an arm and a leg, I suggest you try

They have a very active "Crew Needed" section, and there are more European members seem to post may well be able to pick up crew there who will come along for the ride, or at worst, for a 1 way air-fare back to Greece.

Apart from that, I will just say that you probably should not wait until you are on some Greek Island before you start trying to get Nav & Safety equipment. It may be either impossible, or damned expensive to try to get what you need on a small Greek Island. Even if you don't end up buying that particular boat, I assume that you have your heart set on buying a boat, so much of what you may want will be of use to you even if you don't buy that particular one.

As a start, I would advise you to buy a good quality hand-held GPS (Garmin do a good range of not too expensive ones). Get one that is designed for marine use; they tend to be slightly more robust/waterproof than the non-marine models. You can then familiarise yourself with how it works at your leisure. It would be a good idea to also purchase an Admiralty Chart for your local coastal waters around your home in Ireland. If you have a Chart and a GPS, you can practice doing position plots, to get yourself fully familiarised with the process befopre you even step aboard your new vessel. A set of dividers and a parallel rule will assist you with plotting. Purchase decent charts for your entire trip home, prior to departure (even if you are sailing with other boats, there is no guarantee that you will not become separated - maybe in fog or a storm, so you will need to be able to plot where you are and navigate your vessel to safety

Aword of caution: If you are not eminently familiar with wooden boats, you should be sure of getting a full survey conducted by a reputable & accredited MArine Surveyor (and do not use one that is recommended by the seller - their impartiality could be questionable). A survey is not cheap, but you really do need one to make sure that you are not buying in to a world of (expensive) trouble.

It would expect you would head over to inspect the vessel, and, if it looked ok, have it surveyed (it is generally a very good idea to be present during the survey). Assuming that the survey was good, you can use your inspection and the surveyor's report to make a list of equipment that you will need to buy, repair or replace prior to departure (you can, potentially, negotiate a drop in the price based on the cost of "essential" repairs that must be carried out to make the vessel seaworthy).

I would suggest buying a decent hand-held VHF radio...familiarise yourself with it's use and with the standard marine channels. Find out the times and channels for marine forecasts (you will, during your trip, be a slave to the weather...and the better your weather information, the safer you are). Your vessel will probably have a VHF radio, and possibly a HF and a 27MHz as well, but HF is a tricky thing to use (and you need a license to transmit), so having a spare hand-held VHF is a good idea.

If you intend to carry a life-raft (possibly not entirely necessary in the Med itself, but, to my mind, absolutely essential for the Gibraltar - Ireland portion of your trip), it might be cheaper to hire than to will be worth getting a quote or two anyway. I hired for my own delivery trip...but I sailed pretty hard and fast (over 200km per day) to minimise the hire period.

Do not skimp on your wet weather gear. A decent quality set of wet weather gear will last you years and you will be grateful that you bought the good stuff when it is freezing cold and blowing it's tits off somewhere in the Bay of Biscay or Irish Sea or wherever... Also, buy a good harness and a good PFD (I like the inflatable yoke type).

Finally, make sure that you have the boat properly insured before you head off on your delivery journey. Many marinas will not let you berth if you do not have insurance (in case your boat damages another boat or boats in the marina).

Other than that, good luck!
Weyalan is offline   Reply With Quote

France, Greece

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