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Old 22-11-2016, 02:24   #31
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Re: Wintering in Europe?

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Middle of the east end isn't really in London?? Would you prefer one on oxford Street??

You seem to be approaching it from more of a weekend/summer cruising perspective - overwintering for a long term cruiser is a different deal with very different things making difference. It's your winter home, not spending a few days in a hotel.
Like it or not, you'd be hard pressed to find a cruising boat over wintering in Europe popping out for day sails, people just don't do it. The boat gets into house mode with various little varnishing etc projects on the go, just doesn't happen.

Having a few other boats around makes a difference, so Limehouse will have some, and as mentioned some social activity across the canal at the Cruising Association. St Kats was good for our friends across the water with them having a little america coffee morning once a week. Though St Kats was a bit like living in a gold fish bowl.

Various other things can make a difference, good walks, ability to have post sent (Amazon sending to post offices and ebay to argus has helped in this respect) , decent supermarkets/cafes/one decent bar nearby. The Solent might be great for weekenders but wintering not so great, best price I got last winter was a month in Gosport, lets face it a @#$%hole unless you really like pound shops and Weatherspoons (hmmm, come to think of it... ) And you're on your own, no like minded boaties around.

Brighton's not bad, nice town, good walks, horrible white marina but quite a few other liveaboards and decent supermarket right there.

St Kats went down hill a few years ago when the whole estate was sold for several hundred million and the helpful harbour master sacked. Now, last I heard, they seem more interested in monster gin palaces. Shame but Limehouse is only a few minutes away on the DLR and not so much like living in a theme park.
Yes, I admit, that I am West End-centric. Still, I don't think Docklands is the "East End". Despite decades of redevelopment, it's still nearly a wasteland and has almost nothing that foreigners want to see and experience in London.

And yes -- if overwintering in house mode with no desire to sail, then whatever you can get, as near as possible to London makes perfect sense, and Limehouse Basin would be a good choice. As you said, the tube is next door and you can get around reasonably well.

I mostly live on board during the winter, but unless I've got something apart to such an extent that it's not possible to go to sea, I go out every chance I get, at the very least during the weekends. I never let me boat get into "house mode". My goal is always to keep the boat homey and comfortable (much easier with a larger vessel) but seaworthy at all times, ready to go out on a few minutes notice. I really dislike staying tied up in one place for more than a few days at a time. YMMV of course. For this style of overwintering, the Solent is ideal, since the sheltered waters are navigable even in very strong weather, and there are a multitude of places to go. As has been discussed, the winter is mild and there's decent sailing year round.

You're definitely not "on your own" -- there are hundreds of boats sailing on a decent winter weekend and lots of life in all the marinas. And it's dirt cheap -- a fraction of what you would pay in summer. I pay only 250 a month in Cowes with unlimited electrical power, for a 54' boat. I figure it cost me that much to run my generator and furnace on my former Hamble mooring, in the winter, so the moorage is free.

The amount of life varies by place -- yes, Gosport is a bit dead, but the Hamble is a beehive of activity, as are Lymington and Cowes. Cowes is absolutely wonderful in the winter time -- lots of sailors and locals, and few tourists unlike in summer. All the infrastructure built up to a capacity to serve the summer crowds is still there and open in the winter -- at your service. Cowes Yacht Haven is right in the middle of town, on the High Street, with everything you need within 5 minutes' walk, including a dozen excellent pubs, ironmongers, chandlers, M&S Food Hall, post office, ferry terminal -- whatever you need. And it goes without saying epic walks and bike rides on the IOW. Cowes, Lymington, and any place on the Hamble River would be superb places to overwinter for anyone who wants to actually sail.
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Old 22-11-2016, 06:27   #32
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Re: Wintering in Europe?

Ipswich on the East Coast is worth a thought. An hour on the fast train from London. Stanstead Airport not far away. Excellent boat yards. Choice of two marinas right in the centre of town. Easy access to the sea and loads of places to goto on a nice weekend.

No Schengen bollox either.
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Old 22-11-2016, 07:16   #33
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Re: Wintering in Europe?

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All true, but it's still not really in London.

For spending time in London over a winter while living on your boat, the Solent is pretty decent. It's just over an hour by rail from Southampton Central to Waterloo station. Then you don't have to give up sailing, either.
I'm not sure if you are just trying to prove your London knowledge but 2 stops puts you right outside the Tower of London and easy connections throughout the city on the tube with a standard pass.

If the goal is to spend time in London, that's pretty darn convenient and much quicker and cheaper compared to an hour rail trip from South Hampton.

If the goal is to spend time sailing, head south to warm weather.
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Old 22-11-2016, 10:56   #34
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Re: Wintering in Europe?

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Originally Posted by sestina View Post
Ipswich on the East Coast is worth a thought. An hour on the fast train from London. Stanstead Airport not far away. Excellent boat yards. Choice of two marinas right in the centre of town. Easy access to the sea and loads of places to goto on a nice weekend.

No Schengen bollox either.

Not spent any length of time in there but I've heard there's a lively liveaboard community there during the winter, makes such a difference . And one of the loveliest rivers around should the urge arise to go for a little jaunt.

You'd fit in with an Oyster
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Old 22-11-2016, 11:30   #35
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Ipswich is good.. nice friendly marina and good links.
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