Thanks for your insight.
I am considering basing my boat in northern Cyprus
(which is the Turkish area) and from discussion with the marina you can stay in the territory as long as you have a contract
with them (sort of automatic visa).
Therefore I am less stressed in getting the boat to the EU before the 31st December as I can reset the 18 month third party rule
before VAT becomes payable in the EU as I will winter annually in Cyprus
effectively resetting the clock.
I intend to sail her from the UK to a marina in Spain
in the spring next year then work
my way across the Med and finish my cruise
in Cyprus by November. So that the boat sorted (I think).
Now me and the crew (the wife and kids
I intend to stay on the hook when cruising and only go to marinas
or when absolutely necessary (maintenance, storm avoidance). There are no formalities (the paperwork you need to complete when staying in a marina) other than paying the bill when buying fuel
Therefore..... if the 90/180 rule applies how would an EU country ever know when the clock starts and how long you have been in EU waters? Also how could they prove you have been in EU waters all the time you were sailing?
Are they sophisticated enough to look at credit card transactions at restaurants, shops etc and if so if you paid in cash they would have no trail and in reality would they be bothered?
The plan would then to be repeat this for a few years then head
down to the Canary's for the Arc
and then who knows?
PS Hope they are not monitoring this thread!