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Old 26-05-2020, 08:04   #1
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Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

My wife and I are looking for recommendations for where in Europe to live while we learn to sail and potentially liveaboard and sail around the Med.

Some requirements:
* Warm!
* A sailing school as we're both new to sailing and would like to start with some courses
* A marina where there's likely to be boat owners that want crew for short trips so we can gain some experience - is this a good idea?

We're very flexible as we can work from anywhere in Europe and happy to move around.

What other requirements should we have and any other tips welcome!
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Old 26-05-2020, 08:13   #2
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

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Originally Posted by chbatey View Post
My wife and I are looking for recommendations for where in Europe to live while we learn to sail and potentially liveaboard and sail around the Med.

Some requirements:
* Warm!
* A sailing school as we're both new to sailing and would like to start with some courses
* A marina where there's likely to be boat owners that want crew for short trips so we can gain some experience - is this a good idea?

We're very flexible as we can work from anywhere in Europe and happy to move around.

What other requirements should we have and any other tips welcome!
For all of those things I think the France/Spain Basque region is best. But the Bay of Biscay can be a cruel tutor. As for places in the Med, they are expensive. Croatia is practically off limits now unless you are rich or a professional charterer. Greece is nice, but not as cheap as it used to be, and the problem gets worse if you want to stay for longer than 6 months. Malta is a good option, or perhaps the east coast of Italy.
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Old 26-05-2020, 10:05   #3
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

You did not say what country you live in -- but i would recommend Miami. Lived there when i bought my first boat and the only sailing was some ASA sailing courses and a couple of weekend charters in the USA. - Bought the boat and kept her in Rickenbacker Marina - better hurrican protection - and sailed almost 3 weekends out of 4. A lot of folks there went out out and did a lot of teaching.



I bought the first and only boat i have ever owned - a brand new Jeanneau DS40 - 17 years ago and well it did work - from Miami you can get to Bahamas for your first experience and that was my goal.. Bahamas and back and don't sink the boat - that was 13 years ago and well it got a bit out of hand - now after over 50k nm 2 Atlantic crossings - all the Med and all the Black Sea and most of the Carib -



I credit a lot of it to living in Miami and being able to sail in almost any wind as there may be wind but no sea - and getting out to anchor ect
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Old 26-05-2020, 10:23   #4
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

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Originally Posted by chbatey View Post
My wife and I are looking for recommendations for where in Europe to live while we learn to sail and potentially liveaboard and sail around the Med.

......

We're very flexible as we can work from anywhere in Europe and happy to move around.
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You did not say what country you live in -- but i would recommend Miami.
You might want to re-read the OP's post.
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Old 26-05-2020, 10:25   #5
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

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You might want to re-read the OP's post.
I was feeling too polite to say anything..
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Old 26-05-2020, 23:05   #6
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

Thank you for your suggestions Captn_Black, we'll look into those. We're also. looking at Alicante.
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Old 27-05-2020, 01:09   #7
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

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Thank you for your suggestions Captn_Black, we'll look into those. We're also. looking at Alicante.
I recommend against anything in southern Spain. There is not much of a sailing culture there, the opposite in fact, cruisers a viewed with disdain. Portugal is probably the best for your case, as far as a sailing culture is concerned. Sure, the French as just as nautically orientated, but, well, they're French.
I'm half French myself, but the fact remains that they will probably not be as welcoming.
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Old 27-05-2020, 01:15   #8
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

Unless you are planning to live in a marina, that is. Then you'll be surrounded by other sailors regardless. Though anything from Valencia to Rome is going to cost you a lot, for a marina, anchoring or a mooring, there are few places in the world where you will pay more. The eastern Canary Islands are nice, but the western ones have the same cultural problem as southern Spain. But for sailing, being in the trades is not a bad place to start.
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Old 27-05-2020, 23:13   #9
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

Good to know! We're keen on Spain as we speak some Spanish and would like to improve that along the way.
The eastern canaries are definitely an option!
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Old 28-05-2020, 01:41   #10
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Re: Where to live to learn to sail / prepare to liveaboard

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Good to know! We're keen on Spain as we speak some Spanish and would like to improve that along the way.
The eastern canaries are definitely an option!
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are the main ones that are worth visiting for a long duration.
Arrecife was nice. The marina is reasonably priced, there are chandleries, 2 stainless steel warehouses, lumber yards, constant trade winds for sailing. The anchorage holding is no good, except at the mouth of the habour wall, which is less protected. There are a number of moorings, though you may need to dive them to connect your own line, and certainly check the condition before using. There was talk about charging for using that harbour before I left.
Playa Blanca is a tourist hell, and Corralejo has a problem with constant wake by the ferries, and you must pay to anchor and moor. Porto Rosario is ok, but the town is kind of boring. Gran Tarajal is decent in all regards, but with no protection from the South. You'll probably want to be ready to escape to the marina at least a couple of times during the winter from storms in all those places.
The marinas are government subsidised, so cheap (same goes for the supermarkets). But in the more popular spots you will have trouble getting a berth. Arrecife and Gran Tararjal are the most likely to have space on short notice.

There are various other ports in those islands, but those are the main ones for staying long term imo.

DON'T VENTURE INTO THE ACCELERATION ZONES UNPREPARED!
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