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Old 12-26-2015, 11:43 PM   #1
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Default Back to the Med

Ahoy,
as a boy I got to sail from Cadiz to Mallorca to Barcelona, on an aft cabin cutter and have been hooked ever since. It was 1959, I was 7.
My righteous sailing career really didn't start until I got to Australia in '64, where I lived on an Island and went to school by boat. I raced VJ's among other things and did a lot of living aboard and solo sailing up until '76 when I sold my Stella Folkboat and came back to S.F..(citizen) I've run my own boat business since then and have a vast portfolio of boat works and now find myself looking at retirement and a long trip around the Med with my wife. Our plan is to acquire an EU boat with prepaid VAT and do the rounds for as long as we can stand it lol.
Ideally we would find a wooden boat around Spain but UK seems to offer more choices, and would provide a canal trip south as a pleasurable necessity.
I am a good surfer and have located many wonderful craft under $50k US, and am building a website for my research at
http://medsail.homestead.com/MedSail.html
(copy and paste this link, for some reason it won't load here.)

As a marine professional despite my bad knees my experience is wide enough to handle the Med and it's yachting demands as I have managed and operated vessels as long as 75', both employed and casual helmsmanship.
My concerns at this stage are twofold.
VAT and Schengen.
As far as I can figure out;
a boat purchased in the EU with VAT paid won't require further VAT unless I reside in Spain for over 183 days and become 'resident'.
As a non EU sailor I will have to be gone from Schengen half of the year; (but the boat wouldn't (?))
SO:\
can that be six months in and six months out (Schengen) or is it strictly 90 days in 180 out, 90 in 180 out p.a.?
can that be in Gibraltar? Some say yes but am I able to go to visit in Spain during that time 'out' or must I stay OUT of Schengen the entire time?
I've read a fair bit about this and most people ignore the Schengen (or simply haven't had an issue) but I don't have nerves for that.

Wintering out of Schengen would then probably best be done in a region that offers something larger than Gibraltar for resources and options no?
Turkey is getting pretty hot politically so southern lands appear more advisable.

Local knowledge is greatly sought after in these instances since we have lead time, I'd like a good handle on this last international adventure of mine before I go brushing up my five languages.
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:11 AM   #2
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Sorry I can't say a thing about the VAT situation--but welcome aboard
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:30 AM   #3
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Hiya Red,
thanks anyway. It seems that with my lead time I'll be able to figure these things out before getting into hot water. AS the complications reveal themselves the VAT situation takes further turns.
I've found that f'rinstance if I stay in Spain too long they will charge me VAT again, so perhaps a boat from there to start would bypass the issue. That's another angle I'm considering. The thing that is becoming mo0st irksome is the 90 in 180 out thang because it's going to require constant attention and throws the cruising schedule into wintering in strange places with in the EU just to keep in rhythm, and then having to leave Schengen for summer. What a pain.
The quest continues.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:07 AM   #4
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I've come to the conclusion that until the Schengen rules change, the Med is a no-go zone for residents of Australia & New Zealand wishing to cruise. It's just too far to go to be messing about by having to leave the region again after a mere 90 days.

From North America things are a bit easier, but it's still an issue.

As if dealing with multiple languages and cultures isn't enough of a problem, many Schengen members only partially implement the agreements. This is all in review but I fear it won't be resolved in my cruising lifetime.

Frankly, I'm planning on spending as much time in Asia as possible. After that, maybe South America via the Cape of Good Hope. These people appreciate visitors and have a far better attitude to them.
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Old 12-30-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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Yea I know what you mean about too far to mess around with for a mere 90 days.
I'm an ex Sydneysider myself; in fact did my first solo sails in '64 there when I lived on Scotland Island, and spent many years looking up and over at the rest of the world with vast oceans inbetween, but now having come back to the States, my European 'roots' are calling me and a lot of that has to do with the essence of culture and total lack of it in both our countries.
Asia is a great direction for yous blokes despite pirates in the Philippines, whereas my trip will actually START in the Med so I will bypass lengthy crossings and just get down to the business of jumping around dodging officialdom. The concept would be more daunting if I didn't already have five years in Europe and five languages up my sleeve.
I will figure this out I reckon and best of winds to you mate.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:19 PM   #6
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Australia and the US lack culture?
I disagree.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:53 PM   #7
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Naah, he's right. There's more culture in yoghurt.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:44 PM   #8
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Well I am getting through this somewhat, and am developing a plan which may be a good enough for now.
It seems that a guy can get residence in a place like Italy after staying long enough, and showing income or finances to support himself. With that the whole 'Sailing for Schengen' goes out the window and a guy, such as myself, could then come and go as he pleased, but likely needing to keep a berth or at least an address to continue as a resident on holiday somewhere else in Italy.
Spain offers this too but there seems to be a costly certification required above and beyond the ICC and then VAT too if the vessel isn't already Spanish registered.
When I mention culture, I'm looking for more than Hot Dogs and Meat Pies as icons. Europe is what I mean. Things older than 'God' himself. Essence and spirit dripping from ancient creations, soaked in the eons and oozing character and persona. The United States of Australia and our mutual 200 some years hardly qualifies, but Asia sure does.
Funny thing. I spent 13 years in Sydney as a kid, and got a whole lot of "GO Home Bloody Yank" and such,
but when I returned to the US after an 18 year absence I discovered that I AM NOT a yank at all, and was considered to be a dumb Aussie by the socially conscious and pretentious Americans.
HA! Can't win for losing lol.
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:55 PM   #9
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I am from the Northern Territory in Australia and was referring mainly to the oldest surviving culture on Earth. 80,000 years of continuous cultural evolution would generally be thought to trump the relatively recent cultures of Europe.

I understand how the European cultures developed through migration and the desire of inquisitive people to seek greener pastures and, at the same time, adding their cultural history to the melting pot. Fortunately, there is an abundance of Europeans who continue to indicate their preference to leave Europe for Australia. This of course leaves a void which is being filled by expats who can then continue the export of the American/Australian/Kiwi/Canadian culture to Europe as they, in turn, quest for greener pastures.

I'm a proud Aussie (currently in the USA, who has lived for extended periods in England, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Laos and Mexico) and I don't mean to sound like a pain in the ar*e...but c'mon...Straya mate...It positively reeks of culture with a capital K.

Our plans include the canals in Europe and the Middle Sea Race out of Malta. Perhaps we can catch up and share a few glasses of culture.
Best wishes.
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchi Mike View Post
Well I am getting through this somewhat, and am developing a plan which may be a good enough for now.
It seems that a guy can get residence in a place like Italy after staying long enough, and showing income or finances to support himself. With that the whole 'Sailing for Schengen' goes out the window and a guy, such as myself, could then come and go as he pleased, but likely needing to keep a berth or at least an address to continue as a resident on holiday somewhere else in Italy.
There are problems with this approach. The official assumption in any country is that you wish to PERMANENTLY set up residence. Thus the hoops are numerous and painful. In all cases I've investigated so far one first needs to apply for a "Permit To Stay" (in addition to the initial Visa) and remain in country continuously for a minimum of five years before applying for a permanent Residence Permit. Only then are you free to wander about Schengen. Meanwhile you have to be able to prove that you can provide for yourself. i.e. You need to be cashed up very well indeed.

I don't know about you but I'm too old for that stuff.

Quote:
Spain offers this too but there seems to be a costly certification required above and beyond the ICC and then VAT too if the vessel isn't already Spanish registered.
In Spain you can buy residency, they have a glut of housing and are desperate to get it sold. But the cost is prohibitive for me, it's a real estate investment of €500,000 minimum for the Golden Visa. It used to be a lot cheaper initially but the place was being overrun by the Russian mafia so the rules were revised.

At this stage I'm considering buying a small unit or farmhouse in a non-Schengen country so as to have a fallback for the 3 months when I can't be in "Europe". For under $20,000 there are a lot of Baltic countries where this would be as easy as doing your ABC's. e.g. Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia.

Yes, I know these are unattractive countries but the girls are cute and I could learn to like cabbage and gothic architecture. Certainly cheaper than keeping a home in the US or Oz or NZ and flying out every three months.

In fact a smart group of sailors could buy a very nice beachside unit in Burgas or Durrės - but no longer in Mykolaivka, unfortunately - and timeshare it. Don't know about you but I'd love to sail around the Black Sea, it's accessible via Istanbul.

The only other real option to see the Med is to base oneself in North Africa, which is "Tiger Country" as we say in aviation. i.e. Somewhere you just don't want to land unless it's an emergency.
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Old 01-04-2016, 06:03 AM   #11
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Of course, you could also marry a European citizen. But that's a hell of a price to pay ...
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:32 PM   #12
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I have heard westerners (men and women who were staying in my guesthouse on the Thai Burma border) speak glowingly about Bratislava and Ukraine. One Brit told me he couldn't afford to stay long in Thailand because it was too expensive compared to Bratislava where he owns a home.

There is an abundance of expat forum sites on the internet where one could get first hand accounts and benefit from local knowledge from people who are there and who, presumably, have gone through the bureaucratic workings to get there. Take a look at the following which contains a wealth of advice and resources. http://www.expatexchange.com/
and on the same site: http://www.expatexchange.com/ctryadv...iving-Overseas

Best of luck. The whole immigration thing never appears easy.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:51 PM   #13
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G'Day Auzzee,
I agree that the Aboriginals would be the oldest surviving stone age culture on the earth next to those in New Guinea who had never had any contact with whites till recently, but excuse me while I have a little laugh; "80,000 years of continuous cultural evolution". Really mate, you are kidding aren't you?!
AS far as I knew/know, the attempts to 'update ' the Abo's have been a disaster and their ability or interest at living in a house just failed miserably. And I have yet to find the Great Pyramids of the Nullabor, or the Mighty Halls Of Wandjina carved out of the side of Ayers Rock, or the incredible painting ceiling of the Sandstone Chapel. "80,000 years of continuous cultural evolution"....sorry, but WHERE exactly is it????? I had a couple of Abo friends, something not many Aussies can even say, and although they had integrated well as actor and activist, sadly their brothers were still under the bottle in the shady lanes of Redfern.
And yes, many Europeans seek asylum and such in the 'new country', they are not well received and end up in satellite cities comprised of their own race and some go home. From 'out there' as you know, Oz looks like a giant playground safely away from the horrors of poor old Europe, Asia and the Middle East, but the truth is different , again as you know, so immigrants can't be blamed for being disappointed and isolated.
Meanwhile it's really the old art, buildings, statuary and fountains in the town squares, cobble stoned streets and diverse culinary attractions that lead me back to Europe. Sorry again but Goanna and witchity grub pie ain't gonna cut it despite the 80,000 years they've had to perfect their 'recipes' LOLLOLOLOL.
Dreamtime is alive and well and STILL living in the outback, safely tucked away from gubbo. And yes mate, long tall glasses of ice cold culture welcome any time. (Can't believe KB went outta biz)
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:20 AM   #14
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Haiku,
while it may look like a good idea, actually, I haven't got any interest in the Balkans or anywhere else beyond the actual European Med, partly because of my languages and also because when it gets down to it I'm not really going to have more than four or five years before my wrists, knees and hip go out permanently.
During this European transition period I have also considered just getting a canal worthy vessel and scooting up to UK when it's get outta Schengen time.
Six months in Gibraltar might make me crazy since it's such a small place, but like someone said, day or weekend trips to Tangier add something to that, potentially.
Turkey is becoming too hot would be my guess at the moment though they have been offering resident status thus far. Only thing there is I don';t speak it and I'm not really into it, but I could adjust I s'ppose.
You cite a small cottage to fall back on for the three months when you can't be in Schengen , but I believe it's six months out and three months in, and from what I see a guy is going to end up in the Med in winter sooner or later, and Tunisia in the summer. I think the permit to reside in Italy might be the easiest though I'm still sussing it out. Have emails from folks who are there claiming no Schengen, no ICC, no problem, but I don't have nerves for that and my wife wouldn't go for it either.
I'll keep looking and thanks for your feed back gents.
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