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harpoon71 10-07-2008 11:21 PM

I need some advice..... big time!

My wife and I have to go to Chile (after being refused a visa by Spain, my wife is Chilean). We bought a boat expecting to cruise around and live on it. Now we have to zoom off, and very soon.

Ok, here is my dilemma.

What the hell are we to do with the boat????

My wife doesn't want to sail across to Chile. I can't leave her for the length of time for me to get the boat there. Also, I'm bloody skint!

The only ideas I have are these.....

Sell the boat (but we are leaving in 2 and half months).

Do we rent it out as a live aboard here in the Med?

Do we see if a couple wants to use it as a long term, cheap, charter?

What about getting someone else to sail it over to Chile for us?

Each of these situations have their own problems. Insurance is a big one. Where to find people? How much to prepare the boat beforehand? What is a realistic figure to ask of people (I at least want my loan covered, which is approx £15 a day.... but that wont cover wear and tear will it, and, does that make this a commercial venture?????).

I need your divine wisdom on this one because the little hair I have at the moment is being pulled out in fistfuls!

On a brighter note, the boat will be back in the water this weekend with a spiffy looking paint job on it.

It is a 30 foot steel Van de Stadt, basic interior but loaded with cruising goodies. Only room for two realistically.

All opinions or comments will be taken seriously.

Please, admin, let me hear the replies as I am not looking to make money on this, I just need help.

Many thanks,


MMNETSEA 10-08-2008 01:08 AM


Questions :-

#1. Have you considered taking your boat somewhere else rather than Chile?

#2. What passport do you hold ?

#3. What is the boat's port of registry?

#4. Have taxes been levied and paid?

Nausikaa 10-08-2008 06:38 AM

I may be way out on this one and my apologies in advance if this is the case, but from your syntax and the fact that you expressed costs in Sterling, I assume you to be British. If you do hold a British passport and you have the right of abode in the UK then, unless your wife is a terrorist or highly criminal, Spain cannot refuse her a residence permit if you are living there. This is contained in one of the agreements of the European Union.

The questions posed by MMNETSEA are all very relevant too. Please give us the information and we may well be able to help. Feel free to send this in a private message if you do not want to air these things in open forum.

Aye // Stephen

harpoon71 10-08-2008 10:29 AM

Hi guys thanks for the help,

To clear up the situation.

We got married in Chile so my wife still has a Chilean passport. She was trying to get into a university, got accepted but then refused a student visa here in Spain. So that is why we have to now go back to Chile to carry on her studies (she is on a gap year).

So, yes we have to go back to Chile for sure. And don't get me started on the whole British immigration system - if she supported an extreme movement with roots in the Middle East, was disabled, homosexual, but had 8 children they would all be welcomed in and given full support from the government. But for us.... it's somewhat more lengthy and who really wants to live there anyway!!!

I have a British passport. The boat is UK registered and is tax exempt (is year 1985).

I am looking into shipping it, but that looks expensive.

Let me know please if you need any more info to ponder over our situation with?



Nausikaa 10-08-2008 11:33 AM

OK, that gives us something to work on.

The situation really should be quite clear. You are British and as such the UK has the right to decide, on grounds of your marriage, if your wife will be permitted to take up residence in that country but, and here is the good bit in your case, Spain, or any other EU country, must, on application, give your wife permission to reside there with you.

An EU/EEA citizen who is an employee, self-employed person, a provider or recipient of services, a student or a person who has sufficient funds to support himself/herself, has a right to reside in the relevant EU/EES country but is required to register with the Migration Board (or whatever the local equivilent is called). Note, this is purely a question of registration and not an application for a residence permit.

If you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen you can also obtain a right of residence. If you wish to stay for longer than three months, you should apply for a residence card. The registration for the EU/EEA citizen is required in order to do this.

"Where will I find the legislation to support these statements?" you may well ask. Well, it is contained in EU Directive 2004/38/EC. The Directive has been ammended 3 times since its publication. Unfortunately, at the moment I cannot download this from the Eur-Lex website but the link is HERE.

Regarding the refusal of the student visa, your wife should not have applied for one as the application would have been made on different grounds than an application to live in Spain as your spouse. In your position, I would start again, register yourself and get an NIE number (numero de identificación para extranjeros) - it takes about a week to get this. Once that is done you and your wife go back to the police and register her as your spouse.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to get back to me should you require more info.

Regarding the boat, you can keep a British registered boat in Spain for as long as you wish provided that VAT has been paid (if applicable) but non-resident wealth tax is charged annually in Spain once the boat has been there for more than 183 days. To avoid this the boat must exit Spain every 6 months. Yet another tax, known as Tarifa G-5, is imposed by some provincial authorities.

Any wiser?

Aye // Stephen

Nausikaa 10-08-2008 11:51 AM

Forgot to ask, where in Spain is the boat?

I am in Vigo so, if it is not too far from here, I could keep an eye on it temporarily if that would help you out.

On the other hand, why not revert to your original plan and live on the boat? I can see no reason for Spain to refuse your wife the right to stay. And if Spain does get too bothersome - and I REALLY know the time it takes to get some things done here - then move on for a while to another EU country.

aye // Stephen

Nausikaa 10-08-2008 12:01 PM

For some reason there is a problem at the moment with the Eur-Lex server. Some information, though not the directive itself, can be found HERE

// Stephen

marno 10-09-2008 07:54 AM

I have a dual British/Australian passports and my wife is an Aussie. When we came here to work for a few years my wife needed to get a spousal visa, which after months of hunting around, we eventually found out how to do it. We had to fly her back to Australia (country of origin) and apply for it there. It was all done by mail there, but, they do have the right to call you in for an interview before granting the visa. It took about three or four weeks once she was there.



Nausikaa 10-09-2008 09:03 AM

@ Marno

I assume that when you write, "When we came here to work..." you mean that when you, as a British citizen arrived in the UK to work accompanied by your wife etc.

If that is the case then it is entirely up to the UK to decide the procedures. However, if you had been taking up work in another EC Member State then EC legislation kicks in.

Allow me to explain the relevant parts of the Directive concerned as this may help DB even though it is not really any help for you.

Firstly, a couple of definitions:

For the purposes of the Directive:

1. «Union citizen» means any person having the nationality of a Member State;

2. «family member» means:

a. the spouse;

b. the partner with whom the Union citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the legislation of a Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State;

c. the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependants and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point b;

d. the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined in point b;

3. «host Member State» means the Member State to which a Union citizen moves in order to exercise his/her right of free movement and residence.

So, we have a clear definition of spouse but we also have a new term , host Member State. In the case of both DB and yourself, the UK could not be construed as being the host Member State as you are both nationals of that country. However, in DB's case, Spain is the host Member State.

The scope of the Directive is given thus, "This Directive shall apply to all Union citizens (i.e. European comment) who move to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are a national, and to their family members ....... who accompany or join them."

So, let us look then at your right of abode in another Member State, i.e. a host state. Article 7 states, "All Union citizens shall have the right of residence on the territory of another Member State for a period of longer than three months if they:

a. are workers or self-employed persons in the host Member State; or

b. have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State during their period of residence and have comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the host Member State; or

etc. etc.

What this tells us is that you, as a British citizen (providing you have the right of abode in the UK as there are some British citizens who do not) have the right to go and live in Spain if you have a job there or if you have sufficient money to support yourself or study etc. etc.

Article 7 continues by stating in its second paragraph, "The right of residence provided for in paragraph 1 shall extend to family members who are not nationals of a Member State, accompanying or joining the Union citizen in the host Member State, provided that such Union citizen satisfies the conditions referred to in paragraph 1a, 1b or 1c."

In other words, if you as an EU citizen exercise your right of abode in another EU Member state then you family also has the right of abode, even though they are not nationals of a Member State.

Further, and in order to lend a degree of permanence and security to the family members who are not nationals of an EU Member State, Article 12 goes so far as to grant the right of residence to the family members concerned if the Union citizen dies or leaves the host Member State.

So, getting back to DB's case, and putting it as succinctly as I can:

* As a British national DB has the right to live and work in the UK

* As a British national and thus a citizen of the EU, he has the right to live and work in any EU Member State provided a few simple conditions are fullfilled

* His wife, Mrs. DB, MAY have the right of abode in the UK but this is entirely dependent upon UK legislation in force

* Should DB exercise his right of abode in another Member State then Mrs. DB also has the right of abode in that same member State according to the Directive

* Mrs DB can even stay in that member State should DB himself depart this mortal life or run off with the maid and leave the country, again providing a few simple conditions are met. Incidentally, that also applies should DB not leave the country but divorce Mrs DB in order to marry the maid!

(My apologies for the flippancy but I use it only for the sake of demonstration.)

The Directive, all 47 pages of it, goes into much greater detail but the above is the essence of what is applicable in DB's case.

One final point though; for the Directive to be applicable in the case of Mr. and Mrs. DB they must either be properly married and that event must be documented or they must have a registered partnership, although the latter may not be accepted in all Member States. As DB stated that he and Mrs DB were maried in Chile there should be no problems in proving that provided they have a Certificate of Marriage.

Enough for now! I am not a solicitor and make no money on this so I have to return to the job which pays the bills!

Aye // Stephen

harpoon71 10-09-2008 11:39 AM

Hi there Stephen,

Many thanks for looking so deeply into the immigration laws. If I'd have know you were so well clued up on the matter I'd have come to this forum many months ago and we wouldn't be in this mess.

However, it has now got to the stage where my wife has missed her opportunity to attend the Uni here in Cadiz to finish her degree. If we now don't get her enrolled back in her original Uni in time for the next year (Chile is in the southern hemisphere so their Uni's start in March) she will lose three years of studying!

So, we are heading off back to Chile. Our rough date of departure is a week before Christmas.

I'm sorry to the other forum users to be deviating slightly off the boating topic.

And thanks for the offer to watch the boat for while.


Nausikaa 10-09-2008 12:08 PM

OK, so at least you have made the decision but your question regarding the boat remains. "What the hell do you do with it?"

Your suggestions were:

Sell the boat (but we are leaving in 2 and half months).

Right. You may get lucky and find a buyer at somewhere near the price you want within that time but I would not count on it, especially now when money is tight and getting tighter by the minute

Do we rent it out as a live aboard here in the Med?

That is an idea but, as a "house-boat" you will not get a lot of rent for it. Anyone "renting" a boat will want to sail otherwise they would be looking for a motor vessel with more accomodation - generaly speaking that is

Do we see if a couple wants to use it as a long term, cheap, charter?

That is a viable proposition but it is the wrong time of year. However, you may well get a charterer. I am sure there are pitfalls here and would help you research them but I am off to Poland tonight for 10 days so I may not have the opportunity. If you consider this option, look carefuly into such issues as insurance, right of title etc.

What about getting someone else to sail it over to Chile for us?

Absolutely a possibility. There might be someone out there who would be prepared to do this for the price of a flight back. I certainly would if I had the time (I also love Chile - I cruised many happy miles between Peurto Montt and Punta Arenas). Make sure though that whoevers hands you put the boat into is capable and that the boat is up to the trip

And yes, a charter would make this a commercial venture which could invalidate your insurance.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but your options seem to be limited. Consider also lifting the boat out and laying her up ashore, to be picked up by yourself at a later date.

I hope things work out for you

Aye // Stephen

osirissailing 10-09-2008 10:39 PM

Do not just dismiss shipping the boat after first glance. Dockwise Transport is where everybody looks first and their prices are quite high. But on a "standby" basis you can ship the boat by them for a rather significant discount. Also paying many months in advance knocks 25% of the quoted price. But again, they are the premium outfit. There are others.

Another shipping option is the "deck cargo" through outfits like Peters and Mays from Tortola, BVI. They rent the deck space on cargo ships and ship you boat "mast up" for quite a bit less than the Dockwise Transport outfit.

Finally, there is the "container ship" system of shipping boats. It is a bit more involved but considerably less money. You boat is prepared by taking down masts, etc. and then putting the boat into a cradle that aligns with normal "container" lockdown systems. The container ship is loaded with normal containers and a large area in the middle of the top rows is left open. Then the vessels are loaded and locked down in these positions. Your cost is the space equivalent of the containers you displace. Major boat manufacturers use this system frequently along with the super racing yachts that do the major around the world racing. You boat can be shipped from any port to any other port that is capable of handling containers.

marno 10-10-2008 09:20 PM

Gday Stephen,

Thanks for clarifying that for me, I needed some quiet time to sit down and follow what you had written, it does my head in.....

Shows that we have been stitched up yet again in the UK. I am glad that I am going to leave next year, otherwise I'll turn into a whingeing Aussie at this rate.



Nausikaa 10-12-2008 06:28 PM

Marno, in your particular case, assuming it was fairly recent, if you had known that you and your wife would not remain long in the UK it might have been simpler to apply for a UK working holiday (oxymoron) visa. This is easy to get and allows up to two years in the UK.

What you also could have done was to "move" on paper at least to say Ireland, get Irish residents status for your wife and then apply for a visa for your wife, on the grounds of your marriage, at the British Embassy in Dublin.

It is easy to be wise after the event though.

Good luck to wherever you are moving to

Aye // Stephen

Nausikaa 10-12-2008 06:43 PM


Do not just dismiss shipping the boat after first glance. Dockwise Transport is where everybody looks first and their prices are quite high....... they are the premium outfit. There are others.

Another shipping option is the "deck cargo"

Finally, there is the "container ship" system of shipping boats.
Shipping the boat to Chile certainly is an idea but:

1. I am pretty sure Dockwise don't do South America let alone Chile.

2. Not so sure either about the "premium outfit" description. Another Cruiser Log moderator has had problems with them

3. Deck cargo? Problem with that is that the boat is exposed to the weather and seas boarding the ship. Deck cargo always was carried at shipper's risk and I am not sure that has changed.

4. Containership transport would, imho, be the best alternative but ouch, using the space allocated to at least two 40' containers (depending on the width probably four) will be really exensive.

In my opinion, leave the boat until it can be picked up at a later date or sold. When leaving it find someone who can look after the baot or lay up ashore in a secure compound or farmers barn.

Aye // Stephen

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