Barb, I don''t know the answer to your question but perhaps I can clarify the circumstances a bit. Countries usually offer only routine visa periods to tourists who are first entering their country. IOW they don''t as a rule ignore their own visa visitation limits right from the start. This means the tourist is later in the role of applying for an extension, and Immigration will proceed based on that request and the circumstances associated with it.
OTOH when applying for a visa from your home country (thru the other country''s embassy or consulate), you may find you have other options. One reason for this is that it is a deliberate process with time allowed to consider other circumstances, rather than a poor gal/guy at the Immigration booth at the airport with a big line
of waiting passengers waiting to be processed.
If you are trying to sort out what will work best for you, I''d recommend you dig into the relevant countries'' D.C. Embassy websites (assuming you are American). This info will be in English, and it will offer you a base on which to build if you have questions, want to explore further, and need to talk to Embassy officials. That''s how I found the automatic extension process that existed for the Netherlands when we were considering wintering there.
Regrettably, none of this will replace the benefit of being on the ground, in a marina in Portugal or Spain, with access to the local officials who will make the decisions, and with other yachties nearby who can pass along their own experiences. It''s for this reason that the SSCA monthly Bulletins are so often helpful; I would encourage you to subscribe by joining SSCA if you haven''t.
Good luck and stop back and tell us what conclusions you''ve reached!