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Old 08-18-2007
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Moving to Europe

As we all know sometimes life takes a sharp left turn just when we think weíve got our hands firmly on the teller. My plans after I retire (early 2008) were to untie my Baba 35í the s/v Northern Light and to do my best to say out of the way of Snow and Hurricanes.

Will, an Entrepreneurial opportunity has once again raised its ugly head and Iím now about to take that sharp left turn. If all continues on this course instead of laying around the Caribbean sipping on a Margarita Iíll be kept busy with my new opportunity in Europe. The only way Iíll make this change in course is if I can take my sailboat with me. I could not be a live aboard over there as Iíll be conducting business in Germany and living in Switzerland. I could however spend weekends and holidays aboard the s/v Northern Light in the Mediterranean Sea. The opportunity to sail the waters of the Med are extremely attractive to me. Also once I decide that retirement really is for me Iíll have that side of the world as my playground.

So as you can imagine I have a hundred and one questions about getting my Baba 35í into the Mediterranean. Since time will not allow sailing her across Iím looking for alternatives. I received one quote from a company called, ďGlobal Yacht Transport AgenciesĒ. This operation will place the s/v Northern Light right on their deck and sheíll travel from Fort Lauderdale Fl. To La Spezia Italy with the mast up.

Is this a good way to go?

Does anybody have any experience with this company or any other yacht transportation company for that matter?

Iím also looking for information on good locations to keep the sailboat. Since Iíll be living in Switzerland I prefer to leave the sailboat along Italyís western shore some 250 miles to the south from where Iíll be living.

Anybody have local knowledge of this area?

I look forward to hearing about your experiences in regards to moving to Europe.

Thanks in advance for your response.

Galveston Bay, Texas
Baba 35í - s/v Northern Light
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Old 08-18-2007
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Dave...a couple of thoughts:
1. You will have to pay VAT tax on your boat if it remains in the EU for more than 18 months. You need to get her to a non-EU country like Turkey to re-set the clock.
2. We have used Dockwise which is a sail-on...sail off ship and were most happy with their results. You can get about a 20% discount with them if you book early.Their Med ports are:
- Marmaris
- Olbia
- Palma de Mallorca
- Genoa
- Toulon

You might also want to take a look at Jack Tylers Euro Prep pages here:
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Old 08-18-2007
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Closest non-EU country from Switzerland is Croatia. Sailing there is nice, but they have restrictions for number of crew per year.
Max 2.5 times vessell registered crew capacity is allowed in one year. The reason for this law was to prevent illegal chartering.
So if your boat is registered for 6 you will only be allowed to have 15 different people on Northern Light in one year including you.
So if you want to take a new girl and two new friends to sail with you every weekend you are done in 4 to 5 weeks. (4+3+3+3+3 = 16).
If you cruise with the same people and only occasional new guest you are OK.

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Beneteau Oceanis 473

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Old 08-20-2007
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My .02 on La Spezia. Once you see it you may not want to leave. Take the train from the north and come down through the Cinque Terre. We saw some really beautiful sailboats anchored off shorethere. I would have given just about anything to be on one. The Med is a color I've never seen. Beautiful!

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Old 11-03-2008
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Note if you become a EU tax resident ( and I think also a swiss tax resident) then the 18 month vat exception rule will NOT apply.

However there are rules about importing your domestic posessions into the EU without having to pay VAT. You will need advice here. ( cant say whats what in Switzerland), butgenerally in recent years they have followed the EU as they have a co-operation treaty).
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