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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Each year a huge number of Europeans cross to the dark side by sailing the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
We left our home country (UK) three years ago and have been cruising Europe spending our time in new countries and destinations all the time.
We see plenty of nationalities doing the same but very few Americans.
What stops them from coming to Europe?
 

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For us it is the cost, the bureaucracy and the weather which the Europeans are escaping by sailing to the Caribbean off the wind in warm weather.

We are sailing the South Pacific rather than the North Sea... again off the wind in warm weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The good thing about the med is the history, the friendly people and everything is only a short sail (or motor away). I understand that you have problems with the time you can actually stay in one place but the Americans (and Canadians which there seem to be more of) we have met absolutely love it here.
 

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Well, how long can I stay in the EU? How long can my boat stay in the EU before I have to pay import tax? How long is the sailing season?


Hmmmm. I think the Caribbean sounds good.
 

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Sailordave sums it up pretty well. If the Europeans are leaving Europe in droves and going to the Caribbean, why shouldn't we?
 

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Each year a huge number of Europeans cross to the dark side by sailing the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

We left our home country (UK) three years ago and have been cruising Europe spending our time in new countries and destinations all the time.

We see plenty of nationalities doing the same but very few Americans.

What stops them from coming to Europe?

For huge read less then several hundred

Dave
 

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My personal experience is so far limited to the UK and Ireland but is consistent with what I've heard from others who have cruised more widely in Europe....the answers are: high fuel costs, variable weather, winds or lack thereof, VAT on everything (increases the cost of living), and VAT regulations as they apply to boats.

One other thing may be that it's much easier coming west in the trades than it is going east at 45-50N. When US cruisers head east we pay the price before the fun begins. When Europeans come this was this "cost" is deferred and the fun begins almost immediately (once they're a few hundred miles south of the Canaries).
 

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There is also a huge difference in hopping down the coast, even through the thorny patch, as opposed to 30 days offshore to cross the atlantic. For that matter, New England direct to the Caribbean is 10ish days and one could layover in Bermuda to split the trip in half.

If one's plan is to bareboat, it's much less expensive to fly to the Caribbean and being in a closer time zone, it's much easier too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I understand a lot of what you say but I also think that a great deal is also in the mind as well. About 230 boats cross on the arc each year, about 200 hundred on the non arc and a few on their own.
Our best friends out here ar Canadians and they love it and have always found a way around the problems.
I think it is far worse and more difficult for us europeans to get the documentation to cruise in the states and in the time we are allowed we cannot get anywhere.
The authorities (of which there are too many departments) all believe we are up to no good.
It is even rare in the summer to see any Americans chartering out here.
 

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Well, how long can I stay in the EU? How long can my boat stay in the EU before I have to pay import tax? How long is the sailing season?


Hmmmm. I think the Caribbean sounds good.
US, canada, mexico and most of central and south american residents are entitled to stay for 90 days without visa in the EU...
Boats are exempt from taxes for non-EU residents for 18 months...
Some Frequently Asked Questions about the rules for private boats - European commission

In the end what you do if one of these days expire, you move out of the EU (which is just a short trip in the med) and reenter some days later to stay for another period... ;)
 

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It has very little to do with cost, VAT or anything other than the Schengen Area. The rules of this agreement make it almost impossible for Americans to stay legally anywhere within the Schengen Area for more than 90 days with 90 days between visits. I've done the Med numerous times, and in my opinion, there's not a lot of cruising pleasure, if one must rush though it in 90 days.
VAT and all other taxes can be deferred and avoided, but there seems to be no legal way to circumvent the Schengen Area, that makes economic or safety sense.
Since the legal recourse of most governments when you violate their immigration laws is to impound your boat and use the proceeds from the sale to deport you, I prefer not to mess around with those laws.
 

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What stops them from coming to Europe?
Work. Family obligations. Other interests. Lack of time (six weeks vacation is not the norm here). Comfortable surroundings. Having nothing to prove. Numerous diversions readily at hand.

Life is pretty good here in the States for those with the time and money to cruise for extended periods (not me, BTW)...

I still wonder on a regular basis why anyone would put up with the long-term discomfort, hardship, and inconvenience of living on a sailboat and crossing oceans.

While I admire the ability of some to cross oceans, I still wonder Why? Why? Why?, especially after reading numerous accounts of people doing it. I have the same question when I read about people scaling Mt. Everest or K2 or even backpacking for months on end or hiking the AP in the U.S. What hole are they trying to fill? What are they compensating for? What is there to prove, and to whom? Whose idea of fun is that?

Racing, daysailing and short cruises on a sailboat are fun. After a week aboard, I am ready for the comfort of home.

Life is good with a balance. Travel is fun. Why pick the slowest, most uncomfortable means to do it?
 

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I have never heard of having to stay away for 90 days once the initial period has expired...
Contrary a good friend of mine from australia had to leave and reenter the EU every now and then before he got his staying permit and nobody made any fuss about it... He was even advised by the officials to do so... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Work. Family obligations. Other interests. Lack of time (six weeks vacation is not the norm here). Comfortable surroundings. Having nothing to prove.

Life is pretty good here in the States for those with the time and money to cruise for extended periods (not me, BTW)...

I still wonder on a regular basis why anyone would put up with the long-term discomfort and inconvenience of living on a sailboat.

While I admire the ability of some to cross oceans, I still wonder Why? Why? Why?, especially after reading numerous accounts of people doing it. I have the same question when I read about people scaling Mt. Everest or K2 or even backpacking for months on end or hiking the AP in the U.S.. What hole are they trying to fill? What are they compensating for? What is there to prove, and to whom?

Racing, daysailing and short cruises on a sailboat are fun. After a week, I am ready for the comfort of home.

Life is good with a balance. Travel is fun. Why pick the slowest, most uncomfortable means to do it?
I think it sums it up pretty well... it is more of a mind thing rather than wanting to sail, explore and challenge yourself. We make speak a similar language but our minds are in a different universe.
As I said why not charter for a holiday.
I once told an American that the world was not flat.....
He replied. It is now cause we bombed it all
 

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We see plenty of nationalities doing the same but very few Americans.
What stops them from coming to Europe?
Two simple answers, among many:

1) Because we can't bring our guns with us? :))

2) Because "we're crazy-driven-hard-working-believers...", who would rather own a $75K Cadillac than spend the entire month of August sailing, that's why...


 

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Work. Family obligations. Other interests. Lack of time (six weeks vacation is not the norm here). Comfortable surroundings. Having nothing to prove. Numerous diversions readily at hand.
...
Life is good with a balance. Travel is fun. Why pick the slowest, most uncomfortable means to do it?
Because the journey is the worthier part.
 
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