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Terry2404

Taking Wide Boat across channel to France

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Hi everyone, I am planning to buy a cabin boat in the UK, taking it over the British Channel and starting from France going through Europe. Question 1: Is it difficult to cross the Channel? Do people do it?

Question 2: From Where is it done to where?

Question 3: Costs?

The size of cabin boat I have in mind is 8 meters long and 3 meters wide with 50 horse power diesel engine.

As a lot of people have suggested having the boat loaded onto a truck and taken over, has anyone got any contacts? So far I have been told a figure by the company I am looking to purchase the boat from of £4000, would this seem reasonable?

 

Edited by Terry2404

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1.Depends on skill and weather conditions.Yes .

2.England (although Ireland or Wales also possible).

3.Yes

You will need qualifications.

Edited by rusty69

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Unless you have experience of sea-going boats I'd suggest that the best way for you to cross one of the worlds busiest waterways is to load it on a truck.

Do you have your VHF radio licence ? - if not, how do you plan to contact the humungous ships that you are trying to pass - you are going across the 'traffic lanes', its like trying to walk across the M1 motorway but 20 miles wide - not 100 yards.

You don't need qualifications to skipper a boat in UK waters but you do in Europe - Do you have the necessary skippers qualifications to enter French (and other European) waters ?

You will need a wide range of 'ships papers' which generally you would not get if buying a small boat in the UK.

On arrival in France you will need to present a copy of ......................

Just check the attached for details,

 

http://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/boating-abroad/Pages/paperwork.aspx

 

Just as an aside - I would not go with a single engine.

Edited by Alan de Enfield

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

.....is to load it on a truck.

Would the truck not sink?

:giggles:

  • Haha 2

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When I and a mate crossed the channel in a Wayfarer sailing dinghy, all we took were sandwiches and a bottle of rum and my wallet, no passports nothing. We sailed into a yacht club at Cap gri Nez or some such place and the members there were tremendous, trailed the boat around to the Calais ferry terminal and we humped it onto the ferry, French customs weren't bothered at all, because we were going I suppose. At Dover the chaps there were also very helpful humping it off the ferry for us where I ran off for my trailer after the British customs had dealt with us, were very suspicious though and held us up a long time explaining the situation. I showed them my driving licence and an old raffle ticket which seem to satisfy them and let us go.

  • Greenie 3

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Whoa, slow down, small boats can and do cross the channel, some small boats can be quite seaworthy, some just aren't. The usual way is down the Thames, round Kent and sort of keep going, thing is though that you need to hit France in the right place, miss all the other boats, and not sink in bad weather,  that needs navigation skills and a radio and an engine that will keep going and a lot of other stuff. France requires some paperwork, no red diesel in the tank, only road diesel is legal, and the skipper needs some qualifications and a radio licence. There is other stuff too. BUT, all of this is possible, none of this is an impossible block on what you want to do, none of this is impossibly expensive but it will take a while to get it all together. The commercial European canals - which you cannot completely avoid - really do need some knowledge as well, boats are big and fast and lock procedures matter, its not like over here. Brexit may throw up as yet unknown problems too.  However, its well worth doing, its a bigger world, the weather is (usually) nicer and lots of people do it so have a go. (Oh, you will need some French as well)

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23 minutes ago, Bee said:

Whoa, slow down, small boats can and do cross the channel, some small boats can be quite seaworthy, some just aren't. The usual way is down the Thames, round Kent and sort of keep going, thing is though that you need to hit France in the right place, miss all the other boats, and not sink in bad weather,  that needs navigation skills and a radio and an engine that will keep going and a lot of other stuff. France requires some paperwork, no red diesel in the tank, only road diesel is legal, and the skipper needs some qualifications and a radio licence. There is other stuff too. BUT, all of this is possible, none of this is an impossible block on what you want to do, none of this is impossibly expensive but it will take a while to get it all together. The commercial European canals - which you cannot completely avoid - really do need some knowledge as well, boats are big and fast and lock procedures matter, its not like over here. Brexit may throw up as yet unknown problems too.  However, its well worth doing, its a bigger world, the weather is (usually) nicer and lots of people do it so have a go. (Oh, you will need some French as well)

If the OP has to ask the advice of a forum whether it is a good idea or not, and if it can or can't be done, then I would suggest that it is lhe last thing he should be contemplating until he has at least gained the necessary experience and knowledge to make the judgement himself without asking complete strangers whether it is feasible or not. 

I say this, not for his safety, but to avoid the possibility of exposing professional seafarers to unnecessary hazards when rescuing him. 

 

Howard

 

 

 

 

  • Greenie 3

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I too think it odd to ask a random selection of unknown people with unknown expertise whether or not to cross the busiest sea channels on an unspecified small craft. For more constructive advice I would suggest a look at the DBA forum www.barges.org for detailed information on crossing the Channel and boating on the continent.

Can it be done? Yes, people even swim across , but it is not something to be done on a whim (unless the whim is very sea-wothy  :captain:).

  • Greenie 1

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Several alarm bells have already been rung, but as yet the cost of the boat has not been mentioned. To me, it is unlikely that a boat of that size which is on sale at £4,000 will be suitable for such a crossing.

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7 minutes ago, Athy said:

Several alarm bells have already been rung, but as yet the cost of the boat has not been mentioned. To me, it is unlikely that a boat of that size which is on sale at £4,000 will be suitable for such a crossing.

I am not reading the OP’s comment like that, the £4000 to me reads as the cost of road transport, not the cost of the boat.

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I've just read it again. It is ambiguous, but you may be right. I hope so.

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1 hour ago, Athy said:

I've just read it again. It is ambiguous, but you may be right. I hope so.

eh?  what are you on?  it is perfectly clear : 

As a lot of people have suggested having the boat loaded onto a truck and taken over, has anyone got any contacts? So far I have been told a figure by the company I am looking to purchase the boat from of £4000, would this seem reasonable?

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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

 

As a lot of people have suggested having the boat loaded onto a truck and taken over, has anyone got any contacts? So far I have been told a figure by the company I am looking to purchase the boat from of £4000, would this seem reasonable?

That was not posted before the 1st 7 replies were made.

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13 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

  what are you on?  it is perfectly clear : 

 

1) Maxwell House.

2) Good.

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2 minutes ago, Athy said:

1) Maxwell House.

2) Good.

Surely if it's perfectly clear it's going to be vodka or gin rather than Maxwell House

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16 minutes ago, Mike on the Wey said:

British Channel? It's a "no" from me. 

Maybe OP is cornish! 

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7 minutes ago, Tam & Di said:

Surely if it's perfectly clear it's going to be vodka or gin rather than Maxwell House

:D

A liquid known as "water" is also available, better known as something to sloosh with after cleaning one's teeth, but also occasionally used as a drink.

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A ship tracking website on your Smartphone will help to find nice gaps to dodge the shipping. When we sailed across in the dinghy we only saw the ferry we were trying to follow, which we did keep it in sight until about half way across, ''we had a good westerly wind'', by then we could see where we were going to fetch up. I've crossed the channel on ferries on cycling trips a few times too and can't remember seeing another ship, well only once when I emerged from the bar and saw two identical ships at the same time, same names too. I also once sat on the beach at Dungeness all afternoon by the lighthouse and only saw one huge container ship going west when I woke up.

Edited by bizzard

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3 minutes ago, Athy said:

:D

A liquid known as "water" is also available, better known as something to sloosh with after cleaning one's teeth, but also occasionally used as a drink.

Aaaargh - drink it? have you seen what it does to the bottom of boats?

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5 minutes ago, Tam & Di said:

Aaaargh - drink it? have you seen what it does to the bottom of boats?

Never mind that, do you know what fish do in it?

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5 hours ago, Athy said:

Several alarm bells have already been rung, but as yet the cost of the boat has not been mentioned. To me, it is unlikely that a boat of that size which is on sale at £4,000 will be suitable for such a crossing.

What has price got to do with it?

I crossed the North Sea on a boat that cost £300 (well I swapped it for a motorbike that cost me £300).

I seem to remember the RYA "Competent Crew" course I took cost me more than the boat.

The Channel is easy...On leaving the Thames turn right at Margate then follow a ferry.

  • Greenie 1

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