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Tassie Devil

Overseas owner Lay up options?

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G'day!

 

Plenty of furriners on the Dutch Barge Assn. forum at barges.org (I think you have to be a member but it's very useful and not just for big boats)

 

We keep a shared boat on the mainland (currently in Gent). We usually find a marina which is cheap for the winter months and much more secure than an unattended online mooring. We winterise her ourselves (an easy job if the boat is designed properly), keep the batteries topped up with a solar panel. Canal levels don't usually fluctuate much, but there's always someone around to slacken lines if necessary. If on a river you must make sure that you have a floating pontoon or adequately long mooring poles. For our share boat, we book our winter mooring about six months in advance. It may not be necessary to go so far out in the UK unless you are looking in a popular area.

 

Martin/

  • Happy 1

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6 hours ago, OldGoat said:

Wearing an undefaced Blue as well...

Not many NBs do that.

Likely as not because few of very few entitled to do so would be prepared to put up with the abuse flying any ensign on a narrowboat  seems to bring!:o 

  • Greenie 1

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Thank you everyone. Dora, Sea dog, JJ and Leo, good on you, great guidance.

 

My situation is I own the flash off road caravan, and plan to use it mostly over the Aussie Winter, as Summer temps regularly get over 40 degrees for weeks in mainland Australia, and I’m over the heat and red dust to tell the truth. I did all that to death during my military career.

 

6 months over the late Autum, Winter and early Spring period in the UK before being kicked out is my focus, as I love the cooler months and the effect on the landscape. Also I like things quiet, as opposed to buisy on the canals etc.

 

I’ll certainly be using this brilliant forum and continue to seek guidance and advice.

 

Thank you again everyone and best wishes from Tasmania.

 

Ken

 

p.s photo on the Gordon river while Kayaking last week. Sorry Sea Dog!😉

 

6CB6E916-7E4C-4EBF-A903-F065F6EEE7D6.jpeg

Edited by Tassie Devil

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Have you considered joint ownership of a boat, I see part shares for sale on Apollo Duck all the time and all the owners split their summer and spring months between them. There are a very large number of empty boats on winter moorings awaiting the warmer weather when they will be used again.

Your unique situation of only wanting a boat over the winter would give you a lot of scope to look for a partner to joint own a boat with. Such cooperation would mean 50% investment in the boat and no over winter (or summer) mooring fees.

Cheers Mick

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When laying up we concentrate on

prevention of freezing

prevention of mould

prevention of ingress( stern gland) and in our case its an open hold boat

Prevention of leaks.. ports vents hatches

battery maintanance

engine service

paint protection.

ventilation

 

it takes us a day to shut down, if we arrive on the 0555 melbourne flight we can usually be boating by about 4 pm the same day as long as we can bear to go shopping for food

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Hi Ken

As others have said we do exactly what you intend to do. I have been a member of this forum from 2006 and while I don't contribute that often I can assure you that when you need advice this is a wonderful resource. 

We have owned our own boat "Lazy Bee" since 2015 after hiring from 2006 and would thoroughly recommend buying your own boat. Prior to purchasing we asked for some rough costings from the forum members which have proved quite accurate.

Currently we moor at Swanley Bridge Marina or more accurately leave her on hard standing there. This saves us approximately 400 pounds per year because we don't pay license while out of the water. Also we fly into Manchester Airport with a half hour train trip to Crewe then 10 to 15 pound taxi ride to the marina. The owners and staff at Swanley Bridge are wonderful and at the moment we have no intention of mooring anywhere else.

We also went down the HSBC option with excellent results in the UK, not so at home. I will explain, we were advised by another forum member to use them. We had to open an account in 2015 with there Australian arm, which we did and deposited a $500 which w have since withdrawn $200 of that but the other $300 has disappeared in fees. 

To open the UK account cost us $200 and about an hour talking to a person from India about why we needed a UK account. That has been one of the best things that we have done since owning "Bee". So easy to use and  no fees(24p for a international transaction in Doha)

Harley

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I forgot to mention another bit of advice from this forum was to use OFX to transfer your Australian dollars. Amounts over $10k cost nothing and their exchange rates kick the Aussie banks [email protected]#s.

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As I have alluded before, we used (for the first time) the HSBC global account.  There don't seem to be any hidden fees and you can move money between accounts (currencies) in real time.  There were no ATM fees for drawing the cash (from all HSBC machines and most of the 'link' ones seemed free as well).  That said the exchange rate is not as good as OFX as just mentioned and certainly for large sum transfers I would use something like that but for shear convenience and easy access I was impressed with HSBC. 

 

Not so much of an issue in these days of internet banking but when we first came over opening up an Australian HSBC account from our UK account proved a tad difficult as nearest branch to where we were at the time (to sign docs etc) was nearly 2000km away.  

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Open your uk account then use ofx to transfer big amounts to pay for boat. Whatever you do do not use commonwealth or hsbc international. Both charge like you bleed.

hsbc asked me several years ago where i got the money to buy my house from under their ‘due dilligence’. I advised them it had been their bank since 2005 when i sold my uk house continuously, and had been paid by my solicitor, and best of all they had given me a reciept with his details on it.

they persevered down the route of where did you get it from for many exchanges, until i went quite high up in the complaint procedure and they realised that back in the day they were the ones giving the mortgage..

every so often they get on the high horse about money laundering even if you have been with them 40 years, strange given their history. If you put money through to them with ofx keep a good reciept trail.

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The other thing just worth noting is that there is a concentration of stoppages, eg for major repairs to locks and so on, in the December to March period.  It is absolutely possible to cruise over that period - there is formally no such thing as the "cruising season" - but it does need a bit of planning to make sure you don't get stuck.

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Hi Ken, sorry it's a bit late, away on holidays. And I hope those fires aren't coming too close to you too.

 

We've done exactly what you're planning, and have no regrets. We're country Vic. We bought a boat in about May of last year and spent about 5 months on it, and already have our tickets booked for this year. We arrive in April and my wife is spending 5 months on board and me 6 months. 

 

You asked about keeping the boat there. We've done what Ditchcrawler mentioned. Our boat is currently on hardstanding at Debdale. As already observed one advantage of this is that you don't need to pay licence fees when the boat is out of the water.

 

Though I had been warned that hardstanding can accelerate rusting, especially if the bottom of the boat isn't blacked, so I had it taken out beforehand and blacked it, including the bottom. Better to be sure.

 

We hired for a number of years. I figured that for about a month a year hiring made sense. The costs of hiring for a month were roughly what I thought it would cost to have a boat sitting over there, and there's no maintenance responsibility to go with it. But for 6 months hiring becomes a little less attractive if you plan to use a boat for a few years.

 

There's a few advantages to hiring too. You get to learn more about boaty type things, from both the boat you hire and ones you see along the way. So what type of layout suits you for example. Reverse layout? Traditional layout? What type of stern, trad, semi trad or cruiser? All of these things are useful to know before you buy so you can narrow down what you're wanting. 

 

Whilst Roland (Hi Roland) seems to have had a bad experience with HSBC we've been happy with them. I did quite a bit of research on opening a bank account in the UK, but everything we heard said forget it nowadays, even with a British wife. They now require clear evidence of a local address and without that it's almost impossible to open an account from what I hear. Things like gas bills, water bills  etc to prove you live there. It's all about anti money laundering legislation apparently.

 

We ended up getting a Global account from HSBC. You can add Aus$ to it then change the money into pounds (and other currencies) when you want to take advantage of a better exchange rate. And you get a card that you can use in the UK to spend your pounds when you want. 

 

I had opened other accounts here in pounds but none of them allowed me to spend the pounds in the UK, so all except the HSBC account were effectively useless. But the HSBC card worked just fine, though strangely I always had to sign rather than use a pin, no idea why. But it worked every time.

 

I originally looked at the option that HarleyJ spoke of, getting some HSBC guy in India to open an account, paying $200 and then having minimum transaction requirements. The Global account does away with all that and can be opened online in 10 minutes, we did it last week to get an account for my daughter who is going to the US. No fees.

 

Buying from Oz isn't easy though, there's some obvious problems, for example it's not all that easy inspecting a boat when you're half a world away. If the market is anything like when we bought it's difficult as a buyer, and doubly so from here. Boats were selling very fast.

 

You've got a number of options for buying. You could move there for a while and then be there to look at boats for sale. The problem with this for me was that it would be expensive on accommodation and car hire and you have no idea how long it will take so hard to know when to book your return ticket.

 

Some people have bought a boat from here without ever setting foot on it, just on photos. I did it roughly like that. I fixed a price from here and paid a deposit then flew over there for the survey. Lucky as it was roughly at the time we'd get cruising anyway, so I just stayed and started cruising. Also it was a relatively new boat so shouldn't have had any real problems, as the surveyor confirmed.

 

So you'll have to find a way of buying that suits you, not easy. Some have suggested hiring and cruising and stopping along the way to hire a car to look at boats for sale. Others have friends over there who can look at a boat for you. It's whatever works for you. 

 

And browse here as much as you can, there's plenty of stuff to learn.

 

Good luck buying, it's not easy but well worth it once you have your boat. 

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