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StephenSY7
StephenSY7

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:33pm

Post Subject: A non-EU citizen buying a canalboat

Hi to those reading this, I am new to this Forum. I am an Australian looking at buying a boat to travel the canals of Europe but am not sure whether that is possible being a non-EU person. Are there any non-EU people (or anyone who has current info) out there, who have bought a boat in the last couple of years? I'm concerned I may not be able to transfer registration or get insurance. Thanks, Stephen

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:48pm

Post Subject: A non-EU citizen buying a canalboat

As far as the UK is concerned there are no legal requirements required in respect of navigating a canal boat although if you are new to narrow canals a boat handling course might give some confidence. Legally you can just turn up and drive. There are also no formal registration documents so there is nothing to stop you buying the boat and getting legal title to it (if its the vendors to sell is another matter and there are a lot of Ebay type scams around on advertising websites). In fact there are a considerable number of your countrymen and those from the offshore pair of islands who own boats over here. They just lay them up in a marina during our winter and go home. I do not foresee and insurance problems. especially if you use an on-line broker like Craftinsure. The Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency, the two major registration authorities do not seem to care what nationality you are as long as you can produce an insurance certificate, a contact address and the latest of the four yearly Boat Safety Inspection certificates. Few if any inland canal craft are registered British Ships (that may cause problems for you) but some may be on the UK Small Ships Register but that is no proof of ownership and would laps when you stop paying your fees. As far as Europe is concerned you should be aware that UK style narrowboats built to travel the UK narrow canal network are far from best suited to the continental commercial waterways although a number are used there. Locks built and operated for very large seagoing barges tend to toss narrowboats around and narrowboats are not normally fitted with adequate line securing bollards for such use. In any case you will need a CENVI certificate of competence before you are allowed to navigate over there. You can do suitable courses for this certificate in the UK. At the same time you may get advice on other matters like any legal requirements re owner's nationality. The UK Barge association http://www.barges.org/ may give you more information.

StephenSY7
StephenSY7

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:12am

Post Subject: A non-EU citizen buying a canalboat

Thanks Tony-B for your reply and comprehensive answer. I wasn't looking at buying a Narrowboat (too limiting) but rather some form of cruiser (preferably with for & aft cabins) around 35' long. I would chose something able to cross the channel safely and be able to cruise the Med. Stephen

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:56am

Post Subject: A non-EU citizen buying a canalboat

If you do that you will be unable to visit a lot of the UK canals, including the more picturesque ones. The maximum beam for the UK inland canals is 6ft 10 inches, an air draft of around 6ft maximum and preferably a bit less with a maximum draft of 3 ft with 2 ft 6 in being more suitable nowadays. From this you will see that any boat suitable for narrow canals is very unlikely to be sufficiently seaworthy for a channel crossing. If you exceed 6ft 10in beam you will be limited to either the southern wide navigations or the northern ones. To pass between you will either need a lorry of a voyage from the Thames estuary up the east coats to Humber or possibly the Wash/Boston. That voyage would allow a wide beam to visit the Broads and Fenland rivers. On other point that you may need to consider is the in the UK we burn red dyed diesel in our engines but if you get caught on much of the continent with red dye in your tank you would face stiff penalties. Red dye is rather persistent so just draining the tank in the UK and filling with white road diesel may not be enough. It may be better to consider buying a narrow boat fro the UK and when done selling it and buying a more suitable boat in Europe.

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