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Old 06-16-2021, 03:41 PM   #1
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perpetual traveler wanting to live abroad on a Trawler

hello all

excuse me very much ahead that some of questions are quite beginners one.
but it will be lovely to receive advices from people with much more experiences and knowledge.

I am 40 yrs old, Japanese, solo, currently in Mexico. Semi-retired coping to live a new life style called perpetual lifestyle. Left my country Japan two years ago. it means I do not have a home nor an official residential address. I would like to travel as slow as possible. It seems that Trawler lifestyle fits me. Unfortunately I have never owned a car since I am a colorblind and can't distinguish traffic lights.. def not a handy person at all. never owned a boat neither. my idea was to buy a Trawler in the states, get familiar with her for a few months and ship it to Europe to live aboard.

here are questions
1. Is it possible to buy & register a boat without having an official address?
2. Is it possible to have a boat insurance without having an official address?
3. I am looking at two boats, Nordic tug 32 or Mainship 34, are those boats compatible with costal cruising? Can they be operated by one person?
4. are there any other other recommended trawler i should look into? (budget 120k incl. upgrades, size: 35ft or less)
5. what should I be concerned or prepared for buying US built trawler to live aboard on it in Europe in term of Maintenance, support, etc.
6. how come trawler market are so much smaller in Europe??

if it is doable, i will visit Florida, learn to operate a boat the start boat hunting within this year.
thank you very much for your time. any advices or opinions will mean the world to me.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:30 PM   #2
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Konichiwa nappa-san,
Welcome aboard. Have you considered buying a vessel in Europe?


https://uk.boats.com/boats-for-sale/...r-rivercruiser
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:30 PM   #3
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First of all, welcome to the forum! To address some of your questions, It is very expensive to ship a boat to Europe. I would recommend purchasing one there if that is where you wish to end up cruising. You may be able to gain some experience here in the states by chartering, or crewing on other people's boats. I would start small, perhaps purchase a membership in a club that rents smaller boats, say 18' to 30', often at a discounted rate for members. Take some boating classes, Power Squadron, Coast Guard Auxiliary, or similar classes to get a feel for handling a boat, and the rules of the road. At this point it doesn't sound like you have much, if any experience boating, so you need to find out if you even LIKE it!

Now to answer your specific questions. My answers are in red.

1. Is it possible to buy & register a boat without having an official address? Yes
2. Is it possible to have a boat insurance without having an official address? Yes, but getting insurance had been getting more difficult in the last few years, especially if you don't have much or any experience.
3. I am looking at two boats, Nordic tug 32 or Mainship 34, are those boats compatible with costal cruising? Can they be operated by one person? Yes, although two people are recommended, especially if you are new to boating.
4. are there any other other recommended trawler i should look into? (budget 120k incl. upgrades, size: 35ft or less) Finding a boat in your budget is doable, but a Nordic Tug will be at the high end of your $$. Mainship 34 is doable, but you will probably have to go older than you may like. Older boats require more time for maintenance, and $$ for catching up on deferred maintenance as well. Next: Shipping this sized boat to Europe will cost in the neighborhood of $30k to $45k. So shipping is probably out with that budget.
5. what should I be concerned or prepared for buying US built trawler to live aboard on it in Europe in term of Maintenance, support, etc. General guideline for boat maintenance is 10% of purchase price per year of ownership, assuming the boat is in good condition to begin with.
6. how come trawler market are so much smaller in Europe?? That I can't help you on at all, sorry!

Good luck in whatever you decide, and once again, welcome to the forum!
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:25 PM   #4
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hello all... Unfortunately I have never owned a car since I am a colorblind and can't distinguish traffic lights..thank you very much for your time. any advices or opinions will mean the world to me.
Think about your color blindness preventing you holding a car driver license, and the use of red and green as channel markers, flashing navigation buoys at night, etc. Stbd/port buoys can vary in shape which helps but post markers with color are just posts.
It could affect boat operation, licensing, even insurance.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:46 PM   #5
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I liveaboard an 83' boat and usually operate it alone because I like problem people so much. It's a matter of skill, experience, and determination.
1. Is it possible to buy & register a boat without having an official address?
2. Is it possible to have a boat insurance without having an official address?

Yes to both. I have a private dock with no mail service and a commercial mail service in a town 15 miles away. State doesn't like it, but eventually facts trump bureaucrats. Insurance doesn't seem to care.

6. how come trawler market are so much smaller in Europe??

Because they tax the crap out of their people. Anyone with a boat is considered wealthy, so they get taxed more.
I've been on ships with color blind people on the bridge. They just have to be careful reading charts and better prepared for lights when traveling into new territory.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:14 PM   #6
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sir slowgoesit. thank you so much for the reply. what a relief to know that my plan is pragmatic. yes I am aware of shipping cost which is around 1k(USD)/ft. But just looking at trawler market in Europe, they all seem old and expensive. there are far better deals in US. Ok, it might be wise to raise the budget and go for well-maintained newly boat. Understood.
in terms of the maintenance once it is shipped to Europe, I was not sure since electronic standards are different US and EU, do I have to invest extra (a lot?9 to make the boat compatible to live abroad in Europe. and since somehow trawler market seems much smaller over there, I was afraid could it mean less people can maintain trawler professionally.

anyhow, it was lovely to read your message. thank you very much!
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:18 AM   #7
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5. what should I be concerned or prepared for buying US built trawler to live aboard on it in Europe in term of Maintenance, support, etc.
A couple things that come to mind. I think the first is the biggest.

1) I believe the electrical system/wiring voltage will be different (110 vs. 220). Others here may have a better idea how it can be dealt with, but it doesn't seem ideal (given your budget range, plus the cost of shipping a boat to Europe).

2) More minor, but if you have propane appliances, I believe there may be some differences in the details.

3) Other possibilities would be other US-centric appliances, systems, or gadgets. Not sure how many would or could be an issue for usage or service. A ~$120,000 vessel in the 32-35' range will likely be old enough that warranties will not be a concern on any original equipment.

One other note is that I don't know if the RCD (Recreational Craft Directive) would be an issue or not (not sure it applies to all of Europe?) Basically I think it sorts vessels out into categories based on construction and design for purpose (lakes, ocean, etc.). If this does apply, it may be a factor if you decide to sell that boat. I really don't know though, but something you may want to research.

If I were in your situation, and I didn't already have a boat I had put a lot of time and effort into, I would seek out a boat in Europe for European cruising. (And even if I did have the aforementioned boat, I might still consider buying a boat there.)

Each person is different though.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:26 AM   #8
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Some thoughts:

A non US citizen will have to buy the boat, register it and pay for insurance through a trust if you want it US documented which I would recommend. Probably the same in Europe. Not difficult to do, any lawyer can set one up for minimal fees.

Between shipping and VAT to/for Europe it will cost at least $50K. Think about that when comparing US prices to European VAT paid boats.

You can deal with the power issue by installing a 240/120 transformer to use in Europe. Or spend $10,000 or so converting all appliances to 240V. More to think about in the price comparison.

You are a novice, right? You probably will only stay at marinas initially. Maybe you will ultimately enjoy anchoring out (more peaceful and cheaper). If you do anchor overnight much you will probably want to upgrade batteries and add solar panels for charging. Not really expensive, maybe several thousand $.

So the bottom line:

If your total budget including shipping to Europe, Vat, converting to 240V, etc is in the mid $100K range, then you can only buy a $100K or less boat. You cannot find either of the two boats you mention at that price. An older boat will require more ongoing maintenance.

You say you are not handy, which means all of the work to maintain an older boat will have to be done by boat yards and marinas. $10,000 per year is the minimum I would budget for this.

Another thought- Consider a narrow hull, low draft/height boat to use in the European canals, bought in Europe. You can cruise the canals in the warmer months, tying up at local docks mostly then staying at a marina for the winter months. Pretty nice life style. Check out H2ofrance.com for boats in the 10-15 meter length.

David
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:55 AM   #9
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Poor plan, sorry.

Shipping a boat to Europe will cost way more than just about any boat is worth. Especially smaller ones. Either stay here, or stay there. It is very difficult to have it both ways.

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Old 06-17-2021, 07:31 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. DM. Exactly why I suggested buying a boat in Europe (Post #2). The link I posted also lists numerous vessels within OP's price range AND they're already there AND they conform to European standards WITH European equipment. Sourcing parts for your 10 year old Princess stove may be the least of your worries. Marinized engine parts for a Lehman may be more problematic.
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Old 06-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
Some thoughts:



Another thought- Consider a narrow hull, low draft/height boat to use in the European canals, bought in Europe. You can cruise the canals in the warmer months, tying up at local docks mostly then staying at a marina for the winter months. Pretty nice life style. Check out H2ofrance.com for boats in the 10-15 meter length.

David
That is the best advice on this topic, for this OP that I have read!!
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Old 06-17-2021, 04:38 PM   #12
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thank you all for many thoughtful & educational comments. I will certainly follow your advice and try to look for vessels in EU market deeper. I am am looking for costal cruise vessels. hopefully i can find one.
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
A couple things that come to mind. I think the first is the biggest.

1) I believe the electrical system/wiring voltage will be different (110 vs. 220). Others here may have a better idea how it can be dealt with, but it doesn't seem ideal (given your budget range, plus the cost of shipping a boat to Europe).

2) More minor, but if you have propane appliances, I believe there may be some differences in the details.

3) Other possibilities would be other US-centric appliances, systems, or gadgets. Not sure how many would or could be an issue for usage or service. A ~$120,000 vessel in the 32-35' range will likely be old enough that warranties will not be a concern on any original equipment.

One other note is that I don't know if the RCD (Recreational Craft Directive) would be an issue or not (not sure it applies to all of Europe?) Basically I think it sorts vessels out into categories based on construction and design for purpose (lakes, ocean, etc.). If this does apply, it may be a factor if you decide to sell that boat. I really don't know though, but something you may want to research.

If I were in your situation, and I didn't already have a boat I had put a lot of time and effort into, I would seek out a boat in Europe for European cruising. (And even if I did have the aforementioned boat, I might still consider buying a boat there.)

Each person is different though.
1. there are things to convert the whole boat voltage. 240vlt to 120vlt, step down transformer.

Per construction/sea worthy (nes) The CE rating takes care of that. I think the CE rating is very optimistic. (seat belts and helmets required.)
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