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Thread: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

  1. #1
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    Default Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Well, I seem to be in Europe for at least the next 2 years. Seems like it might be a good idea to have a boat here, or near-ish enough to use on school breaks. I doubt it makes much sense to try and ship my boat from the U.S., since I have no storage here anyway.

    I'd appreciate any ideas on websites or people selling small boats (wooden preferred, of course)--ideally lug rigged, rowable, no engine. I'll want to store it elsewhere as we own no car or trailer at all. Store in a boatyard so it's waiting to launch when I have time free? Not sure how realistic it might be to do all that.

    I could imagine a boat on the Baltic, or even possibly in the UK. If such a thing were possible at all... The west coast of Finland looks interesting. The Netherlands, perhaps? Interior/sheltered waters I'm not thinking of?

    I could buy now if something were available, but realistically would likely be summer before I'd use it. Unless there is a winter venue that's friendly enough to small boat cruising near central Europe?

    Thanks for any thoughts or advice!

    Tom
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Looking solely at the WSJ today, my advice would be to buy in pound sterling, not euros!

    I have no expertise here, but one way of thinking would be to use this two years as a chance to try something novel, and maybe get something different from your US boat. If it was me, I'd be trying to get my hands on a production version of a Vivier design (Grand Largue), because it's an opportunity you won't really find in the US and also because I would suspect it would hold its value for resale in two years.

    No matter what you do it will be an adventure!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    [W]e own no car or trailer at all.
    That's the pinch point. Though I hate to be a wet blanket, it seems to me you'd be better off putting the money in fund devoted to boat rental fees. Sure, lug rigged rowable boats are not all that easy to rent, but that's a smaller problem than the transportation issue.
    I am glad you want to get on the water! I would love to hear more boating adventures from our far-flung correspondents.

    - James

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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    I know not what you were thinking about, but I use my inflatable kayaks more than any of my other boats. I've had mine for maybe 10 years and just got another for my wife. Lightweight at 26 lbs, maybe 30 in their backpack with pump etc, and also very tough. Seems very suitable for your current living situation. Mine are made in Czech Republic, so fairly local to you.

    IMG_2916.jpg

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Given the waters local to Wroclaw, how about a canoe?

    Nick

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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Is there a sailing club within reach that has storage space?It gets even more convenient if you can find one that has covered indoor storage.You may find a club that has boats for use by it's members if you look around.Some may expect some hours of maintenance on the boats in return.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Shouldn't some local sailing club adopt you as "International small boat camp-cruising expert and author in residence" and let you use their boats for free?! I'm only half joking.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    I was thinking along the same lines as James; Europe being far more club/livery oriented, wouldn't renting have some significant advantages? As might the inflatable option, giving total flexibility on boating locations. I know...not the same, but aren't you there to partly experience "not the same"?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Maybe a folding kayak?



    https://youtu.be/Pn4hwfgpzzo


    How far are you from Flensberg? Maybe Forumite Martin Shultz would have some ideas.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Thanks for all the comments so far--much appreciated!

    The idea of affiliating with a local club is a good one, and I may well do that--there's a "yacht club" about 1.5 miles up the river, but I haven't checked it out yet. And certainly a kayak or canoe makes all kinds of sense for local waters. Maybe storing one at the yacht club will be a possibility? (I've never really gone in for the club scene so have no idea).

    But I think I can arrange that kind of thing without much trouble. What I'm really looking for on this thread is some kind of dinghy cruiser I can use on longer school breaks. Ideally, by "use" I mean sailing on the Baltic (west coast of Sweden, or Finland) or in the Netherlands, UK, Venice, etc. The lack of a car and trailer is a hurdle for sure. But I'm not really after an every-day sailer (no time while school is in session anyway). I'm looking for a boat that could be stored somewhere worth exploring, so when I have a week or a month, I can travel there and do some extended(ish) cruising.

    The Vivier "Bounty" production boat looks fantastic, though I imagine it's very pricey.

    OK, so that's a bit of clarification, maybe. Now, show me the boats that fit my (arguably delusional) scheme!

    (Rentals make all kinds of sense, too--any leads on that would be great).

    Tom
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Tom, my first thought was 'Raidboat', and last week the new owner of the sisterboat of 'Lucia' was looking for a new owner. You may know her from the video 'Two luggers at play'. But after better reading your post I understand a trailersailer is out.
    We had a 'Klepper' when I was young and I have taken her apart to go to the Danube, in France to the Ardeche and we travelled by train. There was also a rig , beautifully made but with a worthless shape. At the 'Extreme Raid' there were some Germans with the same type of boat and they had better sails and also floats to keep them upright. imo to much luggage but perhaps you could send it ahead when you go to the Morbihan for 'La Semaine du Golfe'?
    Another possibility is crewing on another boat. I see often boats with one person who like to take others aboard. Possibly the organization will help you there.
    Frank

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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by FF View Post
    Tom, my first thought was 'Raidboat', and last week the new owner of the sisterboat of 'Lucia' was looking for a new owner. You may know her from the video 'Two luggers at play'.
    I've seen that video. They're really pretty.

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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Tom, if you consider travelling to Finland as an option I would recommend the Saimaa lake system as a good place to experience "something else". There are boats to rent, although wooden lug-rigged might be too much asked . But I can personally offer the opportunity to use an H-boat. We have a jointly owned boat that sits mostly on the slip since it is everybody's second boat. Actually it wasn't even launched this summer .

    If you look at the map of Finland and check cities Lappeenranta, Savonlinna and Kuopio. They can all be reached with a boat through the interconnected lakes and canals. It is a huge area to explore with a small boat and I promise you some sailing onboard mine and my friends' woodies (even a lugger ) if you ever come to Kuopio.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Moving the boat around without owning a car is going to be expensive. Rental companies usually fit towing hooks only on vans and 4WD's and since international return is really expensive (if available at all), you are stuck with renting the car over the entire sailing time, plus parking.

    Folding boats are available, either kayaks with or without outriggers, or actual dinghies. How well they sail depends on the previous owner, because the original configurations were often not so great. Most are older designs with generous packed dimensions, the best way to have them moved is having them shipped or travel by bus.

    Renting locally is easy as long as you don't hold to rigidly to the wooden lug rigged idea.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    There's a small Faering ( with trailer, electric engine and sails) for sale in The Netherlands, a perfect boat for the German lakes or the Finnish coast. No relation with seller.
    The link below directs you to a pdf with a QR link to pictures. It's listed on yacht brokerage Goliath as well (https://www.scheepsmakelaardijgoliath.nl/)
    https://go.openbms.nl/uploads/160/20..._-_verkoop.pdf

    Faering.jpg
    Last edited by dutchpp; 09-27-2022 at 10:25 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    It is a really different boating scene in Europe, you can go everywhere. Facilities are plentiful and relatively cheap.

    Up in Friesland they have a tradition of renting small open sailing boats. Perfect area to explore and camp.

    Netherlands is a probably the best place to look for a boat. The locals use an online marketplace - https://www.marktplaats.nl - sort of their version of Craigslist. Look under "Watersport".

    There are lots of private yards that will be happy to take care of your boat for you. Many have inside storage and will store and maintain so all you have to do is call and they will have your boat in the water and ready for you. We have a family that have been taking care of our boat for 25 years now and are close friends.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Thanks for all the ideas! The private yards to store and launch sound like they're exactly what I am after. I have just discovered the YouTube videos of the Dorestad Raid...



    Tom
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    SeaHopper folding dinghies can be bought with rigs. Not lovely, just a plywood pram, but easy to store or transport. The 10' model is a big dinghy.
    https://www.seahopperfoldingboats.com/

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Wooden lug rigged, sail and oar - suit Eng Lit teacher who knows what "Coot Club" is....

    https://huntersyard.co.uk/
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    Wooden lug rigged, sail and oar - suit Eng Lit teacher who knows what "Coot Club" is....

    https://huntersyard.co.uk/
    Oh yeah! Thanks!

    Tom
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Oh yeah! Thanks!

    Tom
    If you follow through on that I'll happily buy you a beer when it happens.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    If you follow through on that I'll happily buy you a beer when it happens.
    That would be great. I just have to sell the idea to my (non-sailing) wife. I'm sure she wouldn't mind a week in London on her own, though...

    Tom
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Tom,

    You could show your polish students how to build an Alaska...they’ll pick up woodworking skills and see its possible.

    You know what is and what isn’t important, scooge it together, you wont be precious about finish etc, and you’ll be pretty quick and confident having already done one...start an after school boatbuilding club if the school agrees if you can find a spare space.

    If thats not possible, i think if you have a car parking space free for your flat/ house, a stitch and glue sail and oar design from full size patterns might go together quicker than looking for something. CLC Northeaster for example. He might supply a cutting file to a kitchen cutter if you asked.

    There was Salmo boats that had a kit boat like an ilur, bit stitch and glue, Salmo 15 it was. Cant see website working at present but i think he was in Poland off top of my head. There was video of a trip to norway.

    I think the swedish 1000 islands as they call it is probably the place to go...
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 09-29-2022 at 03:04 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    If you want to keep a small boat on the western coast of Finland I have access to several suitable places for launching and for a fee to cover wear and fuel you can borrow my tractor for the job. I could certainly find cheap winter storage for you. I would just have to ask a few friends and neighbours with a bit of extra barn space.
    It would be nice to be able to help a newly recruited European to get started.

    I repair wooden boats as a side income besides house carpentry and joinery and have a fully equipped workshop by the way.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Tom,

    You could show your polish students how to build an Alaska...they’ll pick up woodworking skills and see its possible.
    Great minds think alike! I've proposed a skin-on-frame building program at my school--minimal tools or toxic glues, also minimal material costs. At the moment, finding space is a problem, but it may happen later this year, or next. Some kayaks or whitehalls would be nice river boats for the local water. Or a Gentry Annabelle skiff, maybe. We'll see! But it will likely take a while if it's going to happen.

    Tom
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    If you want to keep a small boat on the western coast of Finland I have access to several suitable places for launching and for a fee to cover wear and fuel you can borrow my tractor for the job. I could certainly find cheap winter storage for you. I would just have to ask a few friends and neighbours with a bit of extra barn space.
    It would be nice to be able to help a newly recruited European to get started.

    I repair wooden boats as a side income besides house carpentry and joinery and have a fully equipped workshop by the way.
    Thanks! I will keep that in mind. Looks like flights from Wrocław to Helsinki might be less than $200 U.S. I can't imagine a better place to explore than the Finnish coast. No pesky tides, either! (Not much, anyway). I bet I'd feel right at home there--probably looks a bit like my "local" Canadian waters:

    7.jpg

    Tom
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Thanks! I will keep that in mind. Looks like flights from Wrocław to Helsinki might be less than $200 U.S. I can't imagine a better place to explore than the Finnish coast. No pesky tides, either! (Not much, anyway). I bet I'd feel right at home there--probably looks a bit like my "local" Canadian waters:

    7.jpg

    Tom
    Further soulth it looks like that. Up here around Vasa the entire coast and archipelago consitsts of boulder ridges with clay filling out the bottoms of the valleys.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    After having Hulk finished, the idea of selling Long John Silver is rising up in my mind more and more.
    Just in case you would be interested.
    Anyway, if you happen to be around my place (Bay of Lübeck) you are allways welcome to do go sailing.

    Cheers Max

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Try broker "Wooden Ships" in Devon. He has a "Small boats" section.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Tom I've found this in Combrit, Brittany, France...what I think looks like an Oughtred Acorn skiff (its his small lapstrake Whitehall inspired boat). Might be a sprit? 2 pairs of oars on a decent trailer just north of the Morbihan basin, which would be a good place to keep a boat with all the traditional French festivals that way and Morbihan's a fun looking place anyway (you will experience strong tides). It would only need moving a short distance to the basin. I think there's another festival where the boat is at Concarneau and Douarnenez: The Douarnenez Festival. Basically where it is, is in the thick of French 'sail and oar' country. Roger Barnes knows that area and has sailed that bit of coast (I think he capsized his Ilur off a promentary!).

    You're probably used to more waterline, it says 4m - 13ft? not the 15 version I guess, and you might want more boat, but that'll be narrow enough to car top maybe now and again and be handy for inshore sail and oaring. You could certianly take part in th Golfe du Morbihan with it. Asking 4k euros. Not a bad price, as boats in France tend to be dearer than the Uk for the same thing. It'd be that in the UK. The bottom cover indicates somebody cared. Looks in good nic.







    https://www.chasse-maree.com/annonce...oile-aviron-2/


    Chasse Maree is the French sail and oar/ traditional boat hangout I think. There's a fair bit of trade on it and worth keeping an eye on.
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 10-07-2022 at 05:52 AM.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Pearson View Post
    Tom I've found this in Combrit, Brittany, France...what I think looks like an Oughtred Acorn skiff (its his small lapstrake Whitehall inspired boat). Might be a sprit? 2 pairs of oars on a decent trailer just north of the Morbihan basin, which would be a good place to keep a boat with all the traditional French festivals that way and Morbihan's a fun looking place anyway (you will experience strong tides). It would only need moving a short distance to the basin. I think there's another festival where the boat is near Concarneau and Douarnenez. Basically where it is, is in the thick of French 'sail and oar' country. Roger Barnes knows that area and has sailed that bit of coast (I think he capsized his Ilur off a promentary!).

    You're probably used to more waterline, it says 4m - 13ft? not the 15 version I guess, and you might want more boat, but that'll be narrow enough to car top maybe now and again and be handy for inshore sail and oaring. You could certianly take part in th Golfe du Morbihan with it. Asking 4k euros. Not a bad price, as boats in France tend to be dearer than the Uk for the same thing. It'd be that in the UK.







    https://www.chasse-maree.com/annonce...oile-aviron-2/


    Chasse Maree is the French sail and oar hangout I think.
    They also look a lot at the larger trad sailing boats. Nice piece on Luke Powell a while back.

    Cough Cough, my Whilley Tern is looking for a new trustee.... Could even get her to The Morbihan for the 'fest...

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    With no car or trailer, I would have thought inflatable or renting might be best but appreciate it isn't quite the same.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    Because the Universe works in strange ways, a six episode series "High Water" just popped up on Netflix (here in the US at least, though it is in Polish with English subtitles) about the 1997 floods that inundated Wroclawia. Your new city appears to be at the confluence of several significant rivers, looks like a small boat paradise. Well, maybe not in the winter...
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Buying A Small Boat in Europe?

    A Norwegian friend visited a couple of days ago and he hinted that at the moment one can get used wooden boat surprisingly cheap in southern Norway. Apparently there is a bit of a glut on the market. A nice little sjekte or færing would suit you I think.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

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