A friend (a former colleague) owns a 1960s sister yacht to Chay Blyth’s first round the world one.
He bought it more than 20 years ago in very poor condition and then spent all his spare time and ££ restoring it.
Six years ago, after paying exhorbitant marina fees in Scotland, he discovered he could berth it in Rochefort and the annual fees plus his cheap flights from Scotland to La Rochelle, was actually cheaper than keeping it in the UK.
He loves island sailing so Morbihan and the Charente Maritime coast means he’s in heaven. And before Boris and Brexit he’d been planning to take it down to the Med.
I know he is just one of many UK based Brits who keep yachts in France, almost like a holiday home. And I’d guess there are other countries with UK yachts based there temporarily.
Now the RYA’s legal adviser (Royal Yachting Association) has told him Brexit means he (and all other UK sailors with boats in the EU) have 1 year to get their boats back to the UK (despite covid) to avoid paying import duty and vat.
The fact that in his case his small yacht is already vat paid, and was built and kept most of its life in the U.K, is irrelevant.
His boat isn’t worth much - cheaper than the average car - but his French harbour master has apologetically given him their approximation of the possible fees . It’s based on the boat’s value in France, which is considerably more than it’s UK value.
I think its a bit like UK-French used car prices.
He can’t meet/justify paying the suggested figure so is very reluctantly expecting to be sailing back to Scotland in trhe Spring.
I wonder how many other sailors will find their French dream cut short
I know of one guy with a narrowboat on the Canal du Midi - that’s not something you can easily shift !!