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View from our present house in Cape Town

Belated wishes for 2013.

I have been pretty quiet of late, mainly because I haven’t been doing any Waterway Wandering of any sort at all.

What we HAVE been doing is  selling our house in Cape Town, and buying a smaller lock up and go version, so we can spend more time cruising the European Waterways, and thus actually have something to blog about!

Shangri-La, 2nd from left, in Zwartsluis

Of course, we now do have Shangri-La, the Dutch Steel Motor Cruiser, wintering at Zwartsluis in Holland.
So the boat buying journey is over, and the proper journey can start!
What I have also been doing is trying to get a whole lot of boat related paperwork in order.
And gosh what a lot there is, if one wants to do things properly.
RYA – CEVNI Handbook
Licencing and registration of the boat:
We intend to cruise the European waterways, which will include UK, and crossing International borders.
So Shangri-La needs the correct paperwork.
I would have liked to register her on the UK SSR (Small Ship’s 
Register). Unfortunately, although I am a British Citizen and hold a UK passport, I am not resident in the UK, so this option is not open to me. Pity as this is free.
I can however register her on the UK Part 1 Registry. There are a number of additional things I need to do this. 
First is to appoint a Representative Person in the UK. 
My cousin who lives there fits the bill.
I need to prove Title for the boat for at least 5 years. I received sufficient paperwork from the previous owner, but of course this was in Dutch, so I had to have it translated and notarised!
I needed a Tonnage Measurement Certificate. Fortunately I arranged for this to be done when we did the pre-purchase survey.
And, last but not least, this costs GBP 124.  
All this paperwork is now in place and I will submit the application when we get to the UK in March this year.
Map of Holland with Zwartsluis somewhere in the middle
The boat has a VHF radio – so we need a Ship’s Radio Licence. This was surprisingly easy and cost nothing! Did it on-line with Ofcom and had the licence instantly.
Customs:
One needs to prove that VAT has been paid in the UK/EU. Fortunately the owner had the original VAT Certificate.
Skipper’s Qualification:
When one charter’s a boat from a hire company it appears one doesn’t need any qualifications. However, once you have your own craft, there is every chance the authorities will sooner or later ask to see your proof of competency.
I am fortunately a mariner by profession and hold a South African Master’s certificate which I have just revalidated. But I do want to have a RYA International Certificate of Competency for small craft/motor boats. Again fortunately, I can get this through the RYA on the strength of my commercial qualification. So again, I will submit all this when we get to UK.
In addition to the International Certificate of Competency, for the European Waterways, one needs to have passed the CEVNI test, which covers the signs, rules and regs that apply specifically to the European Inland 
Another box ticked – I have just done this through the RYA.
Membership of the RYA has proved most useful. Read about RYA
Immigration:
Although I have a UK/EU passport, Karen my wife travels on her South African passport. She has to have botha UK visa and a Schengen visa. Both these boxes also ticked now.
Shangri-La
Looking ahead:
The plan for 2013 will be to have Shangri-La back in the water and made summer-ready in March. Then after a spell of offshore work to keep the pennies rolling in we shall start cruising in earnest.
Beginning in Zwartsluis, we will do a circuit of north Holland, and then slowly work our way south through Holland, via Amsterdam and the Ijsselmeer and towards Belgium and France.
We are looking forward to revisiting many of the places that we visited in 2011 on our chartered motor cruiser Solida.
You can read about this trip in these previous posts:  Post 1Post 2Post 3Post 4 and Post 5

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