Obviously being based in Brighton (UK) it would have been preferable to find a boat in the UK. But the more I searched yachtworld.co.uk the more I found boats that were in Holland, Croatia, Greece, Spain and further – even the USA.
I must say that some of the boats that I could see online in the USA looked great – cheaper too. They just seem to have a much higher spec than the equivalent European boats in the same price category. After weighing up the costs of travel; getting approved under the RCD directive; transport/delivery; and paying VAT – it is just not worth considering the USA – IMHO.
There were a number of boats – 8 to be exact – that I fancied in Holland. We also had the pleasure and experience of owning and sailing our “old Enterprise”, which was a Compromis 999 – a well built Dutch sloop – a bit like a Westerley or Moody.
So I wrote to the brokers; booked the EasyJet flight hired a car and a GPS and off I went. I drove from the South to the North. But to no avail. I saw some lovely boats but they were either too haggard (older Najads and HRs) or too small.
At this point I feel I have to say that the brokers in Holland were fantastic. They are welcoming, professional, organised, polite – one even booked a B&B for me and got me a discount. Quite unlike the typical welcome you get at a British broker. Sometimes I wouldnt even get a handshake; an offer of a coffee; or even an offer of a chair!….just grunts and superciliousness. The one exception to this, in my experience, was Berthon in Lymington who are on a par with the Dutch brokers and were professional and welcoming at all times.
I visited the following brokers in Holland:
- Astra Mare
- de Valk
- Grevelingen Yachts
- House of Yachts
- White Whale Yachts
..and corresponded with a whole lot more from the Azores to Spain to Croatia to Greece and Turkey.
Finally, as luck would have it, I saw the boat listed in the UK – by Barbican Yachts of Plymouth – it was a Moody 44.
Yes, I had gradually gone from 40ft to 44ft… but what a boat 🙂