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TOPIC: From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice?

From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 16 May 2021 13:34 #123176

  • Martin Ling
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The usual way of getting a barge across without sailing it over is to have it towed, rather than road carriage or lifting it onto another ship. But I think that getting a tow all the way to Plymouth would well exceed your stated budget. A tow can also pose much the same risks to the barge as a passage under her own steam, and without the benefit of an alert crew aboard to intervene if something goes wrong.

So it does seem like you'll have to sail her, at least some of the way, and at that point why not all the way. My intent was not to suggest you shouldn't - only to caution you as to the scale and difficulty of the endeavour.

With the right planning, preparation and help it would be a great adventure that would give you the confidence for just about anything you could possibly want do with the ship in the future.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 16 May 2021 11:10 #123163

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Martin Ling wrote: Frederick, besides the paperwork questions addressed so far there are the practicalities of this passage. Even the usual short route across the Straits of Dover is a serious matter for flat bottomed, inland barges. Getting your boat to Plymouth will be a major challenge and is not a trip for a novice.

Others are far more qualified than me to speak on this, but since nobody else has done so I will comment from my own experience.

I have crossed the channel on a tjalk very similar to the one you are buying, on a route direct from Ijmuiden to the Thames estuary. It was a rough trip, even after many days of waiting for quiet conditions. These boats were not built for the sea. Even with good weather, a bit of swell can make them extremely unpleasant very quickly.

I actually made the reverse trip to yours, from Plymouth to Rotterdam a couple of years ago. I was leading a watch on a tall ship, designed for open sea, on which I have several thousand miles' experience. Even on that vessel it took us several days, with several rounds of difficult conditions, and we had to take shelter in port more than once.

Your trip is possible with the right passage plans, the right conditions, and the right crew, but it is a very serious proposition. You would be well advised to hire an experienced skipper with relevant experience to help you plan, prepare for and make the trip.

You should expect to have to make the trip in stages, proceeding inland or from port to port in periods of good settled weather and then waiting - perhaps for weeks - for the next opportunity to continue.





Thank you, Martin. Your experience lends weight to how much caution I need for this trip. I will indeed seek a skipper who has experience in these matters. The crew would be me, perhaps another. I may well have to head for a haven more times than I'd like. This will incur costs. I don't seem to have an alternative regarding shipping her over. I think she's too big for the roads. Though the idea of lifting her into a hold of a transport ship, I haven't looked into yet. I've budgeted £5000, or there about for this endeavour.

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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 16 May 2021 10:13 #123156

  • Peter Smith
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Frederick, to fill some of your queries.
Leiden is a lovley city and worth a visit, allegedly has the best herring in NL. Nice boating in the region.
It is likely the shipyard manager and certainly the surveyor will have excellent English. If you require steelwork the Dutch are usually excellent.
If barging towards Belgium for the waterways get busy after Gouda and very busy between Rotterdam and Antwerp. It's a commercial barge motorway.
You can take the scenic route along the Maas towards Maastricht and into Belgium via the back door.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 21:26 #123145

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There is some good advice in the previous posts but to be balanced it should be remembered that Dutch sailing barges were built to sail the Netherlands when that country was a group of islands separated by some pretty turbulent shallow estuaries, big meers and of course the Zuiderzee. I think that one of the worst sea states I have encountered was on the Ijsellmeer, which can pick up a very nasty short sea very easily and very quickly due to the shallow water.

Tjalk type vessels can be seen in Scotland, on the Severn, in Ireland etc. as well as in Falmouth where I am now. A rigged barge is a better proposition than a pure motor barge even if the sails are only used to steady under motor, which may well be the case when heading west down channel into the prevailing wind.

Yes, great care is needed, a well found ship, a good well proven engine, competent crew including mechanic. with local south coast knowledge and plenty of time. I would be happier on a good barge than in many of the boats that can be seen in south coast marinas, thinking of which you will also need plenty of money for moorings if you have to lay over in the Solent! But Plymouth Sound is a lovely sailing area!

Balliol.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 16:46 #123139

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I was wondering much the same. It would be a daunting journey for a relatively unsuitable vessel of the age it is.

Also, I've been thinking (but not brave enough to ask!) why someone would want to take a sailing barge from the Netherlands to an area of the UK where its sailing potential is so limited - and for that matter its motoring potential too. It strikes me that a Dutch sailing barge that still has mast, gear and hopefully sails (quite a rarity now most have lost these features) belongs in the Netherlands where it could enjoy thousands of miles of sheltered mast-up cruising and hundreds of lakes with splendid sailing opportunities! If it's to be used as a houseboat - what a shame, as it seems to offer little advantage over less historically valuable vessels.

However the OP may have ambitious plans we are unaware of, perhaps like the owner of the Thames sailing barge Alice that's normally based at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth Harbour. From here it’s chartered for corporate events when it ventures out into the relatively sheltered Solent, conditions permitting. This barge is rather larger and newer (originally built as a lighter in 1954 and converted in the 1990s) and probably seemingly suited to saltwater sailing than a much older, riveted iron (I guess) Dutch barge.

Peter
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 14:43 #123137

  • Martin Ling
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Frederick, besides the paperwork questions addressed so far there are the practicalities of this passage. Even the usual short route across the Straits of Dover is a serious matter for flat bottomed, inland barges. Getting your boat to Plymouth will be a major challenge and is not a trip for a novice.

Others are far more qualified than me to speak on this, but since nobody else has done so I will comment from my own experience.

I have crossed the channel on a tjalk very similar to the one you are buying, on a route direct from Ijmuiden to the Thames estuary. It was a rough trip, even after many days of waiting for quiet conditions. These boats were not built for the sea. Even with good weather, a bit of swell can make them extremely unpleasant very quickly.

I actually made the reverse trip to yours, from Plymouth to Rotterdam a couple of years ago. I was leading a watch on a tall ship, designed for open sea, on which I have several thousand miles' experience. Even on that vessel it took us several days, with several rounds of difficult conditions, and we had to take shelter in port more than once.

Your trip is possible with the right passage plans, the right conditions, and the right crew, but it is a very serious proposition. You would be well advised to hire an experienced skipper with relevant experience to help you plan, prepare for and make the trip.

You should expect to have to make the trip in stages, proceeding inland or from port to port in periods of good settled weather and then waiting - perhaps for weeks - for the next opportunity to continue.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 11:37 #123133

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Hello Frederick,

CBB is Dutch abbreviation for ES-TRIN certification. If it expires in 2023 then she probably has reserved grandfather rights allowing some exceptions. These will be lost if you do not renew the certificate - but if you are planning on staying in the UK for 10 years then you don't need it. You are legally able to cruise in the EU until 2023.

If she is on the Dutch Kadaster then you may need to de-register her. The simplest flag to transfer her to is the UK Small Ships Register - all done on-line. You are then expected to fly the red ensign on the stern. No reason not to add a Dutch flag somewhere - we include Devon, Yorkshire and Friesland etc as the mood takes us..........
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 11:25 #123132

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I hope I have this in the right order.
She has a cbb till 2023. I guess this is equivalent for the purposes of moving her. I intend to move her to Admiral Banckertweg 19, In Stallinga Leiden. Where she'll be taken out of the water de fouled. Restored to a minimum 4mm , Jet washed, painted, Inspected. I would like to keep her flag as a tribute to her heritage. Not sure if I register her here or keep it in Holland. I'd like to show the uk red ensign as a courtesy to where she'll be sailing, in uk waters. I have no plans to sail her back to The Netherlands over the next ten years.

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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 15 May 2021 11:01 #123131

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Balliol Fowden wrote:

Sam Archer wrote: Has she got a TRIWV / EC / ES-Trin to allow her to move under her own steam?

Whilst that might not matter for the long term if she will be solely UK based, you will need one to get her out of Holland unless she is towed or you take the risk and don't get stopped - I know of at least one boat owner trying that and getting caught (not sure what happened to them in the end).

If she has a current one then it might be sensible to have that renewed as part of the survey you are doing when she is out of the water as it requires a hull survey anyway and she will have grandfather rights if there is one in existence. If there is not one she might struggle to pass the new requirements.

Your UK insurers will have a specific bunch of requirements so I'd be asking them in advance what they might want as part of the survey.



The door has already closed on any “grandfather” rights re. old ships and ES-TRIN and new boat regs. are now applicable without derogations, so if the likelihood is that the vessel will stay in the U.K. for more than seven years, especially if right down in the West Country, then renewed certification now is probably not worthwhile. A renewal in Devon/Cornwall in seven years time by a Dutch authority will be very expensive and if not renewed on time the certification lapses. However if the vessel is currently certified and a return to the EU is possible in the foreseeable future then renewed certification could be a big advantage.

I do not know what transit arrangements are applicable for newly purchased vessels travelling out of the EU but I would certainly avoid moving the vessel in the Rotterdam area if possible, whether currently certified or not. Try and get the vendor to deliver / hand over the vessel somewhere south of Rotterdam, e.g in Belgium, whereupon a point of departure of say Nieuwpoort may be much easier if the vessel is not fully documented.

Balliol.

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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 14 May 2021 13:05 #123126

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www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/vat-transport/vtrans110550 . This might help all those feeling skittish about buying a barge from across the water and returning it to Blighty. At least for the present.

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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 14 May 2021 10:24 #123117

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Tam Murrell wrote:

Andy Soper wrote: Do her measurements qualify her for UK zero-rating - see www.gov.uk/guidance/ships-aircraft-and-associated-services-notice-744c - that will remove VAT concerns?


But not for purchases in The Netherlands of course.

Tam


Dutch BTW (VAT) is unlikely to be applicable to a vessel of this size in NL which will almost certainly have been out of trade for many years, and can of course be reclaimed if the vessel is exported.

I think Andy was referring to import into the U.K. If a Qualifying Ship then VAT will be due on the full purchase price or current valuation, but at Zero percent.

Balliol.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 14 May 2021 10:19 #123116

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Sam Archer wrote: Has she got a TRIWV / EC / ES-Trin to allow her to move under her own steam?

Whilst that might not matter for the long term if she will be solely UK based, you will need one to get her out of Holland unless she is towed or you take the risk and don't get stopped - I know of at least one boat owner trying that and getting caught (not sure what happened to them in the end).

If she has a current one then it might be sensible to have that renewed as part of the survey you are doing when she is out of the water as it requires a hull survey anyway and she will have grandfather rights if there is one in existence. If there is not one she might struggle to pass the new requirements.

Your UK insurers will have a specific bunch of requirements so I'd be asking them in advance what they might want as part of the survey.



The door has already closed on any “grandfather” rights re. old ships and ES-TRIN and new boat regs. are now applicable without derogations, so if the likelihood is that the vessel will stay in the U.K. for more than seven years, especially if right down in the West Country, then renewed certification now is probably not worthwhile. A renewal in Devon/Cornwall in seven years time by a Dutch authority will be very expensive and if not renewed on time the certification lapses. However if the vessel is currently certified and a return to the EU is possible in the foreseeable future then renewed certification could be a big advantage.

I do not know what transit arrangements are applicable for newly purchased vessels travelling out of the EU but I would certainly avoid moving the vessel in the Rotterdam area if possible, whether currently certified or not. Try and get the vendor to deliver / hand over the vessel somewhere south of Rotterdam, e.g in Belgium, whereupon a point of departure of say Nieuwpoort may be much easier if the vessel is not fully documented.

Balliol.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 14 May 2021 09:54 #123114

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Andy Soper wrote: Do her measurements qualify her for UK zero-rating - see www.gov.uk/guidance/ships-aircraft-and-associated-services-notice-744c - that will remove VAT concerns?


But not for purchases in The Netherlands of course.

Tam
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 14 May 2021 09:21 #123112

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Has she got a TRIWV / EC / ES-Trin to allow her to move under her own steam?

Whilst that might not matter for the long term if she will be solely UK based, you will need one to get her out of Holland unless she is towed or you take the risk and don't get stopped - I know of at least one boat owner trying that and getting caught (not sure what happened to them in the end).

If she has a current one then it might be sensible to have that renewed as part of the survey you are doing when she is out of the water as it requires a hull survey anyway and she will have grandfather rights if there is one in existence. If there is not one she might struggle to pass the new requirements.

Your UK insurers will have a specific bunch of requirements so I'd be asking them in advance what they might want as part of the survey.
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 13 May 2021 21:21 #123107

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Andy Soper wrote: NL standard for insurance is 3mm

My last two Dutch insurers expected 4mm on my 25m barge. I think 3mm may be acceptable for smaller barges.

Pete
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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis , Gent.

From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 13 May 2021 20:07 #123104

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Hello Frederick,

Looks a lovely ship with the benefit of a sailing rig but:
The survey is 4 years old and is only of indicative value to you. NL standard for insurance is 3mm - UK 4mm as you appear to realise.
Presumably you are commissioning a new survey and making your offer subject to 4mm minimum thickness.
The Barge Buyers Handbook (see website) has some useful info.
There are some useful articles on the website - barges.org/knowledgebase/cruising/cruising-in-general/126-taking-your-barge-to-sea
and barges.org/knowledgebase/cruising/cruising-in-general/106-crossing-the-channel
Have your insurers specified any conditions for channel cruising?
Do her measurements qualify her for UK zero-rating - see www.gov.uk/guidance/ships-aircraft-and-associated-services-notice-744c - that will remove VAT concerns?
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Best Wishes
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From Rotterdam To Plymouth. Complete novice? 13 May 2021 16:47 #123100

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I'm in the process of buying a sailing barge. I haven't sailed since I was a teenager when I lived on the Medway. Riding a bike comes to mind.
There's a stack load to accomplish.
I need to get the boat out of the water, There's a likelihood of steel plates under waterline being just under 4 mm. Having had a look at a previous survey.
The list. Rigging checked Customary anti-fouling and respray. Surveyed, paid for, updated AIS and chart plotter. Insured and certified. That's me, and the barge.
In a couple of weeks I hope to be at her side, Brexit V.A.T and COVID-19 willing?
She's soon to be moved to Rotterdam for lifting out. Which I'll be present at with an app translator. In the hope that all will run smoothly! But my real problem is what must I do to get this live aboard beauty all of, 21.5 m x 4.5 m x 1 m draft, 35 tonnes, home to Plymouth?
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