Eastern Med still good value?

Slow_boat

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We had intended to retire to our boat in 18 months and take a slow bimbel in to the Med but it looks like my plans could be brought forward and on less funding than previously thought. Now we're thinking of selling up to get rid of all bills and getting out to Greece or Turkey to buy a liveaboard as there seem to be plenty going cheap at the moment.

The question is, is the eastern Med still good for cheap living on a boat and does it make a lot of difference what size between 30 and 40 feet long as a seperate aft sleeping cabin sounds good?

I would have a small pension so finding work shouldn't be essential.
 

Tranona

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It depends entirely on your perspective. The great thing about Greece is the wide choice of possible lifestyles from basic budget to sybaritic. In general moorings are low cost or free if you move around, and longer stay yards and marinas generally lower cost than in the western med - but catching up fast. Basic living costs including food are similar to UK, but many consumer goods and particularly boat bits are more expensive.

As to the boat, a mid 30s foot is ideal. Aft cabins have their advantages from an internal space point of view, but usually have limited outside living space and are less suitable for the common stern to mooring. There are indeed many boats for sale often by folks like you who have lived their dream and are now giving up. For many it is age, but also the realisation that costs have risen in £ terms by typically 50% in the last 3-4 years. This may be to your advantage as you might be able to get a suitable well equipped boat at a substantially lower price than buying one in the UK and taking it out here. However, the Med is harsh on boats and you may well be disappointed with the condition of older, cheaper boats - particularly if the owner has had a constrained budget.

The biggest concentration of used boats is probably in the Ionian around Levkas and on Corfu, so a trip out here would be worthwhile. You might also consider an ex charter boat as they can be excellent value. Be aware, however, that the market is very flat so although you may get a bargain now, you have to recognise that it is extremely difficult to sell on, and a 30 year old cheap boat now may be unsaleable in a few years time.
 

macd

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Would entirely echo Tranona's views.

Yes, it's a how-long's-a-piece-of-string question, but what else can you ask?

It's still possible to live very cheaply, if you avoid working marinas and do most of your (self-) entertaining aboard. I make the distinction about 'working' marinas, because there are plenty of unfinished ones in Greece where its cheap or even free to stay. Same is true of town quays. And there are zillions of good anchorages. Indeed in some parts of Greece it's hard to find a marina (not that I looked very hard).

Many town quays, but by no means all, are suitable for wintering, which also significantly reduces costs.

Much will also depend on how practical you are, how able to look after the boat's systems, make repairs and so on. A little learning in that regard before you head off could stand you in good stead. Besides, it's fun (well, for some of us, anyway).

As to buying a boat, if you purchase in Greece (or Turkey*) you're likely to get something already substantially kitted out for the conditions: bimini, solar panels, passarelle etc. Kit already on a boat adds relatively little to its value; adding it post-purchase costs an arm and a leg.

That said, don't let that deter you from a leisurely amble from the UK if you can find the right boat nearer home. I enjoyed it hugely.

* there are VAT issues with Turkey. Buy a boat there, and VAT becomes due on importation to EU, even if previously paid. However, in the case of EU boats already VAT paid, it's commonplace to complete the sale in the EU (as little as a couple of miles away), in which case no VAT is due. Perfectly legal.
 
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Tranona

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I had heard that the government were putting up prices and enforcing charges they've never bothered with before. Is that true?

Yes, to an extent. There is a new tax on boats, but it has not been implemented yet and as it only applies to sailing boats over 15m is unlikely to affect most liveaboards. There have always in theory been charges for mooring on town quays, but enforcement is variable - the authorities tend to have little bursts of activity, usually at the beginning of the season and then relax. However it seems there is more pressure from the government to enforce charges - but even then, they are modest compared with elsewhere.

I think one has to accept that the "cheap" days are over. When we first went there in 1999 our living expenses for a week were about £50 each. A meal with all you could eat and drink would be £3-4. Same today in the popular waterside tavernas is nearer 15 euros.

On the other hand you get 7 months of good boating weather, fantastic scenery, friendly people and overall an experience well worth the effort.
 

djk

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I wonder how long before the Greeks cotton on that places like Preveza with a part finished marina and Vonitsa which is also full of liveaboards paying nothing for long term mooring is crazy?
 

Slow_boat

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Just to make it clear, I have been around boats most of my life but have been doing the boring stuff society expects for the past twenty five years so am out of touch with the real world.

Last time I was working in Greece on a flotilla was 1983, when Porto Heli had one hotel and one disco, so one could say I'm a little out of touch!
 

Davy_S

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What I can tell you is this, the area is a wonderfull cruising ground with friendly people. Some things you should be aware of, if you will need to buy new clothes or yacht bits, bring them with you from the uk, everything has gone really expensive in Greece. Petrol has reached a new high of 1.75 euros a litre on the islands. There is a crackdown on taxes, cartells are still up and running, strikes are rampant, self destruction reins everywhere, all crazy.
If you buy exported goods in a supermarket ie heinz soups, you would expect to pay more, but in Greece you will pay double anywhere else. Eating out in a Taverna can be very good value, local wine is cheap, but eat where the locals eat, Not where the tourists eat, food is better and so are the prices.
In short come and enjoy but bring all you think you may need with you and dont get ripped off!
 

Oliveoyl

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Apart from the cost in €/£

30ft cheap/40ft expensive OK, but there's a whole lifestyle quality difference in E Med. Apart from a (very few) rip off places (eg commercal marinas), visitor-friendliness, eg taking shore-lines, cheap car/scooter hire, even in the E Pelop, the restaurant owner who gave us a free goody bag of home grown veggies, just because we'd looked at her menu.
Also, in GR/TR, anywhere we went with 1 yr old granddaughter, shopkeepers came out to give little pressies.
Our opinion on cost/benefit: cost can be managed down to whatever your budget allows, benefit (in human terms) can exceed all expectations
 

Appleyard

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"Even the restaurant owner who gave us a free goody bag of home grown veggies, just because we'd looked at her menu"

Was that Margaret perchance? (in Leonidhion)
 
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Oliveoyl

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"Even the restaurant owner who gave us a free goody bag of home grown veggies, just because we'd looked at her menu"

Was that Margaret perchance?

Indeed, Margaret at Leonidion. Dinner for 4, lots of wine, €55 for 4. Quay + water free.

Is that paradise or what?

PS, think that's where baker's van stopped to give free buns to granddaughter
 

Appleyard

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Indeed, Margaret at Leonidion. Dinner for 4, lots of wine, €55 for 4. Quay + water free.

Is that paradise or what?

PS, think that's where baker's van stopped to give free buns to granddaughter

Happy days ..reaaly lovely couple Margaret & Michael ..but what do you do with about 5 kilos of Courgettes??? We had to give most of them away.

We spent an amazing evening there. A priest from Athens was visiting on his vacation (?) and after quaffing several carafes of wine ,took a chair down to the end of the small jetty and sang in a wonderful bass voice what we assumed were Greek Orthodox hymns,while the sun was setting.. Magical!!
 
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blueglass

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The Ionian was our graveyard of sailing ambitions 4 years ago when we were passing through from Italy and heading East. Just didn't seem any point in going further. We love the place.
Not as cheap and carefree as it used to be - but tell me where is?
Lovely sunny climate - without getting too unbearably hot, lovely people, good hearty food at reasonable prices (don't expect a free lunch!) cheap or free moorings , more anchorages than anybody has a right to expect, good low cost flights to get back home when needed,
I can't think of anywhere better in the Med.
 
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