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Hi

We have a Dufour 38 Classic and will be leaving UK as liveaboards this July. Our first destination is Gibraltar (although not straight there - we will stop at a lot of ports along the way).

First question

What ports are good to stop at on route. We will be looking at doing it in easy chunks until we cross Bay of Biscay.

Second question

We are currently upgrading the chart table to have a back board and bigger lift up table opening. The back board will house a new chart plotter and instruments inc battery monitor and a new 6 gang circuit board.

We need new standing rigging (Inc adding inner forestay); anti fouling ; folding prop; new sails (Ordered); new canvas work inc bimini, spray hood and stack away (ordered).

We also need to upgrade the batteries (We are in process of fitting Rutland 914 and solar panel)

We would have loved to fit generator and watermaker - but not in our budget just yet.

When we get to Gibraltar it is a VAT free zone. Is it worth having some of the work done there (or does it cost more to order it and have it sent out)

If so - what can wait til we get there and what is easily done there?

We will have extra funds by the time we get there but are struggling to afford everything before we go. I am not prepared to put off until later. The timing is perfect for us as we have let our house and we both finish our jobs by June. My mooring is up mid June.

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Swagman

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Congratulations and Good Luck

Methinks it would be worth investing in at least a Channel and Atlantic coast pilots to get an idea of the available ports en-route to Gib. I've a spare Imray 'Shell' Pilot if you wanted to pick it up FOC Lymington - pm me.
Day sailing could see you into Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, St Malo, St Quay, Lezaerdrieux, Trequier, Trebeurden and then L'Aber Wrach before going round the corner to S Brittany where the choices open up even further.
I'd plunk for a direct Biscay crossing if you are going in June but if you do choose to go around the bay maybe cut the corner from Belle Isle over to Gijon and work your way west then south around Finisterre.
Again - it is easy to day sail the N Spain and Portuguese coast and you'll need to decide if you want marinas or anchorages - a recent pilot would be a good guide.
If you are not already aware, the Reeds Almanac covers Germany to Gib, so worth carrying a copy also.
Re Gib prices. I can only comment from 2007 but in those days labour costs were higher than Spain and not sure the reduced outlets gives same choice as the internet.
Good luck - well done - let me know if you need that pilot book.
JOHN
 

silver-fox

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In my experience the choice and competition in the UK make it the best place in Europe to buy equipment.

Also diesel is cheaper in Morocco than in Gib. so don't make the mistake I did and tank up in Gib!!
 

beserksail

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Get everything done before you leave or you will regret it. Also take extra antifoul with you or pay silly money enroute. Prices escalate when you leave uk.
 

AndrewB

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Get everything done before you leave or you will regret it. Also take extra antifoul with you or pay silly money enroute. Prices escalate when you leave uk.
Really? We used always to buy antifouling paint in Spain because it was so cheap, having sailed their regularly up to 5 years ago. Has it changed since?

If you don't leave until everything is perfect .... you'll never leave!

What is more, once you get going you'll find that things you thought beforehand would be crucial, aren't, and those you didn't even think about, have to be done.
 

jimbaerselman

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The "Sailing" tab on my web site is designed to answer questions such as yours. It lists the key characteristics of the more popular sailing regions and ports of southern Europe, and particularly, the Channel through Biscay to the Med.

For a far more comprehensive take on going further afield, especially the regulatory aspects of "Going Foreign", consider membership of the Cruising Association (www.cruising.org.uk). they are very helpful on such matters as preparing your boat for cruising various areas.

For instance, they are running a seminar on 12/13 March - "Going to the Med?". this includes such useful add-ons as chart and pilot book swaps, as well as presentations followed by questions and answers with people who've been there and done it. A very good range of discounts too, especially for those fitting out for new cruising grounds . . . savings will pay for much of your annual membership fees!
 
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