a Schengen workaround of sorts…

Something good on the subject of fishponds, what we’re up against, and in the “Where the money doesn’t go” department…

Back when we lived in Paris, the place to buy a VW camper van was at the American Express office not too far from the Opera. The reason it was a good place to buy a van was simply that folks would fly to Europe, buy a van, and then travel around Europe till it was time to fly home and they needed to sell their van in a hurry.¬† So, they’d park in front of the American Express office with a for sale sign and the hope that someone would buy it before their flight.

I mention this because I was just thinking about how the Schengen treaty has made cruising in Europe all kinds of problematic for us non-Schengen residents. It’s hard to see all of Europe and get out of the Schengen zone in a three-month period.

Now, our boat can stay within the Schengen area with no hassles but the crew can’t and that’s where the problem lies. While perusing various cunning plans and visa possibilities, it reminded me of those folks trying to sell their vans when they knew that sold or not they were going to be on a flight home at 10:00 AM the next morning.

Which got me thinking of how a small cruising boat like a Jeanneau  Sangria, with much greater livability than a VW van, could be bought for around $3K Euros, and might work out cheaper than the cost of hotels. You could fly in, buy the boat, cruise for a couple of months, then sell it or store it before flying out. If you stored it, you could return later (three months or longer) for another three months and repeat the process.

Since a large part of what we love about France is the French canals, I’d feel the need to modify the Sangria (or reasonable facsimile) by adding a tabernacle so I could lower or raise the mast easily to allow visiting the interior of France via canal.

It occurred to me that the idea would be even better if there were other folks involved with a joint ownership situation. That would allow the boat to be used and not stored, so while one crew is off waiting for the Schengen clock to rewind, another crew could be sailing in the Med doing the happy camper dance.

On the other hand, I expect that the wonders of the internet would allow one to sell the boat in a much easier method than parking in front of an American Express office with hope and a for sale sign.

Listening to France Gall

So it goes…