OCC Forums

Thinking about sailing from the Azores to Stockolm


By Gianluca - 15 Feb 2018

An option that I'm considering is to sail after the Azores Rally to Stockholm to join the CCA cruise in 2019. The plan is to leave the Azores at the beginning of July and store the boat over the winter 2018-2019 somewhere.
I would appreciate any high level advise on the route, some interesting waypoints to complete the passage within the month of July, places to consider haul-out Vivaldi for the winter and finally, some advise regarding the Schengen regulations. I'm more interested about the VAT on the boat that my personal visa since I have a dual citizenship, Italian.
I'm looking forward to any advise,

Gian Luca
By Dick - 16 Feb 2018

Hi Gian,
Over the 10 years we were in Europe, there were times I would have given body parts for a dual passport (one of which was EU). If heading to Northern Europe from the Azores, many stop first in Ireland and then continue on. If you have the time there is a ton of wonderful cruising between Azores and Stockholm.
Almost all of it, however, is in areas that do not get you out of VAT territory. Exceptions (please check all of this for yourself as this is too important to leave to casual advice) include the Channel Islands which I used on a number of occasions. We used the CI for both a wonderful place to cruise and for VAT purposes on a number of occasions. Buy fuel, go to the marina, etc and keep all receipts, keep all official paperwork, etc.
Norway is another option that takes you out of VAT (they have their own VAT, I believe). Another option is to push on into the Baltic and visit St. Petersburg. This takes planning ahead, but the distances are not as great as might be thought at first blush. All are definitely out of the way, though.
As for over-wintering spots, I am a CCA member. Please contact me off line for some CCA members who are cruising that area who have left their boats here and there who might be helpful.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Hasbun - 17 Feb 2018

Gian Luca,

If your boat is not VAT-paid, I'd suggest looking into some professional advice.

I've come across conflicting information. All reputable sources indicate that as soon as any customs authority determines you have EU citizenship and/or residency as the owner of a non VAT-paid boat, you are likely to immediately be asked for payment. On the spot. Regardless of which flag the boat flies.

On the other hand, there are cruisers in the Med that I have come across who have things like EU citizenship (but perhaps have not ever resided in the EU or have not for a long time), or who have EU temporary residence, and apparently have not, or at least not yet, been held in port until VAT is paid to local authorities. This flies on the face of what all reputable sources say, but apparently it can happen, or at least in can happen in the Med.

Certainly citizenship and legal residency are not the same thing. In any event, Europeans with non VAT-paid boats would be well advised to avail themselves of professional counsel.

edited by Hasbun on 2/17/2018
By simoncurrin - 17 Feb 2018

We over wintered our boat very successfully at Oxelosund which is south of Stockholm and just 20 minutes from the airport.
By Gianluca - 28 Feb 2018

Thanks a lot about all the input. It seems that the VAT issue is a problem no matter where you go. I need to investigate further.
In addition, I feel that this is a more than 2-3 season playground in order to enjoy it.
I appreciate your time,

Gian Luca