Thoughts on crossing eu borders by boat without a passport? (1 Viewer)

Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
10
Reaction score
38
Age
21
Homebase
Essex, UK
Having extensively cruised the uk, inland and coastal, I have been thinking a bit lately and looking into leaving for warmer climates.. boats so nearly ready. Haven't currently got a passport, my dog hasn't either, boats also not registered (not a requirement in the uk but is in some countries). Seriously debating just going without documents given the fact that we've left the eu and it's a pain in the ass to get everything in order now, including visa fees and stuff to travel within europe.

What do you think would happen if I was stopped? I'd likely be crossing to belgium first, probably heading through the canals to the med, then further south from there...

Likelihood of having the boat siezed or being jailed? I would of thought unlikely?

Interested to hear thoughts...
 
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!

Roboman

Lurker
Joined
Mar 23, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Homebase
Bonn
Personally I wouldn't risk it. The channel is one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, so certainly you will be noticed. On top of that, all the migrant crossings mean that many eyes are on the water. You could get lucky though, idk....
 

Colinleath

Wanderer
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
58
Reaction score
143
Homebase
Mediterranean Coast
Website
colinleath.github.io
Maybe look up the story of the youngest person to solo circumnavigate, Laura Dekker. Ok nevermind, it's not relevant. She sailed from the Netherlands to England. And probably had a passport.

I'd guess that at every port the captain will want your passport and boat registration (even in the canals?) If you can avoid overnighting at a port ever it might be possible.

One of my friends was initially trying to leave the US without passport and sail to Oman (i believe) but he ended up getting the passport first. And he made it eventually via sail and overland transport.

I for one wouldn't want to try. It's not like you're simply crossing and then ditching the boat and disappearing into Schengen. Especially in the canals it's basically like you're on a road with a license plate. (Or without one!)

But i don't know for sure. I've bicycled the canals across France a few times and in places there are possibly abandoned, probably unregistered derelict barges. . . But they're not going anywhere.

As for what happens if caught, I imagine they impound the boat and send you back to England. That's just a guess.

From personal experience doing things where I'm afraid of being caught is far less relaxing than otherwise. But that's my own temperament. Others get off on that sort of thing.
 
Last edited:

Aleksi

Lurker
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Homebase
Nomad
Whatever guys.
I bough a dirt cheap Halcyon 27 in UK, sailed her across the channel to France right during the pandemic lockdown and Brexit time, without having yet any official boat papers.
My way of doing always been to let the administration deal with the situation I present to them, while Im having a cup of coffee down below. Funny enough, most of the time, you do what the fuck you want, if you decide to do so.
Why the fuck are we even speaking about migrants, Laura Dekker and bicycles ?
@Colinleath "From personal experience doing things where I'm afraid of being caught is far less relaxing than otherwise"
Well that is some sort of opinion. I feel the exact opposite way, once I step outside the legal boundaries, being caught isn't a worry anymore, and freedom has a very different taste. One that very few people really know about.
 

Colinleath

Wanderer
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
58
Reaction score
143
Homebase
Mediterranean Coast
Website
colinleath.github.io
Sounds like you already know, more or less then, didn't mean to pour cold water on the adventure though I suppose I was.

On the plus side, France along with Catalonia seem to me to be the most free countries in Europe (and less rule-bound than England). So possibly any officials you encounter won't care.

if you already crossed and were fine then the canals should be fine also.

And if your losses are minimal if you do get stopped then why not? Worst case you just start over and figure out the bureaucracy or some other way around it.
 

RoadFlower33

Born Wild
StP Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
433
Reaction score
557
Age
32
Homebase
Idaho
I haven't looked up the particular laws but I was told once that if you port a boat you have 90 days without a passport. Though this was an old timer and its probably not relevant anymore. I never needed to know.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Total amount
$20.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $20.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $20.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $20.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $20.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.