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Moving to the UK as a sailor

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Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Hi,

I'm looking to immigrate to the UK shortly and I'm trying to decide where to live. I work as a sailor mostly on boats with seasonal contracts, so I expect to be out of any potential flat for months at a time, mostly using it as a place to keep my things and to recover during months that I'm between contracts. As such, I'm hoping to find a place with relatively low rental costs (no sense paying through the nose for a flat I'll not actually be in most of the time, right?) and low crime rates, with good transport links to the rest of the UK. Preferably also a largish city as I'm a city-slicker by heart and am most comfortable in urban settings, and also potentially a port with potential local maritime jobs. I've been looking at Southampton and Bristol to start with, but I'm a bit short on details other than "They were famous historical ports" and am open to other possibilities as well. Can anyone offer more local advice and information?

London is right out, though. Bugger the living costs.

19 replies to this topic
Liverpool, United...
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1. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Liverpool.

Scotland, United...
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2. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow, Dundee.

Stirling, United...
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3. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Birmingham's central, good transport links, and can be cheap, but it's not a port.

Bristol is expensive and Southampton is within striking distance of London, so also rather expensive.

Some parts of Kent are reasonably priced and have good access into London, local ports, and Channel Tunnel.

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Falmouth?

It’s not a city but has lots of nightlife, pubs etc, reasonable property prices and a thriving boatyard and boat related industries. The big negative is that it’s a long way from the rest of the U.K.

Or how about Cardiff? It’s a city, within reasonable travelling distance from Bristol and possibly lower living costs.

You say you plan to “immigrate”, bear in mind that job opportunities have shrunk as a result of Covid 19 so you’ll need to have skills not available locally as well as the right to live and work in the U.K.

United Kingdom
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5. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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What sort of sailor? Yachts? ferries? container ships? And what nationality?

This could be a problem under the new anti-imigration rules. No form of sailor is on the shortage list so you would need a contract based on the annual salary threshold - and I've a feeling that's a permanent contract. So if you were between contracts you might have problems. Part of the rules are policed by the property owners when they let flats and houses so if it looked questionable they might turn you down to avoid trouble later.

3 posts
6. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Hi, thanks for all the responses so far.

So as far as visas are concerned, that isn't a problem in and of itself - I actually got approved recently to live and work in the UK, so I'm good to go, just need to pick a spot. Hope you won't mind if I stay vague on details just in case, as my own government may not be best pleased about the move if you take my meaning (which in and of itself might be a clue).

For what kind of sailor, well, I'm actually a trained tall ship sailor generally, but I do have a RYA Yachtmaster Coastal license and I've been told I have enough seatime to qualify for the MCA Efficient Deckhand which I was considering before, y'know, 2020 happened. Most of my experience is on tall ships and yachts, but I'm open to commercial jobs as well, if they'll have me - can't be too picky now.

Will look a bit more into Liverpool since it's come up a few times!

Edited: April 14, 2021, 9:20 pm
Bodmin, United...
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7. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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I would actually have discounted Falmouth as too far away from things, too pricey, but if it’s tall ships you’re after Falmouth is the place

Edited: April 14, 2021, 9:38 pm
England, United...
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8. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Looks good but is the city big enough? It's also not so easy to get to other areas.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-54979373

Bristol could be an idea as the rail and coach links from there to the rest of the uk are very good. Not sure if the Balmoral is going to be up and running again which, although steam powered heritage ship, is a summer schedule with some winter work.

There is a TShips festival in Gloucester which is near Bristol. The Youth Tall Ships

https://www.tallships.org/

Liverpool probably too though it's hard for me to get there from the SW by train.

https://tallshipsnetwork.com/events/the-tall-ships-races-2021/

Liverpool, United...
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9. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Liverpool obviously came straight to mind, because to me it has all you want. But on second thoughts, you would have to look closer at employment prospects. Massive though the Mersey is in trade terms, if you discount ferries to Ireland and the Isle of Man, container freight going to Seaforth, and the occasional cruise liner in summer, I'm not sure what you are likely to find.

Liverpool, United...
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10. Re: Moving to the UK as a sailor
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Zebu is docked in Liverpool:

https://tallshipzebu.org/

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