A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Plans and Custard

“The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay”. The much mis-quoted line from Robbie Burns’ old Scottish poem, “Tae a moose” (To a mouse), which loosely translated means: “no matter how good your plan, it’ll often turn to custard!”

First the plan of sending the dinghy and 5HP Mercury outboard over to the USA as suggested in my last posting. I checked with US Customs and found no issues with the dinghy, just a 2.4% import duty to pay and a requirement to prove ownership. DO YOU THINK I CAN FIND THE ORIGINAL INVOICE!! I found the credit card receipt, an invoice for re-tubing my old dinghy which was done at the same time…but no document that said I own the new dinghy. I rang the manufacturer who told me that they had bought the Company just after I bought my dinghy and they would have to go through the old paper records to find an invoice. They sounded quite reluctant to do this, but a week later (bless their little cotton socks) they faxed me a copy of the errant document.

The outboard has a 1% duty and is required to meet US EPA emission standards. No probs – the manual that came with it says it does. It also says that the motor has a decal on it saying so. Nope….no decal. Also the manual was written in 2006 and it appears that in 2010 the EPA rules hardened up and, of course, my motor was manufactured in 2010. I have emailed Mercury in Australia and the USA and even sent the US a fax asking clarification but, surprise surprise, no answer from either. Probably not high on their priority list. It looks like the motor will have to stay here….I was wondering why there were no new 2 stroke outboards being sold in the USA – I suspect this is the reason. Still, an AGLCA member has advertised that he has a 4HP Mercury for sale and I may be able to catch up with him on my boat buying trip in September and buy it off him – so at least we’ll own a motor in the USA, if not a boat! – although what we will do with it until we arrive is another matter.

And speaking of the boat buying plan: In making the appointments with the brokers to see all of these prospective Loop boats, we eventually came to the conclusion that there were too many boats over too long a distance, and too little time. Since we don’t want to reduce the number of boats to look at, and can’t do anything about the distance, we had to increase the time. As all the flights were already booked for both of us, and rental cars and hotels also, we couldn’t add on to the end, so instead have brought forward my departure by 5 days. This brought additional airfare costs and cancellation costs for a hotel in LA, but gives me more breathing space for the boat viewing, particularly around Chicago. (although I am now going to be there over a holiday weekend – so I hope the boats will be available!) There is also a Looper get together in Chicago on that weekend, so I am going to attend that and I am hopeful of catching up with the AGLCA member with the outboard – so some dark clouds have silver linings.

On the subject of clouds – it snowed in Auckland yesterday. The first time in 70 years and the coldest day ever recorded here. So much for Global Warming!

1 comment:

  1. Good Luck finding a looper boat. Most any boat will do if you like it. We are currently on the loop. Our blog is www.billieskeg.blogspot.com . We are also good friends of Donna and Alan Huber. They are from the same marina in Cincinnati with their boat about 3 slips away from where our boat was. They have since moved thier new boat to our old slip when they bring it home to Cincinnati. I heard about you from them when we were home a couple weeks ago to visit family and the harbour.