Join Date: Feb 2004
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I think there are several issues here that make this a red flag to those of us reading it.
Firstly, there is the issue of credibility of the entire situation, but please understand that this is only the first of several serious concerns.
First among these is the availability of resources to render the boat fit and safe for the journey if it is found to be unseaworthy by the skipper who takes you up on this.
You will not be there. You have said that money is tight and that transfering funds in likely to prove problematic. You have also pointed out that the boat has suffered, at the least, some fairly extensive neglect, if not active damage.
It is entirely feasable that based on EXACTLY what you have described in your posts, that the arriving crew would find that casting off the lines is delayed by two weeks and about $10K of materials needed to render the boat fit for the journey.
So that is $10000 dollars of parts, two weeks of accomadation for the crew (and lost wages from their normal lives), and the cost of labour to actually repair engine, sails, rudder or rigging (or all of the above) so that the boat can make an open oceon passage. Where is that money coming form and how certain is the skipper that it will get there? Are you willing to put about $30k in an escrow account to be used for legitimate boat projects by the delivery crew?
These figures are not exagerated. They may be conservative.
Secondly is the concern of documentation. You are asking someone to move an unknown boat across national borders for a third party, where it will be permanently relocated or "imported". The documents required for this are very exacting and at times quite complex, often reuiring some extensive time by specialist attorneys. There may be tax issues, there WILL be goivernment charges and duties. Again, where will you be to provide the funds? A responsible skipper knows not to put themselves into a situation where they will be raftd up to a patrol and customs boat off the coast of bermuda and being told that you must pay several thousand dollars in import duties right there in order to get a clearence stamp. That you may not go further until you do. And that once that money is paid, it is not like the skipper has title of the boat and can keep it until they are reinbursed. basically it is a very sketchy situation. That si why there are binded and insured companies that normally handle this sort of thing.
...And on that note we come to INSURANCE. For the boat, for the crew, for potential costs of being rescued at sea of the boat founders, and of course, for any damage (environmental and otherwise) that the boat might do if the sitution goes pear shaped.
Finaly, we come to the fact that you are dealing with numerous legal hassles involved in your home country in regards to taking possession of this boat. BIGRED WARNING SIGNS for any skipper that may wish to help you out. Those sort of problems tend to get spread far and wide to cover all and sundry if a problem arises. Basically, an insurer would look into your situation looking for loopholes not to pay out. Customs and registery agencies would need a slew of documents to even log the boat into their country and this would get back to your government if you use proper names and ID...if you do not, then no one who you would trust with your boat would really have any interest in dealing with you.
Finally, there is the high likelyhood that if nothing else, the Marina the boat has long overstayed its welcome at will have some suddena dn surprising going away charges to present.
In short, the situation is a disaster more akin to the plot of "Captain Ron" then it is an opportunity for a relaxing cruising holiday.
It is these matters, amongst others that cause people to hesitate and doubt the varacity of taking you up on your "generous" offer of "free" boat use.
My advice would be to get the documentation well and truly 100% sorted out, organise an escrow for boat bills in the several tens of thousands, and contact an import agent specialising in boat tranfers so that he is "on board" with this venture and the crew need only hand the boat over to him and walk away.
Oh yeah...and insurance.
At that point you may find some serious takers that would actually be worth entrusting the boat to.