Sunday, April 29, 2018
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018
Here's a photo of the boat during the installation of the new refrigeration system - and this is why you can't live aboard during a project like this.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
This will be a long post detailing a long project.
If you want to replace your refrigeration I would recommend you first empty all the galley lockers, put tape over all the seams in the floor so gunk doesn't fall into the bilge, protect the floor with towels or rugs, get a Sawzall, a pry bar, lots of big garbage bags.....and get at least a case of beer, or, better yet, a big bottle of vodka. Next take everything else out of all the other lockers and throw it on the floor because that's where it will end up eventually. Then pour yourself a drink and start sawing.
This is how the galley looked before we started. We are hoping it looks this good again soon. The two doors on either side of the stove access the original boxes; freezer on the left, refrigerator on the right.
Thursday, March 22, 2018
We have a legally registered car!
Yesterday our license plates arrived from South Dakota. This might seem like a simple thing, but it's actually been a long and complicated project.
We first thought we could register our car in California since we technically "live" in California, but no, we couldn't do that because California wants all cars to be tested for emissions, and we will be in Georgia for a couple more months, and can't get the smog certificate here.
Then we thought perhaps we could register a car in Georgia, but to do that you need a Georgia drivers license, and to get one you need proof of residency; as in a lease agreement, a power bill, or mortgage papers.
Then we considered using a popular mail forwarding service in Florida to get Florida residency and a Florida Drivers license, but we would have had to register our boat there even though we have federal documentation. That's because Florida actually just wants their sales/use tax which would be a lot of money in our case. If our boat was 30 years old it would qualify for the annual antique boat fee of $6.25, but it was built in 1990.
Then our smart cruising buddies, Steve and Debbie, came to our rescue and suggested the mail forwarding service they use in South Dakota. Very popular with RVers, this service will register your vehicle without you having a South Dakota drivers license or even being there.
So we sent in our information and got an address in a couple of days. Then we bought the car and got a temporary Florida tag. Then we scanned and mailed all our documents to the mail forwarding service, they ran it all to the proper authorities, and Voila! we received our plates yesterday.
Admittedly, it took a while because we had to send lots of forms and documents to them, but it was all done rather painlessly and I would highly recommend Americas Mailbox in Box Elder, South Dakota as the best option for cruising sailors and RVers.
Thank you SOOOO much Debbie!
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Before we could even shop for a car we had to get a South Dakota address, which took about a week. Then we had to get money out of Malcolm's retirement account to purchase it. Then we spent a whole exhausting day running around Jacksonville looking at every Odyssey within our year and price parameters. Then it took another five days to get the title because the seller had to wait until our check cleared.
On that long day in Jacksonville, we eventually went back to the first one we looked at and bought it. It was the cleanest one and that's what won us over. Honestly, some of these soccer mom cars were filthy, but this one looked like it was owned by a single woman and regularly garaged, and the title proved that. Look, here it is in Nancy's driveway:
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
We have been bobbing around on the ocean, footloose and fancy free, for over three years, but now we have decided we'd like to buy a car to use here on the East Coast. The problem is California is our mailing address and we are not in California. Here is just a short list of the roadblocks before us:
- Generally speaking, when you purchase a car out of state, you have 30 days to get it to your home state and registered. Any time beyond that usually incurs large penalties. We don't want to drive right home; we want to use the car here for a few months before we drive home.
- We can't register the vehicle in California anyway because the car must actually be in California to get an emissions/smog certificate.
- To register a car in Georgia you need to have proof of residency (electric bill, lease agreement), and a Georgia drivers license. So Georgia won't work.
- I'd been told you can use St. Brendan's Isle (a mail forwarding service) to help establish Florida residency. A lady named Anna there told me we could register a car in Florida without a Florida drivers license, but a call to the DMV quickly corrected that falsehood. However, we could still get "domicile" in Florida through St. Brendan's Isle, and get a Florida drivers license, but you still have to register your boat there (and pay a big tax). Not impossible, but expensive. And after Anna's whopper, I don't really want to deal with them.
Friends have told us that South Dakota is more lenient and will register vehicles there without a South Dakota drivers license. You need to use a mail forwarding service to get a South Dakota address, then provide clear title, and proof of your identity via your social security card. All this can be accomplished via Notaries and the United State Postal Service, so there is no need to even travel to South Dakota.
- At first I thought I would do this, but my wallet was stolen years ago and I don't have my social security card any more. I was self employed so I never replaced it. Yesterday I sat at the Social Security Office for two hours and was finally told that I can't get a card because I'm not at home. They will not mail a replacement card to my home address in California. And the woman behind the thick plastic screen had no ideas or solutions for me. (I think I know why those plastic screens are there now, because I wanted to strangle her!) Seriously, I am so tired of banging my head against the walls of bureaucracy! It's no wonder that people in difficult situations sometimes just give up and end up jobless and homeless. Even when you try to do the right thing, various government agencies make it impossible to do.
Thankfully, the Captain has his social security card. So, guess who's moving to South Dakota?