August 21, 2014 – Matador is ordered from South Coast yacht. A tough decision as Margie really liked the Jeanneau 53.
February 9, 2015 – a visit to the factory in Saint Gille Croix de Vie on the Coast of France. The boat was being wrapped for shipment when we found her. Notice the three blade fixed prop (that I pointed out was wrong) as we had ordered the folding prop. We got a very nice tour of the facility. We just need to wait for a boat to come and take her to California.
March 23, 2015 – Matador sets sail from Zeebrugge Belgium. She was trucked across France. She is aboard Morning Calm and can be tracked on the app Ship finder. It is amazing and a bit scarey how easy it is to track a boat with AIS as Matador will also have AIS, which is what is being used to track her. She is scheduled to offload on April 13 in Port Hueneme California, just north of Los Angeles. Morning Calm stops in Manzanillo Mexico on the way. She is normally a car carrier, which sort of makes sense. A very ugly ship.
April 12, 2015 – Matador arrived Port Hueneme . Was offloaded quickly as Morning Calm has already departed for Tacoma. She actually didn’t stop in Manzanillo. Fair winds and following seas. Thanks for delivering our boat.
April 22, 2015 – It seemed to take forever. “It should be delivered about three days after offloading in Port Hueneme”; “It is supposed to be here Friday”; “Now Tuesday or Wednesday”. Finally, Wednesday afternoon under a cloudy sky she arrives in a parking lot down the street from the Boatyard and the beginning of commissioning. Within an hour she was in the yard in a sling with the keel being muscled under her. I was told 10-14 days in the yard, but saw an Oceanis launched today seven days after arriving. Seven days would be nice as crew Andrew is flying in from Maryland next Monday to help with commissioning.
A note on Paul Briant and South Coast Yachts. When I first met with Paul I told him boat ownership for me was to be fun or I wouldn’t do it. The acquisition of the boat was to be part of the fun. If it was a business transaction I’d do something else. An example. So Sunday I’m in the boatyard climbing around on the boat when the rigger came up to me and asked if I wanted to see the mast. A bit surprised that he worked Sunday (normally doesn’t) he showed me the beautiful spar. A problem: The spinnaker halyard came out of a fixed roller at the top of the mast. Side pull from the spinnaker would chafe through in hours. the rigger agreed. I emailed Paul. Before noon he had been to the yard and had worked out an elegant solution with the rigger. How to make it fun, Paul! Shots from the commissioning:
May 13, 2015 – to commission a new boat requires tons of paperwork. You need to either state register or document with USCG. For Mexico you need a Temporary Import Permit. For your AIS and VHF DSC you need both a station license and an operators license. You need to register your EPIRB. And the problem is that they are all inter-related. The online FCC licensing wouldn’t let me apply for an MMSI number which is needed for your radio licenses without documentation numbers. However, the wait for documentation numbers is about four months. Right after applying for my documentation number I head to Mexico and need my Temporary Import Permit which requires that documentation number. I certainly got a shock yesterday. I tried the forums to get advise on what to do without a documentation number in order to get my MMSI. Lots of advise. Much wrong. One final attempt on the FCC site. In small print on the right of the online form it said “if you don’t have a documentation number, leave it blank”. I had been entering “pending” which it rejected. It worked! I paid my fee and hoped for the best. Within twelve hours I had both FCC licenses. Wll, I should get back to getting my FMM visa, my Mexican fishing license, my crew list, my insurance quote and all the documents to actually take ownership of the boat.
May 14, 2015 – You may have noticed the really cool logo on the home page. Christy, the family’s professional graphics artist, did it. I immediately went out and order a bunch of stuff. The “store” will be open shortly. I’ve also order a flag, some wine labels and business cards.
June 2, 2015 – The end of the beginning! Delivery. We motored to international waters – I wasn’t allowed to touch a thing. I wrote a check. We took pictures of today’s newspaper, the lat/long, the check and the contract. It was then my turn. In 5 – 8 knots of wind we cruised along at 4.5 to 6 knots. I did turn the boat back over to Paul, the broker to show me how she backs into the slip. With the bow thruster you motor perpendidular to the slip in reverse until the stern is at the dock then punch the bow thruster. It forces the stern around very quickly. After a few collisions I think I’ll get it down.
June 14, 2015 – Jack and I depart around 0700 from Harbor Island in San Diego for Coral Marina in Ensenada. The trip starts with me leaving my wallet at home. A quick restart got us off about 0715. Motoring and motor sailing at 8.2 knots and 2500 rpm. A quick trip. Calm seas and not enough wind to simply sail. In addition, we wanted to get in before the marina office closed. We arrived around 1500 and tied up to our previously assigned slip. A strong cross wind blowing us against the dock encouraged us to run lines across the open slip to weather of us to the dock. Turns out the marina is only about half full which is too bad. I was quite nervous about the process for checking in the following day (Monday) as I didn’t have my documentation numbers yet and I needed to obtain, among other documents, my temporary import permit. I asked at the office Sunday afternoon if there was an agent who could help us with the process. No need for agent. For $30 we send an employee with you (who drives) and handles all the documents. Six stops in four offices (actually all in the same building) in less than one hour. Very nice.
The trip down was uneventful. Only the oil pressure gauge didn’t work. Surprisingly the break in procedure for the 80 hp Yanmar calls for running it at rather high rpm. As usual, lots of dolphins. Below is Jack navigating, the dolphins and our new home at Coral Marina.
Our new home at Coral Marina. Less than half full, but the hotel and its amenities are great. A nice poolside bar for the obligatory margarita. A helpful office. They say occupancy is down due to the competition (Cruiseport which is town, cheaper, but without the amenities) and the end of the “90 day yacht club”. In days of yore you just needed to keep the boat out of the US for 90 days to avoid California sales tax. You need to cruise for at least a year now. As we are heading for La Paz after hurricane season it what obvious we would start our stay in Ensenada.