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Bobthebuilder's next adventure - Key West to Havana, Cuba

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Old 09-27-2009, 10:25 AM
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Bob can I ask what you do/did? It does look like you have been very good at what you do/did, to afford that boat.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:30 AM
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I am gonna go out on a limb and say he's a builder.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:40 PM
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Bob can I ask what you do/did? It does look like you have been very good at what you do/did, to afford that boat.
Kind of an interesting story actually. My dad was in the plumbing business (small shop) and when I was 17 got dragged out of high school before graduating and put to work. I was to told I was was not applying myself to school and was just there to have fun. Sounds about right. LOL i completed a plumbing apprenticeship and the time came when I had to decide whether to take over my dad's business or not. I decided not to, as I did not want to be a sub contractor always begging the general contractor for payment. I wanted to be the guy handing out the checks. LOL So in 1980 I made a career change and starting building a few houses in a severe recession. Everyone thought I was nuts and tried to talk me out of it. By 1983 I was building over 100 homes a year and never built less than that annually until I started to cut back about 5 years ago. We also got into land development but always careful not to leverage ourselves and only keep a few years of inventory. Over the years we also built up a portfolio of rental properties which we have kept. 3 years ago I made a decision to semi retire and stop building homes altogether when it became evident my kids were not going to take over my business. Talk about good timing ! LOL So that is the short form story of my career. I love the business, but saw it getting tougher each year with more and more regulation, so I was not too disappointed when the kids made a decision not to take it off my hands. That was probably the right decision.
As an aside Canada's housing market has not suffered nearly as greatly as the US. Nor did we experience the mortgage meltdown. Our banks are healthy and loans are a available to viable, credit worthy businesses.
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Old 09-27-2009, 07:36 PM
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I think this is one of the greatest threads ever. Go Bob!!
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:29 PM
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I also agree this is the best! Bob how did you pick out your boat, and what others have you owned?
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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contact US Customs. There is a big debate on whether we have violated the embargo with Cuba. In the end and due to some technicalities it was decided that we in fact did not, however if we had brought anything back they were to be seized. I knew that could be an issue, so I had instructed my crew we were to bring nothing back, with no exceptions. Customs agreed this made our situation better. I have agreed there will be no further trips to Cuba with the boat until US regulations allow it so it looks like this adventure was a once in a lifetime thing.
Wasn't it CUSTOMS that said it was ok in the first place as long as you and the crew were Canadian and the vessel was registered in Canada?

One of these days' we'll get our heads out of our arses and open up Cuba to trade and tourism! It's not like it doesn't happen now

Glad you made it there and back. What a wonderful trip!
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:14 PM
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I also agree this is the best! Bob how did you pick out your boat, and what others have you owned?
My first offshore was a 1990 35ft Fountain. I soon found out that was not enough boat for the Gulf and my style of offshore so in 1991 I bought a 38 Top Gun from Craig Barrie when he was with Cigarette. In 1996 wanting something bigger and with more creature comforts bought a Formula 419 with trips. In 2001 bought my first 50 Vee Nor Tech, then in 2003 my next 50 Vee NT, then last year built the current 50 Vee NT diesel and also bought a 38 Donzi ZR for the fresh water in Canada ( once again dealing with Craig Barrie) and left the diesel NT in FL. Reason for the diesel is to be able to cruise long distances, greater reliability as well as lower operating and maintenance costs. It has done all of that. Oh, ya almost forgot - I wanted to beat Reggies time from Key West to Cancun as well !! LOL
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:18 PM
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Glad you made it there and back. What a wonderful trip!
Thank you, as it was one of my more meorable trips that I will not soon forget. Sorry but I cannot discuss the Customs thing any further. It worked out as it should and that is all that matters.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:29 PM
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Just a couple of last comments. The boat performed flawlessly. It only used a quart and a half of oil total for the three engines in the 520 miles from Cape Coral to Havana and back. We also achieved our normal 1 + MPG in fuel consumption. For those that followed the track left by "SPOT" you may have noticed how dead straight our track was. The reason was I had the auto pilot on. I cannot manually steer anywhere near that straight !! I did not touch the steering wheel from the time we cleared the reefs off of Key West until the Cuban coast Guard was bearing down on us. Love that feature on the boat as well as the XM Weather to tell us where the storms are.
Bob
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:38 PM
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For those that followed the track left by "SPOT" you may have noticed how dead straight our track was. The reason was I had the auto pilot on. I cannot manually steer anywhere near that straight !! I did not touch the steering wheel from the time we cleared the reefs off of Key West until the Cuban coast Guard was bearing down on us. Love that feature on the boat as well as the XM Weather to tell us where the storms are.
Bob
The Auto Pilot has GOT to be a great feature, but it would drive me NUTS, I would have had to shut it off a few times and do some DRIVING I agree, the XM weather is the shiz(with a zee for all you bubba fans)
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