Angela and I are in Florida. The RowofLife Boat was shipped from Antigua to Miami and arrived on 3/7/08. Silly us.....we thought that we could buy a trailer, drive to the port and pick up our boat. We did find a beautiful new trailer (just over cost) at All American Trailer, 512 SE 32nd Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL. They were very nice and got us on our way to the Port of Miami. Well, it was all down hill from there. They wouldn't let us in to the port, and say we need to talk to a broker.
We called CGM who shipped the boat and they gave us the name of several brokers. Apparently when you ship something you have to get a broker to handle the US Customs piece. We found Alicia at Custom Brokers in Miami, FL. We thought that we would be able to pick up the trailer the Tuesday. Well Customs had some difficulty with our boat as they had not seen an ocean rowing boat before. Most boats are duty free, but because RowofLife does not have a sail or motor, it was classified like a canoe would be, and we paid duty on a $6000 canoe. Officers Cabrillo and Ramirez at the US Customs office were very helpful and our boat was finally freed.
In the mean time we were driving around Miami with our empty trailer. On Tuesday night, our brand new $3000 dollar trailer was stolen off our van. It was a very sad day for RowofLife. The Miami Police came out and took a report. But it was a devestating financial loss. Shipping was very expensive as well as the cost of driving to pick up the boat. But, everything happens for a reason, sometimes it is just hard to figure out what lesson we were supposed to learn from this all.
We talked to All American Trailer and they started looking all over the Ft Lauderdale/Miami area for a trailer for us. They also offered to loan us a trailer to get the boat until we could find a trailer. Later, when they could not find us a trailer they offered to make us one, if we would pay for some of the materials, they would donate labor and some of the other parts. So as of this morning, Joe and his guys are busy at work making a custom fit trailer for RowofLife. Thanks to Willie, Joe, Cindy and all the other helpful folks at All American Trailer. All American Trailer Mfg., 512 SE 32nd Ct., Ft Lauderdale, FL. 954-468-5544. http://www.allamericantrailermfg.com/
The trucking company, DM Trucking, on 77th and 24th in Miami, picked up the boat and delivered it to their yard on Thursday night. After much distress and plotting, they were able to get the boat out of the cargo container, on to a flat bed tow truck and then onto the loaner trailer ( All American loaned us a trailer to pick up the boat). Earlier that day WSVN Fox Channel 7 (http://www1.wsvn.com/) from Miami, came out and did a story on Angela and the loss of the trailer, in hopes having a our trailer found. The outpouring of support has been amazing. Many people called and have been supportive. Including a couple of bloggers from http://www.blackfive.net/ who hooked us up with some other organizations. Scott from Shadow Marine called, saying he had seen the story on the news and offered to pay for the part of the trailer that had not been donated from All American Trailer. Shadow Marine is located at 1535 SE 17th St, Suite B201, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 954-779-7099. http://www.shadowmarine.com/
More on that to come later, but now I have to get ready to go down and pick up RowofLife from All American Trailer. Debbie