China and Back in 4 Days
So we just return from China to visit the new Prout factory. We have been talking with them about building us a new boat this year. (see new equipment business tax break post.)
Although everyone says China's is crowded, and when visiting you expect it will be, you can't appreciate the full meaning of the word until you are immersed in it. On our last day, a Sunday which is the only day off in China, we decided to go to Macow before we headed over the bay to Hong Kong for the flight home. We ended up spending 3 hours clearing customs to leave China, then clear customs again to get into Macow - which is still China. There is no reason to this. Everyone is in a huge building that looks like an aircraft hanger, pushing and shoving. Lines don't really form. And there is no concept of personal space. Add to that I am 6'4" and Mandi is a 5'8" red head, we really stood out. And if I left enough space between me and the person in front of me so I could fold my arms, someone tried to squeeze in. To help kill the time, I pulled out my iPhone. Now I became very popular. People would actually pull my arm so they could get a better look at my personal digital assistant (PDA.)
By the time we finally got to the Venetian in Macow, all I could think was lets find the most empty restaurant in the place. We did, and ordered hamburgers.
Some observations of the Venetian:
1) Women don't gamble in Macow
2) People don't drink when they gamble. (I am used to the free drinks in Vegas)
3) There is no such think as personal space
4) It is always okay to stare at the freaky tall foreigner
New Equipment Business Tax Break
For those of you who do not know, section 179 is part of the tax code that deals with equipment in business and the tax deductions. In 2009, if we can put new equipment to use in a business, there is a very, very good tax brake for the cost of the equipment. One such example would be a new sail boat into a charter business. So now we are looking for a new boat that meets our requirements that we can put into charter by the end of 2009. Any suggestions.....
Our “Perfect” Boat
After 3 boat shows, owning a 33 foot cat for 4 years, and 2 one week long charter in the BVI, we have our final wish list for the "perfect" boat for our trip:
A large cat for the family and company
4 Cabins and 3 heads minimum
Proven blue water sailor
Nice wood interior with good finishing's
Dedicated office area for Scott
Can be handled by 2 in most conditions
Based on those requirements, there are not many options. The biggest problem is the galley up. However, that is one of the items that is not flexible. Since we will have the 3 boys with us, no one wants to be lock down in a hull preparing meals. We see this a safety issue first and foremost. Secondly, it is about being social. At our home, the kitchen is the center of activities. We expect nothing different with the boat. Also, by having a galley up, it opens the mid hull area for an office for Scott.
The options as we see them:
St Francis 50 (see test sail blog)
Privilege 495 (or a 465 easy cruise)
Salina 48 (Fountaine Pajot)
There are others, but this is really our list. The others that qualify are more of the "sports car" and we are really looking for the "SUV."
Testing the Lagoon 500
There is a great deal to like about this boat. In fact, it meets most, if not all of our main request: galley up, nice 4 cabin layout, blue water proven, big "great-room" type area, nice woodwork inside and a decent performer. The real problem with this boat was the fly bridge. It is a great feature for a charter boat or one that is staying local, just not sure if I want to be on the fly bridge in gale force winds at 2 AM. Also, one of the big advantages of a cat, is being able to stand on the cabin roof and deal with boom and main sail. Since the boom has to be raised over the heads of those on the fly bridge, this advantage is lost. This single trait has moved this boat way down the list.
Photos From Trip