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When Amy and I first discussed being in France to launch the boat and then sail it back to the US ourselves, we realized that we were going to need a large number of things in France with us. The typical delivery captain will pick up and deliver a boat as bare bones as possible, with few creature comforts on board. That didn’t sound quite so appealing to us and while there will be a large amount of work still to do on Starry Horizons once we get to Florida, we wanted our trip across the Atlantic to be done in relative comfort.
Another benefit of having so much time from when we bought the boat until when it’s ready is that we were able to research options for shipping our items over to France. The contractor we used in La Rochelle has a relationship with an agent who can handle importation through French customs, and also was able to recommend a local ocean freight shipper for us. The really good news is that since we will be immediately exporting our boat out of France and the EU, we are allowed to ship our goods into France duty-free.
Update: Thanks to the shipping company, Interconex, we were able to get all of our items to La Rochelle and marked for immedate export and did not pay taxes on these items.
Once we got that news and received the dimensions of the ‘lift van’ container that will be used to store our shipment, we set out to go through all our stuff, setting aside those things we had that we wanted to ship and buying lots of stuff that we wanted but didn’t have. This is where having Amazon Prime came in quite handy. We had boxes arriving almost daily! Included in these shipments were some electronics that our contractor in France would have had difficulty sourcing.
Our shipper arranged to have a moving company come by and pack up all the stuff we had identified that we wanted to ship to France. We had done an initial job of separating things into boxes, but they came in and wrapped things up to make them more secure for shipment.
So from here, our stuff will be shipped via ocean freight to Le Havre in France. Our agent in France is arranging transportation via truck to the final destination in La Rochelle. This whole process should take about 5-7 weeks, including clearing customs in France, so we still have a bit of leeway if things take a bit longer than expected since we have about 9 weeks until we’ll be in France.
- Dinghy Outboard
- Mantus Anchor
- CruiseRO Watermaker
- Fiorentino Para-Anchor
- Asymmetric Spinnaker
- Folding Bikes
- Spinlock PFDs
- Foul Weather Gear
- Safety Gear
- Fishing Gear (including Rods and Reels)
- Galley Equipment
- Reference Guides/Manuals
- Workout gear
- Comforter and Sheets
- Regular Clothes
I was amazed at how much stuff we were able to include and truth be told, this was one of the first tangible things we’ve done that really hit me that we’re going to France and picking up a boat. Buying our one-way plane ticket is one thing, but seeing all the stuff you’ve accumulated for the trip be packed up and shipped off is quite a feeling. There will still be plenty for things for us to purchase in France, but it sure feels like we’re making progress.