I wrote this a while back for another forum, a bit long but maybe you'll enjoy.....
...It has taken me almost two, yes that is TWO years to get a road trailer for my SunArise, a Atlas25 from Nautic Boerchert.
Much e-baying and navel searching on the internet found me a nice tandem "braked" trailer capable of carring two tonnes, it was located near Neu-Ruppin near Berlin, so come a weekend long ago I saddled up and headed north. It is quite a long run, through Austria into Germany on the Autobahn and joining the A7 at Memmingen. The A7 is the longest Motorway in Europe From Füssen to the Danish border 945 kilometes it is part of the Euroroute E45 starting in south Italy and terminating in northen Finnland 4.920 kilometers.
Good that I did not have to drive them all.
The Trailer changed hands for 1400 Euros and I took it back to CH with me,
The Trailer on the back of my somewhat agricultural Mondeo, made by Ford in Köln
Switzerland is maybe in Europe but not part of Europe, 200 Euros import tax has now brought the cost up to 1600 Euros, for 4500 Euros I can buy a spanking brand new trailer, keep this in the back of your mind.
The trailer had fresh German TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein, don´t know the US equvelent) The Swiss however do not give a flying fart about anything German and want the trailer to pass the MFK (Maschinenfahrzeugkontrolle).
Another view, same Mondeo
So I asked for a appointment and got one a few weeks later, I took the damn thing round to the Pr
üfstelle only to find out that I had been incredibily naive, my poor trailer was ripped to pieces, not only do I need new Pneus (tires) but reflectors (white) on the front mudgards, the brakes needed stripping and a new rubber squeezy thing on the hookup, the rubber squeezy thing cost a few Franks but to dismantle the hookup was the most expensive item on the bill.
Oh! Did I mention that the trailer had to be loaded with 90% of a full load for it to be tested?
I took it to a firm dealing in trailers. 1500 Franks later and it had MFK but now we are in the realm of a brand new trailer and not a used east German VEB (peoples own firm) build from 1976.
On the route back home I passed the largest freestanding building in the world, built as a hanger for the cargolifter freight Zeppelin, went down the tubes bigtime now it is tropical islands, a make believe tropical beach resort
And the bloody thing is not even taxed and has a numberplate, more B.O.A.T. units(break out another thousand).
But the time is drawing near when I can drive 1500 k´s to Denmark and pick my boat up and drive another 1500 down to CH.
Road-trip or home at last.
I finally did it! I brought SunArise, my plastic 25ft Atlas sailboat down from Denmark to Switzerland, this has been on the books now for a few years and it was turning into a project from hell.
The boat had been pining on Danish hard for the last four years and my boat-less situation was starting to haunt my dreams at night.
Up until now Sunarise had been transported on the back of a lorry but the Danish authorities had decided that a old lorry was not environmentally friendly, it could leak oil all over Denmark and had to be disposed of in a environmentally friendly/greeny way, read: pay somebody a lot of money to take it away. Since 2008 the boat had been languishing in a rented cradle.
Last year after ages and ages looking for a used trailer I found one for cheap in Germany, just to the south of Berlin so last June I fired up the Mondeo and picked it up- and imported and MFKed (Motorfahrzeug Kontrolle) to Swiss standards and taxed and insured and adorned with a SG-numberplate. Every little step was accompanied by the sound of a wallet gushing money, in the end I could have bought a brand new rig with a one year warranty had I splashed another B.O.A.T. unit. (BOAT= brake out another thousand, a acronym we shall read with a irritrating frequency.)
After that it was a question of getting time and money into sync. Well I find Einstein was wrong; time is not relative, noooo! Time is money.
The Marina in Denmark was starting to pour the pressure on certain owners to get rid of their nasty cheap 25ft boats.* in boat circles size does matter, the bigger a boat the more money can be extracted and you do not want your nice marina space cluttered up by ratty little boats, I was told that I would in future have to pay the same amount as a 35ft boat if I did not collect the thing by the new year and the rates where set to treble anyway.
So I had made arrangements to haul between Christmas and New year, I had borrowed a big SUV because dragging 2.5 tons through a large part of Europe on the hook of a Mondeo is a criminal offense.
The bloody crane at the marina broke didn't it!
It was repaired end of January, by that time I was back at work. My next pick-up window was set for easter, however the SUV I had wanted to borrow had been sold and to rent one from the commercial rent-a- car would have been expensive indeed. In a fuggit moment I looked at a cherokee, the mondeo was going in for MFK this year anyway and I was offered a good price for it, ten minutes and seven* BOAT's later the jeep was mine.
So all the infrastructure was now in place and I could attempt the 3500 Kilometer round trip..
A nameless parking spot somewhere in the middle of Europe, this was starting to be a looooooooooong drive.
With a 5.2 Liter engine under the hood..
Now if you think 1.6-odd Swiss Franks for a Liter petrol is expensive, experience the horror of 2.1 Chuffs a liter as paid for in Germany and Denmark.
The trip up was uneventful I stayed the night just short of Hannover and refilled the car this lasted me until Aarhus.
Years of being wrapped in a blue cocoon on the danish hard has taken it´t toll.
In the Marina the trailer origianaly setup for a Dehler was quickly converted to fit just by using a welder, cans of Tuborg and a few nasty words in Danish.
I had lived in Aarhus for a few years and I had found it a nice littte town, not too big and not too small, a great night life and the more Baltic sea than you can shake a paddle at I had felt very comfortable and at peace there.
It was a eerie feeling to walk along the familiar streets after years in CH, not a lot had changed but the places I had enjoyed visiting had people with unfamiliar faces, talks, Jokes and banter, filled with strangers to me, to them I was the stranger, I was no longer a part of things. I was out of the system and things had moved on, now it was time to say goodby and move on myself, my last asset in DK was on the hook of the jeep and it was* time to leave.
Lock and load, ready to go, a few haunting farewells good wishes and I was off.
Parting remark was "please leave our bridges standing this time" people have long memories hereabouts.
The looong, looong trip back home went rather well except for having to fill the car three times at 130 Euros a chug. It was horrific to see the counter tell me that the car was using 50 liters pro hundred clicks driving up the Kasseler hills and the fulda gap.
Time for a coffee in the Fulda gap.
And then I got to the A/CH border that is when things started to get fuzzy..
Zoll (customs) Hohenems. The Zöllner looked at the boat and wanted papers, that I do not have, I explained that the boat belonged to my father and only he knew where all papers where..
"Well get your father to fax them over".
"I don't think that I could get him to do that even for CH customs"
"He has been dead for the last 15 years"
"Well then you have a problem, I can't let you into CH, you will have to take it back to Austria"
That would mean that I would be taking it back into EU territory, could be a problem in it's own right.
Now your Slammer was not having a blond, single brain-cell moment here, I knew damn well that it could be a problem, however trusted lady luck to see me through, lady luck was being a slut at the moment. I was told to turn back and go over the border at Au as the Customs office was still open, so I turned and trundled back into Austria and the border crossing at Au.
In Au the guy behind the counter started to complain about a brit and his "Huure" boat, Slammer was not going to take that.
In no uncertain terms I told him that I do no appreciate my boat adorned with the prefix of "Huure" or Whore as I would never say "Huure Zollbeamter"
He actually blushed and from his colleague I got temporary documents allowing the boat in for four days.
Giving me four days to think of a solution.
"Get yourself a pro-forma bill, something with a amount of money and a stamp on it"
"I wonder if the marina bill would be enough to satisfy?"
The six B.O.A.T.'s (in Danish Crowns) I had paid and the declaration that the boat was salvage (well technically that is a bit blurry, but who cares?) was enough, I gave the whole lot over to the* Spedition our company uses and 24 hours later SunArise was no longer a illegal plastic immigrant.
Just one more little thing; I had declared her as salvage but to import 1200kgs of scrap boat into CH cost me another 900 Chuffs for import tax and MwSt. (value added tax)
Was it worth it? Ask me in another two months when I have finished cringing and my credit card has stopped glowing in the dark.
Now I just need to find the money to pay for a Bodensee license and I am off, wind in my sails, half naked blonde on deck and beer in the fridge.
Ya! Right, dream on Slammer.
Ok! So the boat is here in CH, I have by now calmed down, my blood pressure will no longer inflate a truck tire but my credit card is still a puddle of melted slag permanently fused to the bottom of my wallet.
Kind things have been said above so let me give you the next installment.
She stands in the hall of a former veneer factory, a huge high timber structure with a corrugated iron "factory-stlye* roof and open walls.
Rumor has it that there is a working power outlet nearby but the only place to plug in is without lekky, I have half sold myself to get my hands on a Swiss army surplus genny from the military megastore, I will have to check it out, if memory serves they sell for around 80 Chuffs that would solve my power problem and I do not have to rely on the grace of other people.
Time to start scrubbing.
Oh this is going to take a lot of chemicals and elbow grease.
So many years without water under the fin had taken it's toll, poor SunArise was looking a bit worst for wear. Danish grime had left streaks down the hull and a lot of leaves had blown in under the tarp and were now using the nooks an crannies of the coach-roof to slowly turn into compost.
Although she was under wraps she looked a bit scruffy.
One Johnson outboard, the one without a reverse gear.
I had fretted about the structural integrity and I had feared de-lamination of the glass-fiber, I need not have been worried, this boat was built in the mid seventies when glass-fiber was still a new and exiting material and she is still solid as a rock. She points and laughs at all them modern boats suffering from osmosis.
Some bugger had taken the turny thingy fron the only faucet for miles so I filled a carboy that I use for winemaking with water at home and got scrubbing, The hull and deck cleaned up nicely but the gel-coat has dulled over time so unless I go loony and give her a new gel-coat she will remain with her well earned patina. However I will de-rust the cast iron fin and splash out for a coat of environmentally friendly anti-fouling, her old "nuke the buggers, hard" anti-fouling was now depleted so I will not be guilty of committing biocide in lake Constance.
Time to crack the seals and go inside.
I see wonderful things, maybe
Hmm! It doesn't look too bad in the pictures.
Ahh! That's better.
I had not been in the cabin for two years now and I had a Howard Carter the moment the coach roof was open.
He is often quoted for saying: "I see wonderful things"
..That Danish rodents had set up tribe and had evidently used the air vent as a..
wait for it...
..Ha! Ha! Ha! Little joke there.
Either that or the buggers had found religion and had been sacrificing virgins to Huizilopochli.
Brush, shovel, bones and a few whiffs of reddish fur and yup gag reflex well oiled and working fine.
In the past my minds eye had seen Sunarise all re-fitted, a shiny and sparkling ethereal swan gracing the waters of the lake. Oh the things I was going to do with that ship when she got here. One thing would have been to remove the rotted wooden mast-foot and replace it with a stainless steel stripper pole, that would have meant ripping out the cubby hole where the ships loo had been (was bust, accidentally gone overboard in the Baltic long ago) to get a single large cabin instead of a cabin and a separate v-berth.
Although not intended as a bulkhead the thin marine ply was surprisingly tough to remove. The designers at Nautic Boercherts had used aluminum rivets to fasten the boards to the spants and even after drilling them out the ply would not budge, so it is a case of either doing something violent with a mallet or leaving them in place, in the end I have decided to compromise and remove the softened ply, there is over a inch that is still solid and only three layers are damaged I will try to shore it up with glass and epoxy, methinks it will hold.
Should I the mast-foot remove? We will see young Padawan.
Them four bolts will not budge for love nor hammer.
57 way to permanently stick yourself to a boat hull using only epoxy, might get to 60 before she floats again. We will see.
Epoxylante slowly opened her eyes and groaned, the alarm clock had been screeching its nails over the blackboard for only a few seconds but already she was wide awake.
Epoxylante looked at the fiery digits, it was 4.37 on a Monday morning.
Every morning was a Monday and the alarm went off at 4.37.
This was after all..
She unfurled her long legs and got out of bed, today held a faint promise of being an interesting day, after weeks and weeks of technical support on the Microsoft helldesk red hotline, Epoxylante was scheduled for a topside job again.
And as a added bonus dispatch had teamed her up with Fubar.
Epoxylante, demon third class, area of expertise: Do it yourselfers handling glassfiber was to be teamed up with a first class über-demon.
Recently Fubar had co-starred in a few telenovellas, one of hell's best creations. There had even been a report about him on HNN, hell's 24 hour news service.
She also had heard gossip about Fubar in the canteen, it was rumored that he was a real son of a bitch. No! THE real son of a bitch.
Rumor also had it that he has a sexy butt.
But first off to dispatch for her assignment chit.
Dispatch and almost all of hell's officialdom was run by ex-Swiss bureaucrats and standing in a dispatch queue waiting was not a nice way to pass the time, even demon's have their limits.
After an eternity she got her chit and was told that she was running late and that her partner was already topside, she was to meet him at the gate of hell, plan square 4711, McDonald's, St, Margareten.
Epoxylante took the express elevator and emerged in the ladies loo.
Closing the door behind her she saw Fubar sitting at one of the tables, he was scowling at her, tapping his foot and looking at his watch, he gave his chin a swing, motioning her to go first to the counter.
At the counter a girl was watching Epoxylante with wide eyes, to a human she looked like any mom's girl from Ukraine, Epoxylante knew however that she was a imp from the third circle of hell.
The accent was a dead giveaway.
"Password" she whispered.
The two part password was of course something a human would never utter at McDonald's
Then the second part:
The Imp's eyes glazed over.
"Do you want fries with that?"
Demonic identities established, the Imp gave Epoxylante her assignment.
"Fell mistress your mission is to.."
Meanwhile in a little central European country that still boasts free-range cuckoo-clocks Slammer was sitting at the saloon table in his sailboat, squinting through his glasses that almost but not quite perched on the end of his nose. With the tip of his tongue between his lips Slammer was concentrating.
I wanted to re-glass the bow water tank, at some point it had acquired a few star shaped cracks and was in need of repair.
Epoxylante materialized in the tin of epoxy resin, Fubar went into the hardener.
I really tried, I had laid everything out and had cut the material to size, I poured the resin into the measuring cup and laid out the correct amount of hardener.
When I poured the resin I swear that I heard a crystal tinkle of laughter.
I used a spatula to mix resin and hardener until it went pink.
I got my roller and started to roll-paint the epoxy into the well of the tank.
That done I laid the glassfiber mat carefully fitting it into the form.
The sticky resin picked up the loose fibers and turned the roller into a fluffy cylinder, then the epoxy started to dissolve the roller.
I picked the bits of roller out of the resin and accidentally sat down in the tray still half full of epoxy.
I got a new roller which promptly disintegrated but in the end I triumphed or would have if I had made enough epoxy.
I hadn't, so I went to the back of the boat for a refuel, then I found that I had mis-cut the fibers and there was a hole and I had run out of fiber.
In the meantime the fumes had given me a headache.
And I was starting to hallucinate, instead of my familiar tinnitus I could hear a tinkling laugh.
I went to the Baumarkt and got me some more fiber matting.
Climbed back into the boat, cut the matting to size, leaned over to fill the gap, slipped and dragged down half of my carefully applied matting.
By now I was fuming, this was just not right.
Every bloody time I try to elegantly use resin like they show it in the glossy brochures I end up sticking myself to the boat's hull.
Epoxylante and Fubar had been enjoying themselves most vigorously and Fubar remarked that his partner has shown herself a true artist.
She had save the bestestes and funnyestest part for last.
I locked the boat up and went home cold, damp, hungry and coughing epoxy fumes.
Remember I said that I had spilt and sat in epoxy?
I found out the hard way that resin sticks to skin and hair real good, it had soaked though my pants and underpants making a permanent bond, I found that I also had the stuff in my crotch.
That little gem became apparent when I went for a shower, remember when you cringe taking a band-aid off with a fast riiiiip?
Well somehow it did not seem advisable now..
That took some time and it made me sweat.
Showered and epilated I went for a beer..
..and still I had this funny laughing sound in my ears.