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Old 30-01-2009, 04:42   #16
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I've tasted only one Cuban rum, Havana Club, and didn't really enjoy it. It seemed to have a kind of "murky" taste to me. My favorite sipping rum is from Martinique--St. James Rhum Vieux. The rhums from the French islands are generally distilled from sugar cane juice (rhum agricole), not from the molasses left over from sugar production (rhum industriale), and have a lighter, fruitier taste.

Let me add a bit to Paul's advice (above). Since you're new to the cruising world, it might help to understand a bit more about the customs side of traveling to different countries by boat. Each time you clear in, you'll be required to declare the quantity of distilled spirits and wine on your boat, among other things. It is a sworn statement. Usually, the customs agents will not check your boat to make sure you told the truth. Sometimes they will (it happened to me only once). If they do check, and find large quantities of undeclared liquor, you will be in a heap of trouble.

That's not to say you can't legally have 10 cases of rum on board. Declare it truthfully, and tell them it's "ship's stores, and that you do not intend to take it ashore. If you have a storage compartment that can be locked securely, they may allow you to lock the rum up there, with their seal on the lock to make sure you don't open it while in their country. That's how you can avoid paying duty on the amount over the duty-free limit.

p.s. here's a link to a site that tells you how much liquor you can bring in to various countries without having to pay duties. One to three bottles per person is pretty much the range. Travel Document Systems; North America Page
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Old 30-01-2009, 05:11   #17
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Don't worry about crossing to Cuba from the USA. The World Police (USCG) may stop you but if you're not a US citizen it won't be a problem.
It didn't used to be. We have reports of boats being stopped as they travel in and out of Cuba with either a destination or origin based in the US. It is not a factor of what country you are from or the flag you fly. This might change but under the last Administration international vessels have been stopped the US policy shifted to a more narrow interpretation. If you are cruising you don't need to debate world politics with any government officials.

If going to Cuba it's best to not enter the US after you leave there directly or go to Cuba after leaving the US directly. If you head into and out of Cuba from some other country without going to the US on the way the issue seems to be perfectly fine. The Cuban government is happy to let anyone (even US citizens) spend money though you need to expect longer times checking in and checking out of customs than you might in other countries.
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Old 30-01-2009, 05:34   #18
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I am with phiggins on this one, Cuba makes a great Rum. They sell Cuban Rum here in Canada and it would rival any of the best rums from the rest of the Caribbean and South America.

Captain Jaz, I wouldn't take more rum then you can possibly drink and still be a safe sailor. I know when my wife and I Hit the US on our journy I will most likely buy a case of Rum, but that will last me all the way down to florida from Cape Cod.

Do yourself a favour and buy the rum you want but dont take extra because it would be alcohol abuse if a customs officer poured it out on you.......lol. Cuba is beautiful and I hope to cruise there from the Bahama's after I leave the US.

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Old 30-01-2009, 05:35   #19
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Thanks all, My worries with the large plastic wine containers is the high alcohol content of rum and possible contamination of the taste. My destination after Cuba likely to be Panama, but then that really depends on the situation in Panama at the time, and with my insurance company. If I'm not making it through Panama by hurricane season then I shall have to think of somewhere to spend that time, the US really is the last place I want to spend that amount of time, no offense to you guys, but its not the kind of destination I have in mind when I go traveling. I may go visit some of the tribes in French Guyana (foreign Provence of France so visa won't be a problem for me). Yea, assuming the laws are the same in French Guyana as in France, duty free would only be 2 bottles of rum (1 weeks worth for me!) so I shall have to check what the specifics will be if the rum never leaves my boat or is in storage. But really thats not a huge problem if it can be done there, as I'm sure that decent rum can be had for a decent price all over the Caribbean. The main point of this excersize was to get rum for the Pacific (Cocos, Galapagos and Marquesas), and customs won't be an issue there I should think, as I doubt that even 2 barrels will last me the full journey. The main issue would be whether they'll give me trouble taking it through the canal... maybe not if I don't leave my boat...idk...
Its this that advice would be the most useful on....
Although worst come to worst, I could stock up on the Pacific side of Panama I assume?
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Old 30-01-2009, 06:15   #20
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It didn't used to be. We have reports of boats being stopped as they travel in and out of Cuba with either a destination or origin based in the US.
Pblais, don't know how many times I've said this on this forum but when we were about to cross to Cuba from Marathon in 2005, I sent a fax to the coast guard saying I was a Canadian boat leaving Florida for Cuba and do I need permission? They replied (I still have the fax): 'Paul, a permit is not required for your trip. Have a safe trip'.

Any of the boats we talked to in Cuba that were stopped by the USCG were allowed to continue.

When we returned from Cuba to Marathon we went to Key West and checked in and I told them we just came from Cuba. They didn't say anything.

Jaz, I'm going there again in the fall, maybe we can have a Cuba Libre together at Marina Hemingway.
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Old 30-01-2009, 06:18   #21
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Certainly Phiggins, if I can't get through Panama before June I shall try swing past that way on my way back in November. My thoughts were also leaning towards Marina Hemingway from the reports I read...
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Old 30-01-2009, 23:59   #22
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Speaking of rum and sailing, has anyone sailed to places where alcohol is prohibited, or prohibitively expensive?
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Old 31-01-2009, 01:05   #23
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I think Norway qualifies under the "prohibitively expensive" tag
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Old 31-01-2009, 03:05   #24
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Jaz,thats agood plan and dont let the wealthy people talk you out of it.If you are heading for the south pacific you are correct to think that booze is very expensive there.And customs officials are very keen to collect duty or subject you to the hassle of sealing your booze.If you will be carrying any fuel containers ,consider getting containers exactly the same for your booze.When entering port stow the booze with the fuel and keep mum.I have done this all the way from Costa Rica to NZ without a problem.
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Old 31-01-2009, 06:52   #25
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Good plan! Some of those plastic jerry-cans would work well I think...
Thanks
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Old 31-01-2009, 08:26   #26
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For your trek, you will find rum in French Polynesia to be 2-3 times (or more) the cost in Cuba or the western caribbean. In the Tuamotus, unless there is a resort, it is not for sale at all as the natives get too whacky with the stuff so if you want rum bring your own.

When I left Cuba I stocked up on Cuban rum thinking that it was great stuff, but then I hit Nicaragua and discovered Fleur de cana and my liver has never been the same. Mount Gay is my favorite "regular" rum back here in the states as the Fleur is a bit more expensive and for rum & cokes, after the first two, who really cares? If you like MG you will LOVE Fleur de cana.

As to provisioning with strategic drinking in mind, cans of coke were over $2 US EACH when I was in FP three years ago. So if rum & coke is your choice of drink you will find that you are spending more on coke than rum. Buy as many cases in Balboa as you can get in the boat!

The French have this stuff called Sunquick (sp?) that you add to water. The mango is outstanding and really good with rum for a fraction of the cost of coke. The Tahitian rums have a touch of vanilla, and some are outstanding but none are cheap.
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Old 31-01-2009, 08:36   #27
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I wonder if carrying rum in Polythene (like 5 gal fuel jugs) or other "plastic" containers would taint the rum? If you have a steel water tank">fresh water tank you could dedicate, might that not be better? Tony
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Old 31-01-2009, 08:38   #28
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how do I start a new thread

Kind of new here..how do I do it?
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Old 31-01-2009, 08:54   #29
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Originally Posted by anjinsan View Post
Kind of new here..how do I do it?
Click discussion board on top/middle of page

Click on topic your new thread will fall under

Click New Thread

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Old 31-01-2009, 09:01   #30
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Try the dark Havana Club. I have had a few bottles and it is a bit rich and almost caramel tasting but suprisingly drinkable. The "Blanco" is also good but I like the darker rums. Flur de cana is truly a delight but pricey unless you go to Nic. Panama maks some potable cheap rum. Pick up a few bottles... the name escpes me.

MountGay is the standard for most of us serious rummies. The Extra old is really fine but the Cruzan stuff from St Croix is much cheaper and not bad.

Get a variety and you will have fun trying them all. Unless you have a Catamaran (weight)the bottles will keep better that plastic. If you use mixers ignor all this great advice and buy the cheapest you can fine.
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