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Old 31-01-2009, 09:09   #31
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Having spent the last week in duty-free Langkawi, Malaysia stocking up on booze for our Indian Ocean crossing, the topic of this thread is very near and dear to my heart. We now have 5 cases of beer, 104L of wine and 22L of spirits on board - including several bottles of Havana Club, which is one of our favorite rums. Being Yanks, we didn't get the chance to try HC until we stumbled across it in the Galapagos. It was very reasonably priced there 18 months ago - so you can top up your stores before jumping off for the Marquesas.

While each country has rules on their books about how much alcohol travelers are allowed to bring into a country, in practice, they are not applied to yachts. Simply scrawl "ship's stores" across that section of the customs form. There is no need to disguise your booze. In practice it is rare for customs or quarantine officials to come on board yachts. The only places we've ever been inspected have been Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. We've never been asked to pay duty on any of our alcohol stores. Nor have we been asked for any "gifts" by any officials.

One tip for heading to Fr. Poly - the locals will trade carvings and pearls with you for any alcohol, but (in our experience) whiskey was much more valuable than rum, gin or tequila. Even if you don't drink whiskey, you might want to have a few bottles on board for trading.

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Danika
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Old 31-01-2009, 09:26   #32
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Very useful info thanks! I do like my whiskey too, especially in cold weather, unlike rum though, I really can't stomach cheaper whiskeys... Belantines would be whiskey of choice.... The rum in jerry-cans thought wasn't with a view to hide it, simply for ease of storage and safety for transportation. I really didn't expect to get decent prices on booze in Galapagos... what kind of price did you pay/bottle and when? And also, anyone know what prices to expect in Panama for booze?
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Old 31-01-2009, 09:32   #33
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I can't recall how much we paid for the Havana Club in Galapagos, just that it seemed really reasonable - so much so that we started going round to all the shops and clearing them out of their stock. This was in May of 2007.
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Old 31-01-2009, 10:00   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Antares View Post
If you use mixers ignor all this great advice and buy the cheapest you can fine.
Ditto, good rum's for sippin, not mixing. If you're gonna drown out the flavor with cola or something, better off doing it with the cheaper stuff.

Cheers

Bill
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Old 31-01-2009, 10:42   #35
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Sure, I usually have both on hand, one for coffee and the other for on the rocks.
And with you being from the US and thinking the prices were good, then I'm sure I will too, as booze of all kinds is taxed well over 200% here...
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Old 31-01-2009, 13:45   #36
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Hi all,
Does any one remember an article in Lats & Atts, some three or four years ago, about this poor soul who cleared into the Cayman Islands without declaring a few Cuban cigars and a couple of bottles of Cuban rum?
Well, for starters he lost his Westsail 32, was given a hefty fine and on top of that, he served a few years in jail.
For those of you brave enough to challenge other country's importation laws, remember that the US is not the only country which interdicts the importation of alcohol and/or tobacco products from Cuba, so beware and inform yourselves.
As for the French Poly, the gendarmes have expressed their opinion and proscribe the trading of alcohol (on certain "dry" islands) with the natives, not because they get whaky, but alas, because of what happens.
J.P.
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Old 31-01-2009, 13:51   #37
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Yea, the idea of taking whiskey for trading seemed a bit dodgy... and tbh, even if I didn't get in trouble for it, I still wouldn't be doing myself any favours, as I'd probably then run out and have to pay more to replace the bottles I'd 'traded'!
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Old 31-01-2009, 13:54   #38
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It's also looking safer for me to stock up on the Pacific side of Panama or Galapogos...
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Old 31-01-2009, 14:10   #39
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Captain Jaz,
The other matter I would give very serious consideration, is the trading of precious pearls and carvings for booze on the "dry" islands.
The gendarmes are very aware of the situation, that when the natives get whaky, they will trade fortune for alcoholic stupor.
IIWY, I would do a little research on the exportation of artifacts from the islands
J.P.
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Old 31-01-2009, 14:26   #40
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Hi John, I hadn't considered doing anything like that, but thanks for the advice anyhow. I'm personally not interested in making money, (at least not anymore than I need to live, alot of my personal view's are similar to Buddhist's), although I shall now be careful if anyone I meet there wants to do a 'trade'. Doesn't sound like its worth the hassle even though I would be tempted to help the guy out if he asked me for a drink in exchange for goods...
But I shall avoid doing that now.
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Old 31-01-2009, 14:35   #41
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Though I personally am all for going back to the bartering system!
I don't think customs would agree with me....
;P
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:58   #42
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Hey Jaz
Great place Cuba, rum available all over the place on the black market, very good and very cheap.
As you swim in the sea, suddenly a local guy pops by saying 'you want rum, cigars', it startles you for a minute but they are all on the make with the stuff hidden in the mangroves and nobody really cares.
Only met one american whilst over there and he had gone through Mexico to get in, as I say a nice place but a little run down especially Havana, a very beautiful city once but crumbling away, needs some money spent on it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:36   #43
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Thanks man, but I've looked in to distilling my own spirits before, and I know that if you don't keep the temperature at 72c then you get some pretty nasty chemicals in there. So i would advise anyone not to drink anything that is suspect.
And I can afford to pay out a bit for the good stuff... especially after I've got used to paying $20 a bottle for average stuff here in the UK!!
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:01   #44
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Your right at the moment the equivalent of $20.00 a bottle, bloody ridiculous, mind you everything over here is bloody expensive.
When I said about the black market and mangroves, the stuff coming out was from respected distilleries.
My mate brought back 9 bottles in his case, at the airport they wanted to know why it was so heavy, got away with it after giving the guy $10.00 which went straight into his pocket.
Have a good trip and don't get too pissed, well at least not all the time.
Cheers
Ian (back in the freezing UK)
PS. 'Tigger' looks good, when do you leave?
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:11   #45
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Lol... yea... Good ol' corruption... Very good for getting out of sticky situations... Trick is not to look like you have loads of cash or they'll milk it...
Thanks, I'm going out there in April, she needs new paint, anti-fouling, varnish, rigging, jib, storm sails etc. And I've gotta sort out solar panels and stuff. So looking like May sometime before I set off.
Yea, I won't get too pissed! Not going to have time except if I get becalmed!
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