Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Meet Patches...

One of the things I noticed during the engine fiasco (not discovered by the mechanic paid to look things over) was that the port side muffler had a very small leak.  In the following picture you can see the stains created by the leak on the left side of the hose.

My friend and broker Pete recommended a welder in St. Augustine that he thought could fix it. I gave Capo Welding a call and they thought they could but couldn't be sure without seeing it. So a few days ago I dropped off the muffler at the welder. I decided to take the rail with the broken stud that I discovered in this post as well to see if the welder could fix the stud. After seeing them both, the welder said they could take care of both and would try to squeeze it into their busy schedule.  I was very surprised to get a call from them the next day saying that they were able to fix both and it was only an hour of labor.  Total cost was $65...a lot cheaper than two new parts.

I think I'll call the muffler patches...because it seems to fit.

Shiny patched muffler
This past weekend it was time to install the repaired muffler.  You may have noticed in the first picture that the hose isn't in the best of shape, so I decided I should replace it as well.  While you can go to West Marine and get the hose, they tend to be a bit pricey.  There is a shop in St. Augustine that deals in overstock as well as used and trades called Sailors Exchange and I was able to pick up hose and good replacement hose clamps for about 1/3 the price of West Marine.

Installation was pretty straight forward.  Using a heat gun was helpful for getting the hose on as well as off.  The only snag was that the little piece of hose in the top picture has to be precisely the right size in order to be long enough to get the required dual hose clamps on each end and short enough so the muffler lines up with the mounting holes.  Fortunately I had some extra hose and got the hose right on the second try.

I now have an exhaust system that isn't leaking...a pretty good thing, especially for the engine under the rear berth.  I also installed the pushpit rail, rebedding it just as I did in this post.  The boat is operational and looking fully assembled again.

All are good things as we need to move the boat out of Florida waters pretty soon to avoid their exorbitant taxes.  It is too bad for Florida too, I could stay here and continue working on the boat and supporting their local businesses for another month or so, but since I'm not a resident, I don't see why I need to pay extra use taxes to them so I'll play by their rules and leave.  I'm sure Georgia businesses appreciate Florida sending customers to them.


  1. Nice looking job. A quick question, how long do you have to stay out of Florida to aviod the taxes? thanks.

    1. Hi Ben and Terri,

      Yeah, the welder seems to have done a good job...not that I could judge a good weld from a bad one.

      When you buy a boat in Florida, you either have to pay the sales/use tax when you purchase the boat or, if you are not a Florida resident, you have to fill out some paperwork and receive stickers that say how long you have to leave (of course there is a fee here as well...but far cheaper than the tax). You have 90 days to leave or, for more money, can extend it to 180 days. I believe you then have to stay out of Florida for at least 6 months before you can return. If you come back early, I guess they feel they have the right to tag you for the use tax at 6% of the purchase price.

      This is my understanding of the laws of the State of Florida. The usual disclaimer applies...I'm not a lawyer and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so you should seek the advice of a professional if you are planning on purchasing a boat in Florida (or anywhere else for that matter).

  2. Remember, too, that if you are coming into FL with a documented boat, and it is not registered in a state somewhere, FL will attempt to make you register it. “A vessel, federally documented or not, that is not covered
    by a registration from another state or by the USCG in a state without
    a federally approved numbering system, is not provided that 90-day reciprocity time and would need to register with DHSMV.”

    1. Florida has a bit of a history of trying to get it's hands in your pockets in a variety of ways. Apparently they would prefer people try to avoid Florida...and I'm OK with that. They make a lot of their money on tourism, so it seems a bit stupid to me to try and discourage it.