Right after I dropped my Christmas charter off in St Vincent I realized that it was nice and sunny out, but I was not charging my batteries. After some diagnosing I determined the output on the controller of my solar panels was not working and there was no way to fix the tiny circuit.
I quickly found a replacement online, but I was having several issues.
1) I was in St Vincent
2) I was sailing away on a charter in a few days
3) It was the week between Christmas and New Years
The best way I could figure out to get the part to me was to ship it to Grenada by My US, which would take a week and a half due to the holidays, and pick it up when I dropped my charter off there. In the mean time I would just have to use the engines to charge the house batteries (this is why I have 125 amp alternators to use as a backup).
Everything worked out pretty well as my shipments (I got two, one as a backup, and some other things I needed since I was already paying to ship it down) from Amazon arrived at the My US office in Florida and they in turn repackaged them into a FedEx shipment that I was able to track.
When the package got on island I had to take my receipt, boat papers, and clearance forms to the customs office to get a C-14 form that allows me to only pay a 2.5% duty instead of the usual 25%. I then took the C-14 form to the FedEx office who had me go to the Customs office upstairs to get a stamp. Once back they collected my money, which was around $10 for my fees and $24 for the broker. Here is where I have an issue. Why did I have to do all the leg work and go to the customs office twice and STILL pay the broker? Shouldn’t this have been part of the fee?
Regardless, I paid the fee, got my package, and had the new controller installed within half an hour. Let the sun shine down and make me some power. 🙂