Musto Performance Skiff

Searching for the Holy Grail... a MUSTO Skiff Bookmark and Share

Webmasters Comment ... for anyone who thinks it a pain to get a boat delivered from Newcastle or that their local dealer is a bit of a hike away ... read this tale by Canadian Andrew Mercer ...

Living in Canada, the second largest country in the world, with over 32000 lakes and surrounded by oceans on three sides, you would think one would be able to find a single MUSTO skiff. Think again. The search started two years ago. I began asking at marinas (no one was familiar with the MPS, a Laser yes, but a MPS no!), clubs, and mostly a lot of emails and internet searching. Nothing – the grail was not to be found. I did look at new boats, contacting Ron in the States, but, at just under 20,000.000CDN after shipping , import tax, 9%, and provincial tax, 15%, ( yes, tax on taxes,)my wife would never let me out of the dog house. I did not want to have to sleep on a couch forever, so new was out! After contacting the website and talking to Paul and Chris at Ovington boats, they suggested shipping from UK to Boston, the cost being approx 1300US dollars. The search was on for a European boat. After a lot of emails with photos being zapped back and forth through the Netherlands of the internet, nobody was willing to try the” separate mast procedure” ,deemed “ too risky”, hey I understood! This meant I needed a large container to ship the mast, nobody would ship it outside and insure it, which almost tripled the price! The couch is bad for my back, so back to square one. By the way everyone was great on the forum and when I asked for a billion and one photos of their boat, since I couldn’t fly over to inspect, people responded rather nicely, thanks everyone. I posted a request to buy on the forum “any in the north east USA” and waited. I continued to search Canada and the US, I knew there were some in Florida, and Seattle WA . Then about three months later I got two, emails on the SAME day, saying there was a MPS, for sale, in Seattle WA., only 5800 km away.

Ever wanted to find the antique car hidden away in a garage or barn, in great condition, that everyone else always seems to find? Well, this was it. This MPS was a first year production, MPS #077. It was bought by a nice gentleman, for his nephew, (man I wish I had family like that!). The nephew had sailed it 4 times and gotten frustrated with it. It had been stored in a heated basement for 8 years! Wow… So emails flew back and forth and pictures looked good. So now what? I needed a flight to the west coast, 2000.00, cost of the boat 5500USD, can’t forget the import and provincial taxes a total of 1395.00. I managed to rent a truck for a day and a half for 200$ to bring the boat across the border into Vancouver. Arranged to purchase a rack, for the truck, for 700$ with the intention of using it very carefully and returning it for a refund . I found a yard that would hold the boat until I could arrange shipping from Vancouver to Halifax, cheap at only 75.00, great! So off I went to the West coast.

Left my house in Nova Scotia at 0500 for the 2 hour drive to the airport in Halifax, flew to Toronto switch and onto Calgary, switch again and onto Vancouver and land 9 hrs later, and found a place to sleep. Another 05:00AM wake up to pick up the rental truck, the rack to carry the boat and then off to Seattle. Long wait at the border crossing ,and its 3:30PM before I am heading down the road into Seattle, hit rush hour traffic and grind to a halt. Sit for another 2 hrs in traffic – love the city! After finding some gum in my pocket, I had not eaten all day; I arrived at the seller’s house at 6:30PM. Wow the boat is beautiful – never seen one in real life – it calls to me! Realize that there are a couple of missing things – oh well the sails are new, the bottom cover has never been opened and he’s giving me a harness as well! Not like I was going to turn around and dive back up to Canada and fly home without getting it! So time to load – we had to assemble the rack system – this actually took 1 ½ hrs – it was extremely well made and tight fitting, and for $700 it should be! The gentleman selling the boat was 81 years young so we needed help getting the dolly up on the rack and then the hull , so up and down the subdivision asking for help – anybody?! After 4 hours it was loaded and strapped down for the trip back to Canada. Oh yea, it’s 10:30PM, gum is old and I’m real hungry! Off up the highway to find food , everything was closed on a Tuesday night except Mc Donald’s drive through. The truck wouldn’t fit through with the boat on top, so had to walk up and bang on the window. Food in and truck gassed up. Time to head across the border. Custom officers sent me to the holding area. Its 2am, I am running on almost no sleep and I had to make them believe that I really only paid 5500$ for the boat, I gave them all my paper work and the website and told them to look. I had been going almost 24 hr straight, my eyes were sore and the grumpy customs officer was not helping. So after 1 ½ hours at customs they finally let me through, I had to hide my smile as they forgot to charge the importation tax and only charged me the provincial, got the paper work and scooted out of there. I guess crossing at 2am does help! Started looking for a hotel , completely exhausted to say the least, and promptly got lost in Vancouver. Decided to go to the yard where it was going to be stored – arrived there at 4am and told the security guy I was delivering this boat and couldn’t let it out of my sight and asked could I sleep in the cab? He took pity on me, and agreed. After three hours of painful sleep in the front seat of the pickup, the sun was up and the place was hopping. The guys at the yard were very kind and helped me get the boat and dolly off the rack. Not wanting to tell them about my less than ethical intentions of returning the used rack for a refund, it got scuffed and dented. I was too tired to care and packed the rack away with the hull. It was now 10am and I had to return the truck by noon or pay for another day. At 1145 the truck was returned, I ate and found a hotel to crash, up at 4am for my flight back to Nova Scotia.

The first bill from the yard where the boat is stored, was emailed to me. I realized I should have clarified whether the 75$ was a weekly or monthly charge. Hoping it wouldn’t take long to find reasonably priced shipping to Halifax, I started contacting shipping companies. The quotes I was receiving ranged from $ 3000-4000. Understandable, as the price of gas is insane and it’s a long way, but I was hoping for something a little cheaper. Patience won, a truck coming this way was able to fit my boat in with his load, with a cost of 1500$ He was not able to pick the boat up until August, but even with the extra 900$ storage fees, it was the best deal.

The boat arrived around the third week of August in great shape. The running rigging, blocks and various other items were missing, lost in the 8 years it had been stored, which, in total, cost me close to 1000$ to replace.
Was it worth it? – I sailed the MPS twice before we’ve had to put it away – the Yacht club closed. First time was amazing (I’d watched K16 at least 20 times – no joke!) and in 7kts of wind had a blast – two turtles and flew the kit twice! – it was fun. The yacht club kids were told to stay away from the expensive European race boat out in the lake as their insurance wouldn’t cover any damage, so I had half the lake to myself! The second time the boat won! 10kts gusting 25kts – wasn’t ready and needed to do more dry land training – next year I’ll be ready. And yes it was worth it – every penny! Go get one.


Andrew Mercer 077

Bookmark and Share

 When you want the best ... you can have it
The MUSTO Skiff is marketed world wide by Ovington Boats.
Please contact us on +44 191 257 6011 or
email us for more details.
Below are our key suppliers

Ovington BoatsHull
The highest standards by a gold medal winning builder
Harken, the best hardware available, it will never let you down
High tech carbon mast with "Step Down taper system" technology
One-design sails by the best in the game

  © 2002 - 2016 All rights reserved.   Ovington Boats Limited :  Privacy Policy : Terms and Conditions
This site was designed and implemented by Force 5 Marketing. trading as Marketing on a Shoestring