Survey on the boat

Last night we received the soft copy for the survey of the vessel we are considering.  As I mentioned before, I flew out last Wednesday and then spent Thursday with the surveyor going over the boat in detail.  He’d already spent a good deal of time (I’d hired him as a consultant to act as my “eyes on site” before I decided to make an offer. He reported the boat in good shape with apparently minor issues and suggested I probably would like to pursue the purchase.  He also suggested a “full survey” with me present.

As it turns out, he did almost the entire survey without me, charged me a couple of hours of his time and didn’t write the actual report.  What he really did was spend more than two hours and had all his notes and showed me everything wrong he’d found.  The survey reflects his work on both days and is thorough in detail.  Being there in person is a highly recommended experience for any potential boat purchase – in particular larger vessels like this one.  I personally can recommend being present.  You can ask questions and they will explain things to you.  The surveyor’s purpose is to evaluate the vessel and then place an appraisal on said boat.

So – as expected the images of the problems were in the report.  A basic explanation of “adequate” or “outstanding” or “critical” by each item found is there to help the boat purchaser to make their final decision.

Needless to say, my wife and I had questions of each other mostly.  None of the surveyor.  All said, there is little in the boat that needs repair, and that which does is something *I* can do easily with a few hours of work.  My time isn’t cheap at the moment, but will be soon enough.

We signed the acceptance agreement last night about 9pm EST and sent it on to the broker.

We go to close on 7 January 2015.

Anyone interested in a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Colorado Springs?  Let me know.  We’ll be going on the market in late January to early February.

 

Advertisements

Buying a Boat

We just were notified that the Seller of the boat we’re interest in has accepted our offer.

<faint>

Ok. I’m better now.  Time for a survey.  Surveyor is notified, will get back to me shortly with possible dates.  I’ll get back with probably flight and hotel information.

 

With luck weather won’t be horrible.  We’ll likely waive a sea trial.  Too late in the season.  Speaking to both insurance companies and the surveyor, they can do the best job on the hard anyway.  Short of ensuring the boat doesn’t sink, or masts don’t fall off in waves.  Anyway, at this point, I’ll take it. Spoke to a mechanic at the marina who worked on the boat when the boat was hauled.  Said he took care of tightening bolts, checking some hoses and clamps and then winterizing the engine and it starts and runs fine.  He was not sure of the oil changes or any of that.

I’ll personally check that stuff out.  No responses on any maintenance logs, and I doubt I will find any.

On the good side, I’ve spoken to several people who have been on this boat, seen it and even know the owner.  He gets high marks for being picky about the boat and caring for it at this point.  But thus far, I’ve seen only pictures and pictures might be worth a thousand words in the mind of Confucius, but I prefer seeing something in real life, living color.

Stay Tuned.

Trip to Florida

We had a great trip to Florida.  Not much sitting in airports, and rented a car that can only be referred to as “a roller skate”.  The think was called a “Chevy Spark”.  I think it was waiting to grow up to be a “Blazer” – but probably never will.

We looked at six boats.  Of those, only two were “close” to what we wanted.  And only two of them were actually boats we had wanted to look at.   The broker with whom we worked was trying to push an Endeavor on us.  While it was a nice boat, it wasn’t what we were looking for and I think he just didn’t “get it”.  It was in our price range and it was a 37 foot boat, and therefore we MUST want it because, well, it was a nice boat.

We tried several times to get him to understand we had reasons for looking for what we were looking for.

All in all though, we ate plenty of sea food, and I could rarely pass up fried oysters (probably not good for me, but they are GOOD).  We got to visit JoAnne’s brother Paul and his wife Cathy and had a lot of fun finding places to eat and driving around seeing the sights there.  We went from Dunedin, to Ft. Desoto driving around, through Largo, Tampa, and several surrounding areas.

Of the actual boats we liked, one was a Formosa; she’d seen better days.  The young fellow who owned her was asking close to 50K for that boat.  I was willing to offer significantly less and the broker told me he likely would not take less.  I wished her well and told her good luck on selling it then.  We found a broken cockpit, engine wouldn’t start, it needed some real help inside and out.  Might have been a steal at 20K and a bargain at 25k, but was robbery at 50K.

The other boat we looked at was an Allied Mistress.  She was not… represented accurately in the ads, though the boat could likely have been had for less than the asking price, it would have been a significant amount of work.

One boat was gorgeous, and Irwin.  Not really what we wanted, but we considered it.  Except the owner came out to let us aboard and show the boat.  And give us a dissertation on what all he “still had to do”.  Oh well, he wasn’t on the market yet and I think he and the broker were fishing myself for someone who needed to spend money.  That wasn’t us.  If he was still working on the boat, he really wasn’t ready to sell.  She was hoping for us to make a huge offer or something, and he was hoping to escape from his boat I think.

Paul looks great.  He’s 73 and had a heart attack last year, and has some problems with his legs, but gets around fine.  But he looks to be in his 50s, not 70s.  Cathy was doing well as well.  Their little home in the retirement community was just right for them, and the community center has a pool (a huge pool) and other things for them to do.

After almost two weeks we had to leave.  It was not easy to leave either.  Florida was warm, the beach was “Right There”, boats were everywhere.  The hotel was just “so-so” but we stayed two weeks and probably anything can go wrong in even expensive places, so no big deal.  But eventually we flew back to chilly weather, we’ve had snow already in Colorado and today we FINALLY get to see JoAnne’s Doctor (her 3 month visit, only it’s now 4 months) for her checkup.

Tomorrow (or tonight) we’ll set a date to put the house back on the market if all is well.

In the mean time, there’s this pretty 40′ Formosa for sale we’re looking at.  I’ve already contacted the broker, we’re looking for a surveyor to hire for a “lookie-see” to advise as to whether we should pursue this one.  The broker has filled me in on all the good and bad of the boat.  We might end up buying this one without flying out to say “Yes” first.

The problem is the boat is pretty far north, and not on the southern coast or Gulf Coast.

JoAnne came up with the perfect solution though; instead of preparing to sail the Caribbean the first year or so, we provision and train for an Atlantic Crossing and head straight up the coast to Maine, Newfoundland, then across to Ireland in the right season.

I can’t say that’s a bad idea either…

Stay tuned.

Headed for a Dock

Well, kind of.  We’re headed down soon to Florida to look over some boats.  Since I’m a little wary about putting travel data out I won’t say when or exactly where yet.  But we’ve got a bunch of boats lined up, one confirmed appointment and the type of boats are all falling in line with our basic requirements.

Each of the boats will be between 34-41 feet long.

Among the top choices were:

Allied Mistress (a 39′ full keeled ketch with an aft cabin)

Morgan Out Island 41 – similar to above

Hallberg-Rassy 35

Morgan 36

O’Day CC

Westsail 32

Those are our absolute top, go-to boats right now.  Among the second place was a Formosa (Actually it’s a CT 41, but based on the same designs as the Formosa 41), a couple of different Irwin models, another Hallberg-Rassy (33′), a couple of larger boats (a 45′ and a 44′) and too far away to look at, but would be on the top of the list if closer to our destination, would be two Gulfstar sloops.

We’ve been aboard a Westsail 42 in the past (if you watching the banner pictures, you’ll see the actual boat, the Kataboo eventually) – but not a 32.  We’ve clambered all OVER a Morgan 41 in the Bahamas that was for sale at one point.  The owner wanted too much money, and we didn’t want to fiddle with trying to get him to drop the price at the time.  The boat was sold later, I hear, to some folks who wanted it to move Haitians off their island, most likely, illegally.  He didn’t get anywhere near what he was asking originally.

I’m partial to a slightly smaller vessel – perhaps 35′ in length.  She is looking for something a bit larger.  We might, or might not have extra crew join us (family members) from time to time and for unknown lengths of time.  There is nothing set in concrete for that and we’re honestly not sure when this might happen, for how long or if the persons in question will do this often or not very often.

Thus we’ve been torn on buying the larger boat and ending up spending more money in repairs and maintenance, or going smaller, more budget-minded and have the extra crew “make do” with the space we allot them.  We feel like they really should come along – they are young and could be helpful, but also at the same time this is really for me and my wife, not to accommodate others.  Don’t get me wrong, we love them dearly and would welcome them.  But you know… decisions, decisions.  Oh their part and ours….

Anyway, truthfully, if we locate a boat that is 34-35 feet long and still has an aft cabin (we have a couple of those) to allow my wife and I privacy and a larger cabin area for the galley and an extra space or three for sleeping, it will be fine.

I really, really, like that Hallberg-Rassey we’re looking at.  I also really, really, really like the Allied Mistress.  Boat good boats, both of them are in our price range.  Both of them have the things already on them we want.  One is a bit much on asking price, the other has some work that is required before you can sail off.

But, we’ll figure it out.

The Broker we’re working with has told us several times to “sign a S&P” form… basically it’s an offer letter.  I don’t want to do that until I SEE boats personally, touch them, look inside, sniff around and do my own mini-survey.  Once I do that, I’ll be in a better position to determine if we’ll have a surveyor come out and do the rest of the job for us.  So – not getting pushed into making an offer on a boat sight-unseen, not buying a boat JoAnne and I both don’t have 100% agreement on, and won’t buy one that isn’t really what either of us want.  We each can veto the others final say on a vessel.

From a practical aspect this is about to be our new home.  We don’t want to live in a camper.  We don’t want to be “camping”.  We want to have some comfort, a nice place to sleep, a dry boat, places to store food, a water maker (eventually), extra power (solar panels and wind generator) and a way to move the boat without an engine (sail, sculling oars, outboard) and a dinghy.  HF radio is part of our lives now (we’re hams) and we’ll take our radio gear with us when we finally leave Colorado.

She has another doctor’s visit in October.  We’re waiting for that appointment to make the final decision on the house.  We’ll likely put it back on the market at the end of October if all works out.  If not, we’ll continue on, regroup as we have in the past and continue keeping on….

Fair Winds!