First,,,,yeah, the little blog that could has TWO followers, THANK YOU, I have no idea how to get people to read this or if people even would read this, but I don’t care cause I’m writing anyways. If you can suggest this to more folks who may want to follow my little blog, I’ll give you a lollypop.
As I alluded to in the last post, we took the plunge; making an accepted offer on a cruising sailboat, plunking down the big deposit and getting our broker to schedule the survey, haul-out and sea trail on the same day. What an awesome day it was for me personally, because Michelle had obviously agreed to buy a boat and was mentally there (a HUGE step) and we were going ahead with a boat that had everything I thought I want on a cruising sailboat and didn’t have to buy it in cash, it could be had on the boat already as part of the loan package.
So, on Tuesday the 11th of November we took the long drive to San Diego for the day, getting to the boat a bit late but better than never. For the survey, I had hired who I thought was one of the best surveyors in town as well as the recommended surveyor from the website. BoatUS says you must use their recommended surveyor for the specific area and they have a good list on their website. I have wanted to hire this surveyor for awhile, as I like the fact I was able to go on their website and read completed sample survey’s, giving me material to get a baseline from their completed survey examples. I used Christian and Co. Marine Surveyors and upon meeting our surveyor the morning of Tuesday the 11th, I was impressed and relieved because he was already at work, a no-nonsense guy who simply wanted to knock out the job. My broker, who works for Yachtfinders-Windseakers in San Diego was there too as well as the buyer and his agent.
The survey has always been spelled out in everything I’ve read as one of the most aspects of the boat buying process, I disagree. Getting the survey done (and done well) is easy, there’s surveyors who will travel anywhere in the world to work. I think the most important thing in the boat buying process is actually financing, but I digress. The survey took all day,,,as he was surveying a 45 foot cruising boat that is 25 years old. Although in one of the best marina’s in San Diego and maintained by a diver monthly, the rest of the boat wasn’t maintained as well, as a bit of the preventative maintenance had slipped. The survey revealed lots of minor details that I could have easily fixed, but when the forward geneker on roller furling didn’t budge during sea trial,,,bad juju. The rest of the sea trial went fine, but started us to thinking a lot about the value of the boat. Despite a great haul out, decent sea trial and complete survey, the fact remained that the survey found the boat’s worth to be $15k below what the owner and us agreed to in the accepted offer,,,and the surveyor sent a separate note to let me know his estimate was on the high side as it was. In the end, after a few days of thinking about it, we just couldn’t justify the difference in price and were not emotionally invested to the point we HAD to have the boat,,,thus it was time to make that big boy decision.
In one of my favorite books, “18 Endless Summers of Sailing” the authors talk about their search for the boat that would eventually become theirs and the various selling experiences they had while waiting for her to sell, so I guess my experience isn’t unique,,,,the search will continue.