So as we ate an overpriced lunch at the marina in Miami (remind me not to hang out much in Miami...not that I was planning to...but it definitely isn't cruiser budget friendly), we decided to put in an offer on...the Leopard 38.
As I mentioned, it needs a bit of work. The Leopard can use some cosmetic and minor repairs but nothing like the Lagoon 37 we were under contract on back in the spring. Of course back then we didn't think there was too much work on that one but I trust my surveyor will find anything that may be amiss. So we came up with a number we feel is fair based on our initial impression of the condition and sent it in that afternoon. Now the wait for a response begins.
Earlier today, even though we submitted an offer on the Leopard (it hasn't been accepted yet and if I've learned anything from this experience, it is that anything can happen up until closing with a deal), we took a look at a Privelege 41 (which our broker says is very similar to a 39 that we might be interested in but didn't have time to drive all the way from the Keys to Pennsicola to see).
These boats are well appointed and have an absolutely huge cockpit. The thing I don't like is the location of the helm. It is positioned over the hull and almost all the way back against the transom. It is exposed and seems to me to be a bad place to be in all but the calmest of seas. The idea of standing or sitting on the very back of the boat on a night watch in rough seas scares me a bit.
One thing I apparently haven't completely learned is how to do a thorough initial inspection of a boat. And that is why we are currently on the Palmetto Expressway heading back to the Keys. It seems a day later we always come up with one or two things we wished we had looked at but for some reason did not. Guess I need to come up with a checklist if we need to do any more shopping.
Going back to the boat with a more critical eye helped though. It solidified that we think this is a nice, well laid out boat that would make a good live-aboard. It also reminded us of a couple issues with the boat and gave us a second/better chance for inspection. I opened up a couple of the access panels that I missed the last time (and thankfully found nothing bad of note), we talked a bit more with the selling agent about Leopards, and verified that the electronics are working.
Here are a couple additional pictures from the Leopard: