Saturday, November 16, 2013

Going To See A Leopard - Day 2

My usual luck with weather from my aviation days seems to be following me to this new adventure. We awoke (several times during the night, in fact) to strong, gusty winds and angry seas...and we're on the 7th floor of a Daytona Beach Holiday Inn Express. The weather report was calling for sustained winds up to 20 knots with gusts over 40 and seas in the 9 foot range with small craft advisories. The wind was blowing off the ocean hard enough that our rental car, that was clean the previous day when we picked it up and was sitting on the opposite side of the hotel from the ocean, was now coated with enough salt that you could barely see through the windows. And we were going to do a survey and sea trial in this? That was the plan anyway.

Big waves on Daytona Beach, from the 7th floor.
Despite all of this, I was feeling better about the boat today than I was yesterday. I guess a little more sleep deprivation was just the ticket. I call my broker to query about the chances of meeting today's goals (expecting they were slim) and he said we would do whatever we can but it was ultimately up to the captain how far we would go. Can't say that I felt all that comfortable with the idea of a sea trial in these conditions, but I know how things can change and our flight back home is tomorrow evening so we have a very limited time window.

We all meet at the boat and the owners agent says the owner is not really comfortable with the idea of moving the boat today but would make the call later, after the part of the survey that could be done at the dock is complete. Jonathan goes about his checks and even goes up the mast for that inspection. Must be fun at the top of the mast in these winds.

By the time he is done with the checks he could perform at the dock, Jonathan had a moderate sized list of issues. And the wind hadn't improved any either, so no haul-out or sea trial was going to happen today. We review John's list and figure out a plan to do the haul out and sea trial before we have to hop back on a plane tomorrow evening. The list of issues on this boat is less than the previous Leopard (thus far). Many of the items we were aware of like the cosmetic issues with the exterior and the strange issue with the Corian counter top.

There were also a few surprises. A couple of the bigger ones were a transmission issue with one engine and a windlass that doesn't work going in the "up" direction (and i doubt the anchor needs help going down). There were also a number of other odds and ends that we didn't know about but seem to be common issues (such as non-functional lights and valves) on used boats.

So, while the boat is not quite in the condition I had expected, it is not bad. Of course, that could all change with the sea trial and haul out, but hopefully that will go smoothly...aren't we about due for some good luck anyway? Guess we will find out tomorrow.


  1. I think if you are waiting on your surveyor to recommend a used boat, you may never buy one. I think he gets confused with a realistic condition of a boat based on the cost to purchase and repair it...or maybe it was just me that he tried to talk out of buying a boat. There would be very little hesitation on your part if the agreed upon price was 75k - you'd jump all over it (probably). Of course if I'd have listened to him, I wouldn't be separated from my family right now as they presently live on it and make repairs 1500 miles away from me.

    1. Hey Kevin,

      I'm not looking for my surveyor to recommend anything, it's really not his job. He is supposed to figure out as many issues as he can given the non-invasive procedures he's allowed to perform. I think he does this well.

      If the agreed upon price were $75k on any of the boats I'd surveyed, you are right, I would have likely gone through with the sale as they would have been exceptionally good deals...but thus far the agreed upon prices were for boats that should have been in far better condition than they were later found to be .

      I'm not looking for the deal of the century, just a fair price for the given condition of a boat. One would think it wouldn't be that hard, but evidence seems to indicate otherwise for me. I'm just not willing to pay $30K (my figured, not provided by my surveyor) over what a boat is worth as that is a good chunk of cruising kitty.

      Once we have a boat, we will likely be in the same position as you as I will be refitting the boat while my wife wraps up things at our current home.


  2. I guess that's why the "recommendation" to nix the deal kind of left a bad taste in our mouths - we didn't think it was the surveyor's job to recommend one way or the other either.

    My situation is just the opposite - I'm stuck here trying to tie up loose ends and work to fund the re-fit while my family is tasked with doing the re-fit...I think I got it backwards?!?

    1. I'm not sure that the surveyor even knew what price we were under contract at in most of these deals, but yeah, I could see how you'd feel that way. Sorry it ended up that way with you, I generally think he is a pretty good guy.

      As for who is getting the better deal in your case, I guess that depends on what work you'd rather be doing. I'm going to likely be doing both...working for work and then working on the boat...luckily I currently work from home and my boss and I have talked about the location of "home" changing. But doing either work from a boat has got to be better...right?