Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Leopard 38 Survey and Sea Trial - Second Attempt

We didn't get back to the hotel in Marathon from our pre-sea-trial repositioning sail until around midnight. Fortunately, the rescheduled haul out wasn't until the afternoon, so we did sleep in a little bit. We checked out of the hotel just before 11 am and made our way back to Key West.

We met our broker, Pete, and briefed him on the prior days trip. He had been worried when he hadn't heard from us last night (until my 10pm text that we had indeed made it). I think his biggest worry was (since he knows I'm not one to put up with a lot of B.S.) that something might come up between me and the selling agent and some of her, shall we say, creative explanations. No worries Pete, I'm pretty sure I can restrain myself from pushing someone overboard...and we all got along fine (except for a couple minor spats between the selling agent and the hired captain).

We moved the boat over to the marina lift and...YES, it fits. We walk the boat into the lifts slip and up she goes.

Haul-out at twice normal speed.  This video has been stabilized by YouTube
to see the original shaky one (with out the wavy artifacts) click here.

Then begins the process of evicting the sea creatures from the boat's bottom.

Boat bottom or coral reef, you decide.
A "little" scraping and a pressure wash.
Not perfect. but way better.

After the cleanup, Jonathan does his inspection and sounding (tapping the hull with a hammer) looking for delamination and water penetration issues. It really is amazing what you can see with the boat in the lift straps that you cannot see when it is in the water...even the parts of the hull that sit above the waterline.

We did find one large patch in the forward hull that was of some concern, and a number of chips down to the fiberglass that will need to be touched up as well as some other odds and ends, but it was definitely more positive than our last hull inspection that sank that deal.

After the hull inspection, we put the boat back in the water for the official sea trial. Now one might think we got quite a sea trial the day before, but in addition to the sea trial being a bit of a test drive, it is also a chance for the surveyor to inspect the engines, sails and rigging under load. The winds were about the same as they were the prior day and we had seas in the 3 to 4 foot range and this made for a good sea trial. I was definitely a welcome change to see that the boat was able to do closer to half of the wind speed on a close reach with the cleaner bottom and no engine assistance. In fact, I was having enough fun with it that I was a bit disappointed when Jonathan said he was done and we could head back at any time.

Once we get back to the dock, there were a couple last checks that Jonathan had to perform.  He took oil samples from the engines to do an oil analysis* and to go up the mast to inspect the rigging.

By the time we are done, it is around 6pm on a Friday night. We very briefly talk about a few of the bigger issues with the boat, but to get the full report will take a little time and Jonathan needs to head back home.  Our AOV (Acceptance of Vessel - basically the last day I have to reject the purchase based on the survey, sea trial, and personal inspection) is tomorrow and there is simply no way I will have the report in that time.  So, the last thing we do is get with my broker to submit paperwork to the seller for an extension of the AOV so I will have time to review the results of the survey and make informed decisions.

And with that we begin our drive back to Ft. Lauderdale to check in to a hotel near the airport so we can make our early flight back home.  Yet again we fail to get to sleep before midnight...guess getting to bed early just wasn't going to happen this trip (well past the "cruisers midnight" that I assume will become part of our lives).

The AOV extension was accepted, now we just wait...impatiently...for the report from the surveyor. I know it will be a pretty long list, but hopefully not insurmountable.

*I know there is a great amount of debate regarding the usefulness of oil analysis...at least there is in piston aviation engines. If an engine is tearing itself apart the metal is often larger than what is caught in suspension in the oil.  I wonder if an oil filter inspection looking for metal would be a better option for surveyors to try (an inspection that is usually done in piston aviation engines).


  1. Good luck to you. You are almost there. We hope that the Surveyor's list isn't insurmountable as well, and that you will soon be able to join the cruising population and their bedtimes.

  2. Wow, that was a lot of sea life on the bottom! She looks like a good boat; hope the survey report comes back with some good news....or rather, not too much bad news.


    1. It was pretty, eh? Goes to show you what happens when a boat just sits.

      I don't think surveys ever come back with good news...just varying degrees of bad news. ;-)