Friday, November 15, 2013

Going To See A Leopard 38

Sitting in seat 7A listening to some Jimmy Buffet and taking a trip that is starting to feel like a regular commute, we are flying back to Florida again to inspect and survey another boat. The whole process is starting to feel just a bit too familiar and the thought that we may get past a survey and actually own a boat feels like just a fleeting dream at times.

This trip is a bit different, though. This time we are under contract on a boat we have yet to see in person. All we know of the boat is what is shown in the listing, the videos that Pete our broker sent when he went and took a look at it for us, and our brokers personal report on it's condition. It is another Leopard 38 (a.k.a. Moorings 3800) and this one is an ex charter boat. So, unlike the last one, this one has higher time engines, more nicks and scrapes, and does not have a hard top bimini, water maker, or solar. On the other hand, it appears from the pictures we have seen that this one as been regularly maintained and the systems it has are reported to be in good working order. Oh it also comes with a RIB and motor (a.k.a. the family car).

We land in Orlando, pick up the rental car (no not from Fox, won't rent from them in Orlando again), and make our way to Daytona to meet up with our broker and take our first actual look at the boat. The sales contract has the usual three conditions (personal inspection, survey, and sea trial) and I guess you can count this as part of the personal inspection even though I will want to see it again just prior to closing.

Blue vinyl...easy to clean but seems sticky in warm climates.

We meet Pete at the boat that is sitting behind a private residence near Daytona. We take a very careful look at everything inside and outside the boat. Inside, the boat is a pretty typical Leopard with some less than appealing blue vinyl cushions, a damaged Corian counter top (I've never seen Corian curl before) and damaged refrigerator lid. Other than a few lights, everything we tried worked. Outside is where you could really tell it was an ex charter boat. Numerous dings, scratches and minor cracks. There were numerous gel coat repairs that didn't quite match (likely from arguments with docks that the boat lost) and a few spots where the gel coat was getting pretty thin. The bright sides of the exterior appear to be the condition of the sails (from what we can tell of them sitting in the stack pack) and the somewhat weathered but serviceable dinghy with motor.

An abundance of caulk and the "two tone" gel coat.

Overall, it seems to be a decent boat. Mechanically, it appears to be in better condition than the other Leopard (although we don't know about the engines or generator yet). The detractor is clearly the hull condition that doesn't look the best and the higher time engines. There is one pretty clear repair issue that the surveyor will need to check. At the end of the day, I feel a bit perplexed about the whole thing and I'm not sure why. I think our broker accurately represented the condition of the boat, yet I think...or at least hoped...that it was in a tiny bit better shape cosmetically speaking. I think it may just be my mood though, as I have a bit of a headache and have been functioning with a general lack of sleep.  Or maybe it is our past experiences and I just don't want to get my hopes up again.  I will wait and see how I feel tomorrow.

On an unrelated but amusing note, the fact that the plane had to be deiced leaving Denver and the captain asked us to pull the shades down to help keep the plane cool after we landed in Orlando tells me we are working in a good direction.


  1. Man, I know that's gotta be getting frustrating flying back and forth and trying to make the best decision. I certainly don't envy you guys right now in that regard.

    Hope all turns out well with it. Don't be discouraged....the right one is waiting.


    1. Yeah, the frustrating part is getting all the way to a survey and sea trial to have something go awry. Paying for too many surveys, haul outs, flights, hotel rooms, rental cars.

      I'm not discouraged though, just a bit frustrated. Had hoped we would already have a boat by now.

      It's just all part of the experience I guess...and teaching me more patience. ;-)