Buy the Boat, Live the Dream!
So, you have this dream: Imagine you one day will quit your job, throw off the bowlines and sail off into the sunset. Do you have a plan for that? They say “Plan your work, work your plan.” But does that really work? Let’s find out:
For 20 years Tim thought about doing just that – sailing off into the sunset. In fact, it’s something that he thought about almost every day. It consumed him. He constructed a plan. Here it is:
1. Learn to sail
2. Buy a boat
Simple right? You could do that right? Well, it’s sorta is that easy… Working one step at a time – without waiver, without doubt, without distraction – Tim moved forward toward fulfilling his dream.
STEP ONE: Learn to sail – Tim got sailing lessons for his birthday one year. He achieved his ASA 101, 103, and 104 with Chris Rundlett in 2009. Basically learning to sail up to bareboat charter. He took every opportunity to sail, getting time on the water with friends and family – big boats, little boats and everything in between including a charter in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
STEP TWO: Buy a boat – Okay, here’s were it gets tricky:
– Look for a boat. Look at a LOT of boats. Talk to people. Make a wish list. what do you want in a boat? How big? Berths? Heads? Figure out what you want – then look on line, look in magazines, walk the docks all in search of the perfect boat!
– Find a boat. Once you decide on two or three types of boats that fit your criteria, start narrowing down your search. This is the one Tim decided on: Rocinante
– Get a broker. A broker is nice to have as a buffer between you and the boat owner. A broker’s business is to buy and sell boats. That’s what they do. Find one you like working with. This is the one Tim picked: Judy Naismith. (Judy just happened to be the same broker that sold the boat to the present owner.)
– Negotiate. Once you find a boat, work with your broker on price. Let the broker make the offer. (That’s one of the things your broker does for you.)
– See the boat. Go look at the boat. What is your first impression? Dig around, ask questions, take notes. (The boat just so happened to be in the same area where Tim grew up and went dingy sailing as a kid.)
– SAIL the boat! This is called a “sea trial”. There is really not a lot of sailing involved – mostly run the engine, check the various systems, put up the sails and take them down again. (Chris, Tim’s ASA instructor, just so happened to be in the States from Grenada for the boat show that week. Seeing a trend?)
– Hire a surveyor. Once the owner accepts the price (contingent on inspection), get a surveyor to go through the boat. Don’t always use the surveyor suggested by the broker. It’s ok to find your own. Make sure you are there when the inspection is going on to ask questions or just to see what is being said about the boat you want to buy.
– Re-negotiate. You may find other things that might need attention on the boat. You can re-negotiate the price based on what needs to be fixed or walk away.
– Buy the boat? Does Tim buy the boat? Is this a dream about to come true? Stay tuned…