Holy Crap, Batman.

We just bought a boat!

After a counter offer (or 2... I'm a haggler!) we have an agreed upon price!  Weeeeeeeeeee!


Time for a quickie!

The boat we looked at on Sunday is a no-go.  It was in good shape for a previous charter, but it was completely stripped.  Practically no equipment: no ac, no generator, no solar panels (that's just the big stuff - not even a measly spoon!)  Completely empty.  And there was water in the bilge.  And a main window panel over the salon leaks.  And the guy (broker) was kinda, I dunno...  Something just wasn't right.  We really liked the way it looked - even wrote a check for the deposit, but by the end my stomach was in knots and I took the check back.  We spent the 6 hr drive  home wondering if we did the right thing.

I went to bed and just tried to focus on having a clear answer in the morning.  And guess what?  I did.

I remembered that there was another boat listed in a very similar price range and it's just 3 years older.  Also a charter in a previous life.  By now it was Monday, Memorial Day, and we knew we were not driving (5hrs 1 way) to see it that day.  I made arrangements to drive down by myself the next day, after teaching my 7:30am Pilates class.  Turns out she's great!  Has almost all the equipment we want.

I submitted an offer last night and am just waiting on the answer!  Fingers and toes are crossed!  I'll give you guys the full run down as soon as we know it's a done deal.  :)


Is THIS it!?

We are off again.  Heading to Ft. Lauderdale over the holiday weekend to look at a gorgeous 39' Beneteau.   The price is right, it's newer than most we've looked at, it has the required swim/SCUBA deck on the back, a decent sized master berth  AND  it's still available!  Send out the good vibes!

I will take pics this time - and hopefully even a video!  For now, here's a photo of a random Beneteau 393 that I've stolen from the internet:

And from what I can tell, this is roughly the layout:


eboat cards - Social Networking on the Seas?

I was doing my normal (semi-regular, now that the semester is over) blog reading this morning over coffee.  I have a few of you guys that I stalk on a regular basis (ZTC, Windtraveler, KaceyAmanda...) and ran across a post about Active Captain (new to me) introducing eBoatCards.

I'm a bit of a social networking fiend, as my family is spread out over the country/world.  And we like to travel, so it's nice to be able to post our pics/updates and keep up with everyone else's.  As soon as I read about this I signed up and played around with it.  It makes so much sense that the cruising world would be moving toward an online version of (what I read are) the popular boater's cards.  These appear to be business cards for cruisers.  You meet someone cool, trade cards, and can keep in touch (or nonchalantly toss, if they're freaks, I'm assuming).  Pretty nifty idea, but we all know the world is getting smaller via the internet and it was only a matter of time. 

I've jumped on the band wagon, so feel free to add us if you join!


Charleston Update

If you've been following along, you know we went to Charleston yesterday to check out a Beneteau 445.  She was a little rough, but the space on board is amazing.  We both loved the layout and roominess.  Absolutely a space we could both imagine living in.  This is the biggest boat we've looked at thus far.

We met up with a broker we'd not met before.  We've been through a few. One guy in St. Augustine we really like, but the rest - let's just say they are really lacking in skill with "newbie" sailors.  One local broker guy even told us the boat we wanted to look at one day was "too much boat" for us and to "come back and see him in a couple of years when we have more experience".  Hmmpf.  I don't take very well to condescension.  We are buying a boat.  If that man does not want our money, then so be it.   The guy in Charleston, however, was amazing.  I think we learned more about sailing (without even going out on the water) than we've learned in all of our research so far.  Sure, the repetition of hearing/reading the same info over and over is making things soak in faster, but he was also very skilled at sharing information.  And he was not the typical slimy salesman broker that we've been running into for the past couple of years.

We ended up looking at approx 10 boats yesterday at 2 different marinas.  I don't know if we found "our" boat yet, but we definitely made some headway.  We learned a few things that we don't want to compromise on (I DO NOT want a V-berth as my Master, I want a queen.  And we NEED a swim platform/sugar scoop for diving), some brands that we love and a brand or two that we want to avoid like the plague (I, in particular, do not love the lack of attention to detail on the Hunters).  I absolutely loved the layout of an Endeavor center cockpit (42'?) that we saw.  I'd be all over that boat if the price wasn't higher than we want to pay for a monohull.  It was gorgeous and roomy and would be ready to sail.  We both like the Island Packets, but also disliked their price tags.  They are gorgeous boats with amazing craftsmanship - in relation to the other boats we've seen, but we found some middle of the road boats as well that would allow us to set sail sooner.  The less money we spend on the boat, the faster we can be ready to take her out.  Sure, we could pay 50% more, but how much longer would we have to stay on land to pay for that?  Not worth the sacrifice.

That leads us to Catalina's.  Nice craftsmanship.  Really good layout.  Plenty of space on even the 35' model.  We'd pretty much ruled out anything under a 38' monohull and were looking at 40'ers.  Now we see how much difference a good layout can make.  I think we'll still shoot for a 38' or bigger, but if we find a good deal on a 350, we certainly will snatch it off the market!

We also picked up some good ideas on upgrades/modifications that other people have done to their boats.  Those will come in handy if we find a boat that needs some cosmetic work/layout adjustment etc.

Mark made a great point yesterday, as we kept looking at boats in higher and higher $ ranges:  we always look for a bargain in real estate.  We find a house with good bones and bad skin.  We fix it.  We make it pretty, save money on the purchase, then make money on the rental.  Why not apply that to our boat?  We have access to amazing craftsmen here in Savannah.  Why not buy sturdy but rough and make her shine?

So much to think about.  And I didn't take a single picture.  I was too engrossed in all the information coming from the broker.  And now the boats are all running together in my brain.  We've found a couple of other boats to check out in Charleston, so we'll need to plan another road trip.  One is an older, less sparkly version of the wonderful Endeavor center cockpit we looked at yesterday.  And I think we'll revisit that 44' *Beneteau that was our original draw to Charleston.

Surely it goes without saying that we hung out in Charleston for some delicious lunch, people watching and gelato before heading back to Savannah.  It's such a gorgeous city.  Looking forward to visiting from the boat one day in the near future!

*Beneteau:  they've all seemed a bit rough around the edges.  Can't decide if the ones we're checking out in our price range just happen to be from people that don't care for their boats, or if poor workmanship is leading to the early/common destruction of the gel coat.  Any thoughts here?


Is it Saturday yet?

Anxious to head to Charleston and check out the Beneteau...  In the meantime, trying to finish up incomplete projects throughout the condo.  And enjoying my first week of summer!

Happy Thursday!


Charleston calls...

Just made arrangements to head to Charleston to check out a Beneteau 445 this weekend.  That's 44' of sailboat - for 2 people who've never sailed!  But after this past weekend's exploration of 34-40'ers, I'd say it's a safe bet that we could easily live on a 44' boat.  Now to see if we can sail one home...  (that's what engines and sailor friends are for, right!?)

Who know's if we'll buy it, but it does seem to have one of the major criteria we need on a monohull - an actual swim deck.  As divers, one of the serious obstacles in the majority of monohull designs has been the lack of a swim deck.  Cat's have 2 gorgeous, entirely practical sugar scoops on the back end.  They would allow us to swim up, remove our dive gear and exit the water in relative safety.  But what about those monohulls?  Most we've seen have had tiny little ladders and a daunting vertical climb just to re-board - and that's without pounds and pounds of gear on your back.  But not this Beneteau.  She looks to be a perfect compromise of single hull and dive-ability.   And if  you've been reading, you know the price is a lot less painful on the wallet than a catamaran.

One day we'll find our boat.  She's close.  I'll let you know if this is her!


Time line!

We finally have one.

What a relief to have actual dates (ranges, at least).  Sure, they are just yearly goals, but to have semi-solid estimates/goals for key items is encouraging.
So what are some of our goals?

  • Finish my 200 hr yoga certification (checked another training off the list this past weekend!)
  • Finish my Culinary degree (that is going to take a bit, as I'm taking a light load - as well as summers off so we can play in the water!)
  • He needs to finish his dive master/instructor certifications.  And continue working at his wonderful job (so glad he enjoys it!) so that we can pay for the certifications, the boat and stash as much cash away as possible.
  • Buy a boat!  Shooting for this year on that goal.  We're vacillating between monohulls and cats again.  The money we can save by choosing a monohull is astounding.  Regardless of which we choose, having it paid for in full is also on our timeline.
  • Once we have the boat, I suppose we'll need to learn to sail it.  We're both pretty proficient at motoring, but the point of the sail boat is to save some gas money.
Needless to say, we'll be hanging out in Savannah for quite a while.  


If one is good, is two really better?

We're off to check out a couple of local monohulls in about an hour.  A Hunter 34' and a Hunter 40'.  We've been looking into monohulls thanks to the incredibly reduced price vs a multihull (1/4 the price in most cases!).  Thoughts are that if we go ahead and buy a boat, then we can learn to sail now.  NOW.  I want to be on the water.  I'm ready.  We'll see how today's viewings go.  We may love them, we may not.  From what I can tell, Hunters are really more for coastal sailing/cruising than for bluewater trips (ocean crossings).  But if the 40' is sound and do-able, I say go for it.  (She's recently been on a trip to the Caribbean and returned her owner to Savannah safe and sound).

Just finished up another semester of Culinary School.  Finally learned to fillet/cook fish!  Just try to convince me that won't be helpful on a boat.  It was a great semester, but now that it's over I'm ready to enjoy my summer.  I also just completed my Water Fitness certification and can't wait to get started teaching.  If I can't be ON the water at least I can be IN it!

Happy (almost) Summer!

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