Bon voyage, Melbourne!

The five hr drive seemed to drag on forever as we headed down from Savannah today.  But we made it, took the boat out for a wee (very wee) bit while we loaded up on fuel, then  grabbed dinner and a few groceries, and spent the rest of the evening unloading provisions and finding out what/where everything is. The guys are in the cockpit trying to change the bi-data from meters to feet. It's been a while. Maybe I should go save them... ;)
Shoving off bright and early tomorrow, so I've gotta hit the hay. But I did take a few minutes to enjoy and capture our first sunset onboard. 


Sealed Deal

We've done it.  We've actually closed on our first sailboat.  I've been gathering food/supplies all week, arranged for a rental minivan, made arrangements with the Captain we've hired to both sail the boat home from Florida  - and more importantly, start teaching us to sail.

Oddly enough, of all the videos, books, blogs, etc that we've been reading over the years, this video - that we watched on a whim last week, has by far been the most educational.  It just seems to break down sailing into something we can easily understand.  Now we just have to head down Sunday, leave the slip on Monday and see if any of the info sank in/works in practical application...  It's really long.  Just save it for later if you really want to learn to sail.  :)



The Big Day - Buying a Boat pt 2

It's almost here.  Tomorrow's the big day.  Per various emails this morning, I've been assured that we are all set to close tomorrow.  (fingers crossed...)

Steps this week:

1. Get told that your finance co. thinks there are too many hours on the engine and they will not finance the purchase (in spite of email received last week that the survey was good and financing was on board - you know, right before you signed the paper the prevented your 10% down from being returned to you.)
2. Panic.
3. Calm down and opt for second finance option - after arguing for a lower interest rate.
4. Wire more money to Broker to make up for newly lowered finance amt. (Yay for paying more to principal!)
5. Have all broker's paperwork redone in order to state correct finance price...
6. Scramble to find a notary that is available after 5pm, sign and overnight financial paperwork.
7. Get reminded by your new insurance co. that someone had a speeding ticket last Fall and your premium will now increase significantly... Suck it up and pay.  (you'll do that a lot in this process!)  It was still the lowest ins option.
8. Find a fabulous yacht delivery captain/sailing instructor - who is so thorough as to call your Broker and find out if the new boat has a Whisker Pole on it and then shop around and find an appropriate pole for  you.   Suck it up and pay the $400.
9. Google Whisker Pole.
10. Wait and see if it really closes tomorrow as promised!

I still have most of my hair.  I can't promise I won't pull it out before tomorrow.  I'm tempted to turn off my phone.  Every phone call I answer is costing us more money!  Welcome to Boat Ownership, right?


I may be bald soon.

But that's ok, right? - because it's hot in all the places we want to cruise.

I'm going to pull all of my hair out.  We are in the home stretch of closing on the 393 (Friday!).  Of course things come up.  The bank we were originally going thru doesn't like the high hours on the engine.  I understand.  But the current/soontobeprevious owners appear to have been meticulous about maintenance, so we're not worried. But They are.  So now we're going with bank #2.  (heh heh, number two)  A tiny touch higher interest rate, but still under 5%.  But the stress of all of this is making me want to pull my hair out.  Or clean.  I think cleaning may be more productive...


On the upside - we've found a local captain that's also a sailing instructor!  We are so excited to have found someone that is highly recommended as both a delivery captain and an instructor.  We plan to learn as much as possible on next week's 4 day delivery!  Weeeeeee!


Summer Solstice SUP Fun

We had a super-duper high tide yesterday.  Shoved the boards in the water, loaded up the paddle dog and headed out.  Strong current, but great paddle.  :)

Still dry!  (can't say as much for Molly...)


Haul Out 2013

Here's the haul out during the survey on the Beneteau 393.  Finally time to start adding more cool pics to the blog!

 Here she is after she was navigated thru the marina to the lift - apparently the Banana River is a little low right now and her 6'2" draft was not helpful.  She's stuck in the mud.  

They finally got her un-stuck and lifted.
 Then rolled her over to the inspection sight so the hull, keel, rudder, prop etc could be inspected.
Good idea of her size in these pics of us walking below her.  Our last boat was 18'... and didn't have a mast.
 Our first sail!  She didn't sink.  I'll take that as a good sign.

We finally signed and returned the Acceptance of Vessel form last night.  Now we're just waiting until the closing date and she's officially ours!  (what have we done?)


Final Signatures...

Can't. Seem. To. Find. Pen...


Survey is great!  Financing is approved!  (had to verify that survey was all good before they committed fully)  Insurance is lined up!  Now we just need to sign this Acceptance of Vessel form.  This is the form that says we want the boat AND (more critically) that from this point on, if we change our minds we don't get any of the 10% down that is sitting in an escrow account.  It also happens to be the form that has the repairs that we want done by the seller.  It's the final bargaining step.  Practically the FINAL final step.  Practically.  I just need to sign it.  And so does Mark.  Then we email it and *POOF* several thousand dollars are no longer ours...  Just like that.  And I know - it's just the beginning.  People seem to find no end to telling us allll about the giant hole of a money pit that boats are.

So what's the problem?  I am a serial saver.  Some people hoard cats.  Some people hoard food.  I hoard cash.  It's not a bad thing, just ask my husband.  I'm not a spender.  But I AM a traveler!  And what does spending this money do?  It frees us up to traveltraveltravel!  Yay!  It's like a floating trailer.  We get tired of one watery trailer park, we just pull anchor and find another one.  Easy-peasy.

*For the record, I don't really like peas, but I like easy.  Well, I like black eyed peas, I suppose.  Just not green peas.  Easy-blackeyedpeasy!

Here I go.  I'm going to sign it.

No.  No, I'm not.  I'm waiting on him to get home so we can commit together.  Then neither is more to blame than the other... ;)


Does this boat make me look fat?

This pic is from a few weeks ago when I headed down to see the 393 for the first time.
Patience is a virtue, and I, my friends, am not virtuous. I've mellowed over the years, sure.  But Officially Patient?  I think not.  We had the survey/sea trial on Friday.  All went well - you know, if you don't count the dock fire, the drained batteries, the crazed windows, the cracks in the fiberglass under the floor, the seacocks that are not currently up to code, the screw that practically cut my pinkie finger off, yadda yadda yadda... ;)  It's Sunday.  We still haven't seen the report.  I suppose I can let it go - it IS Father's Day and a weekend after all.

Here we are - parked right next to a Lagoon 380!  One of our favorite cats - and what we were originally shopping for.

So how about that Survey?  As I said, I don't have the official report, but per our surveyor "it's really not too bad."  That's a relief.  (I sure hope his report is more detailed than that...)  But what about all that crap I listed in the 2nd paragraph?!?

  1. There's a screw in the lock on the interior side of the door in the fwd head that's not put in correctly.  It's kind of in at an angle.  When I grabbed the door to see if the lock worked, it immediately sliced my pinkie open.  Guess I need to take a screw driver on the next visit and whip that sucker into shape.  There's not been a real estate remodel that's not gotten at least a little bit of blood out of me, so why should our boat be any different?  (ps, how does that first sentence translate?  The inside of the door in the bathroom in the master bedroom...  Silly boat-speak.)
  2. Seacocks.  Apparently there are some regulations that have not been met underneath the head sinks. Too many connections = too many chances for water on board.  This will be remedied.
  3. Cracks in the fiberglass.  It's a fiberglass boat.  It flexes.  M. was a composite guru in a former life and has no issues with what he saw.  (neither did the surveyor)  He can repair/reinforce the area, and it will be better than new.  
  4. Crazed windows.  The windows on boats are Lexan and we've yet to be on a boat that didn't at least have a couple of windows that were full of crazing/tiny internal cracks.  The surveyor was fairly insistent that at least a few of them be replaced.  I'm all for new hatches.  I like to actually be able to see out my windows...  According to the surveyor, the issue comes in when a rogue wave crashes into the side of your boat and the cracked/weakened windows give - resulting in a really wet interior.  Not ideal on a boat.
  5. Drained batteries.  Not a big deal, really.  The boat was not plugged in when we got there for the survey.  They did charge during the sea trial, and per the surveyor, they were fine.  (waiting on the report to verify that)
  6. Dock Fire.  Yes, fire.  Saved the best for last.  The power cord that leads from the dock to the boat (there's one for regular power and one for A/C - this one was for A/C) had a cut in it.  Fortunately, the cut - and resulting sparks/flames/virtual EXPLOSION! (I exaggerate) - was in the part of the cord still on the dock.  The cord is hardwired to the A/C vs plugged into the stern (back of the boat, for you non-boat-peeps).  The damaged portion of the cord was cut off and we were able to carry on with the inspection.  However, that entire cord will be replaced before closing at the end of the month. 

Oopsie.  Just a little scorch mark.

We took the wieners to see the boat Saturday, before we headed back to Savannah.  You can see Molly peeking around from the cockpit.  Neither of them were too thrilled with the boat, but Molly did eventually venture out onto the deck and check things out.  We did not go below - the boat was locked and we just wanted a short introduction for the dogs.  We haven't figured out just how the tiny legged dachshunds are going to get up and down yet. I'm sure there will be a post on that - as soon as my genius craftsman/husband decides how he wants to go about it.  

The further we drove up A1A, the longer our to-do list got.  I hear that's pretty standard for boat owners - the never ending upgrades/adjustment/tweaks.  We even did some on our power boat.  But it's all about making her a home.  And we can't wait to get started!

Happy Father's Day everybody!



I'm addicted to e-books.  Not just any e-books, but sell-everything-you-own-buy-a-boat-and-just-get-out-there e-books.

I've been following lots of blogs over the last year or two - it started right after we decided that talking about living on a boat is fun, but actually LIVING on a boat would be sowaycooler.

I've read Bumfuzzle, A Sail of Two Idiots, Happier than a Billionaire (ok, that one's not about sailors, but still pick up and leave the rat race - and hilarious!) - and so many more.

Just had a referral for Embarrassment of Mangoes - and plan to start that today on the drive down to check out the Beneteau.  Know of any other good ones?  Did YOU write one?  I'm happy to contribute to the sailing kitty, as long as I get a laugh out of the deal.

Happy Sailing!


What about my SUP?!

We're still in the planning stages of living on a boat.  And with all this time on my hands before we leave for FL tomorrow - for Friday's inspection and sea trial (!), I'm wondering what the heck we're going to do about our SUP's.

Nothing better than starting the day with a paddle

If you're not familiar, a SUP is a Stand Up Paddle board.  We currently have 2 - a Walden and a Naish. One is hefty, long and wide - perfect for throwing down some down dog and single leg balances.  The other - the Naish, is better built for turning/surfing, as it's shorter, but it's also slower.  Regardless - we love both!  They both have their advantages.

Here's M. heading out on a Christmas paddle

The disadvantage?  They are rigid, huge boards.  Are we going to be able to put them on the boat?  It's a 39 footer, but there is currently no dinghy, and only so much deck space.  That's led me to inflatables.  I'm digging in and doing some research.  These suckers are just as they sound - inflatable.  So when you deflate them, they roll up and go into their own storage bags.  Much better for stowing away on a boat.  And at anchor, I image we'd blow them up and just tie them off the swim deck for easy access.

Do any of you have experience with inflatable SUP's?  I'd love some recommendations.  This is absolutely one toy we're not leaving our land home without!


Waiting. And more waiting.

Just an update on what's happening in the boat buying phase.  Waiting.  That's what's happening.  That's all that's happening.  Oddly similar to the shopping phase, where we just sat around playing on the internet.  For ages.

Anyway.  I've called around and gotten prices on the various marinas in the area.  Let's just say that I understand why most cruisers live on the hook.  I wonder if we can put a mooring ball in the river behind the house...?  You know, just down from the marina that's going to charge us $420 to park our boat.  (And if we *gasp* want electricity, it'll be another $60.)  

I've also been calling and getting a variety of quotes on insurance.  Seems the cheapest is to have a date specific policy.  We would be required to keep the boat north of Florida from June 1 to November 1 - Hurricane Season.  Not really a problem for now, as we won't have a big enough chunk of time to go to the Bahamas until Christmas.  And we can always change the policy later - when we're ready to hit the seas for longer periods.  And we can always sail north in the summer.

Speaking of hurricane season, I suppose I would've heard by now if tropical storm Andrea had annihilated "our" boat.  I have to say, if she has, I'll take that as a major sign that, gee, maybe she's not the right boat for us... ;)

I feel like I'm just rambling now.  Our survey and sea trial are set for next Friday.  In the meantime, landlife goes on.  Classes to teach, houses to landlord over, trainings to be taken.  And maybe a nap for good measure.

Bon Voyage!



Jinx! (Part 1 of The Top Secret Steps of Buying a Boat)

I know, I know.  I don't technically own the boat yet, and I could be tempting the fates by assuming all will go thru, blah blahsidy blah.  I'm not a Tempting of the Fates kinda girl.  I'm more of a Ask the Universe for What You Want and Boom! It'll Happen kinda girl.  Anyway, I have been reading sailing blogs for a couple of years and often get frustrated when the writer chooses not to share all the details of that time between picking a boat and closing on the sucker (I get it - I just want to read about it!).  How am I supposed to learn anything if people don't blog about it!?!  (um, that's kind of a joke - see, I know I can learn things from places other than sailing blogs...) So here I am, documenting the purchase of a boat - good or bad you need to know the nitty gritty details, right?

Here's the low down:  (Keep in mind that we're starting from ground zero here - we don't even know how to sail yet!  This is just what we've learned up to this point)

  1. Figure out what you really NEED in a boat - then find the smallest, most affordable version you can handle. It took us 2 years to travel from wanting a motor yacht to a trawler to a catamaran to this monohull...
  2. Find that boat! As soon as we knew exactly what we were looking for, it showed up.  Thanks Universe :)
  3. Make an offer (- good rule of thumb seems to be 10% less than listing price, but that may be something I've learned in haggling in general)
  4. Put 10% of agreed upon price down via an escrow account with the Broker.  We went back and forth a couple of times before we agreed on a price (this 10% is to be wired to the account in most cases, and completely refundable to you if you change your mind at any time before signing the Acceptance of Vessel form)
  5. Arrange for a survey/sea trial - find a surveyor that is certified with SAMS or NAMS in case the insurance/financing requires this.  Try to get referrals!  
  6. Schedule a haul out at near by marina that coincides with Surveyor's schedule (Duh, they need to coincide, but I had to be told this.  Sometimes common sense is not so common.)
  7. Apparently the broker/seller handles the hiring of a Captain to move the boat for haul out/sea trial
  8. Arrange financing (if necessary) This will take a few weeks to close - just like a mortgage.  They will need a copy of the survey in order to close the deal.
  9. Arrange insurance (they will also need a copy of your survey)
  10. Arrange a slip for your new boat at a local marina!
We've completed almost all 10 of these items so far.  Just a few more details to be handled and then the waiting part kicks in.  Our survey/sea trial is scheduled in a couple of weeks, then closing is a couple of weeks after that.  Then we have to get our new floating home home!  We are still looking for a Captain for this, but have a couple of options lined up, I think.

I'll be doing another post after closing to list the rest of the steps - after I learn them ;)  In the meantime, I DO have photos and videos that I'm hanging onto for later posts.  Be patient - it'll happen!

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