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!


  1. Hi Jennifer- This is Cheryl from s/v Luna Sole & s/v Eclipse (StarWatcher on twitter) (long story why I own 2 boats ha ha). Anyway, I know a captain who might be able to help you. He is currently in the Solomon Islands on the Chesapeake but will be heading south to Ft. Lauderdale in August (in a car) for a few weeks of work. Maybe the universe will help you out here and you two can hook up for your new boat. he's a great guy- lives on his boat (Cal 35) with his girl Melody and dog Jett. Their website is www.mondovacilando.com and his name is Chris. Good luck!


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