Musings of a land-locked cruiser who spent 10 years in the Caribbean on her sailboat. A sailor never forgets the sea, the islands - exploring the beaches, hiking trails and tropical rain forests. Busy island towns with local markets, filled with reggae music, rastas and island ladies selling their fruits and vegetables. Ocean passages with starry nights and flying fish, dolphins, no land in sight - I miss them all.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
How To Buy a Boat
Back in time, I was looking for a sailboat to go cruising
in.You know, just sell everything, hop
on the boat and get out of the States for an unknown time frame.Destination – Caribbean!
We went to a large yacht sales office in St Petersburg,
Florida and one of the salesmen started showing us some used sailboats, about
35’.We spent a good part of a day
looking at all kinds of boats.The only
thing that caught my eye was a 35’ Morgan with a centerboard and an aft
cockpit.It seemed solid and the layout
was pretty good, although I grew to hate the fact that the galley was along the
starboard side of the boat instead of being a little U or L shaped area near
We were going through the storage lockers, looking under the
cushions and generally poking through things.My partner found the cable that brings up the centerboard or lowers it
and started playing with it and checking the little winch for it.He jiggled things around for a while, then
left the cabin to talk to the salesman on the dock.
I sat down and looked around, just soaking up the atmosphere
– it really didn’t have a bad closed-up-boat smell.Then, I realized I heard an alien noise,
there was water gurgling and it wasn’t the waves lapping the hull on the
outside.This was inside the boat!Not a
I called up to the guys on the dock – “Hey, I hear water
running in, you better check it out!”I
heard the salesman make a comment to my partner, “She’s just hearing the waves
on the hull.”Furious, I stuck my head
out the companionway and said “You can think that or you can stop this boat
from sinking, it’s up to you.”And I
climbed out and got on the dock with them.
Something about my attitude worried the salesman and he
decided to check below and see what was going on.Sure enough, when my partner was checking out
the cable for the centerboard, something snapped and allowed the water to leak
in the bilge from the tube encasing the cable.It was the last touch that it needed to break apart from age and use.
We left the salesman there dealing with the problem and went
home.I did like the boat and it was the
only one I liked that was in my price range.The next weekend, we called the salesman to see if the boat had been
saved and what the story was.The
problem had been fixed and the boat was still available.
We went to see it again and decided to make a low offer,
figuring the owner would be glad to get rid of it because it was just costing
him money at this point.The offer was
accepted and in a short time, the boat was ours and would take us from
Sarasota, Florida and on to the Bahamas, through to the Dominican Republic,
Puerto Rico and then to the Virgin Islands and down the island chain to
Grenada.And that’s where I found
another boat I liked…….