OK, here is sort of a sum-up of what we've learned so far:
I'd like to thank everyone who posted constructive input here - aside from just stating the obvious. Of course we know that "the idea is crazy" and "buying a boat is stupid in the first place", I've owned and lost
the entire value on one boat already. No matter, mine and the crews experience is a completely different discussion that I've had with people with a lot of mileage already.
I posted here because I expected a lot of resistance (why else post in any forum?), and to see if there would come up more aspects that we hadn't considered. I couldn't possibly cover everything in our plan so I understand that it looked very superficial to a lot of people. But, especially, I was hoping for advice on how to handle brokers, surveyors and the initial check-up of the boat and market in our case where we don't have the opportunity to take much time in the market we're looking at. It's an unfortunate position, but not enough to deter us completely.
All in all, it's been very interesting to read, and very sobering. I am an optimist by nature and I absolutely need some devils advocates around me. It's been nice to see that we have already covered most of the major issues brought up here such as money
, time, the space and people together, safety
etc. However, I have clearly underestimated how hard it would be to get an understanding of the market in the area and the amount of time and work needed on the type of boat we'll get for our money
, and I'm glad I found this out now so we at least can start the process of buying
And yes, I will be going over to at least have a look at some prospective boats, meet our agent etc. The posts of what to check out convinced me that I actually can contribute quite a bit to the assessment myself, as I should be able to cover at least most of the important stuff even though I'm no expert at all.
Big question though: When in the process is it best to go (I can only go once, for maybe 4-5 days). Early, to have prospectives and choose a boat to bid on? Or later, where we'll will trust our broker (sorry guys) to find something, put in a bid where we get a deal that seems good (don't bother flaming us more over that one :-]) and then head
over to do the last check up before we sign the deal?
If we go early it's a greater chance we won't get any of boats i'm going to look at - if we do it later we have already bid on a boat that might not be the best we can do but we'll know what we're buying
and can start getting repairs
and outfitting done.
At any rate, this will let us check up on the job our broker is doing, by the way we're only looking at options where a large broker is selling - not some shady deal that our guy might bring to the table from nowhere.
Another important question I'd love some input on is: What else would be a good use of time there? I'm thinking to go a little boat-to-boat round to ask about the reputation of the brokers involved, references
, work and prices, where to get things done and so on.
All in all, we are now are lot more psychologically prepared that we will have to have enough time and money to do more work than we initially thought we could get away with. We have a whole year set aside for the trip so we know we can make it, even if it turns out we get stuck for 2-3 months on Tahiti
to do repairs
. Additionally, I have read there are pretty good facilities for getting work done in Panama
- by the time we get there I am sure new problems will have risen due to the voyage that wouldn't be discovered during the sea-trial. Does anyone have any experience with repairs in this particular corner of the world?
This weekend we had our fourth gathering/meeting which we've been holding regularly to discuss, make sure we're all on the same page and divide labour and research
. Even though we've been planning this actively for over a year our time budget
for actually buying the boat seems slim. This is because it took a while to settle on a good crew who would be able to make the time for this, and the budget
changed with the change in crew. I argue that the composition of people is even more important than the boat you end up with (assuming it's not a wreck). Now we have a great bunch of men
and women who have everything in order. All we need is our boat..
Again, thanks for all the input so far!
the Pina Banana project