Well it has been a couple of weeks since I last checked in here.
The brokers Kingston way are looking like duds. I asked to spend a day with the owner of the C&C Landfall 39 and they came back with a we donít do it that way. Letís dig out the exact quote ...
"Having said that, we make an orientation meeting, sea trial, survey and mechanical inspection
all part of an offer to purchase
. This process works well and will give evidence of commitment from both the owner and the purchaser."
I take the above to be an invitation to offer to purchase
without understanding what it is I am buying
, something Iíd rather not do. So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and asked for a copy of a buy/sell agreement, figuring the process is like buying
a house and the starting point is usually a standard contract
that is modified to fit the particular deal. I never heard back. Maybe my wife and I donít look wealthy enough.
Surely I am not unreasonable here, am I, in asking to study the terms of a standard contract
? If I am expected to make an offer on a boat without having the full information in front of me, surely I should be able to read and understand the standard weasel words than can get me out of the deal? Maybe they are on vacation
or something, but it has been 2 weeks now since my last communication.
So another 20 pounds of sailing books
arrived from Chapters, and I have been reading onwards and upwards. Been reading on this and other forums
too, and watching what shows up for sale
Sometime in the last week, I find my self falling for a Whitby 42. Not necessarily a particular one, but the 42s in general. They have the same basic layout and headroom (maybe more? I saw 6'6" somewhere) as the C&C Landfall 39 plus seem to have better blue water credentials than the Landfall seems to. Around the same "more money
than I initially wanted to spend" as the Landfall.
However, my summer of cancer and surgeries is making me look at the pile of gold with different eyes. It is a battle between my frugal, no cheapskate, nature that got me to my current
financial position vs "am I dead in 10 years?", and it is quite likely that latter point will win the debate. Donít get me wrong, I am on my way to good health
, and could live to 100 yet, but I definitely felt the cold finger of mortality tapping me on the shoulder a few months back.
Somewhere on this forum there was a thread started by some guy in a similar position as me, green as hell, but looking at a largish first boat and wondering about the trouble he could get into. I would have reviewed that thread before posting
today if only I could find it again.
So with indulgence from the audience, if any, I will proceed to discuss my situation in as much brutal honesty as I can and invite the gentle reader to weigh in with any opinions either of a go for it nature, or donít: you will end up running ashore.
Since I have already brought up the money
aspect, letís start there. Sure, putting 6 figures into a boat is more money than I have ever spent save for buying a house. That is balanced against the fact that the boat would only represent 10 or 15% of family
net worth and if somehow we lost
everything outside the house and pension, weíd find ourselves no worse off than the average person, except weíd have the house paid for. As far as annual costs go, I understand that the annual number will be on the order of $10,000. This sounds large, but really, it is only what we save every year in not running a second family vehicle like virtually everyone does in North America. We can swallow that. So I think the financial factor says stuff it, get what we want.
Why do I want such a large boat other than the headroom thing? Well one of the things I want to do is take guests. Often. This is part of my health
epiphany. I have not perhaps been the best friend, son, brother over the years. I have been isolated and unsocial much of my life. Much of what I want to do here is give others a good experience with something which is otherwise outside their normal scope
. My parents and in-laws are in their 70s and in various states of disrepair. I am not convinced that they or at least all of them can take the thrashing of a smaller boat, even on a day sail basis. This is something I want to share with them now, before the passage
of time makes it too late. Younger friends and family I would want to take out on multi day sails
, and not necessarily just 1 or 2 at a time, maybe 4 or 5 others in addition to my wife and myself on board. I have the feeling that a 32 footer would impair this goal, or maybe I am just talking myself into the larger vessel.
Next, onto disposition for sailing. Some people buy a boat and find out they donít like sailing, and then sell the boat and lose a pile of money. Or perhaps one of us has perpetual sea sickness
issues. The losing a pile of money factor doesnít matter, see above. Plus there is no reason I shouldnít like sailing a large boat. I sailed my laser for hours at a time in my youth for years. I see the sailing culture with similar values and physical hardships to the distance bicycling culture. I have cycled and camped half way across this country sleeping in my tent placed in schoolyards, fire hall yards, grave yards, farmerís fields, etc. The creature comforts in a boat will usually be much better than this with the exception of gales perhaps. My wife doesnít quite have the same cycling history
, but she has gone on cycle trips and she hasnít divorced me yet. I think it is highly likely that we will like large boat sailing and will be able to deal with the discomforts that it may throw at us from time to time. The disposition for sailing should be there.
What about maintenance
skills? Well I am trained as an engineer
so I like to think that I am capable of understanding a thing or two. I have plenty of practical experience around a house doing everything from roofing, to wiring
, framing, concrete work, etc. I have a fairly well equipped workshop with the usual wood working tools. In addition I have some metal skills. Though not currently set up I have a metal lathe and milling machine, arc
welder and the usual set of hand tools here too. I got my ham licence 35 years ago. I am rusty not having been active for 25 years, but radio
and electrical gear installation
should be routine. I have done small GRP projects and repair. I think the only weak spot for me is engines. I just never got into cars and speed, so I donít have any grease monkey in me, though I have and do change the oil
on our car. Oh, I have disassembled and assembled the milling machine to get it into light enough chunks to slug down and later up the basement stairs at the old house. Even with mechanical things, probably the biggest issue is contorting my body to get at something and getting seized parts
to move and not issues of understanding what I am doing. I managed to sort out my diesel
tractor when the fuel
gelled in the filter last winter, so maybe, just maybe I am not quite as mechanically useless as I am leading you all to believe. I assign myself a pass in this category.
What about sailing ability? Well I can sail a dinghy
, so I understand fundamental sailing theory. I however have zero large boat sailing time and I have zero navigational skills. This is the area where I see major weakness. Running a 130 pound laser into something is one thing, 12 tons of Whitby 42 quite another. Presumably I can learn much of this over the winter: safety
, weather, chart reading, compass
, and celestial and GPS navigation
stuff and the like. I imagine I could find the odd poor, but skilled 25 or 30 year old who would love the opportunity to sail in exchange for keeping the old guy out of trouble the first season or so.
So what say all of you 3 or 4 paying attention this far in, am I clear to salivate over Whitby 42s, or should I dial it back a bit and look at a 32- 35 footer to start? Of course the Whitby 42 is my crush this week, I reserve the right to fall for another boat next week.