A long time ago I posted a hello to the forum, mentioning that I was in the hunt for a boat that I could live aboard in Annapolis
. Well, I finally decided on a Valiant 40, and about six weeks ago started pursuing a particular example. I'm now in the third day of fixing her up in Westbrook, CT and making her seaworthy
for the trip home.
She was originally advertised as lightly used and maintained by the best of yards. When I showed up for the buyer's inspection
and the survey
, both with my broker, that claim turned out to be so much advertising. She had been owned by a casual sailor and while I think he did his best to keep her up, his advancing age and his lack of fastidiousness had taken their toll on a few of her systems and her general "state of yar". I and the broker and the surveyor
poked and prodded her over two days and when the smoke cleared, the bid was adjusted downward, considerably, based on what we found. The owner hemmed and hawed and finally accepted. The offer was fair given her condition vs. other boats on the market.
Fast foward I've now been on her for three days, and have put in 15 hour days cleaning
and fixing. Aside from the three 30 gallon trashbags of plain junk, the 25 year old uninspected liferaft
, the charts
from 1990 etc. that I hauled off, there has been endless scrubbing and repairs
. New batteries, new alternator
, new water
pump, rebuilt head
...and then the previous repairs
that I had to redo properly. My first night on the boat I was in a bit of state of shock from what I had found, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. Happily, she is looking to be very solid in all the ways that count, with her warts being primarily bolt-on systems and general state of cleanliness.
A few more days here and I'll be heading over to spend a week at Greenport, LI, where my mother lives, then down the Sound and along the Jersey coast to the canal. I would love to round Montauk and do the straight shot to Cape May, but I have the time and I'm a little leary of taking her offshore
, however marginally, on her shakedown cruise
when I don't have to.
I really have to say, the longer I spend on her the happier I am with my choice. Beneteaus and other modern production boats offer considerably more room and ingenious design conveniences, but poking behind panels
and inspecting the guts of a Valiant gives you the impression you're on an industrial strength boat.