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Old 17-06-2015, 08:19   #1
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Boat: 1979 Pearson 323
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One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

After a couple years of looking we found the boat. A 1979 Pearson 323 in great condition with lots of gear. After seeing lots of fixed uppers we decided it was worth it to pay a little more for a boat ready to go. Come December we are on our way south down the ICW to the Bahamas for 6 months!!!

We live in MT so we got to experience the stress of a long distance purchase. everything went extremely smooth through the whole process. We were lucky!!! It made all the difference in the world that the sellers were very helpful through the whole process and are great people!

Our process was:
-after reviewing a 2 year old survey and other info the seller sent (pics, invoices, etc.) we made an offer contingent on a survey, sea trial, inspection by us and by a representative.
-after we agreed on a price we had a surveyor do a fly by visit as we hadn't seen the boat yet. He was willing to do it for free if we went through with the survey and if not would only charge us for 1/2 hour ($45)
-with his go ahead that there wasn't anything obvious wrong we had a full survey and sea trial
-with satisfactory results we flew out and did our own inspection and sea trial
-everything looked great so we closed on the boat
-the PO spent 2 days with us on the boat!!!

The trickiest part were the logistics. We had to have flights, hotels, cars, long term storage, insurance, etc all line up before we even knew how the survey went. Luckily all went well but we had it scheduled that if it didn't we could cancel with minimal fees.

I can't stress enough how helpful it is to have good sellers if you are buying through an individual especially when buying long distance. If we didn't have trust in what they were saying and the kind of people we were dealing with I don't think we would have risk buying in this way. We would have taken a couple weeks to travel around and look at boat versus laying out the cash to go look at one boat. It could have cost us several grand if the boat wasn't as presented. When trying to go cheap those boat bucks add up quick so a few extra grand lost would have hurt! Especially when you are back to square one.

Now the boat is being stored for a while and we have time to gather up specific items we need for the trip. It would have been best to buy a few months later but when the right boat pops up you really need to jump on it. There are a lot of boats out there but very few older boats at reasonable prices that have been truly taken care of.
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Old 17-06-2015, 09:59   #2
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congratulations on the purchase of your new to you boat. Glad you had a good experience. Many pleasant adventures ahead of you.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 17-06-2015, 10:29   #3
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Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congratulations on the new to you boat. I think you will like the Pearson but then I might be prejudiced. Like any older boat they probably have some issues but in a five year complete overhaul on my 1984 422 I've found nothing that made me sorry for my choice.

You were very fortunate in having a friendly, helpful seller for the deal. Might have been impossible without it or at least much more stressful.

So where is the boat living for now? Hopefully not too far north as Dec can be pretty cold to start south from the northeast.
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Old 17-06-2015, 10:57   #4
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

She's on the hard in Charleston SC right now. If a rare cold spell comes through they will toss a heater on board. Hopefully we will get lucky with the weather when we start down the ICW. I just hope everything works as well as it does now in 5 months. I'm paranoid not being there to take care of her! Killing me being so far away as I have projects I want to get started but they must wait.
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Old 17-06-2015, 12:44   #5
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

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She's on the hard in Charleston SC right now. If a rare cold spell comes through they will toss a heater on board. Hopefully we will get lucky with the weather when we start down the ICW. I just hope everything works as well as it does now in 5 months. I'm paranoid not being there to take care of her! Killing me being so far away as I have projects I want to get started but they must wait.

Charleston, unless you catch a really horrendous, early winter shouldn't be too bad, although I've seen cold fronts even in FL as early as Oct. Good news is you can stay on the inside all the way if it is blowing and nasty on the outside.

You probably already know this but the only catch with going inside is there are some spots in GA where the water gets kind of skinny. Have to play the tides to get through a couple of places if you draw more than 3.5-4'.

Understand your concern as an absentee owner. Been there, done that.

Just so happens I plan to be in Charleston in a few weeks on business. I'll be happy to go by and take the boat out for a spin, charge the batteries and make sure everything is in good order. Just have the marina launch the boat, fill the tanks and have it ready for me. Make sure you have charts for the Bahamas and Caribbean on board just in case I make a wrong turn out of the docks.
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Old 17-06-2015, 13:56   #6
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Ha! Funny stuff skipmac! Guess I should have brought the explorer charts back with me so the marina guys don't get the same idea! Thanks for the tip on the skinny water. I hope to go outside some so that may be the place!

Jeff
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Old 17-06-2015, 15:50   #7
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

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Ha! Funny stuff skipmac! Guess I should have brought the explorer charts back with me so the marina guys don't get the same idea! Thanks for the tip on the skinny water. I hope to go outside some so that may be the place!

Jeff
I bought my Pearson in NY and brought down the ditch to FL. Stopped in Charleston a few days for repairs and went outside from there to Brunswick GA and from Brunswick outside to Jacksonville.

That bypassed all the tricky spots in GA but you also miss some beautiful scenery.

Charleston by the way was a very nice stop. Be sure to spend a few days there if you can. Lots of good restaurants.
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Old 17-06-2015, 16:10   #8
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Very exciting undertaking for you, this is the sizzle, the steak will follow. Its a good thing you are keeping your voyage down to 6 months because I've always believed that if you are gone much over 2 years you are almost not employable. I remember well when a walked in your footsteps and it was certainly a very cool time in my life. Have a great trip!
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Old 17-06-2015, 16:13   #9
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congrats on your purchase!

Pearsons are well built and will give you lots of sailing pleasure as well as security. Having sailed a few of them back in the days of being a club member I had them on my short list when I was looking for a boat to buy. And yours is from an era when boatbuilders did not cut corners and built them honestly. Enjoy her and fair winds.
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:45   #10
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Thanks everyone. We are extremely excited to take on some outside our norm. Should be a very exciting learning experience. Time for something new!

Robert sailer - Sounds like I need to up our trip to 2 years...now to convince the wife!!!

Jeff
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:56   #11
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congratulations! I went through the same process with my boat. Now you have to change your status, as you are no longer "searching".
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:23   #12
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

True!!! Didn't even think of that. Thanks!!!
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:31   #13
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

It sounds like you found a great boat, and worked out the difficult logistics to make it happen.

I've done the same thing (several times)...buying boats sight unseen (conditional on a viewing), then taking all my gear to sail it home. Always having a contingency plan in case I don't buy the boat. Only one time did I come home empty handed.

My current boat is also a Pearson (P30), about 40 years old, and no issues. I'm constantly in awe that (most) everything just works. The previous owners did all the heavy (expensive) work already...now I just enjoy. I read so many diesel engine nightmares...and yet my diesel starts every time, and just keeps going (fingers crossed of course).

Congrats on your purchase. I think your adventure has just begun. Please keep us informed.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:44   #14
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congratulations. You will love the motion of the Pearson,very gentle (we had a 365).

We had a similar experience, up to a point. Lived in NY searched for 5 years, flew all over the darn place and found our present boat in the middle of nowhere on the Canadian West Coast. Add an international purchase and a sleazy seller.

That being said, we found a good old boat and the logistical problems weren't insurmountable because we decided they weren't. Imagine, before the Internet we all settled for whatever boat was best within a 50 mile radius of our home! Lucky us! Enjoy your new boat.
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Old 18-06-2015, 15:08   #15
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Re: One big step closer - Long distance boat purchase

Congratulations on your boat purchase. Pearson's are well built! We purchased our 424 ketch while she was berthed in Hawai'i. Living in Atlanta, the buy was a challenge logistically. We made it through and have enjoyed her now for 7 years. Fully refit, she makes a 30k blow in 10 foot seas a joy.
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