You're going to be sorry you asked about the closing. It's a long story. What follows is the short version. The really short version is "Buyer beware."
Baloo turned out to be in pretty good shape, especially for an ex-charter vessel. We did not get her for as little as 160K, but we did get her for a chunk less than the asking price. That came down a bit more after Survey
and Personal Inspection
because some inventory items, like the outboard
, were missing. There are no blister issues. The ocean passage
to The Bay proved her to be water
tight, very sea-worthy, and fast. My husband (1st pasage), a professional skipper
, and another crewman, a Lagoon
owner along for the experience, sailed her back over 11 days. That included a day off on Cape Fear and a horrendous beat against a 15 -20 kt north wind
all the way up The Bay.
The closing was postponed 3 times because the seller paperwork was so bloody complicated. Nobody from the company representing both buyer and seller (mistake #1) offered to show us the boat papers; we didn't think to ask (mistake #2). Well, gee, isn't that what a good reputable broker
is for? ...making sure paperwork is in order (mistake #3). The seller broker
did not prepare the boat for the Survey
or PI, and did not turn up for either, as expected, with documents. Should've bolted then but by that time we were mentally set to BUY THAT BOAT, so we pressed on. Day of 1st closing, Lisa of ASAP (a brilliant and determined woman without whom the sale
would've failed) calls to tell us the problem. The 'seller', a good honorable Brit, couldn't sell the boat even tho' he signed a contract
because he didn't own the boat outright. Horrors!! That was April 22, I think. The seller, who had Baloo built, was actually leasing the boat back from a Dutch company, possibly somehow to avoid the VAT but I'm not sure about that. Annnd, there was a mortgage with a UK bank. Somehow this chain of involvement made the deal much more complicated than buying
a US house that has a mortgage. It took three extensions for the closing before the UK folks could get all their stuff right. We finally emailed/Skyped with the seller; talking directly really helped keep the ball rolling; the brokers had a fit. Last Friday was the final closing; no extensions. The UK bank continues to make paperwork errors so we still don't have all the required documents that give us clear title, but they are on the way. Maybe, today???? The paperwork ladies at the broker company and, as I mentioned, ASAP are super heroes.
Now, all this paper problem cost us and the seller a bit in cancelled plane tickets, extended stay at Nanny Cay, multiple couriers to move useless paper, FOREX changes, etc. Our money
was in escrow all this time. Part of the problem with sequence in the sale was to guarantee that our money
was not in the wrong hands if the boat or contracted seller departed the planet.
We brought the vessel home as an open-ended charter. My husband, I, and our 110 lb Rottie/Shepherd are happy as can be with Baloo. Yep, needs a bunch of expensive stuff like a new power
cord and outboard
; needs a bunch of minor cosmetic work
; needs a ton of gunk (pounded loose on the way home) cleaned out of the fuel tanks
, etc. But, she's a lovely girl with good sails
, including a gennaker
, neither on the inventory) and solid engines. As I said, we're happy. Poor, but happy.
If anybody wants more info, send us a private message.