Right. Our 5 day whirlwind boat search is almost over. We are about to board our last flight home to South Dakota and are anxiously awaiting to hear from the broker if our offer made this morning has been accepted. I won’t disclose which boat we chose, just yet. I want to take you through the gut wrenching search.
We began Thursday morning by setting foot on the Whitby. She was a very pretty boat with nicely maintained wood work and upholstery. She is currently a live aboard, so we got a good feel for storage, etc. The draw backs were the lack of a few amenities that we felt were important and that it was the slowest boat we were looking at.
The next boat was the Amel. It was very impressive as a good blue water sailing boat, but also completely lacked personality and character. It did have everything we wanted other than the DEEP 6′ 5″ draft. Mike had some concerns about the messy wiring.
The Hallberg Rassy was the Friday morning boat. That boat felt like a tank. She is currently on the hard and therefore was able to be thoroughly inspected. These owners have owned and sailed her for 24 years and gave us a great rundown. The previous owners had crossed the Atlantic twice in this boat. There were, however several cosmetic and convenience items that would need repaired before taking off with her. The mahogany interior was beautiful! There was also just a 2 burner diesel stove that I was concerned with. Pan size would be an issue as well as the oven not getting hot enough for some baking needs. The overall size of the boat felt small and it also had a 6′ 1″ draft.
Friday afternoon found us boarding a Brewer 12.8. This boat took our breath away from the moment we laid eyes on her on the dock. She is a patriotic blue and showed the best of any boat we saw. The upholstery is updated, colorful and stylish. The woodwork is beautifully maintained and the deck newly painted. There is a winch as well as davits for the newer dinghy. When Mike went through the mechanics, etc he was impressed with the diligence and care items were labeled and maintained. The drawbacks were no solar or wind and a few other smaller questions.
On Saturday (was that really just yesterday??) we got up at 0400 and flew to San Juan to look at a Pearson 422. I had this boat really built up in my mind for the huge aft cabin with real shower and convenient fridge. These areas did not disappoint. The owners had just crossed from the USVI and flown home, so were not available in person, but Mike was able to call them. This boat was unique because of location and the in-mast roller furling that had been added. We weren’t sure how we felt about either of these things and the boat had a few random broken or unfinished areas that we weren’t sure might lead to more serious issues.
Suffice it to say that with each new viewing we would say, oh yeah, this is THE boat! We would rehash the viewing and note all pros and cons. Between some we went for a walk in the woods and tried to be critical. Each new boat left us a little more confused. We seriously felt like we were on an HGTV House Hunters Boat edition. Our family even commented they felt like they were watching that episode unfold.
Right. Which boat? After careful and I mean careful consideration- (remember the 7 page taped together spreadsheet) we narrowed it down to the Brewer and the Pearson. Then the Brewer and the Rassy. Then the Brewer and the Amel. Do you see a theme? We made the offer on the Brewer. She is just so gorgeous and well maintained we felt we could set aside our concerns and add the missing pieces without too much expense or effort. She also has a 5′ draft with a centerboard to help point into the wind. She is a cutter rigged sloop, not what we were looking for specifically. She has all new electronics, as well.
I’m going to pull the plug here and will elaborate on the Brewer’s attributes when we know our offer has been accepted.