GOD IS GOOD!!
Our prayer was that if this was the boat God had in mind for us, the offer would be accepted as it was. The gentleman selling was having second thoughts, while his wife was insisting on the sale. It could have gone either way. When we landed in our home airport, Rapid City, SD, Mike had a voicemail to call the broker. He waited until we were where he could talk uninterrupted and returned Preston’s call. The offer was accepted pending survey! There was a verbage issue that was amended on the offer regarding the electric winches, then flight plans were made for Mike and Matthew to fly back to Brunswick for the survey taking place April 27th. Evidently the survey takes 8 hours (wow) and it is strongly recommended that the purchaser is present during the process. This will give Matthew a chance to see the boat and have some special guy time with his dad. We are crewing for a friend May 6-15 and will be away from him, so this will be a little extra 1:1 time to make up for it. We will then close on the boat May 4th when we are in West Palm before we crew from Abacos to New Bern, NC.
Alright, so the boat. Her current name is Azure. We will be changing that. There are a few ideas, but nothing concrete. More on that when it’s decided. As previously mentioned, she is a 1984 Brewer 12.8. This means she is basically an updated Whitby that is 42ft long. The upholstery has all been updated, the deck is all painted, the wood work is all done and beautiful, there is still virgin teak on the cockpit benches, but its in excellent shape. The electronics are new, the dinghy and outboard are practically new. The electric winches motors will be replaced, but that is basically the extent of needed repairs that we know about before the survey is done. Other attributes are a new a.c. with reverse cycle for heat. It also has a diesel generator. The keel and hull are solid, as are the stanchons and lifelines. The motor is low hours, well maintained and reliable. A 5 doot draft with a centerboard were also appealing features. This will come in handy when sailing in the Bahamas. There’s list upon list of other items we liked, but would bore the average reader (if not already bored). Suffice it to say, we love this boat.
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.
Well~ here I am. Starting a blog. This is not something I thought I would do. However, the Preys family (and before that the Hasart family and before that the Myers family) has always been up for a good adventure. We love our kids and want to spend our time with them. We don’t, as a rule, do anything that doesn’t include them. So~ here we are about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime and we (I) will blog about it. I have taken the initiative to begin now, because today we fly out to Jacksonville to look at a few boats. My prayer is that we find the ONE immediately, so we can carry on with planning and not worrying about the all important tool of travel that is necessary.
Right. Just what is The Preys Project? When Mike and I got together, we both were in the middle of various “projects”. Some of these were personal, relational, some physical, or construction oriented. The main theme was that we were to be a relationship with projects. And that hasn’t stopped. We have remodeled houses, built an addition to the house that was a greenhouse. We have finished a basement and refuted a vintage RV and updated and refitted a 25′ MacGregor sailboat for longer trips. We have closed out a horse business after miles of rides. We have sought out a surrogate to grow our family and then had the ultimate experience adopting a child. We have moved our business and taken on foster children. For us, life is not only an adventure, but a project.
Today begins the biggest part of our latest project. We are flying to Jacksonville FL to look at live aboard sailboats. We have narrowed the search to 5 boats. One is in Brunswick GA, 3 in or near Jacksonville and 1 in Peurto Rico. We have made an old school spreadsheet on 7 taped together pieces of notebook paper that lists the attributes of each. I will list each boat, but won’t go into details at this point.
1. Amel 1982 46′ Maramu
2. Whitby 42 1980
3. Halleberg Rassy 41′ 1978
4. Pearson 422 1985
5. Brewer 12.8 41′ 1984
Why are we buying a boat? Well, we plan to spend 6 months of the year somewhere warm. South Dakota winters can be brutal (they can also be unseasonably mild). We both love sailing and the tropics and the ability to sail as transportation to international destinations. Initially we will spend time in the Bahamas and Carribean. Eventually we would like to spend more time and cross the Atlantic. Matthew, 9, goes to a very small Christian school and will continue that until Christmas. We will then continue with the same curriculum in a boat school model. His school has been supportive and we are extremely grateful for that.
I will follow up this blog with more information as we go along. For now, we await out our first flight.
Until next time~