Jeepers!! I have an opportunity to buy something close to my 'dream' cruising boat - at least in the sense of having all the equipment, all the capabilities, and all in reasonable shape. The boat has been around the world. It's also big - bigger than anything I had planned on for some time if ever - officially 44 feet but that includes a 4 foot bowsprit and about two feet of reverse transom (like most modern sailboats.

Because of the unique situation, I think I could be moved onto my 'someday' boat in a month or two, IFF I'm ready to quit talking about sailing, and commit. This is one of those decision points - to leap three years or more ahead of my 'plan', or walk away, buy a house and wonder if that was my opportunity for freedom in the remaining years of my life.

The boat is untraditional in many ways. It was designed and built by someone after my own heart for 'belt and suspenders construction' with dual redundant everything. One might say it's an "engineer's boat" - only someone with the geeky nature (as I have) would be comfortable with the number of electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems. And that's why I have this opportunity.

I'd love to have other sailors in the Southern New England area to drop by and take a look. The boat is an education just to look at it. Message me privately if you are interested.

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Comment by Terri on June 2, 2009 at 10:02am
congrats! she is a nice boat! now you can take the plant off the table top..she's yours!!! :-)
Comment by Gary B on June 2, 2009 at 9:08am
Time for an update. I've spent the last thre weekends crawling over and investigating. I had help from a surveyor friend. He didn't have time for a formal survey but did spend over two hours - not bad for 'not a survey'! :) There were some ups and downs during that process! Bottom line - the boat's in pretty good shape, but due for refit. It is 15 years old, after all, and some of the systems could have been done better in the first place. The price I'm paying is embarrassingly low, but takes into account the situation, the fact that it's a unique custom built boat, and the boat's condition.

There is a lesson for boat sellers - do not allow your boat to sit neglected in a boatyard for two-plus years. Start with a lower price sooner, so you won't have to take a real beating later. Boats are more like RVs and vehicles than homes. They are mechanical systems that wear out. They are 'declining assets'. Your car does not increase in value, no matter how much money you put into maintaining it. A fifteen year old boat's value may be less than the cost of required refit and annual maintenance. You have the choice to continue to maintain it, but don't expect to increase the value by doing so.

So I've decided to buy the boat. I do have to get a formal survey for the insurance company, and that's the only thing left to do. I've already started cleaning - I had to do some of this to figure out what the problems might be.

There will be a lot of work - but I have tested many of the systems, and most of them seem to work. If all goes well I'll be able to get the outer (hull) work and necessary drivetrain maintenance (oil change, tuneup, etc.) done and get it in the water within a few months.
Comment by Pat Daly on June 1, 2009 at 11:00pm
Gary, quite screwing around, get it surveyed and buy it at a "fair" price.

Since you're obviously smitten you'll be way inclined to pay too much. Get a 3rd party to negotiate for you.
It's an estate deal, a very unusual boat and an unusual sail plan (which i wonder about for offshore).

So, if she's found sound by the survey and you can get her for a fair price you'll be happy for at least the next 5 years. I guarantee it. I was.

So, laddy go get it done and have some fun... pat
Comment by David Royall on May 25, 2009 at 2:43pm
Good luck with your decision, Gary...

It sounds as if you are more than ready to live your dream... However, please get a thorough survey before committing to this or any vessel.

Again, best of luck...

Comment by h on May 21, 2009 at 7:55pm
Wow, That is a long time. I like to buy more boats but financially it is just impossible to look after more than 1. So many out there that are nice. Especially the slightly older ones. Like Gary's Columbia 33. She has a very nice lines.
Comment by LOLA on May 21, 2009 at 7:45pm
Took me 10 years of looking before i bought my boat
Comment by h on May 21, 2009 at 7:29pm

If the purchase proceeds, you can show me your boat one day. I visit your neck of the woods from time to time. Our head office (small office) is in Dartmouth. Not far from Fall River.. I stayed in Fall River during one of the visits there.

Comment by Gary B on May 19, 2009 at 9:55am
At the price I'm offering, no survey. But I've asked my friendly neighborhood surveyor to take a quick pre-sale look to make sure the keel isn't falling out or something equally dire, before I send in my offer agreement. Then after it's cleaned up a bit I'll have him do a complete survey for insurance, financing, and refit list.

Re the A-frame mast - I had questions about it too - still have. Here's the builder's take: this was his ninth boat, and in this one he put all the things he'd learned into it. The total weight of the A-frame is about 2/3 the weight of the stronger single mast that would be required. The windage is reduced by the airfoil shape. The masts are deck-stepped close to the hull, so it was simple to transfer the stress right into the side of the hull rather than a large post in the middle of the cabin. Also, the mast is designed so it can be lowered using the aft equipment mast, to go under bridges. Both masts have tracks to hang storm trysails, so you can pick the downwind side and reduce heel. There seems to be a way to hang a second foresail as well, but I don't understand that yet. It will be interesting to see how this all works out in the real world.

The fun part is, while I'm a newbie, on this boat everyone else is too! :)
Comment by h on May 19, 2009 at 1:42am

Pilot house cruisers are nice. Others like it will be Nauticats.

I am not so sure about the A frame mast though. I am not familiar with it. Hence the trepidation. It aill also be harder to sell later in case you have a change in plan. Or the value may dropped larger than normal masted boats.

Here we use a surveyor before purchasing a boat. They will put some reality check to us dreamers. Then with the survey report you will be making, hopefully, a more objective decision. Sometimes surveys can also be used to negotiate the price down.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

Comment by zeehag on May 19, 2009 at 12:13am
gary---what does the word READY actually mean??? is it an excuse to watch others go out and build our courage or is it a responsibility thing or is it related to another ....... i think ya should jump in with both eyes half closed and go for it with both feet into the pool.....make it the deep end so ya donot hurt a surprise what is out there and what is able to be done from remote locales anymore..the world is small, not large and there is work and fun all rolled into one......GO FOR IT..... donot look back --just go for it........

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