Friday, May 04, 2012

"We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat.."

You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
I love that famous line from Jaws.  It's a line we've become very familiar with over the past few weeks...

As many of you know - we are currently in the market for a new boat.  Many of you wonder what our Rasmus is "lacking".  After all, we did so much work to her; why on earth would we want to sell our beloved beauty?  While there is no such thing as a "perfect boat" (or home, mate, job, life...etc) Rasmus was as close to perfect for us as we could get.  Our situation, however, has changed and the one true thing we are going to need in the very near future is space.  We love our Rassy and while the thought of seeing our very literal labor of love go to someone else, we know we'd like more room to be more comfortable.  For Scott and me, Rasmus was about as "perfect" as she could get - we never wanted for "more" - but now that we have our little Isla (and she is certain to have a little brother or sister in the next couple of years), we want a boat that will be able to accomodate that kind of familial expansion and be our "home" for the next 5+ years (at least).

A few months ago, Scott put an ad in All at Sea Magazine (free of charge) stating that we were looking for a Hallberg-Rassy 42 or similar.  We were contacted by the owners of the Amel Maramu 46 and, despite not having considered that make and model previously, after some initial research we decided to take a closer look.  In a word - the boat, make and model is fantastic and would definitely afford Scott, Isla and me the space that we crave with a few added perks (like refrigeration and total roller-furling sail set up, including the main).  There is, however, no such thing as a "turn key" boat and this particular vessel - while in great shape - would still need some tweaking and upgrading to rise up to the standards that we have grown accustomed to.  New sails are in order, the SSB would need to be configured to send and receive, we would want to install a chart-plotter and there were some cosmetic issues that would need to be addressed.  All of these things require time and money.  Not to mention, we would be the owners of two boats - one that might potentially take a while to sell.  All of these things had to be considered when it came to offering a price.

They say the very first rule in boat buying is not to fall in love.  When it comes to purchasing a boat, love is not blind - but blinds.  Love can force a buyer to make a rushed, rash decision that they might later regret, it can cause a buyer to overlook issues that a more discerning eye might catch and it can close the door on lots of other great options.  Just as one person's trash can be another's treasure - when it comes to boat buying, a boat's worth is totally subjective.  I will not get into the specifics of cost and what not because, to be honest, it is nobody's business but our own.  We put in what we believed to be a very fair offer on the Amel (about 90% of the asking price) - knowing that it could be a great boat for our family.  However, what we believe the boat is worth (given the economy, the money we'd need to invest in her and our situation) is not synonymous with what the seller believes she is worth (based on their investment and their situation).  We completely respect the sellers (who have been more than accommodating during this process) decision to turn down our offer - their reasons for doing so are just as legitimate as our reasons for not accepting their counter offer.  Like I said, this boat could be great for our family.  It is not "the" perfect boat for us.  While there is no "perfect" boat, there is a "perfect" boat at the right price in the right situation.  This particular situation, and therefore boat, is not ours - and that is okay.  So we're folding our hand and choosing to walk away.

We've got a pretty great boat waiting for us in Trinidad...but we'll keep a keen eye out for our next "home".  After all, there are more ships in the sea!!

Brittany & Scott


Anne said...

I'm a big fan of both simplicity and comfort, so this is interesting to me.

However, I know a lot of people who go out and buy SUVs when they have children. Their 10 lb child arrives and they've got, uh, enough room for them now. :) Maybe simple is better, for both you and your wee one. I think you could give it a whirl to spend the first year with Isla on your boat, which feels like home and is your home.

Also, I've read a lot about the trouble of furling mainsails. Safety issues.

Best of luck with everything, and congratulations.

Paul A. said...

Very wise and well thoughtout. It's easy to fall in love; it's much harder to live with a bad decision based on romance...but I digress.
To be honest, I don’t know how anyone picks a boat. The choices are never ending. The only thing harder, I imagine, it SELLING a boat. It’s defiantly a buyer’s market and with all that is Windtraveler, this should be an entertaining adventure. Amel’s, when sold new, have few options since the company believes they build a total cruisers boat loaded with extras you won’t find on other production boats. They hold their value, maybe more on marketing than merit but regardless, they are hard to find at a reasonable price without having to refit the whole yacht.
Your “new” boat is out there looking for you guys. You just have to set a course to meet each other! Thanks for the update and enjoy your time on the hard with your sea princess.

Stephanie Starner Greiner said...

Hi Brittany!! Welcome to Motherhood :) I have emailed you a couple of times prior to being a boat owner myself :) I was inspired by one of your post about the young couples you met who have bought a small boat, not their forever cruising boat. We were waiting to buy our forever boat. But when I read your article I just knew we had tobuy something small and affordable that we could learn to sail on our own and feel safe on. We bought a Bayfield 25. Someday we will buy her mama and sail the Southern Carib but for now we are so excited to sail on West Grand Traverse Bay this summer. Good luck with your boat buying, the not falling in love part is hard. Have you ever looked at bigger Bayfields or if you follow bumfuzzle their boat is awesome-a Spindriff I think. Anyway, wanted to say thanks for the inspiration-we bought a boat!


Anonymous said...

If you offered 90% of the asking price, you were MORE than fair and generous. Given the state of the world economy, you should have had a new boat. There are a lot of HR 42s out there. You'll find a great boat. And good on ya for not blinking and folding your hand!


Anonymous said...

The best deal / transaction is many times the one you walk away from! Good luck with the search and purchase.


Lisa Tyson said...

Now I understand why you named your blog Windtraveler. If I were to place you in any disney movie I'd probably put you in Sinbad since it's all about sailing the seven seas while having wonderful and daring adventures of your lifetime. You'll just have to let go of Rasmus and find "a Bigger Boat."

Ted and Shirl said...

Great Post. I have been following your blog for several months. I just put a deposit on a Island Packet 35 on Lake Erie and plan to cruise south this fall... will be reading your Erie Canal posts. There are an amazing number of boats for sale. Good luck with your search.

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