Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
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Well, it's just over a year later and I thought I would post an update. I spent last fall doing research and last winter looking at boats and finding what boats were available via the internet. As I narrowed my choices down to a Catalina 27 and armed with the suggestions I learned here, I felt confident when I went out to look at boats. It is amazing what you see when the harbors are frozen over the owners are egger to show their boats. One was so nervous he slipped boarding his boat and fell into the skim iced over water! But it was worth m asking these quick inspections, so many boats were so dirty and not buffed up that I saw the real boat and not someone's detail job. One boat I looked at was advertised as an outboard model. When I boarded the boat, frozen in the slip, it was clean and I thought I had found a deal. But I opened the hatch under the companionway and discovered that this had been an inboard model that the engine was recently yanked out of. All the electrical and mechanical connections were still there, along with decades of grease and oil: it was a mess. A close look showed the propeller shaft still in place and leaking. Not the problem I wanted to start with at any savings.
Then in February I saw what looked like a cream puff. I went down 3 different times (without the owner or broker). I went over everything on the boat (except the outboard which was off the boat). The sails were almost new, the roller furler was in excellent shape. There were no deck soft spots and it was clean. The only thing that I saw that needed replacing was the radio. So I went to see the broker. The boat was offered at $7500. I offered 4500. I got a pretty strange look from the broker as I handed my good faith check. He said he would relay my offer. A few days later I received a message. A counter offer of $6K, right down the middle (maybe I should have offered less). The Owner said he was due to pick up the engine in 2 weeks so we set the date to look at the engine and have the boat pulled for a look at the bottom then and I agreed to the price, with the agreement that both the bottom and engine were in good shape. The appointed day came and I went down and met the owner. We went over everything on the boat, electrical, the stove, etc. Everything worked, even all the lights. He, with my help, installed the nearly new Honda 9.9 4 stroke (on a custom bracket) and we motored over to the brokerage/marina. The boat was pulled and there was nothing wrong anywhere with the below waterline. So I wrote a check and became the new owner. The next day was March 11th. I went down and moved the boat back to my slip. The following day I was stricken with a serious bladder infection that had me in bed for 3 days, I would have gone in the hospital except my daughter, a doctor in Boston, analyzed my situation and had me started on strong antibiotics the night I came home. I was out of commission for the next 3 weeks and then with a previous commitment I was off to the UK with the wife's HS Theatre troupe for 10 days. It wasn't until April 21st that I went sailing on my new boat.
The end of the story will be in many years, but for now I have been sailing as often as possible and enjoying every minute. Thanks to the help from guys like you!
My sailing blog can be read at:
Sailing on The Central Chesapeake Bay, West River, MD on my Catalina 27, Aelous II with my wife and friends.
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