Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
too many masts/ too many places
Tybee, by now you''ve arrived in Miami so perhaps the next week will produce useful results for you. If so, it appears they will be someone coincidental as your criteria seem vague and your intended use undefined. Assuming the post-Miami period leaves you with the same basic question - ''How do we find our boat?'' - here are a few thoughts:
1. Reread what Jeff advised on defining your intended use(s) of the boat. The more open ended your plans ("We''ll sail to the Bahamas and then, who knows? Perhaps the Pacific...") the more difficult the job of matching boat choice with real-world budgets and the realities of picking an offshore boat, as those are the vessels that require the most thoughtful selection and deepest pockets. The more specific you can state your intentions ("The ICW for sure, and we hope the Bahamas; going further in the Caribbean is a possibility..."), the more you can lay concrete requirements (and weed aside the ''nice to haves'') from the initial shopping list.
2. I can appreciate Sadie trying to cushion the expense of some research, but anyone who is planning on spending $50-100K or more for a cruising boat - and then LIVE with it for an extended period, sailing and maintaining it - needs to afford themselves meaningful seed money on the front end. You should be working to assemble, digest and understand a credible reference library at the front end of your search, a library that you will continue to consult while improving and preparing your cruising boat long after the shopping spree ended. Taking notes off the WM book rack is not how to accomplish this. Start a post on a small, targeted reference library if you aren''t sure where to begin. and then dedicate some serious time as a couple to educating yourselves; you can consider it purchase insurance.<g>
3. Ask yourself: Is it time to shop for a boat? Along with needing to clarify intended use, perhaps a deep dig into what it takes financially to fund the purchase, prep and then cruise the boat is in order. I guess the point I''m making is that choosing the right boat for the right crew and use is a process, not just a destination. There are no Cliff Notes for your specific needs. Whether or not you enjoy the digging it takes to end up feeling some certainty about what you''re looking for, dodging the process will mean your only hope for the right boat is luck.
4. There are many lazy, transient and/or ill-prepared brokers out there, which is why you hear gripes and complaints about using brokers. There are also many long-term, professional brokers out there who know their beeswax and have been through this process many, many times each year for many years. You need to use one of them; in fact, you NEED one of them...but probably not yet. Homework first, broker choice next (altho'' this doesn''t stop you from concurrently researching boats for sale, privately), and boat selection last. Ask for referrals. E.g. if you were in the Annapolis area, I''d urge you to talk with Al Gundry, who''s been with the same brokerage (Interyacht) for over 20 years, has done a LOT of sailing, and is a pro. Similar referrals are no doubt available from others.
5. It''s going to cost you money to ''pick'' your boat, even before you begin paying for it. It''s also going to cost you effort, how much depending on the breadth of your search. The more demanding your criteria (e.g. perhaps you want lots of ''bang for the buck'' given a limited budget), the wider your net needs to be and/or the amount of time allowed for the search. This in turn may well mean traveling on weekends out of town, motel bills, lots of phone calls, and logistics efforts in general that force changes in your lifestyle and checkbook balance. If this is effort you aren''t willing to make, then you''ll have to accept the limitations that your local marketplace impose on you. We often seem to adopt an entitlement mentality about finding a boat, as tho'' our willingness to spend a lot of money should at least guarantee us the right boat inventory for our needs. Some folks get lucky while believing this; you may not(probably won''t) be so lucky.
Let us know how the Miami visit went, but good luck on getting a grip on your own set of issues.