Friday, November 12, 2010

A very very good day

We left the bus around 9:30 this morning.  I had a minor meltdown before we left because effing Messysloth hadn’t printed the maps I asked it to last night.  I carefully selected 5 different map views in Microslop Streets and Trips and sent each of them to print.  I should have looked at them last night.  Instead of the carefully selected views that I was expecting what I found this morning was five copies of line by line directions from La Conner to the Seattle waterfront.

With that annoyance behind us we headed into Seattle and were fortunate enough to miss the morning rush hour.  We must have been right on the tail end of it.  We did have one minor miscue -

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-- just a little to the west of where the “B” is on the map there’s a fairly confusing maze of ramps and we inadvertently ended up in some underground parking cave that is guarded by an overly officious toothless person.  He rather rudely turned us back.  I said something to Marilyn about how he could have been a little more understanding because what we had done likely happened at least 100 times daily and sure enough, before we got turned around, another woman had arrived by making the exact same navigatory error that we had.

Once we got clear of Mr. Official we proceeded to Elliott Bay Marina which is represented by all the boats lined up at “A” above.  We spent around an hour on “Gray Hawk”, the 2nd of the two 43 foot Defevers that we came out here to look at.  She’s moored almost exactly where the “A” on the map is located.  We always said that eventually we would go onboard a boat that would just scream out “this is  the one” and sure enough, that’s exactly what happened this morning.  The engine room was perfect, everything tagged and neat.  The boat was clean.  There’s some really good electronics on it including a side scanning sonar which is a forward looking depth finder that sweeps from side to side to paint a wide picture of the ocean floor.  It has factory installed active “Naiad” stabilizers.  The current owner has moved on to a 65 foot boat but his meticulous care is evident.  The foredecks have been replaced with fibreglass and the portholes don’t leak on this one.  They could stand being replaced but there is no water damage in the master stateroom. 

I could go on but the point is that mechanically the boat appears to be very sound.  It doesn’t have all the liveaboard toys that some of the others on our short list do – things like washer, dryer, dishwasher.  But it was priced at a point where we could afford to add those things if we decide we need them.

The boat was listed at $115,000 when we first saw it online.  Compared to other Defevers we had looked at we thought that was a very reasonable price.  Then about a month ago the listing changed to $99,500 and we were actually worried that it might get sold before we got out to look at it.  Today the broker was dropping broad hints that the owner would look at lower offers so we made an offer substantially below the current asking price.  I guess we should have gone lower because the owner accepted our offer while we were having a wonderful lunch on the waterfront.

The standard boat buying procedure is seriously loaded against the seller.  You have to feel sorry for the poor sap.  Having agreed today to a price substantially below his asking price (and in this case way south of what he thought the boat was worth as little as a month ago) he now has to suffer further negotiation after what is called a survey.  The survey amounts to an independent appraisal and our offer was accepted contingent on both a mechanical and marine survey being acceptable to us.  So that means that we will now hire both a marine and a mechanical surveyor who will go over the boat looking for reasons to further reduce the price.  At the end of the survey if the buyer isn’t willing to remedy any defects that the surveyor uncovers we have the right to back out of the deal or renegotiate the price.  Like I said – the system is loaded against the seller.  We do have to pay for the survey and to have the boat hauled to do the survey so the process isn’t completely lopsided.

We registered for the Pacific Marine Expo last week.  It will be a lot more fun now that we are likely to actually be boat owners by the time we attend the show.  Stay tuned – the fun has only barely started.

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