The Beginning

The beginning is always hard. Whenever I stumble upon a new blog I read a few pages then, if I’m still interested jump to the beginning. To see how it began. To see what were those first pangs of intrigue that they felt the world needed to know, or that they needed to get written down. This is my story. This is my beginning. This is my honesty.

I am not average. I have been successful in life and that has allowed my dreams to grow large, okay huge. Luckily for me, I have a wife that acquiesces to my desires. Whether it be climbing Kilimanjaro or obtaining my commercial pilot’s license while she was pregnant or having complete confidence in me when I jumped off the cliff of starting my own business. She has always been my rock, my point of balance. I can with good accuracy envision what was running through her mind when I decided that I needed to buy a catamaran and circumnavigate the globe. It was not how I talk him out of this.

So it began the quest to find the right boat. I quickly fell for the design and capabilities of the Seawind 1160. It simply sung to me. The only problem was that I felt they were grossly overpriced when compared to other cats of similar size. Granted they are not a mass produced, cookie cutter design like a Lagoon or Leopard but still a 30% premium? That didn’t seem reasonable.

Seawind 1160

I trolled the internet, posting in forums blasting the ridiculous prices, searching for the right opportunity on the right vessel at a “reasonable” price. For a year I was patient. I had time on my side. A boat (Cool Runnings) in Florida grabbed my interested. It was coming up on 10 years old (a sweet spot for depreciation) and had been for sale for over a year and a half making it a good target for negotiation. The broker reached out in April of 2013, sent me information and I waited. It wasn’t until December that I became more serious and responded to the broker. He sent me a survey that had been performed six months earlier which showed a vessel in “bristol” interior condition but was average externally. I put together a punch list with cost estimates. We went back and forth a bit and ultimately I slowed down the process, I’m sure frustrating him. He was convinced I would love the boat if I saw it in person. I wasn’t so sure. Following a trip to San Diego where I looked at Dos Tacos, another Seawind that was also for sale, I was hooked. The San Diego boat was $125k+ more than the Florida boat, was four years younger and in great condition. You can do a lot of work with that kind of money and I quickly wrote it off and scheduled a trip to Florida to move things forward.

The trip to Florida was two months out and seeing as I was to the point of moving forward on a purchase it seemed prudent to actually sail an 1160 and determine if I agreed with the general consensus that it is a fast cat that can be easily single handed. My opportunity was in San Diego where I would take the ASA 114 cruising catamaran sailing course on Dos Tacos. Upon arrival for the course, the marina manager mentioned that another 1160 had just come on the market and that I should take a look. Having nothing else to do I figured what the hell why not. Selah was in equal or if not better condition to the first one but with a number of upgrades including three foot hull extensions (that are claimed to add half to a full knot of speed). Again the huge price difference put me firmly in the “no” category.

The end of April arrived as did my chance to see Cool Runnings. An early morning flight coupled with a two hour drive to St. Augustine lead me to the marina. I stepped aboard and within two minutes knew this was not the boat for me. Everything was rundown, even the “excellent” interior was far from excellent when compared to the boats in San Diego. I was crushed. I’d just wasted an enormous amount of time, time away from my family.

Cool Runnings

In the airport heading home I called the broker in California. We talked about my concerns and I made a verbal offer. He’d need a written offer to take it to the owner which I’d send the following day.

The quick version of the negotiations – The boat was worth to me significantly less than what the current owner expected. We did the dance and in the end a number of factors lead us to a price that was $7,500 more than my initial offer but still hugely lower than the asking price. A survey was scheduled, another plane ticket purchased, and more time apart from my family. The survey came back as expected. A decent size punch list but nothing insurmountable. The larger items on the list were handled by the current owner leaving me with the typical ongoing maintenance items plus a bottom paint cost.

May 28th two captains sailed my new boat out into the Pacific to consummate the deal in international waters. One to sail the boat out and one to bring her safely back to port. Pictures and notarized letters complete this left me with 90 days to get the hell out of California or feel the wraith of the California tax board.

I’ve previously own a Piper Aztec light twin engine airplane. While I recognize it was an inanimate object, a bond was still formed. We trusted each other and she protected me. There were times where after sliding her back in my hanger I kissed her nose and thanked her for weathering whatever nature had thrown at us that day – ice, thunderstorms, fog. She was strong and capable giving me and my family many trips and irreplaceable memories. I still miss her but as with people in our lives, sometimes we drift apart. I still love her, I always will.

Today I start a new chapter with stepping aboard my new toy, my new home, my new platform for adventure, my new protector. I wonder how we will get along. Will there be a harmony between us? What stories will we write together? All I know is that like any new relationship there are the pangs of excitement and the electricity of the unknown. The hopes and the fears. Knowing there will be good times and rough patches. We will have to feel each other out, learn what makes each of us tick. I feel good about this. And so that is our beginning.

No Comments

Leave a Comment