Wednesday, January 11

We are Buying the Boat!

We have endured a whirlwind weekend in Florida poking and prodding the Manta 40 Catamaran "Emerald".  To say it was an emotional roller coaster is an understatement.  We arrived in Miami on Saturday morning, rented a car and drove to Key Largo.  Once checked into our hotel we went across the way to see "the" boat.  Of course, it was anchored out so far we couldn't see anything.  Anything, meaning, we couldn't tell what shape it was really in, only that it was in fact a catamaran.  No problem, we went back to our hotel where we asked to borrow some binoculars.  The guy behind the desk said that I could get arrested for using binoculars.  I didn't care.  I thanked him and hopped back in the car to go get a closer look.  We just couldn't get close enough, darn.  Can you say stalker!  Never-the-less, we were happy to see it there and couldn't wait to climb aboard.  It felt so surreal.
Sunday morning, we picked up Pete (our broker) and headed over to where the owner would pick us up in the dinghy.  The moment had arrived, we were shuttled out to the boat and stepped aboard.  WOW!  She was a nice boat.  We spent the next several hours talking with the owners and going through the boat with Pete.  By the way, the owners were very accommodating and we enjoyed getting to know them.  We looked inside, outside, over and under every system, every cushion, every nook and cranny.  Everything seemed to be in good order.  We had to remind ourselves that the boat was 16 years old and there was going to be things that were not perfect and would need some attention.  Some of it cosmetic and some of it essential to safety and smooth sailing.  Once we got all that out of the way, the fun part was going to happen.  We were going to sail her!  Yep, that's right, anchors away folks.  We set sail on a beautiful sunny afternoon with light winds and crystal clear water.  It never fails to surprise me how beautiful it is to see the sails go up and the wind fill them.  It only made us more giddy with excitement that we were actually going to do this.  Yet another surreal moment.  We finally left the boat 8 hours later, enjoyed dinner outside at the waters edge and hit the hay.
Monday morning came very early.  We had to meet up with our surveyor and be back at the boat at 7:30 am.  We (the owner) had to bring the boat into the boat yard at high tide, precisely at 8 am.  Things don't always go according to plan when people are working on island time, if you know what I mean.  We got the boat to the yard, and hauled it out for a complete inspection.  I told you this is like buying a house.  The inspection went as we thought it would until the surveyor said that there was moisture in the hulls!  What?  What does that mean?  I tried to act like I knew what that meant, but I sorta knew that it wasn't good.  My stomach started doing somersaults and I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up.  I promptly found Craig and whispered to him, then he whispered to Pete, who whispered to the surveyor.  Soon, we were all whispering like children spreading a rumor.  I immediately thought that was it!  We are done for.  We can't buy this boat.  My heart was broken.  Pete, with his infinite wisdom, calmed me down and said we should continue with the survey and start doing a little research.
To make a long boring story, of how the boat is made, short, we found out it is not that big of a deal.  We can fix it and definitely plan to do so.  The moisture does not compromise the integrity of the structure nor will it cost thousands of dollars to repair.  So onward and upward, we swung another 180 degrees and started feeling like this could be the boat for us.
Right now, we are waiting for some final paperwork to be complete before we go into escrow and the boat becomes ours.  Yeah!

Craig (and owner) looking a the mast

Looking at the bridge deck underbelly 

Emerald being hauled out in the travel lift sling


  1. Good for you guys! We are getting excited for you. The boat is a beauty.

  2. Wow! This is so exciting! Are you leaving the boat in Florida or bringing it to Texas? How will you get the water out of the hulls? Unusual for a boat in the late 90's... but good thing you found out. Must have been so fun to sail in the warm sun!! Hopefully we will be able to come a visit you somewhere on your voyage! -Rennie <><

  3. “We got the boat to the yard, and hauled it out for a complete inspection. I told you this is like buying a house.”---- well, yeah, just like buying a house or a car, you should make sure that you check all the details, even to its smallest details, so that you are guaranteed that you’re really getting a great boat. So how was it? Just by looking at your profile picture, I can see that you made the right choice of buying this boat. Your kids look really happy there! Sooo cute! :D