This is part two of a two part series on Caper – a boat Margaret and I looked at before we bought Bear – and the people who have loved her. You can read part one here. And you can see our original evaluation of Caper and all the other boats we looked at here.
While we do not know much about what Paul did aboard Caper, we do know that he got to the Bahamas and poked around dozens of islands there in the two years after he purchased her. In that time, he also managed to replace the dreaded pink cushions, add a host of new electronics, and do some other work on Caper. No doubt, Paul had learned to take care of a cruising boat during his circ, if not long before. Living his dream once again, Paul surely enjoyed those two years on Caper, feeling like the luckiest man in the world at the helm of his perfect boat. At some point, however, Paul must have realized that something was not quite right. In the fall of 2016, he suddenly showed up on Caper at the Indiantown Marina, where Margaret and I had looked at the boat and Paul had bought her. He immediately had her hauled and turned the keys over to Dennis, who had sold him the boat, at Advantage Yacht Sales, saying he wanted to put her up for sale for only 25,000. By the time Dennis got the paperwork together, Paul had passed away.
What Margaret and I know about Paul’s experience with Caper comes from Jeremy and Courtney, who responded to the nearly three-year-old Caper post in the middle of last December. Jeremy and his wife, Courtney, had been looking for boats from San Angelo, a small West Texas town about 250 miles southwest of Dallas. Courtney was a high school math teacher and a real estate agent, and Jeremy worked in IT infrastructure. As they later told us, they “lived the basic American lifestyle in the suburbs with our two dogs, and somehow never seemed to have time or money for any of the fun things we wanted to do.” They wanted to make a change and, having lived in Corpus Christi for a few years, thought about moving aboard a boat, like a few of the folks they had met there. Then, on a visit to Grand Cayman, they met a few cruisers, which really inspired them.
Soon after, Courtney and Jeremy sold their house, quit their jobs, and moved to Florida, or at least came looking for a boat there. They traipsed back and forth across the state chasing leads they had seen on Yachtworld and Cragislist. As everyone who looks for boats in Florida eventually does, the couple came to Indiantown. There, they inspected two other boats and decided to take a peek at Caper, which they had nearly dismissed after looking at it on Yachtworld. When they stepped aboard, Courtney and Jeremy were “pleasantly surprised.” As we had three years prior, they were impressed “by the quality build and the condition of the various systems. The electrical still looked to be well done, and the engine might be the cleanest” of the boats they had seen. With “a TON of spare parts and supplies,” they had found the “best priced and outfitted boat that we’d seen in the three weeks of searching.” A few days later, they put an offer on Caper.
Over the next few weeks, Jeremy and I occasionally emailed as they went from offer to accepted offer to survey to sale. And, then, Margaret and I stopped by Indiantown after coming up from the Keys. We spent a few hours with Courtney and Jeremy on Caper, hearing more of their story, seeing the changes Paul had made to the boat, and sharing a few episodes from our own first days on Bear. It was great to see Courtney and Jeremy so excited to get on with their adventure aboard Caper. They had been on her in the marina for nearly two weeks getting settled, doing some work on the boat, and chomping at the bit to start sailing. And, shortly after we left, they did get out, spending the next month living aboard on the hook where they “fared pretty well considering our limited experience.” Their biggest issue was a leak in the fuel line, which caused them to break down at a few inopportune times before they resolved it. Now, they will head back to Texas one last time before they cut the lines for good. Oh yeah, and they changed the name of Caper to TEHO, which means we probably will not be getting any more responses on our original post. But, then, we probably would not have anyway, because Courtney and Jeremy will be happily sailing her.