As we were in the process of setting up the survey, it became clear that, because of Margaret’s busy schedule, I was going to be going to the survey without her. Understandably, Margaret wanted to see the boat in person before she committed to such an important purchase. Moreover, I felt really uneasy being the only one to step aboard the boat, essentially having to make the final decision about Bear for the both of us. So, we had this weekend free and decided to drive out to Branford, Connecticut from Illinois just to see Bear for ourselves. If we still want to go ahead with the purchase, I will then attend the survey by myself next week.
Now, we are in the process of driving to Connecticut, and I just lost my cell phone under the seat, so I cannot read Margaret articles from it. So, we decided to do another interview post about what Margaret is thinking and feeling about Bear.
Me: How are you feeling about the process, about us having an accepted offer on a boat we have never seen in person?
Margaret: I fell for the worst possible scenario – the photographs on Yachtworld. I got excited about Bear early on because of the beautiful woodwork, joinery, and layout below. I was intrigued by the seemingly abundant storage space and pristine condition of the cabin. I am still a little bit anxious about signing an offer on a boat that we have never stepped foot on. As we have seen in the past, by looking at boats that were listed on Yachtworld with lovely pictures, sometimes the pictures do not accurately portray what the boat currently looks like. So, I am eager to get to Connecticut and see our new boat in person and verify what I think I know about its beauty.
I am also anxious to secure a surveyor so that we can verify the “excellent condition” that the broker and seller assures us the boat is in as we have purchased this boat at the top of our budget and need to be sure there are not any expensive improvements that need to be made before she is splash-worthy.
Me: Do you have any fantasies about owning Bear and, if so, what are they?
Margaret: In light of a recent health scare, I feel even more confident in our decision to move, or jump ahead, of our planned schedule to purchase a boat, and I am really eager to spend some time on her this summer, sailing the East Coast. I don’t really have any fantasies, but I can tell you that I am looking forward to time with friends who reside on the East Coast who can visit us and go for day sails and get the opportunity to experience a bit of the joy of sailing.
Me: What fears do you have about Bear, regarding her condition, us handling her, or anything else?
Margaret: I am concerned about the condition of her rigging because I know that her previous owner was asking questions in an internet forum about the need to replace the chainplates in 2010. And, he also answered our questions about having replaced the rigging very vaguely during the negotiating process. Through the boat shopping process, I have slowly come to realize that, unlike with my previous experience of flipping houses, I am looking for a boat that is ready to go. I spent about ten years doing hard manual labor that was very rewarding both personally and financially, but I am at a point in my life now that I want to dedicate my mental and physical energy toward my photographic work and wanderlust. So with that said, I am really hoping that Bear needs nothing more than a good cleaning, a coat of Bilgekote, and a hearty provisioning.
Me: So what happens when the inevitable issues arise while we are on her this summer? How will you deal with us having to work on various systems that break?
Margaret: I will rely on you. Just kidding. I imagine there will be challenges, which will be both frustrating and rewarding in learning to repair Bear’s systems. As I learn more about sailing and cruising, I feel like I am learning a whole new field. I want to be proficient and self-sufficient the same way that I am in photography. I know this will take many years, and I am up for the challenge because I think it will be worth it to travel and see new cultures and landscapes.
Me: How do you think we will spend our summer on Bear? Where will we go? Where will we end up?
Margaret: I would like to spend the first couple of weeks on the boat in a marina getting used to living on board and figuring out what things we will need to make her feel like our home. During that time, I also hope to take short day-sails where I will learn more about trimming the sails and working with Jeff on docking and anchoring. I imagine those first few weeks will feel like a mini crash course. As I begin to feel more confident, I imagine we will take longer sails, eventually including overnight passages. I don’t have any specific destinations in mind, although I would like to visit some museums on the East Coast, perhaps in Boston or NYC.
Me: Where do you think we should store the boat next winter and why?
Margaret: Where we store the boat will depend on where we will cruise, and we have not yet had a chart meeting, so I cannot answer what next summer will bring. Besides, we have not made it through the survey yet.
Me: What is your favorite feature on Bear?
Margaret: From the photographs, I really like the open feel of the cabin. I am particularly drawn to the lines created by the angled galley and nav station. Unlike other Tayanas we have been aboard or viewed on Yachtworld, Bear does not have overhead cabinets in the galley, which helps to create a better flow between that space and the salon. The nav station is large compared to most nav stations we have seen, and I imagine it will function well as a workspace in addition to the salon table. This will be convenient since Jeff and I will probably both be working remotely.
Me: Last question, when will you finally feel like it is safe to crack the champagne on the purchase?
Margaret: I like having the opportunity for multiple celebrations. I feel like there are many steps along this process that we should toast to, including, but not limited to narrowing our selection down to one boat, figuring out our budget, putting in an offer, signing the counter-offer, completing a successful survey, and lastly the sea trial. We might need a case of champagne.