The brother of one of my high school buddies had been reading our blog about Yacht A Fun. For privacy’s sake, let’s call him BD. We’ll call BD’s wife BC.
It was a pleasure, and a bit of an honor, to have them drive to Southport for a Saturday morning tour of our Gemini sailing catamaran. The two of them have followed a number of blogs and are at the stage of deciding: 1st– will they transition to a boat; 2nd– if so, which boat will it be. And, 3rd– what aspects of the cruising experience should they consider in deciding about the first two decisions. In effect, the thought process is co-dependent relating to the three decisions.
Outside of magazines and blogs, neither BD, nor BC, had seen a Gemini catamaran before and so just touring our boat was 90% of the reason for their travel. Once they became comfortable with the vast amount of space the boat offers in the saloon, galley, navigation station cabinetry, and master stateroom- they settled into information “sponge mode”.
Diann and I were so enthused to share insights with them that we both poured out a sequence of cautions and suggestions about boats, surveys, repair timing, and destination evaluations.
Our strongest suggestion regarding pre-purchase surveys is to instead have a repair yard haul the boat and review it. The yard can estimate the cost of resolving any deferred maintenance. Repair yard quotes can be a good negotiation tool.
Our suggestion on when to start the cruise- do it a year after you’ve bought the boat, having lived on it and taken it on multiple short shake down trips. From that base, do the repairs / upgrades that you need.
Exuberance having trumped logic- Diann and I had set our long distance destination, and date of arrival, based on our minimum items of repair / up fit that our Gemini had needed. So before all of the items on our total list were done, we left for Miami to be sure of being there for Christmas.
At the time, the idea of doing additional repairs / up fits in exotic places seemed romantic. Trust me, it’s easier to do boat work when docked at (or near) a repair yard and a marine supply business. Enjoying an anchorage or mooring field; and taking a bus to shopping locations; is more fun when boat parts aren’t involved.