A month ago I never would have guessed I'd be back here so soon. Long story as to how this came about. I'll try to shorten it here.
After our initial offer on the boat in Florida, it appeared we would end up quite a ways apart on the price the seller was aiming for. About the same time, some huge price drops on a couple of charter boats in the BVIs, of the same make, made it impossible to ignore them. So, I booked a trip to come check them out, and here I am (I guess that wasn't such a long story).
It has been an extremely eventful couple of days here. I've been bouncing back and forth between the Voyage yachts charter base in West End, and Conch charters, where, ironically, the main boat that attracted me here has recently been moved. I've been all over the island in my rental Daihatsu, and all over multiple boats.
Today was an extremely full day with a haul out and survey on the boat at Conch. I arranged all of this before I arrived, as I wanted to make this a one stop trip – it is a full two day trip to get here, and pretty expensive, so I didn't want to do it more times than absolutely necessary.
How did the survey go? Well, there were some real high points, and real low points as well. The high points – the boat sailed beautifully despite a head sail that looked like it might blow out at any moment. Also, the surveyor, Geoff Williams of West Indies Yacht Surveyors was a wealth of information, and extremely thorough in his going over of the boat. The information and insight I gained from him regarding boats, systems and trip planning may in fact be worth the cost of the entire trip here, including the survey, given that I think it will probably end up saving me a lot of money in unnecessary boat upgrades and systems expenditures.
The low points – well, I don't really want to focus on them, but suffice it to say it is not a terribly great sign to have to call the mechanic out to the boat you are surveying, and have them install a new starter motor on one of the engines so that you can get the boat to move for it's sea trial. Also, a word of advice from a new ( but rapidly gaining experience) boat buyer. If you are trying to sell your boat, you might try having it cleaned up to some degree. At least try and clean the fruit flies out of the bottom of the fridge, and the dead roaches out of the escape hatch. I'm just saying.
Anyway, I am going home armed with a ton of information and ideas I didn't arrive with. I believe I have solidified a plan in terms of boat purchase, the relevant systems I need on the boat, and also a route that will work for us, taking into account hurricane risks, timing, and latitudes.
There is still some negotiating to be done, and a boat purchase to finalize, but I now know what I want, and have a solid list of priorities. I'll give you all the details once we have a purchase sorted out.
Long trip home starting tomorrow, but I can't wait to get back.