Monday, August 12, 2013

Done and done

Our new boat!

Finally.  After a long and fairly exhausting search, involving several trips to Florida and one to the BVIs we have finally found and purchased our boat!  And we couldn't be happier.  The last few days have been a whirlwind of purchase agreements, registration documents and evaluating insurance quotes, but the deal is done, the money has been wired, and it looks like the final ink will be drying on the paperwork (metaphorically speaking) sometime late this week.

Here's the story:

Sara and I went back to Florida last week knowing that the clock was ticking on our boat purchase.  We are getting down to the wire, given that we are leaving B.C. in a couple of weeks, and we really wanted to know we had a boat to head towards prior to our departure.

So, as I mentioned in the last post, there were two boats we wanted to see that were pretty equivalent on paper. The first was a Leopard 47 - a bigger boat that is being used for a private captained charter that looked good, and was reasonably priced for a boat that size.  The second was a Leopard 40 - smaller than anything we had looked at so far - that was for sale privately.  I had found out about it on the Leopard Catamaran owner's group on Yahoo, and had several promising conversations with the owner prior to us leaving for Florida.  There were also a few "backup boats" that we had arranged to see.  We learned our lesson on our last trip to Florida, when the boat we were planning to buy didn't work out.  On our way home, we kicked ourselves that we hadn't left time to see some other boats, so we vowed not to make the same mistake this time.

Anyhoo, the first boat we got on was the Leopard 47.  Our first impression was that the boat was huge, and our second, third and fourth impressions were that the boat needed a lot of work to get it cruise ready.  We felt a bit discouraged, since we had high hopes that it would be as good as advertised.  We felt 'oversold' on that boat.  It would really make things a lot easier if people could be honest about their boats up front, prior to us flying 5000 km to it.

So, the next day we were pretty nervous before seeing the Leopard 40.  It had sounded great in our discussions with the owner over the phone, but what if it too, had been misrepresented?  We really didn't have other great options, and time was running short.

Happily, within a minute of walking on Kalalau, we knew we had found our boat.  It was everything we had hoped it would be, and more.  Clean, a perfect layout for us, extremely well taken care of, and with every option we had been planning to add to any boat we bought.  In fact, it was remarkable how exactly the options on the boat matched the list of options we had been pricing out since we started this whole process.  We had laid out a spreadsheet of the ideal things we wanted on a boat, so that we could see the cost of adding them to any boat that didn't have them, and make accurate comparisons.  Kalalau not only checked every box on our list, it even had the same brands of some big name items that we wanted (eg. a CruiseROWater watermaker).  And the list of spares, upgrades, additions and maintenance made this boat as close to perfect as it could come.  Not to mention that the smaller size meant we would be saving money on everything - purchase price, loan interest, insurance, mooring, maintenance.  Long story short, we were thrilled.

Kat getting Kalalau cleaned up.
On that first day, the owners, Gene and Kat, showed us all around the boat, and we went out for a sail and sea trial.  Everything was so good, we cancelled the viewings we had booked for our 'backup' boats, and went back the next day to get walked through all the systems in detail.  Gene showed us the engines and the power system, the piles of spares for everything we could want, we ran the watermaker, and they answered all our million questions with great patience.

The next day, we flew home, and the boat went to survey.  The survey results showed only minor issues, all which will be easily sorted out.

Kalalau in the slings, getting hauled out for survey.

As soon as we had the survey results, we called Gene, agreed on a final price, and badabing - we are now boat owners.

The rest of our week and the weekend has been spent finalizing paperwork while moving out of our house to make it free for our renters.  Crazy busy, needless to say.  We are now at Sara's parents place, where I will stay for the next week while I work.  Sara and the kids will head back out to Gray Creek today.  We'll also need to get insurance and finalize registrations this week.  I'll post a bit about the boat name, and will try and work on the boat page as well for those that want more details.


  1. Really excited for your adventure to begin in earnest now Mountains! Maybe one day we'll bike t a coast somewhere and you'll sail up to meet us!

    1. If you keep moving East, and we move West, I don't see how we can miss each other!

  2. So excited for you guys! Can't wait to read as your adventure really gets going.

  3. Thanks guys! We can't wait to really get going too. We are feeling a bit like we're moving in slow motion right now - lots of activity getting organized, but not really getting anywhere yet. Won't be long though. Our official "get this show on the road date" is next Tuesday - hopefully we'll make it.