Friday, January 16, 2009


Today we headed to Whidbey Island for a farewell for one of my co-workers. It was a nice drive over Deception Pass, but nonetheless my mind was on the boat and our pending offer. Just as we arrived at the party, Frank’s phone rang. They had countered again asking for $1000 more. $1000 more? Just a stinking $1000 more? Seriously? I was a little turned off by this game the seller was playing but looked at Frank and said, “Whatever. Get the boat.” We accepted the counter offer. Rick met up with us tonight to sign all the paperwork. I was relieved. I mean, we still have the survey, sea trial, closing, and transfer to the US to contend with, but I feel like we are well on our way with a fantastic boat.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Counter this, counter that

This morning we watched birds and took in the scenery at one of our favorite little waterfront parks in Everett. Frank called about the slip sublease and it was still available. So far so good, but no word on the offer yet. They had until tonight to respond with a counter. We headed to the Children’s Museum to let the kids burn off a serious amount of energy. They’d logged lots of hours in the car this trip and deserved a little fun. It's a pretty cool little place! While we were there, Frank got the call about our offer. Apparently they really didn’t like how low we went and countered with darn near the asking price. We countered with what decided our new “max” budget was…a little under the asking price, but within 10% of it. We thought that was fair. And now, to wait again…

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shopping turns to offering

Today we needed a down-day. We had seen enough boats to have 2 strong contenders—the Beneteau 40 and the Beneteau 393 (plus a few others that might work). We decided to travel east to Index and check on our cabin out there and take some time to talk and really think about this. We both would love the 393, but we needed to make sure we could afford it. We’re approved for more than the asking price and are pretty confident we can afford it in the long run, but getting through the closing and big down payment would be tough. Was it worth it? On the drive out we decided that the 393 was the one to go for. That was the layout that would work for our family and if we couldn’t get that boat we probably needed to keep looking for ones similar to it. But we still kept going through the pros and cons…

The trip to the cabin was an adventure in itself—the road was washed out! Recent rains had soaked the hillside and it had given way just a few days earlier. We debated hiking in (about 2 miles), but with both kids asleep in the car we abandoned the cabin and retreated to the Espresso Chalet on Rt 2 (An aside here—if you EVER find yourself on Rt 2 in WA and need a little boost, stop at Espresso Chalet. It is THE BEST little espresso shop on the entire road. I know. I’ve tried many!). This decision to go after Typhoon, the 393, was eating me alive and I needed caffeine to clear my head. Were we spending too much? Would we all hate living on it and be tied to this floating cage that we couldn’t sell? Would we ground on our first outing? Would work keep us too busy to even enjoy it? Will Trent fall out of bed and end up with yet another skull fracture? Thank goodness for the Tollhouse Mocha…I’m absolutely fine with this! It’s going to be an adventure! And I won’t be sitting around in 10 years saying, “What if…?”!!! YES! Let’s get this boat!!!

We high-tailed it back to Everett. First we went to the marina and put our names on the waiting list for a slip—we were gonna need a place to put this thing! While there we got a lead on a sublease slip available starting in February. We could potentially have it for 6 months, which should just about get us up to the time when we would have a slip of our own. Then Frank met up with Rick to officially submit our offer on Typhoon. Like any good buyer, we went in low. Let the wait begin!!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

VERY good shopping day!

Today we had our sights set on a Beneteau 40 in Semiahmoo (darn near in Canada!). This boat edged out the Hunter 40 from yesterday. While it still only had 2 cabins, it had lots of cruising extras like solar panels and a water maker, as well as a good deal of storage. The salon and galley were great, too. We might have a winner! She was listed a little over budget, but the potential to have an accepted offer within budget was definitely there. While we were up there we also got onto a 38’ O’Day. That one had 3 cabins (bonus!) and was cheap (another bonus!), but that was about it. The Beneteau 40 was still tops.

Then we got a little crazy. It was around noon when we finished up in Semiahmoo and we were soooo close to Canada (and had our passports on us!) that we decided to see if we’d be able to get on the Beneteau 393. It was in Vancouver and we kept coming back to the unique layout it had—3 cabins nicely tucked in 39’. The call came through and we bolted for the border. Talk about making it a tough day! The kids were sick of being in the car, hungry, cranky, you name it, but we made it. Scott at Westerly Yachts greeted us and didn’t seem the least bit irked by our last-minute showing. He took us down to the immaculate boat, Typhoon.

An engineer and some deckhands were just coming off and immediately gave us a little education on her. Oh, and Katreina immediately took to Brad, interrupting us so she could shake his hand and say hi…little flirt. We easily got the whole crew on via the step-through stern and started checking her out. Wow. This boat was the cleanest we’d been on yet and everything looked almost new. I went down below and instantly fell in love with the layout. The 3 staterooms really were perfect and I loved the “master suite.” I preferred the D-shaped settee to the port/starboard benches we’d seen on other boats and while the galley was small, I could see us all sitting together in the salon. She had some mechanical perks, too—roller furling Genoa, in-mast main, all lines beautifully led aft and covered on deck, autopilot…uh oh, falling in love. I also found comfort in the fact that it was a fairly new boat, a 2006, and the systems all seemed to be in perfect working order. Ugh, really in love.

We left Vancouver a little torn. THIS was the best boat we’d seen, but it was over our budget and unfortunately it was pretty fairly priced (unlike some of the other neglected boats we’d seen). The drive was a little silent. The kids were just wiped and I think Frank and I were doing some serious number crunching and soul searching. I could absolutely see us being on that boat in 10 years. Everyone could have their own space onboard, it was so new, and it was built well. I called my parents to tell them all about it as soon as we got back to the US. I had done exactly what you’re not supposed to do when making a big purchase—looked over budget and got emotionally attached. Now what?

Monday, January 12, 2009

An upturn on the shopping trip

We got down to business today, heading to Anacortes to check out a Hunter 38 (with a serious leak around the mast) and a Hunter 40 which went to the top of the list. Nice size, well maintained, and good potential to fall within budget after some negotiation. We also looked at the Islander Freeport 41 on the hard. While it had great rooms and a big salon, we just couldn’t get over the teeny tiny bathrooms! I mean, you don’t expect much on a sailboat, but when it’s tight for someone my size to get into comfortably, it’s just plain tight! It was a great day. We're really starting to refine our list of needs/wants based on what we’ve seen on these boats.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A rough start

As we packed our bags for the trip, we were a little crushed to find that an offer had been accepted on the Beneteau 390 (it was almost perfect for us). Upon our arrival in Seattle yesterday we also found out that an offer was in on the Beneteau 38s5. Was the whole world against us?

We met up with Rick today and did all the needs/wants/budget stuff. We ended up looking at a Cal 40 in Everett that was SUPER tight! Had us a little freaked out about how tiny 40-footers were, but then again she had a pretty narrow beam. We left Rick to set up some stuff for the next day and headed to Seattle to satisfy our World Wraps and REI cravings. On the way, we realized we were heading right for the marina where the Beneteau 390 and 38s5 were and decided to stop in. The selling broker, Chapin at Seattle’s Signature Yachts, was awesome and let us check out both anyway just to get a feel for the size and layout of both. They were nice, but we left feeling like 2 cabins might not cut it for us after all…could the kids really sleep together? Even if they could now, how long would it really last? World wraps=yummy thinking food…