We sold our boat in April. For the first time since 1990, we are boatless. When I cross one of the bridges around here and see sails passing on the river or bay, I miss being able to do that. But I knew we’d get another boat eventually, and we can always charter, so I’m dealing.
FCD, on the other hand, wants a boat. Really wants a boat! He’s surfed various and sundry yacht sales sites, looking at what’s available. And with his work schedule in a slight slump while he waits for some purchase orders to be filled, he’s been looking at lots of boats for sale.
Well, he found one that I thought was interesting. It was a trawler (yeah, a power boat…) that was for sale and an amazing price. Most similar boats were listed for $45K to over $100K. This particular one was $19K, advertised as a Handyman’s Special. Well, duh! Having been boat owners for most of the 22 years we’ve been married, we know what we can handle and what is beyond us. And it doesn’t cost anything to look, so Saturday was to be the day.
The boat is at Mears Point Marina in Kent Narrows. That’s across the Bay Bridge from Annapolis on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We stopped for breakfast enroute, then crossed the bridge and got to the broker’s office just after 11AM. We brought a tool bag, a couple of flashlights, a camera, and a notepad. The broker unlocked the compound, set up a ladder for us, and left us to check it out.
A bit of history: the boat had been taken out of the water 2+ years ago. The owner didn’t pay his yard bills or anything else, so a few months ago, the marine took possession. The boat was then sold to a man in England based on the listing and the photos. The week before he was to come see the boat, he was in a serious auto accident, and his condition made his boat plans impossible. So he listed it for sale about 6 weeks ago.
Which brings us to Saturday. Mike the broker went back to his office. FCD did a hull inspection and I climbed aboard to start checking out the deck and the interior. There was no doubt that this was a “fixer-upper” – there was evidence of rot in some of the trim wood on deck, and lots of delamination on the deck and the cabin walls. I pushed my foot against one “bubble” on the side of the cabin, and water squirted out. Yeah. So lots of fiberglass was going to have to be removed and replaced, and who knows what might have been under the top layer – we think these cabins were built with plywood sandwiched between fiberglass panels. Chances are there’s lots of rot in the plywood.
Inside the cabin and in both staterooms, more surprises awaited. Water damage was apparent throughout. One section of the overhead was down, and the wood remaining was rotten. Veneer was delaminated in many places. There were many water stains in just about every corner. Some of the parquet flooring was delaminated. We moved one curtain aside to discover something moss-like growing in the window frame. What cushions remained aboard were odiferous.
FCD was impressed with the size and accessibility in the engine room, but that was probably the only thing about this boat that made a good impression. It was beyond a Handyman Special – it was a disaster, plain and simple. Even if they’d offered to give it to us, I’d have said no. We figured it would take at least 2 years to fix it up, and at least $25K in materials. And that’s assuming the engines were still functional after sitting for two and a half years. Needless to say, we’re not going to buy that boat.
Since we had to pass through Annapolis on our way home, we decided to drive through one of our favorite marinas to see what was for sale there. Then we drove to our second favorite marina to look at some others. And we found one that has promise…
Downside – it was built in 1964. Upside – all its major systems and equipment had been replaced or overhauled in the last 2 years or so. The things that were done were done right, and it’s got possibilities. I think it’s a bit overpriced – it would be as if I poured a bunch of money into my old van and tried to sell it to recoup that investment. But we’ve talked about it, and we’ll make a low-ball offer. If they accept it, we’ll get a great deal. If not, we’ll keep looking. On our side – the boat has been on the market since February and they’ve dropped their price once, plus we’ve been told they have or are buying a bigger boat. So they may accept a low offer just to be rid of it.
We shall see. So if we get it, we can have a MMP Three Hour Tour, but only 2 or 3 passengers at a time – it’s just 30’. No arguments of Ginger vs Mary Anne will be tolerated - we all know Lovey Howell was the main mama!
Happy Monday, all! Welcome to a new MMP!!!