Just a couple days after viewing the Ephriam W, we got another email from David. This time, he found a promising 1976 Pearson 365 on the atlantic side of Florida.
Wow, we've got someone looking out for us and we can tell!
The listing looked great and it looked priced to sell quick... so after a few quick emails back and forth, David arranged for us to meet with Randy, the listing broker, and we made plans to take a trip out to Melbourne at the Waterline City Marina.
Since it was a good 3 hour drive out there, we decided to make a trip out of it and explore Melbourne while we were at it. Asa, being awesome Navigator Asa, did all the research for what to do there, and even thought well enough ahead to have all the tolls ready for us to get there... I had neglected to consider our route would involve tolls.
It was a stormy day, the lightning was flashing above us as we set off at noon for Melbourne.
We arrived about 40 minutes early this time, not wanting to muddy David's reputation by showing up late. It was a sleepy weekend, the skies were gray, raining on and off.
We left a message for Randy that we had arrived early, and while waiting for our appointed time, the dock master let us in and we walked along the slips looking for the 365.
We came across her without much effort, and I'll have to be honest... we were a bit underwhelmed - not by the design of the Pearson... we absolutely loved the layout. I had a good 4 inches of clearance below, the ketch was laid out spectacularly. Buttt... the boat didn't quite match up with the ad.
We did as much of an inspection as we could dockside looking out while waiting for Randy... and made notes about potential warning signs that we could see. The owner had painted over the decks and the transom looked suspect.
When Randy arrived, he invited us aboard and we began crawling. By now, our third time inspecting boats, we felt like pro's. We both set about independently looking all over. We had done as much research as we could on the net, so we both had our own list of things to check out.
Our worries were confirmed as we found defects that would have cost us, in our estimate, the asking price over again to refit her. And given that it's on the other side of Florida, we wouldn't feel safe sailing or motoring her back.
We thanked Randy for his time and proceeded to a pub he had suggested to grab a bite to eat (we've only snacked since then), check into our hotel, dip our toes in the atlantic ocean, explore melbourne, and go over our notes.
True to form, David called us soon after we arrived at the pub to see how things went. "Unfortunately, it's a no," I told David. I would detail out what we found in an email later the next day.
The search continues... but neat little bit - while exploring Melbourne, we met an awesome kindred spirit by the name of Madison at the ChilLatte while picking up snacks and a coffee for the drive back to St Pete's. We stayed to chat as she barista'd up our coffee - a local roast. I hope we stay in touch, and maybe our paths will cross again on the Pacific Coast!