Bill Morse suggested that we talk with Craig Smith, as he'd heard of an Endeavor 38' that was for sale. From what we had read on cruising and sailing forums, that Endeavor seemed like she may fulfill our needs. Most importantly, this would be the first boat we physically had a chance to view.
Gulfport Marina, taken from http://http://mygulfport.us
On a Monday during my lunch break, I arrived at Gulfport Marina. Since Asa was working long hours all week, I would be checking out this first boat solo. In my work attire and shoes, I stepped aboard the boat.
Craig told me everything he knew about her history and ownership. As he walked the length of her side decks, he pointed to various things and explained the condition and purpose of different parts as well showing me real examples of what would be easy fixes vs expensive projects. He even showed me how to sound the deck to look for soft spots and water damage.
At that point, Craig could have just as well been speaking latin- because despite all the sailing/boat purchasing books, magazines, blogs, and websites I'd read, everything seemed so different when looking at the thing in person.
What are all the ways that crazing can look like? What does too much or too little play in the shrouds feel like? What does a dirty but good engine look like? How does leaking through portholes look like? We’ve never really seen any of it since we’ve only cruised on BCYC member boats - you know, a fleet of all of the finest maintained boats in the bay ;)
The experience of attempting to discuss the pros and cons of a boat for the purposes of qualifying it for acquisition was completely foreign to me.
Yet there I found myself standing aboard what I was told was a boat with good bones. That said, after sitting unattended in the water for five years, it was clear that this Endeavor would require work to bring her up to code. A lot of work. Turning the wheel made horrible scraping sounds due to oysters having colonized the rudder.
Later that week, Asa was able to get time off to join me for another viewing. We estimated that the amount of time and money needed just to make the living spaces habitable (never mind the actual functional sail components of a sailboat) simply was too great. We're still so new into this journey and lack the knowledge and experience to realistically consider such an advanced project boat. Pass.
This was only the first of what has seemed like an endless number of boats we've researched and considered if it was worth taking a look.
Through websites such as craigslist, yachtworld, sailboatlistings, cruisersforum, etc., there's certainly no shortage of boats up for sale. We moved to Florida because we thought that living in such a sailboat-saturated community with plentiful selection would help our chances of finding the right one for us. While the local variety available is something we could have only dreamed of while we still lived in the Pacific Northwest, it has also proved to be a bit overwhelming. We needed a way to accurately and efficiently focus only on boats that met our needs for a full-time cruiser, and filter out anything else that didn't meet our standards.
As BCYC luck would have it, during a cruise to Beer Can Island, Bill mentioned a fellow sailor who could potentially help us. He passed along the name of a local broker and encouraged us to get in touch. After giving a call to David Foster from West Coast Yacht Sales, he jumped to action and arranged a viewing for us- a beautiful 1969 Allied Sea Breeze docked in the Gulfport Municipal Marina.
This would be the first boat we saw with David, with more to follow. Stay tuned as we get to know David, take a few road trips, and continue the search for our boat.