Jun 042013

Well, I did get an offer on my ad finally.  Now I need to decide if I want to go with it or not.  The ad simply states, trade my 26’ sailboat for a 22’ sailboat, in like condition and value, or slightly less.  Someone called and we did some talking.  Here is the deal:

He has a 22’ Chrysler, (not the same as the car company), mid 70’s.  I went and saw the boat, as he came and saw mine.  Turns out he is moored right around the corner from my marina so that solves a lot of logistical issues.  As for the boat itself, well, it’s in about the same condition as mine, maybe a bit more worn but usable.

The down sides:  The boat is in dire need of paint, the bottom, the hull, and possibly the deck.  One side of the hull is scratched up pretty bad.  Nothing that can’t be fixed, but it will need paint.  The bottom needs scraped but is in somewhat better shape than mine.

It has sails, but I suspect they are in poor shape.  The running rigging, all the lines that control the sails, will need replaced, a lot of cosmetic stuff will need tending too also.

Inside, the cabin is tight but usable.  It will need to be completely gutted of the former tenant’s stuff, all the cushions, pillow’s etc. will need to be tossed and then cleaned up.  There is no galley, no fridge, no porta potti, no water, and the electrics are probably non existent.

The upsides:  I would be starting with a clean slate.  A bare bones cabin that I can fix up to my own desires.  There is a big enough v-berth, a quarter berth, and a drop down table so sleeping is no problem.  Throw a cooler inside, and maybe get another grill or something to cook on.  There is room for the toilet, just need to add in a pump out fitting, and room for the cats and their stuff.

The boat has a drop down keel and rudder, and only draws about 2 feet or so with everything up.  Suspect the keel will need some work.  There is a motor mount also.

The owner believes the boat to be worth around $1000 compared to $2000 for mine.  So he is willing to add a few incentives.  For instance, a motor!  He has a couple that look enticing, a 2.5 Merc that would give me just enough push to get in and out of the marina, or a 5.0 that would move a little more better.  The 2.5 looks to be the better of the two.

He is also willing to help with the painting.  All I would need to do is find a place to put it and buy the paint.  A project that would take about 3 days.   And I could stay on my old boat until it gets done.

Difficulty:  I’m not sure I have the cash in hand to even take care of the painting.  It’s something I would prefer to do before sailing it into the marina.  Otherwise, I might ruffle a few feathers of the neighbors…and the new owners.  Wouldn’t want to do that now would I????

However, this whole deal fits in just about perfectly with my nefarious plans.  The boat, while needing work, is pretty much what I would expect.  The logistics can be taken care of in quick time.  Being so close, and the guy is willing to work with me on the paint and me staying on my boat until we are ready makes things easy.  But, I do hesitate on this:

The guy is a first class pack rat.  He and his girlfriend, and some other guy who looks to be of questionable character all live on what looks like a deserted set from the movie, Water World.  They have a large houseboat anchored in Boca Chica channel.  Attached to said house boat is the sailboat I am looking at, another larger sailboat on the other side in very nice condition, about 6 or 7 floating hulls that may or may not have been boats at one other time, and yet another smaller houseboat, all tied up behind the main vessel.  Every inch of every vessel has shit on it.  Junk everywhere.  He had at least 4 other motors, and just piles of junk in whatever space he could cram them into .  I’m not sure what his business is, he only came to the U.S. from Cuba a few years ago, and moved down here from Miami, but he is definitely not a minimalist.  Which is all fine and good.  His life, not mine.  As long as the boat I am looking at is not stolen, (He claims to have the title).  And he seems rather eager to lay his fingers on my boat.  He continually offered more stuff to go with the boat to make up the difference in value.  And to be honest, as bad as shape as my boat is, it does look like a major upgrade compared to the Chrysler.

Nonetheless, I look at the 22’ as to what it can be, not what it is in it’s current state.  Paint aside, I could probably get the boat in the condition I want for about $1000.  If I have to get new sails, a bit more.  Electrics would be very simple.  Single battery, solar panel, new lights, inverter, and some wire.  Porta potti about $250.  Get some pads and stuff to sit and sleep on, an ice chest, and done.  I would love to get it into some sort of sailing condition and on occasion, head out onto the briny deep and do battle with the forces of nature.

What makes this so enticing is how it can all be done without much fuss or bother.  I can turn over this boat, without having to do anything.  No listening to somebody bitch, moan, whine, nor snivel about it not being clean, nor latches being broken, nor electrics not working, nor anything else.  In fact, I could probably call him right now and be living on the 22’ within a couple of hours.  It would solve a lot of small, nagging problems.  At the very least, I would have a boat with a running engine (I hope) so if Labombard comes into the marina with his storm troopers, I can go.  If I can squeeze a few more months out of this marina, and I feel pretty confident I can, then I can spend the time, and put the money into the boat.  On the other hand, I may end up with more problems than I started with.  I like the ODay I saw online up in Key Largo a few weeks ago and I suspect it would be the more better boat.  But the logistics and the fact I would need to sell my boat first make pulling off that deal more difficult.  Trying to find temp shelter for a week while I get things moved around just ain’t feasible at the moment.  This deal here with the Chrysler is just too easy.  Everything can just fall right into place.  Or I could just sit tight with what I got and where I am, and see what else comes up.  But still….

So very tempting to pull the trigger on this one.

Capt. Fritter

  2 Responses to “Living Aboard: A Very Tempting Deal…”

  1. i HATE pro’ing and conning and making decisions! i try to do it. but it never works for me. it just serves to wear me out! i always wind up going with my gut instinct anyway… after all the pros and cons. and oddly enough… so far … it has worked for me. i decided to sell my house and six days later it was sold. and i love the wren house. so it was a good move.
    i suppose it could just as easily have gone south. but it didn’t.
    sometimes ya just gotta trust fate i guess.
    but i’m sort of confused. if you have to spend about $1000 on the little one… why not just stay with the fritter and buy a motor and pottie for it? or maybe it’s in far worser shape than i thought and the little one is much more better. (insert smiley face here with a look of nosy chagrin.)

    • Julia convinced me to stay on the current boat. There will always be another one down the road.

      C. F.