Buy a boat

Mission Ocean: Or how to find and refit a catamaran at the right price…

Published on 23 november 2017 at 0h00

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We knew that buying a boat wasn’t going to be easy; our budget was tight, and our needs specific, even if both of us spend our working days surrounded by boats, and undertaking complicated negotiations. But neither of us was prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that awaited us, and the many disappointments that we would have to overcome in our search. 

Our first big deception came just before Christmas. We were a matter of days away from buying a Lagoon 47; all but abandoned by her elderly Parisian owner, she had been sitting on the hard for a good few years when a local catamaran builder, hearing about our project and our backgrounds, thought we might be the right people to breathe some new life into the rather aptly named Southwind, and put us in touch with the yard where she lay. We visited her twice, sourced quotations to repair her delaminated deck, met the owner at the Paris boat show and eventually agreed on a price. Contracts were drawn up, negotiated, reissued… A week before the survey was due, we agreed to travel to the boat (a 3-hour drive from home) and stay over, to prepare her to be inspected. This job is usually down to the vendor, and when on the hard involves making sure that all spaces are accessible, pulling down deckheads to allow for inspection of the hull and deck from the inside, testing the batteries or making sure that the boat is supplied with shore power to test the electrical installation, and preparing the engines to be started ...

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