Sunday, January 22, 2017

We may have found our cruising home! Our Offer was Accepted!


                                            The Kelly Peterson 44' Center Cockpit Cutter Rig Sailboat

Well after quite a few weeks of inquirer and negotiation we have an agreement to purchase what we believe is our perfect cruising sailboat. After much deliberation and discussion, looking way outside our current area we discovered this fantastic opportunity! We really had not thought buying a sailboat over 1000 miles away in Mexico. But after exhausting the southern California region of available boats in our budget we had to go outside the box. So currently we are proud to announce that we are now under contract to purchase a boat we have never seen.






These boats are amazing cruising boats. You can find out a great deal of information at http://bluewaterboats.org/kelly-peterson-44/ for the whole story and we are very impressed. The current owner is a genuine USCG certified Captain who put her life and soul into refitting this boat for a circumnavigation over the last few years but in a twist of fate took a dream job to Captain a 100' Mega Yacht for it's owner for the next 5 years or this boat would not have come available on the market. We are so lucky to have found it. It's ready and equipped to go cruising now!

So after deciding to buy a boat that we had never seen, we made an offer. After a weeks negotiating we came to an agreeable price. We now have an agreement to purchase and we have paid the deposit. What is left now is to Fly down to Mexico from San Diego to do our final inspection , Sea Trail and Survey to make sure it is what we were told it was. So this week I'm going to do just that.

Nuevo Vallarta Where the boat is docked now and has been since 2008

1050 Nautical miles from San Diego

It's not that easy to get to from San Diego as there are no direct flights. The two choices were to cross the boarder into Tijuana Mexico and fly from there or what I'm doing is to drive to Los Angeles to fly direct as I hate layovers.

I had to previously arrange to schedule the boat for the haul out and surveyor while I'm there.

The plan is if everything goes right and we decide to go ahead with the purchase that a delivery Captain and crew will bring the boat to San Diego as soon as weather will permit. I would most likely fly down again to come back with the boat. About a 10 day bash to weather.



I have also had to make plans to find a marina here in San Diego to dock the boat when it gets here and have spent the better part of the week looking over facilities and walking docks. San Diego is a very popular place for yachts and is very difficult to obtain a slip for a mid 40' boat. I also came across dockmasters who were not to keen on work being done to boats in there slip or the eventual fact that sometime soon we would be living on the boat as we prepped for sailing away. We finally locked in a good mooring which will allow us to do both of those things over the next 8 months. We are happy also with the amenity and location near all the chandlers shops, grocery stores and restaurants.   So wish us luck. Here is a sneak peek at where we will be bring the boat to be our new home once the purchase is finalized. Stay tuned in as this story will certainly be continued.

Shelter Island is the closest docking to the open Pacific Ocean within San Diego Bay



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kicking it in full throttle this month looking for our perfect sailing yacht....

Wow, in hopes of seeing a sunset like that from the deck of our own boat soon we have been looking at sailboats like crazy these last few weeks. We have had to look at all kinds of boats to make sure we could get one comfortable for our sabbatical. We have probably looked at most of the boats we considered candidates that are available in southern California.



We looked at this just listed C&C Landfall 48 in Newport Beach, CA. These are fairly rare as only 24 were built. We liked the raised deckhouse that provided great visibility and where you could monitor radar/chartplotter and be in out of the elements. But we didn't like the rear cockpit where we couldn't figure out how we could give it shade. And looking at the lack of a lazarette  & deck space aft for ease of boarding and having a place to hang out at anchor.


Then we went to Long Beach and San Pedro CA. to look at the next 2 yachts. This next one was an all original Celestial 48 center cockpit which we immediately fell in love with. This boat had the layout and space that we were looking for. We did not like the teak decks but they were in good shape for now. The owner of the last 15 years hasn't really done anything and it looked like it would take a lot of money and time to get her back to the condition we needed but at the price she could be bought for in comparison to what a yacht this size would cost today it was a tempting prospect.


The next boat the broker we were with exclaimed it would be the best he was saving for last. It was a Spindrift 43 in the rare center cockpit layout. If you have herd anything about the docks in the 9 square mile Wilmington section of the Los Angeles Harbor Region where this boat was located you will know it can only be described as a final resting place for broken dreams. After walking out through a sea of tied up derelict boats we came across the one shining light in this harbour. We were impressed with the overall condition we found this yacht to be in. and was even able to talk with it's owner. But after really spending time aboard this impressive double ender we knew it wasn't the boat for us.

We called it a day after traveling 4 hours round trip to look at 4 sailboats including a Morgan 41 that we immediately dismissed we needed to stop for  a bite to eat and to talk over what we had seen. We stopped in Laguna Beach at The Cliff restaurant where dining on the Pacific Ocean were able to see the entire Catalina Island in the distance 27 miles away but it looked so close you could swim to it that night. We eat and watched the sun set before driving back to San Diego.


The next day we were surprised to see a new listing for a boat we had looked at two of before and I was planning to go to see another one in San Carlos, Mexico in a week. We liked the layout but the one we had seen a few weeks earlier in Marina Del Rey, CA although being in Bristol original condition with a good price was not equipped for offshore cruising.

California Boat in Excellent Condition but no cruising equipment.

Irwin in San Carlos Mexico was loaded with cruising equipment.
















We immediately called the broker representing this boat excited to see a cruise equipped Irwin 38 (40.1' LOA) center cockpit. This would save a 22 hour roundtrip drive and the boat would be here in San Diego saving a $5K transportation expense, so we went to look at it. As a bonus the owner was there to talk with about the boat's equipment and history.





This boat was in great condition and we were instantly reminded how we loved the light, bright, well organised interior. The boat had a new cockpit enclosure, solar , etc. But we came off the boat instantly knowing we had been spoiled looking at 44' to 48' yachts and the safe living space they provided. Also we were not so sure how a 20k lb. boat with a 7K lb. keel would hold up in the open ocean after being saddled with all the food, equipment and gear we plan to have with us. We knew as soon as we got home we needed to take these Irwin's off our list.

So we end this 2 week period exactly where we started without the prospect of a boat. But the more we look, the more educated we become. And we know the right one will present itself at the right time.    



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Another Year Passes - Much Progress is Made!




Here we are, already December 2016 and it's been almost a year since our last blog post. There probably was time that could have been made to keep up the blog on our progress although it never happened. Beginning January 1st we held garage sales and gave stuff to Charity. We put our house on the market for sale in mid February and thought we were on track with a sale May 1st. This buyer offered to buy the house furnished buying all our furniture. The deal fell thru but he left with all the furniture, that was a real help in the unclutter of our lives.






We bought a 15 x 8.5' cargo trailer to secure all our worldly possessions that we couldn't part with and everything had to fit. We hitched up our trailer and towed to the nearby RV resort where we would live we thought until we bought the boat.



We followed our plan and I sold my interest in the car dealership to my business partner Mir on April 30th.





I also sold both of my power boats including my much beloved and completely restored classic 1978 Sleekcraft 27' Ambassador.




On June 1st we towed our RV home and cargo trailer to San Diego, California. Amanda was able to transfer with her employer and we settled in to a new RV park 3 miles from the coast. Chris started selling cars to continue to feed the cruising kitty. We went to a boat show and looked at several brokerage boats during the summer while we were still waiting for our house to sell.



We had the realization that our plan to depart on our voyage would not be happening this year by October with our house still for sale back in Arizona. But as the Baja Ha-Ha fleet departed without us on November 1st we got an offer on the house and could finally begin planning to buy a boat so we could depart this time next year.


We are big believers in everything happening for a reason. The southbound fleet was caught in a late storm on the way to Cabo San Lucas with several boats knocked down and one boat crashed on the rocks ending that sailors dreams. Could that have been us?

We were also glad as it turned out that we would have a full year to be in San Diego as we have lots of family here. Also, we would have an opportunity to outfit and really get used to our new boat before we headed out on our voyage. We belong to a southern California Yacht charter club and were able to do some charter sailing to keep up our skills and enjoy the great San Diego weather. We also took a marine diesel maintenance course.




YEA!!!! On December 1st our house was finally sold. Back in July we were able to get into a rare 2 bedroom apartment became available in the RV park where we had been staying in the RV. We had hoped to move up to the boat from the 27' trailer which we found was simply too small to live in while working. Now that we are totally debt free we could once again look for our new cruising home.







We got excited about an 40' Irwin CC which seamed to be at a bargain price. After spending $2k on haulout and rig,engine and hull surveys we found out why and quickly backed out.








We fell in love once again with this completely cruise equipped Morgan 46' CC and quickly made a realistic offer to the owner after much research. Sadly, the seller was more in love with it then us and after going back and forth in negotiations wouldn't get to a price that we would have been comfortable with. So off we go still looking for the right one.



Looking back as we conclude the 5th year in our quest to begin our sabbatical we have reached most of the goals we originally set out and are light years away from where we began. We expect 2017 to be our year as we will find and refit our cruising home and untie the docklines next fall. Follow us thru the final countdown of our plan of escape.


Sunday, December 27, 2015


2016 New Years Resolution! The Next Step.

Well it's almost upon us...2016. A date we set forward over 4 years ago and it's time now to move on to the final part of our 5 year plan. Over that time we have learned how to sail, sailed the U.S. West Coast and Caribbean on charter yachts as both Captain and crew. We have studied and read everything we can get our hands on or find on the internet. We have gone to many Strictly sail and boat shows on both coasts, attending seminars and looking at boats and products. We have worked with brokers on both coasts looking thru numerous boats to visualize what will suite us best and have reviewed our wants and needs for a cruising boat with hours and hours of conversation together.















Looking out on San Diego harbor as the Baja-Ha-Ha fleet departed in 2012 from Cabrillo Monument in Point Loma  for Mexico we knew we wanted to be participants in 2016.  

HARDIN 45' VOYAGER

Now it's time to take everything we have learned and select our cruising sailboat. To help our readers understand some of our decision making in what we are looking for we will briefly explain our must have's. A boat selection is a very personal experience and must be made individually for anyone based on your own set of comforts and what we want may not be what you will want. Our 1st early decision was to decide a preference for a mono-haul or catamaran. We decided based on our potential cruising grounds and budget to go with a mono-haul. Next we had to decide on a few other important features as follows:

KEEL - We chose a range from full length keel to no less then a modified fin keel. We wont be in a race.
COCKPIT - We will be looking for a center cockpit which will have a better suited interior space for us.
SAIL PLAN - We have decided on either a Ketch or Cutter rig to have more options then found on a sloop. We will want our lines lead back to the cockpit for safety but do not necessarily want a furling main.
SIZE -  Knowing that we want at least 2 heads we will be looking over 40 ft but absolutely less then 55 ft.

CUSTOM JOMAR 55' by BRUCE ROBERTS

We chose to home port our new sailing home in San Diego, Ca. This is where we grew up and only a short drive from our current home in Arizona. This will restrict us to choosing a boat available from British Columbia, Canada thru the West coast of Mexico. Although if we found the right boat somewhere else for a price that would make since to pay for overland delivery it could be an option.


MUST HAVE INTERIOR FEATURES:

It will be important that our boat be a floating home 1st but with features that will make it safe at sea as well. Our short list includes a private and roomy master stateroom with a head including a separate shower space. We will want the bunk to be a center-line queen as we will only sleep there in a marina or on the hook in favorable weather. For offshore we must have good sea berths in the saloon. A comfortable navigation station is also a must. We will be looking for a comfortable arrangement for guests in the second for cabin as we will be sleeping there also if moored in ruff weather when without guests. Any galley arrangement will be fine so that it's close to center of the boat and with good ventilation. We may not get it all but we certainly know what we would like.


COCKPIT AND DECK FEATURES:

Sometimes greatly overlooked, we know the topsides is where we will spend most of our time. A comfortable cockpit that not only is a great work space offshore it must lend to comfortable living when moored. This is one of the reasons we chose to look for a center cockpit. We also will be looking for clear, wide deck space for ease of use when offshore and that will add living space at shore. Deep storage lockers will be a bonus as will space for safety equipment and alternative energy.

So what are some of the boats on the top of our list. Well although we are keeping an open mind to what we will find over the 1st half of next year that will be available for sale in our budget range the following brands have intrigued us.

GULFSTAR, ENDEAVOUR, IRWIN, HARDIN, AMEL, TAYANA, HYLAS, LAFITTE, MORGAN, BREWER, PEARSON, CT, VEGABOND, WESTWIND, Ect.

As we look for our future sailing home next year we will keep you posted on the likes and dislikes of the boats we find and how we will come up with a final choice. Stay tuned.







Monday, August 24, 2015

Almost 2 years have gone by but were still working forward to 2016! Here's what we have been up too.




2 years since the last post. Where has all the time gone...

In October of 2013 I opened a used car dealership with a long time friend as a co investor. Most of my time for the last 2 years has been spent in building up that business from scratch to a successful business that it is today.

Dealership and Inventory 1 of 3

Dealership and Inventory 2 of 3

Dealership and Inventory 3 of 3
We have also been cleaning out our home from a decade of purchases we will no longer need and wont want to store during our voyage. Making repairs and updates to the home so we can get a better price when we go to put it up for sale. Going from 3000 Sq. Ft to a cruising sailboat will be quite a challenge.

Our home on land 



   We have given lots of thought to the transition and wanted to get more used to a cruising lifestyle while stuck here in the desert and came up with a great idea. We bought and restored a 27' travel trailer this last year. We have spent our vacation time traveling thousands of miles with multiple stops in California and Arizona simulating pulling in and out of various harbours over short couple weeks span. This setting up, putting away, travel & repeat gave us an idea what it will be like going from port to port.

 We also feel like a transition to the trailer while we are outfitting the boat for it's long cruise will give us the sanity of not living in a construction zone or in a boat yard. We can tow the trailer to whatever city we find the boat in and sell it when we ultimately move on board. Moving up to the boat from the smaller trailer will also be welcome at some point we are sure.

Camping at Lake Pleasant, AZ
Almost home from 2 states, 5 campsites and 1,800 miles.
 


Camped Riverfront on the Colorado River in Parker, AZ


 


Our trailer is very roomy with the slide out open but  the décor was dated when we bought it and.needed some remodelling.
Completely remodelled inside. Complete new paint, window coverings and décor. It's so much more liveable now.
The 27' Prowler was also completely serviced on all of it's mechanicals and works like new.
 
We have continued to educate our self about sailing and cruising by reading many blog posts most of which we share with our fans on our Facebook page. We also take time to do some boating and have not been without our own power boat to continue to recreate on the water and manage our navigation skills with. One of the perks of being a dealer is always having a boat for sale that we can use.
 
 Although we have not chartered in the last few years, we have maintained our membership so that we can charter and take classes in the future when we get closer to buying the sailboat.
 
Amanda cruising our Sleekcraft "Big Red" @ Lake Havasu 2013
Docked is our 23' Glastron for a quick lunch @ Lake Havasu 2015
 
 
We will be continuing to countdown the months until we can untie our dock lines, never forgetting to be cognoscente of  learning and doing what is necessary to attain our goal. But as we don't want to miss the opportunity to live for now we will continue to enjoy the ride along the way. As we get closer we will certainly find more sailing activity to report on in this blog......stay tuned!
 
Dining at the Thirsty Pirate Beach Bar at the Pirates Den RV Resort on the Caribbean of the Colorado River in Parker, AZ.
 
 



Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Sidetracked Summer


 It started off innocently enough with the idea to utilize my many years of research and study of boats to open my own Yacht and Boat Brokerage business. I figured this new endeavour after a successful 20+ years in the automotive business would get me more involved in boating and be something I could continue to do in a couple more years once we moved from this life into the cruising life.

 Buying and selling only a few boats at at a time quickly became an obsession to seek out a deal, get the best reconditioning done quickly and re market the boat while the market was hot. This was very time consuming but alot of fun. Months went bye and although boat selling was going well I never really had the time to get the yacht brokerage part off the ground. I'm sure that being landlocked in Arizona to most would seem an odd place to be a yacht broker until you realize that per capita Arizona has the most boat ownership of any U.S. state and without all the regulation involved in Florida and California.

 The business did develop into a success for me. I partnered with a dealer in Arizona's water mecca of Lake Havasu City who took my inventory on consignment to sell so I could focus on acquiring inventory which I thought would give me more time... It Didn't. All of a sudden Summer had passed and other then one weekend of sailing in San Diego it seems that I had lost my focus and strayed from my goal, or had I?

 It is still a long way off to 2016 and our planned departure. I did realize that although I felt sidetracked there will be alot of time yet for getting to the goal. But meanwhile work away I must at something , so it may as well be something I enjoy. My apologies to the blogs readers who had wondered why my usual daily postings went away for so long. I look forward to finding a balanced time in the near future to resume and look forward to the mutual trade of information garnered from feedback from my readers.  I just thought an explanation was in order.

Chris
Broker
Arizona Yacht Brokers

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What we found.....At the Boat Show!

 
 


 Deciding it had been too long away from the coastal boating scene and having an extra day in Southern California we headed to the boat show. We drove up to Newport Beach to attend the last few hours of last weekends boat show.

 
 
 
 
 
 With only 3 hours left on Sunday once we arrived and noting that most of the boats in the water were power we felt like we had sufficient time to see the few sailboats available. We stopped first at the Island Packet 460 to see what it was all about.
 
The Island Packet 460


Chris checking out the Mast



Amanda checking out the helm.










 
Looking over the boat we found some features we liked but overall it just wasn't for us.










Next we decided to check out a motor sailor as we had not considered anything like that before.

From the Brochure: "Cresendo is one of the latest versions of the Celestial Pilot House world class cruiser. This boat and other models have been well proven over the years, and offer a modern under body that makes it an exceptional offshore yacht. This design offers both speed, stability, great living space with eye level view dining area, and sea kindly performance."

This boat was large and comfortable, however with the windage present were not really sure how well she would sail. Certainly we would not want to have to continue filling her 264 gallon diesel tanks to power that 100hp Yanmar. So off we went to see what else was there.

Finally stopping to see a beautiful 1969 Hinckley 40' Yawl. This was in amazing condition and was well varnished with extensive woodwork. Not really a cruising boat, but it was great to look at.

 1969 Fiberglass yawl. Renowned classic Bill Tripp design. Timeless lines, wide side decks, solid construction. Cruising sails, roller furling, radar, Yanmar diesel, Max prop.

 So although there was no boat purchase we could consider at the show, it was great to see all the people checking out the boats. This show definitely had more attendance then the long beach show we went to last year.
 
 We will continue our search for our boat as time goes on and keep updating this page as to our progress. Each time we view more boats we certainly come away with more knowledge of what we are looking for in our cruising home.