For those of you who are not fans on our facebook page(www.facebook.com/wheresmadison), we recently announced that we purchased a sailboat! Although its been awhile and we have a lot of post to catch up on, we wanted to share our boat shopping experience.
Unlike when we were looking at rv’s, there are not as many options when it comes to sailboats. We originally were thinking about getting a catamaran but decided price wise to focus on monohulls this time around. (They are about a third of the price.) We also knew we wanted to buy used and not new to avoid depreciation right off the bat. While we were traveling in Florida in January/February we looked at several boats along both the east and west coast.
First was a 1983 Tayana T55 in Ft. Lauderdale. While Jon and I fell in love with the size of the main stateroom we felt that the boat was not kept up as well as it should have been. Also we decided that 55 feet long was probably overkill and we could find something a bit smaller and in better condition.
We looked at some Jeanneau’s and Beneteau’s but thought they lacked storage space.
In St. Petersburg, FL we came across a 1999 Hunter 450 Passage and put some serious thought into it. Again like the Tayanna, it had a huge master stateroom. It also was a center cockpit so it had a nice area to layout on the back top deck. Unfortunately its biggest downfall was that it was only two bedrooms. We were really hoping for a three bedroom so that the kids could each have their own rooms OR if we have guests stay overnight we could have the kids share and have a room for visitors.
Then we were shown a Gulfstar 50 that had a separate entrance for the main stateroom and another entrance for the kitchen/living room/ and 2 bedrooms. There is no way to get from one to the other without going above deck. Although Jon and I joked that it would be nice and peaceful to be that far from the kids there was NO WAY we would feel comfortable not being able to get right to the kids if there was an emergency. We wouldn’t even be able to tell if the kids needed us if we were in the main stateroom. Even if the kids were in their teens I don’t think I would feel comfortable with the layout.
We were starting to get slightly discouraged. Every boat we looked at was missing something. After seeing several boats in FL, nothing seemed to fit the bill. Although it was nice to start narrowing down what we did and didn’t want in a boat.
Since we really liked the Hunter 450, we started researching what they might have in a three cabin layout. While looking online we came across a boat in Georgetown, MD. Pictures looked great, and other than it not being a center cockpit (which you can’t find anyway with a 3 bedroom) everything else seemed to match our checklist. Since it was time to head to PA to get ready for the Keystone Warriors Foundation Gala we decided to check it out on the way home. Even during the drive from FL to PA we started chatting about what’s next if we do not find a sailboat. A possible cabin in NY, more RVing (maybe Alaska), or hop some more space A flights. But then we saw her. Current name Peregrine 3. A 2000 Hunter 460 with three cabin layout. Cleanest boat we have seen thus far. After going through the boat and saying goodbye to the sellers broker we got in the truck and Jon turned to me and asked “so what did you think?” And I said “If we are going to do it, that’s the one!” He said “I feel the same way!” And so we put in an offer, negotiated for a few days, and finally agreed on a price. Next stop would be sea trials!