Boat buying…a lesson in patience!

Well, the days are getting shorter now that Summer Solstice has come and gone, and we still haven’t decided on the name of our new boat! Yes folks, it’s official, (well almost) – we sold our lovely Cal 39′ named Escapade, and just bought an even lovelier Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Deck Salon 43′. It may be a mouthful, but we are thrilled at the prospect of moving onto our new boat/home and we can’t wait to actually get this permanent picnic started!

At the dock

Before we get to preparing for permanent picnics, let’s step back a little to remember how we got to this point and what we’re planning for the future!

It’s hard to believe, but we have been retired from our “real” jobs for over five months now. Marty retired from Boeing on 1/3/12, and I retired from American Airlines on 1/15/12. To think that we each spent some 20+ years at those jobs, and now we rarely even think of them is really kind of strange. We are definitely enjoying a different chapter than the one we did when we lived in the corporate world!

Our lives these days are wrapped around the Inn; how many for breakfast, how many check outs, do we have check ins, etc etc! I must say that having Marty home every day has been awesome. It took a few days to get used to making beds and cleaning rooms together (and it took a few more days for Marty to pass toilet cleaning 101), but we learned a bit more about communication (ok, I learned to be more patient) and all is well now. It’s become easier and more fun with each passing day. We are a great team and find ways to make every job fun and full of laughs. I mean when you find Batman briefs in the sheets how can you NOT laugh (remember, we don’t accept kids…ha).

So where was I going with all this…oh yes, boat buying! Well first we had to sell our lovely Escapade. That was a tough decision because we really loved how she sailed, we felt very secure in the strength of her hull and in the (all new) standing rigging (the part that holds the mast up), but we finally decided after our month long sail last year, that she just wasn’t going to be the right boat for us to live aboard for the next 10-20 years. We are getting a little creaky in the knees and crawling into the v-berth each night took some serious coordination not to bean each other in the noggin while we crawled in a circle on hands and knees to get into bed! Add in an anchor alarm and a quick exit in the dark and someone is going to get hurt! We did think about remodeling the forward stateroom, removing one of the heads, adding more storage, updating the electronics, etc., etc., but at the end of the day it just made more sense to take our somewhat hard earned boat-buying knowledge and apply it to a new boat that already had some of the “gotta haves” on our list.

After selling Escapade in March we had to deal with being boat-less for awhile. That translates into Marty had to deal with me constantly looking at the boats for sale on Yacht World and saying..”look at THIS one..it’s PERFECT!”. It’s a very good thing I married a patient man. After a couple months of drooling, I finally talked Marty into “just looking”. HA!! So we “just looked” for awhile, with me of course champing at the bit to get out the checkbook for nearly every boat we saw. We walked lots of docks, talked to lots of brokers and boat owners, and finally happened on a broker in Anacortes that we felt we could deal with AND get the straight scoop.

We went to Anacortes to look at a Bavaria and a Tartan, and as an aside, our broker, Mike from Marine Service Center also showed us a Jeanneau 43′ Deck Salon. Jeanneaus weren’t even on our list of possibles because in my (somewhat limited) understanding, they weren’t considered blue water boats. For you non-sailors, there are boats that are meant to go offshore and there are boats that aren’t. It all has to do with boat design and building methods. I admit to being somewhat of a traditional boater in that I love the look and feel of a solid boat with lots of wood and brass, in the old hull styles. Escapade was built in 1979, and was considered a great offshore boat, however being 30+ years old definitely had its drawbacks!

We left the Jeanneau behind and looked at lots of others in our price range that we felt were better suited for the offshore live aboard lifestyle, but we always kept coming back to the open interior and easy sail handling of the Jeanneau. The next step was to read up on the Jeanneau design, read information from current owners who have sailed their Jeanneaus in blue water, and basically learn to readjust my boat viewpoint to accept the new designs! The newer boats that have been designed using computers and newer technologies definitely have a different feel to them than the older designs that led sailors to believe heavy displacement boats were the only ones safe enough to sail the oceans.

Preparing for the sea trial


After much hemming and hawing, reading and listening, walking docks and crawling through boats, we decided that the 2003 Jeanneau was the right decision for us. Wide open decks, lines led to the cockpit for easy handling, lots of light and room in the cabin, AND a bed that we can both get into at the same time! Add in lots of other bells and whistles and stuff that actually works, and voila – she’s the right one! We’ve completed the sea trial (she sailed and handled great), the mechanical survey, the rigging survey, and the general survey, and all is in good or great condition. Now we are just finalizing a few minor fixes and in a couple of weeks it will be official!! We are VERY excited and can’t wait to start the major process of making her “ours”.

The one major thing left to do is to decide on a name! Her current name is “Atika”, which sounds like the name of the lead dog on a mushing sled to me..ha! The short list at the moment includes;
“No Vacancy”
“Escapade II”
“Loose Goose” (“Goose on the Loose” is a little too long)
“Laughing Goose”
“Dancing Goose”
“Sea Harmony” (hey we met on E-Harmony!)
“Permanent Picnic”
“Blue Goose Two”
and….???? We’re still open to suggestions! So let us know your favorite – there might be a prize involved for the winning name!

Now that we have the boat, all we need is to retire from Innkeeping so that we can be on our way! Unfortunately that’s a tougher process than just retiring from a corporate job since we have to find someone with lots of cash and even more energy! We have a few hopefuls, so we’re keeping our eyes and toes crossed in hopes that we get a firm deal before winter! Either way, we’ll be taking a few months this winter and spending it on board our lovely new home. We can’t wait to share all our adventures with all of you. Thanks for listening and stay tuned – lots more to come!

Our new nav station!

2 thoughts on “Boat buying…a lesson in patience!

  1. I LOVE IT!!! She looks beautiful and you two look SSSSOOO happy! You will have so much fun together (not that you don’t already)! How about a trip to Alaska…we’ll drive the RV and rendesvous with you. I want to go and stay for a couple of months. Haven’t gotten retired yet, but we are considering it. Or Mexico somewhere??? Love you both. Cool blog. Barb

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    • Hi there! We are happy – and it’s a wonderful thing! Our plans include sailing to Alaska – probably next June! Would be fun to meet up somewhere! We’re also doing a real cruise to Alaska next year on Norwegian..it’s a family cruise in honor of Marty’s grandmother’s 100th birthday! Should be a riot! Then when we get back on our boat we’ll sail all the way south…..and continue on to wherever the winds take us! Can’t WAIT!!!
      PS…Happy almost Birthday!!!

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