Haul out/sea trial day, whew!

Wow.  I am exhausted!  All I did was sit on a boat and watch other people inspect it, but boy oh boy, was it hot out today.  90 degrees in November…are we in the tropics?

As this is an ongoing learning process for me, I’ll explain everything we did today.  Since I am buying my boat through a broker (Jason at Cabrillo Yacht Sales is awesome!), I am going as by the books as possible.  After my offer was accepted, the next step was to schedule a survey…what the hell is that??  This whole process is similar to buying a house.  I had no idea since I had been super close to buying a boat as is off craigslist. The survey is similar to a home inspection, you need professionals to go through your boat and make sure it’s working as it should, and that it is seaworthy.   Jason provided me a list of mechanics and surveyors that his company has worked with.  He can’t actually help me pick one out or say one is better than the other, just provide me with a list of contact information.  I could also find my own…but I’m new to this world so an suggestions help!

Since I am not purchasing a sailboat, I did not need to hire a rigger.  There are two parts (almost 3) to the survey day.  First is finding a mechanic.  He goes through the engines and generator.  Then the surveyor, he goes through every other part of the boat, making sure the lights work, the bilge pump works, the bathroom, the horn (mine isn’t working, dang!) and under the boat.  This is the sort of third part.  I had to schedule a time with a boatyard, and seeing as how I’m in San Diego there are a lot!  We went to the Shelter Island Boatyard.  They literally haul the boat out of the water, then the surveyor pokes around looking for blisters or imperfections and examines the props.  “Pokes around” most likely is not the technical term, but hey, I’m a newbie.  The sea trial part took place on our way to  and from the boat yard.  The boat is currently docked in San Diego Bay, which is the larger bay in San Diego.  I thought that we had to go out to the sea…I mean it’s a sea trial.  Basically they just need to run the boat at full throttle and see how everything handles.

The boat owner came out from Arizona to be present for the beginning of the day.  He’s already cleaned out most of his stuff.  It looks like new boat owners just “acquire” some of the previous owners items.

The mechanic today was Alfredo from Quality Marine.  He was great!  I would absolutely recommend him!  And the surveyor was Dean from Frank K Wyatt Surveyors; also awesome and would also recommend!

I”ll get their findings back in a couple of days.  From there I share it with my broker and we communicate with the seller to see if we have some wiggle room.  The starboard engine has a problem with the carborator(which I can’t spell).  There are a couple options to move forward: 1-we can ask if the overall price can be lowered to compensate for the issues, and 2-we can get a “survey allowance”, which would be the amount of money needed to repair the problems, but held in an escrow account that can only be used for the boat repairs.  For the second option the sale price would be the same but the difference needed would be in escrow.

We’ll see how it goes!

Here are some photos of the boat up in the air!

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Fast forward to an Express Cruiser…

Greetings from the worst blogger of all time.  Tomorrow is my survey and sea trial.  I’ll make a bunch of posts documenting whats been going on, but…I am very close to having a boat.

I’ve looked at a lot of sailboats.  I was set on owning a sailboat.  I’ve been enrolled in classes, bought a book about knots, watched all kinds of sailing videos on youtube, you name it.  The charm and opportunity of sailing free of reliance on purchased fuel and connection to the rest of the world felt like the right choice.  Unfortunately, I don’t live in a book or a movie.  I live within my income and debt.  So, I have to work with what I’ve got.  After seeing another disappointing tiny sailboat (if I sneezed in bed I’d have a concussion) my broker and boyfriend said for maybe the 100th time that I should check out a powerboat.

So fast forward to about 13 hours from now I will have a boat named “Si Yes Da” surveyed and hauled out.  She’s a 1991 31ft Sea Ray Sundancer.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Recap of the process to follow.  Yes, I do a lot of things out of order.

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From Mustang to Scooter….

In an effort to save up more money for the boat I’ve sold my car.

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I had the Mustang for over 8 years.  I figured it’s better to sell it now and get a decent amount for it rather than wait a while.  It’s weird, I feel like I still have it but am just not using it.  I’ve had a car for the past 20 years and now I’m driving a scooter…weird!

And here is the little scooter…img_2928

It’s a lot of fun!  Every day is a little adventure.  I’m finding new ways to do simple things that I used to take for granted.  Exercising the old brain parts!  It’s an older model, a 2005.  Gas costs me about $8 a week at most.  Insurance is $38 a month, and that is for more coverage than I even need.  I’m thinking about putting some little design on the front, maybe a mariachi themed pattern?

With this little scooter I can always park pretty much right in front of wherever I’m going.  And now I’m having fun making some crocodile leg warmers and wrist warmers.  Of course, if I didn’t live in San Diego this would be a lot more challenging.  I felt a little odd making the change, but then I realized that the whole car culture in America is a little out of control.  I’d rather spend my money on other things…like a boat, instead of blowing thousands on insurance I’ve never used (20 years with Allstate, not a single claim).  I also remember my trips to Europe where so many people use scooters or motorcycles for everyday transportation.  So I’m embracing and enjoying the switch!

Boatwise…I’ve found this goofy looking catamaran called a “Catfisher”.  It’s odd looking, but I like it!  Haven’t gone for a proper viewing yet, but maybe next week.  I am curious about the difference in slip fees for a multihull boat.  I really hope by Halloween I’ll have a boat.  I can technically afford some boat on craigslist out of pocket alone, but I’d rather spend a little more with a loan since this is going to be my home for the next 5 years at least, and I’m a newbie, so I don’t have enough knowledge of boats ins and outs.

Heres the catfisher…5948174_20160923102429181_1_xlarge

It’s a 1985 and is listed for $35,000.  Maybe this will be the one!  There’s a nice layout below the pilot house for the living area.  It’s goofy but functional, like me! 😛

Hope you are all doing well!!!

Thank you for stopping by,

-Eileen

 

I totally forgot to mention Catalina!!!

Right after I looked at the Eagles Nest sailboat and put in an offer, Brent and I went to Catalina Island for his birthday.  This was our second time there.  We both love this place!

You need to take either a ferry or helicopter to get there.  If you leave the mainland on your birthday, the ferry ride is free!  They give you a blue birthday ribbon and a print out of special deals you can get on your birthday.  Last year we went on my birthday.  I thought it was hilarious because everyone wishes you a happy birthday as soon as they see the little ribbon.

We stopped at Dennys before boarding the ferry…Brent has this odd obsession with Dennys; which is also free on your birthday.  Then we were off to Dana Landing to get on the boat.  Next year I hope to sail to Catalina, but one thing at a time.  We took the 9:45am boat, and despite getting there super early got on board about 10 minutes before it left the dock.  If you go, keep in mind that you have to wait in line to get your tickets and pay for your parking…you then go to the parking lady to get your display ticket…then drive to long term parking…then take a shuttle back.  That whole process could potentially take an hour, and the boat will not wait!

The boat ride is about an hour and twenty minutes.  You can sit upstiars, in the boat, or sit on either side of the bow area, but not all the way up front.  The island slowly becomes visible, and then the tiny port town of Avalon.  It’s bright and colorful, the homes and businesses are built neatly into the cliffs which surround the harbor.  Boats on moorings line the water almost up to shore, which is full of sunbathers and swimmers.

After we disembarked it was time for an early lunch.  We had all of our luggage so we didn’t wander too far!  Since Catalina is rather expensive, we always choose to camp.  We take a taxi a mile to the campground, and then for the remainder of our trip we take the Garibaldi…an electric bus which replaced the old trolley.  The bus costs a dollar each way, and sometimes it has “free days”.  Before arriving at the campground we stopped at the Von’s (grocery store) to get a few supplies.  Ok, to get beer.  This is where you see all of the golf carts belonging to the locals…it’s very difficult to have a car, so everyone has golf carts.  The city only allows a certain amount of autos, and it’s extremely expensive to have one even if you get permission.

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We set up our little camp and were ready to go!  The site is called Hermit Gulch, and as they tell you…there are critters!  Deer, hungry birds and foxes.

 

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Our favorite part is the snorkeling, and this time was better than the last!  We dove at the casino last year.  This year, the bus driver and bus riders told us about “Lovers Cove”.   Holy moly!  There were so many fish!!  And the water wasn’t as cold.  As we walked our short 5 minute walk from the dock drop off we saw a huge amount of people in the water.  The second we got to the steps to the water an older gentleman blew a whistle and started to get everyone out of the water.  Turns out is was a class.  We got there just at the right time.  We swam around with my little fake GoPro…my FauxPro.  Then, a lady in the water holding a gatorade bottle full of peas asked if I wanted some…  Oh my good golly!!  FISH LOVE PEAS!!!  They went nuts to get these things.  So the next two days we went to the cove we brought our own peas.  It’s crazy!  The fish will bounce off of your, bite your bathing suit…then they follow you for a little while hoping you have more.  We were laughing like little kids…we had so much fun!

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Our other favorite thing to do is “app-hop”, and not in the millennial sense.  Since we travel on a budget we don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on dinner.  So we just grab a beer and a snack at all the different restaurants and bars.  We get to see more that way, and try not to spend as much.  We finally made it in to Luaa Larry’s!!  It was packed, and we were only there at lunch time!!

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Back at the campsite we made dinner…and had some unexpected guests….

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This year we also made it south of the main part of town to a restaurant called “Buffalo Nickel”.  We walked over after one of our snorkeling adventures.  It was great, hardly any tourists (except us, haha), and we got to watch the helicopter take off and land.  The restaurant serves bison/buffalo…and buckets of beer!

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As with most vacations…ours ended with a morning Tecate.   Can’t wait to go back!

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The road just got a little longer…

Just got off the phone with a boat loan company.  They need 30% down…which I don’t have.

This whole dream may not happen.  Kind of feels like a lifetime of bad financial decisions (college) and mediocre employment have caught up with me.  It’s beyond frustrating.  These stupid college loans have been shaping my life since I graduated…yet the education isn’t.  I know that there are a bunch of sites and articles and petitions about this topic, but nothing gets accomplished.  I’m almost 40 and I have a ridiculous amount of loans which only go up in amount despite my paying on time every single month.  What’s the point?   The education is worthless.  The payments make no impact.  This is why I want to go to Mexico.

I’m someone who has always had at least one job.  I work all the time, and the job stinks.  I’ve been a server since I was 21, and in very nice places.  But it doesn’t help when you go to a bank no matter what you make…it’s part time and variable.

Not sure what I’m going to do now.  Pretty frustrated.  I still have sailing class this Sunday, and after I’ll start my cruising course.

Wait til next year I suppose…

Ya take the good, ya take the bad, ya take ’em both and there you have…

…the facts of loans!!

The boat that I put in an offer on countered almost immediately…only $1000 less than their asking price, which was $42,000.  I offered $35,000…I know, kind of low, especially considering the quality of the boat.  It’s my first time, and my broker said why not…if they go for it, great!  If not, we’ll go back and forth.

Today I went to the bank, a local credit union in San Diego.  I like this bank a lot, but since it’s a credit union, they are rather conservative on unsecured personal loans, or luxury loans.  They do offer boat loans…for 2012 and newer…the boat I’m looking at is a 1989.  So I would have to apply for a personal loan.  I’ve been saving, but it’s not much, maybe 10% of the boat price.  I don’t make a lot of money, and I have a lot of student loan debt.  I’ve got one Bachelor’s and one associates degree, and I got them in the less popular backwards order.  This schooling is very costly, and has never helped me find a career which pays well enough to pay the loans off.  My loans actually go up every month even though I pay on time, and have for years.  It’s like I’m being punished for the rest of my life by enduring financial ruin as a result of trying to take the proper steps to avoid financial ruin for the rest of my life.  Quite the quandary.

This journey is at the “for real” part.  I’m so close to getting this boat, but right now it seems impossible.  The amount of money I’m asking for in a loan is peanuts compared to what people in this area need for a home.  Maybe this route won’t work out.  I also don’t want to have my broker working on finding me a boat if I can’t get a loan.  It’s a shame that my credit score is finally in good shape, only a few points away from excellent.  Anything with money is always a battle.   Renting just seems fruitless at this point in my life, and owning a home is out of the question.  A house in San Diego starts at about $400k…yikes.

One good thing though, I was just hired at an extremely high end restaurant in La Jolla.  Kind of ironic considering these people spend what I need for this boat in a weekend.  I can’t tell you how many Bentleys I saw today.  Hopefully this job will pay more, it’s a server position, so it’s always a little roll of the dice.  I’m excited.  I’ll need to brush up on my wine regions and varietals.

Tomorrow is another day.  Hope to see you all out on the water someday!

One good thing, one not so good thing…

This past weekend concluded my “Keelboat 1” class.  It was great!  On Saturday we attempted to navigate our way out to the ocean, but a HUGE crew race/regatta type event was going on and we sort of hung out in a Heave 2 position for about a half hour.  The boat we had class on didn’t have an engine.  Here is a little map of the bay.  And since I have limited skills I didn’t figure out how to mark things on the map, haha.  The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is located on the green top left peapod looking point, the bottom portion.  So we sail a bit East into the bay, then South under the Mission Bay Dr bridge, then continue down to the channel and West to where I cut the map off, oops.  Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.12.46 AM.png

The regatta group came pouring out of the larger cove right above the channel.  We said it looked like a clown car, there were hundreds of them!  And the one “referee/regulator” boats’ engine died…I’m not up on my regatta terminology, so I’m not sure what they’re called.  Since we lost time with that little hiccup we weren’t able to make it out to the ocean; class is only 3 hours and we have to take the boats back in.  The wind was almost completely out of the West that day, which can slam you right into the dock broadside if you’re not careful…hence our instructor docked for us.

Sunday was quite the day for me.  It was my last Keel 1 class, I had worked the night before until about 11pm, and had to then work after class at 6pm…which is plenty of time since class gets out at noon.  But, my boyfriends family was in town, and he thought it’d be a great idea to rent a hobie and I could get to know everybody by sailing around the bay.  That would have been a great plan if I had the whole day off and had more hours under my belt on the hobie.  I hadn’t rented one yet, and the last time I was on one was in class months ago with an instructor.  I needed to take my time rigging and making sure I had everything right.  Also, the family was across the bay, so I had to scoot over, beach, pick them up, then go out, and repeat.  The wind was so light and coming from the Southwest, which is a little odd, it’s normally a bit from the North.  It was so stressful for me, and I kept loosing speed on tacks because I didn’t have someone working the jib right.  Ugh.  I felt a little defeated.  There were pros out on their Hobies just zipping by and I was dead in the water.  A little embarrassing and frustrating.  I can see how it takes a lifetime to get this down.  I’m definitely going to practice a lot this summer.  I can’t rent the keelboats, but I think that taking the Hobie out will help me work on wind awareness and trim.

All in all, who can complain about spending 6 hours out in the sun sailing in San Diego?  Here’s to hoping I improve!

Hope you’re all doing well and enjoying your summer 🙂IMG_2587.JPG

 

J-24! And more!

Last weekend I started my first official Keelboat course at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center on Mission Bay in San Diego.  It was great!  I got to navigate us out to the ocean.  And thanks to a bunch of large fishing boats I now understand what wake can do to a sailboat…holy moly…it was a little wobbly!

I’ve also found a boat broker.  After having researched boats for sail on craigslist for the past year I think that having more resources on my side is a better choice.  If I already had a wealth of knowledge about sailing and boats I’d totally be fine buying a boat off craigslist.  This boat is going to be my home, and I’m still a newbie, so I’d rather spend a little more and have proper contracts and inspections.  I know that there are bad brokers out there, and they do get paid by the seller for their commission, but I think this is the right choice for me a this point.

So, we sail on a J-24 for class.  Apparently those boats are build for racing and handling.  I did a 360!   Our instructors are really great.  The class starts with about a half hour of instruction at the chalkboard, then we’re out on the boats rigging and off we go.  There’s a part of me that is thinking “ok, wait a second, we’ve never sailed this before, this could end in catastrophe, is this a good….oh wow this is awesome”.  That’s pretty much each course I’ve taken there.  They give you the info, have you rig the boat then off you go!  Apprehension is quickly replaced by happiness.  For this class the instructor is on the boat with us.  My boat had 3 students, and we just rotated crew positions.  Can’t wait for this class this weekend!

 

Some things I know…

As the days I have in my current home dwindle down I’ve been having some trouble sleeping.  My 5 month plan is to move in with my boyfriend for the summer and then buy my boat after I’ve saved up some money…hopefully about $5,000.  That’s not a huge amount of money for most people, but for me that would be 1/3 to 1/4 of the cost of a boat I will buy.  

The temporary move with Brent isn’t exactly a bad deal regardless of my future goals…he lives in Pacific Beach here in San Diego about a mile from the ocean.  I spend a lot of time there already.  We have our garden…which seems to produce cilantro at a relentless pace.  He rents a nice sized house which is big enough to store some things I may not be able to take on the boat.

So here are the things I know:

  • I’m feeling scared and excited.   
  • I wake up at night thinking I’m crazy for wanting to live on a boat.
  •   I’m almost 40 (yikes), I don’t own anything besides my 10yr old Mustang and some camera gear.  
  • I fully understand that this may be a horrible investment which may create a more dire financial situation for me.
  • I don’t want to get rid of everything.
  • I don’t want “stuff”.
  • I can’t afford a house in Southern California 
  • I don’t want to move back to Philadelphia.
  • I don’t want to take the easy route.
  • I’m in a perfect situation to do this.
  • My boyfriend (Brent)is supportive and that helps.
  • Brent used to clean underneath boats professionally and can help me with mine.
  • I have free storage for some of my things at Brent’s house.
  • I want my own space.
  • It will be hard.
  • Things will go wrong.
  • It will be expensive 
  • I can’t wait!

With all of that said, I found this really helpful book:  

 
I’m only abut 30 pages in but it’s already so informative!

So I’m not going into this totally alone.  And I don’t know how to sail a keelboat yet.   I may not be the “real” liveaboard, but I’m getting there.