When all of the searching is complete and you’ve found your boat, you have a survey done. It’s like a home inspection and helps determine if you need to start your search over 😉
We didn’t have the time to drive to Detroit and back for the survey so we booked a couple of compact “economy” seats on our least favorite airline, reserved an airbnb in one of our favorite Detroit neighborhoods and squeezed in for a thankfully short and uneventful flight. We were to meet Bob the broker early the following morning at a nearby boatyard to have the boat hauled out for an inspection. After we landed in Detroit, we decided to head to the boatyard just to make sure we knew where to find it the next day. We couldn’t wait to see her again so we buzzed over to the marina where the boat had been moored just to take another peek at her. And there they were, the couple who had cared for her all these years. They were moving about her deck, tidying her up and making her look fabulous for her survey the next day. After seeing so much neglect in marinas and boatyards and on the boats that we’d viewed so far, I had tears in my eyes. She had clearly been loved and they wanted her to go to a good home. We grabbed dinner from our favorite Italian market and a classic bottle of Chianti and anxiously waited until morning.
Bob met us at the boatyard in the morning with our surveyor Matt. Shane and Matt started measuring, tapping and poking everything below the waterline.
All in all, she was in great shape for a boat her age. The cutless bearing was shot and needed to be replaced and there was a high level of moisture in the rudder which had Shane very nervous as he’d had problems with the rudder on his previous boat. The current owners had already had the rudder fixed twice so his apprehension was valid.
Once the bottom inspection was complete, we moved her back to her marina for the “above deck” inspection. There wasn’t anything surprising there. She was 33 years old and doing great for boat of her age. Everything was original. Even the turquoise cushions in her salon which I’d fallen in love with immediately. As expected, there will be some updates, hose replacements, electronic additions and an overall good cleaning but all of the boxes were checked and she was good to go and would soon be ours.
The survey process was fascinating. My limited exposure to sailboats has been all about the sailing so following Matt around and hearing his take on all of her bits was really fun for me. Shane was all business and he took pages of notes as they went along. In the end, we felt reassured that we had made the right decision. We felt lucky. We felt like hopefully another shoe won’t drop when we ask the previous owners to split the bill to have the rudder fixed yet again, Yikes!!