January 27, 2014
We did it! After a couple of tense post-survey negotiations, we found some middle ground. We have purchased our future floating home. Meet SV Yolo, our 1990 Brewer 44!
Is she perfect? No. Is she turnkey ready? No. Is she even, dare I say, “a little rough around the edges?” Probably. But as some may know, buying a boat is never a 100% rationale decision. How did we know this was THE ONE for us? Well, let me take you back to my first trip to look at her. Picture me rocking out in the rental car to nothing but Mexican jams from the airport in Hermosillo all the way to Guaymas. I was flipping stations like a mad man just trying to hear some US of A music. No luck. I went and checked into the hotel in San Carlos and then realized I needed to go see her (the boat) now. I just couldn’t wait until my meeting with the broker the next day. I jumped back in my Chevy Spark and drove the 12 or so miles over to the boat yard in Guaymas where she was stored on the hard. Yes, still had some crazy mariachi tunes playing on the station. I was about 5 minutes away from the yard, when this song comes on…
In English. No joke. I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. Talk about fate, eh? I probably should have just turned back around and flown home and told my broker I would take her. My appointment the next morning strongly reinforced my feelings about this boat.
I got home the following day and talked to Courtney. We quickly decided to put in an offer. We had a few counters back and forth and got to an agreed price, including a repair allowance for a few known issues. Namely, a soft spot on the foredeck and a hairline crack in the gel coat of the transom.
Court and I flew back down to Mexico with my dad (also a sailboat owner) in mid-January for the survey and sea trial. We were fortunate that the owner of the boat was present on the boat and took a lot of time showing us the various systems and workings of the boat. Unfortunately, I only remember about 20% of what we went over.
It was a whirlwind three days but we got it all done. There were no major surprises other than the in-mast furling system not working correctly with the mainsail…i.e. jamming at about 75% on the outhaul. This was a major deal for us, as we had put in writing on the initial purchase agreement that the furling system must be working satisfactorily. It was not. But nonetheless, we loved her. She sailed incredibly well and motored nicely. Not too shabby considering she has been on the hard for about 3 years.
We got back to AZ and started doing some recon on the in mast furling issue. Most of the feedback was quite positive. Although many a sailor will tell you they hate in mast and/or boom furling systems for the mainsail…working or not. Our research concluded that we will need, at minimum, a new mainsail and a very good cleaning of the inner workings of the furling system. Hopefully, that will fix it. If it doesn’t, the rig has to come down to extract the system and repair or replace. We really don’t want to do that.
We came back to the owner with a new offer to give us an allowance on the furler issue. After some more back and forth, we struck a deal. The actual purchase process has been fairly painless up to this point. The brokers have handled most of the communications and paperwork shuffling. We have a maritime agency that is processing our USCG doccumentation forms, title, etc. Another Mexican document we will be getting is called a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). This is a very important piece of paper that is tied to the boat (not literally tied, because then it would get wet). The TIP allows you to leave your boat in Mexico as a foreigner, legally, for up to 10 years.
Courtney and I are headed back to Mexico on Thursday to spend a few days on YOLO*, as OWNERS! I’m sure Court will go into one of her OCD cleaning frenzies and I will be stuck sorting through all the lockers to see what treasures and trash I can find.
We have a lot of work to do! Please follow along as we make her our own!
*The boats’ current name is Wanderbird. We will be doing the name changing ceremony to make her YOLO in the next few months.