Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Caught a butterfly

From a few previous posts my luck with the boat shopping has not been the best. So after the Milwaukee debacle I e-mailed a guy in Michigan about his O' Day 25 asking if it was still available. It happened to be and we exchanged more phone calls and e-mails. He offered to knock $700 off the asking price seeing as I was traveling so far to the boat. 700 miles one way to be exact, from my place to his. I asked all the right questions and he gave me all the right answers. Sounds like a great deal so my son and I plan to travel the day after Thanksgiving.

We headed out around 7am and drove straight to the northern suburb of Detroit, Rochester Hills. Took us about 11 hours with a few stops for gas and food. 

The seller was a nice older guy and him and his wife were gracious enough to put us up for the night and even to have supper waiting for us when we got there. We went over a few things about the boat and the paperwork and all that. 

We got to the boat about 7:30 am and I did a quick once over on the boat and things seemed to be in order. Unfortunately the electrical connector was different on the trailer than on my vehicle. But, there was a trailer/RV store across the street so we headed over and I got an adapter. All the lights worked. The only other thing was that the Equilizer anti-sway & load leveling hitch I had purchased would not work with the trailer. The trailer had a long tongue on it and there was no place to attach the bars. We hooked up and headed to Michigan City, IN to spend the night. 

It was a decent drive, I took it very easy as this was the biggest load I had ever towed and I had no idea how it would behave without the load balancing and anti-sway hooked up. It did very well and we got in to Michigan City pretty early, around 2 I think it was. We drove the next day to Tomah, WI and that went good too. The pic below is of my Explorer and the boat. Looks like my truck is tiny in comparison.

We got up early the next morning, Monday, and made the trip home. It was the most difficult leg of the trip. I guess it was partly the hills in Wisconsin and me worrying about finally getting her home. There were some serious "pucker" moments too. The hill down to the bridge over the St. Croix was a bit long and steep and there is a bridge here in town that was steep, and had turns too. The trailer and my truck did fine though and we got her home.

So I really started looking over the boat, something I should have done days before in Michigan but, I was foolish and took the seller at his word on some things and let my head get caught up in getting a boat and wanting to get on the road. Needless to say she is not as dry as the seller led me to believe. I have work to do in the spring that I did not want to do or thought I would have to do on the boat. Very disappointing. In myself especially for not taking the time and letting other things get in my way. I am also very disappointed in the seller as well. If he would have been completely honest with me, I doubt I would have even made the trip.

But, this is what I have now and I will be able to remedy the issues that she has and it will be OK. So here she is in my driveway. 

She is called Papillon, French for Butterfly. Better than if it was in my ancestor's German, Schmetterling doesn't have the same ring to it.... She is a 1977 O' Day 25, and with all her issues, she is still mine.

Trip stats; 1445 total miles, 4 days, and a whopping 9.8 MPG towing....

You know I will be posting more on the progress of fixing her insides up and doing what I need to do to get her ready for the sailing season. Going to be a long winter, stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Not for purposes intended....

"Not for purposes intended". Seems a rather trite legal term, something you would expect a manufacturer to put on a warning label or something. In my case, this is what you scribe on the back of a cashiers check when you didn't give it to the person it was made out to for the agreed upon transaction.

My son and I drove to Milwaukee over the weekend to look at a very nice Catalina 25. I had spoken with the seller the Friday before and the price I had offered was agreed upon. He knew we were coming, I even told him on the phone that I would call and let him know the Sunday before that we were for sure coming. I did my part. Called, left message confirming arrival and to let me know if anything would change. Got the check too. Made the hotel reservations for Milwaukee and for Tomah for the return as it was going to be a slower trip back and I wanted to take it easy.

We got in to Milwaukee around 4 and checked in to our hotel. Stayed at the Hyatt downtown, was pretty nice and reasonable I thought. Called said seller..... hmmmm, voice mail... well I will leave a message telling him we are here and to call me about meeting on Sunday. As the evening wore on I heard nothing. 

So my son and I went to the Safe House for supper. Fun place, based on 50's James Bond spy stuff. Entrance off an alley, passwords to get in, dial a secret number on the phone to get out, all that sort of stuff. Dinner was great, had fun. Still no call back. 

So by now I know this is not going to happen. No return call, I didn't bother with another as I knew he wouldn't answer. Who knows, maybe he got a better offer, maybe he was busy, maybe whatever... In my book, you make a phone call or something if you cannot make the arrangement work. Common courtesy. He just chose not to be a man of his word apparently.

So my son and I loaded up around 9am and headed home, no sailboat in tow. Just a bitter taste about the boat but, we did enjoy ourselves together which is something. 

Lesson learned is to be more diligent in dealing with sellers, especially out of town sellers. Not sure if I will hold off now on boat shopping or not. The snow will be flying soon and that means winter is very close by. Holidays are coming too, everyone will be very busy the next 6-8 weeks. Who knows, maybe there will be a boat that finds me before spring.....