It’s Official

This is the anatomy of boat buying.


Buying a boat is not for the faint of heart. It often includes a crazy plan that will cause your friends and family to doubt your sanity, copious amounts of tenacious scrolling online looking for that perfect boat for sale, and the fortitude to make a long-distance deal over a phone call.  Finding “the one” is a milestone unto itself. Much like getting on a dating app for boats and swiping left and right until you find that date-able one you’re willing to take a chance on.


Over the years of chartering different catamarans and going to boat shows, we finally decided on the boat type, model, and year we wanted. We decided we were in the market for a previously owned catamaran for several compelling reasons. Getting a gently used boat meant we weren’t putting all our resources into the purchase price, that way we would keep our place back home in Oregon near the grandkids and could afford some upgrades to tailor the boat to our desires. But most especially, since our main goal was to set sail and enjoy the adventure, we wanted to save as much money as possible so that while sailing the world, we could afford to see it once we got there.


Mark’s obsession to find the perfect boat became an online addiction of sorts. Often, I would come into a room and find him on his laptop and, like a boy caught in some nefarious act online, he would startle and quickly shut his computer as if to hide the fact he was scrolling and drooling over the bodacious curves of yet another boat.


Our quest to buy the darned thing, zig-zagged us across the country and also a few continents as well. We looked at boats stateside—in Seattle, San Francisco, and Florida, and even came super close to a purchase early on in Greece, Mexico, and then later in Columbia. But none ever seemed to pan out.


One morning I awoke to find Mark lying in bed and staring at me as if to will me from slumber in order to confess yet another dating attempt with an attractive boat he found online.


Somehow, long ago, Mark had convinced a private facebook page for owners of Lagoon Catamarans to accept him into their fold without being an actual owner. The page, he said, contained a gold mine of information real owners were sharing about how they managed their boats and helped each other trouble-shoot problems as well as share how they customized their vessels. This dubious scheme of Mark’s, to learn all he could about this particular Lagoon catamaran, also resulted in a curious posting that he was now anxiously waiting to tell me about, if I’d finally wake the heck up.


Just barely awake, he began to explain to me that he had seen a post (at 3am in the morning) that someone had made on the owners group about having just officially placed an order for a brand new Lagoon catamaran and that they would soon be putting their boat on the market. Mark quickly sent a private message to the author congratulating him on his recent boat purchase and then bluntly asking him about his current boat.


Long story short—yes, the owners were selling—it was the exact year and model we were looking for—he told us his price—we didn’t cringe—the owners were Kiwi’s from New Zealand—but the boat was currently in Greece—yes, they did have photos—of course he would send us some—the photos looked amazing—and so we nervously put a deal together and wired them a little money to an escrow account. Then we all waited for Covid to end so we could meet up in Greece for a boat inspection.


Oh, those months we waited were nerve-wracking. The New Zealand Prime Minister had put the whole country in a time out and wasn’t letting anyone in or out of the country. And so we waited. And waited.


Finally, the day came that their travel ban had been lifted. So, the four of us all made plans to fly to Greece to meet and get the boat inspected. Just before we left, our son Connor, who lives in Florida, surprised us and bought a ticket to Greece so he could be there and see it for himself. Connor, like his father, has sea-water constantly sloshing in his brain.


After planes, trains, and buses, the three of us arrived in Preveza Greece and walked into the boat yard to see her for the first time. You’d think we would have jumped out of bed with excitement that morning—knowing we’d finally get to see her in person—but that’s not the story we have to tell. Our story is mixed with a swirl of jet lag and sleep deprivation and we slept right through our showing appointment. The poor owners, upon our no-show, thought they’d been scammed. But once their phone call rang through and woke us up, we quickly got our tardy and excited selves to the boatyard.


We’ll never forget walking out there to see her for the first time. Oh she was lovely. And the owners were awesome too.


The boat inspector soon arrived and for two solid days, he gave the boat an incredibly thorough poke, prod, scrap, and knock, and deemed her a worthy vessel. On the third day, she was lifted by a crane and impressively set into the water for a sea trial. Connor and Mark were the first to take her for a spin.


We fell in love, but not before doing our due diligence. A deal was struck and we wired the rest of the money. Or at least we tried to wire the rest of the money. Despite the sellers signing the boat away to us, our bank transaction that went through a wild circuitous route from our country, the boat’s country, and then the owner’s country, which all caused a wild snafu in which, for a 48-hour period, we actually owned the boat without paying for it. Now embarrassingly, we were officially late twice!


Over a lovely lunch on the quay in Preveza, the five of us celebrated the sale—handshakes were exchanged and we got the key to our brand-new-to-us boat!


Owners at last!

A handshake and the keys!

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