I've been hesitant to start this blog until we had definitely found and purchased a boat. Since we have in fact, purchased a boat - all but the signing of titles- I feel I can safely give you an update on what we have been doing in order to get ready for the big adventure.
You know those video montages where the photos of a persons entire life is set on fast forward? That's a bit how the last 4 months have felt. Here is what we've accomplished this far: learn about sailboat construction and design, begin combing listings (over 1200) for a list of suitable candidates, educate ourselves about pointing ability, weather helm, sea kindliness, learn to asses boat safety and condition by eye, learn all about various sail rigs and the pros and cons of each, identify our list of must haves, plan a route for our travels, investigated sailing conditions for said route, shopped for boats for hours online, shopped for boats for days in person, looked long and hard for a great marine surveyor, put in offers on four other boats, have one boat hauled out and surveyed, sea trialed two different boats,dealt with brokers who were good, brokers who were bad and brokers who were just plain greedy, complete a weekend ASA course, complete additional ASA training, found a boat that works, made an offer, have boat hauled and surveyed, adjusted offer, visit the boat 4 times to inspect the handy work of mechanics who were doing repairs, sea trialed the winning boat, sea trialed the winning boat again, learned all there was to know about boat insurance, purchase insurance, learn more about hull blisters and the various repair techniques than I ever wanted to know, investigate Coast Guard Vessel documentation regs, find a documentation company to handle the Coast Guard regs because they are so meticulous and involved,find a marina, find a slip at the marina that will fit our big gal, look in vain for Mark's ancient RYA certifications in order to lower the insurance rate , give up on this,develop a list of must have safety items, develop a list of equipment, comparasion shop 50 different chandlers for each and every item because DAMN this gets expensive, get quotes on replacing the standing rigging, get quotes on blister repair and bottom painting, consider the merits of different manufacturers paint systems, schedule more sailing lessons... and there's more but I just can't stand to waste the bandwidth.
Suffice it to say, we've been busy. Once Ceol Mor is ours free and clear ( THIS MONDAY!) we get to move on to the far more exciting task of boat repair and finding a competent yard that isn't run by a pirate. I'm hoping that we can at least take off for a week trip down the coast to Corpus Christi before we have to have her hauled out to have her bottom taken care of and her standing rigging replaced.