Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Life on a Boat. . . the story of DESTINY

I know most of you have followed at least part of our boat story on Facebook. . . so here's a more clear run down of what happened and how it all came together. . .

So lets rewind a ways.

I can't remember when the first "We should live on a boat!" conversation happened between Adam and I. . . perhaps it was back when we lived in the midwest. . . certainly it happened when we lived in Nor Cal.

For a better run down of WHY. . . please read Why I want to live on a boat?!

So here goes:

We started looking at boats in February, more so just casually/for fun. We checked out a potential boat near Santa Barbara and did some live aboard investigation there as well. Unfortunately the boat turned out to be a piece of crap, so we moved on.

Once we finally left our place in Sacramento, we took advantage of my part time work to casually check out some more water craft in the area. We had applied for financing, been pre approved, and only looked at what was in our price range but we didn't really find anything that would REALLY work to LIVE on full time. . .

Then Adam found the ad for "Destiny"

A 1969 flybridge diesel power 50 ft yacht.

Her price was too good to be true, but we figured we just HAD to see her and find out why the price was so low.

So down to San Diego we went.

As soon as we stepped on board, we felt at home. All of us could imagine life on her. . . our 5 year old loved exploring and pointing out all the fun she could have and where her potential room would be. . .

Turns out the diesel engine was originally a military engine, the exact same one Adam trained on when he was in the Army. . .

She'd been sitting for 3 years and definitely was going to need some work. Lots of cleaning, maintenance, etc. But it was clear she was worth the price and the effort to get her fixed up. The owner was an attorney in Arizona that just wanted to sell her and be done with it, we were told.

We told the broker we wanted to put in an offer- they instructed us on where to go from there. We did everything they told us to. . .

A few days later we went back to make sure everything was squared away. . . that's when we found out a CASH buyer had just put in an offer and the broker hadn't submitted our offer to the owner yet. We were pretty unhappy with the broker but they assured us they would submit both offers at the same time and let the owner decide which one he was going to take.

We went home, bummed. We felt certain the cash buyer would be the one to take Destiny away.

After talking with our family, we decided Destiny was worth some bold action.

So we googled her owner, and contacted him directly.

We pleaded our case, telling him that we wanted Destiny to be our home, that she was our dream, and begged him to take our (increased) offer. Of course, included a family picture too.

The next day, he wrote back telling us we had persuaded him to accept our offer. That he loved Destiny and it was important to him that she go to the right person. . . he was relieved Adam was a mechanic due to the work needed to be done and felt happy that she was going to be our home.

We could hardly believe it all! We were thrilled!

However before our bank would finalize financing, we needed to have the boat professionally surveyed. This cost about $700 cash out of pocket, but was well worth it. The surveyor inspected every aspect of Destiny and gave us a 60 page report of every single detail about her and the work she needed. He included a quote of her worth being nearly triple the amount we were asking the bank for.

However, the underwriter demanded to see the entire survey, not just the estimated worth. He didn't even read through the entire thing, a few pages in and he decided it was too risky to finance.

When I got the news, I had just parked 3 blocks away, was extremely sore (post workout) and was trotting down the sidewalk in heels. The whole situation compounded into an adult style tantrum. Once I finally got back inside, I knew I had to lock myself in the bathroom and soak in a hot bath before I snapped at someone or let my disappointment get the better of me.

While I soaked in the bath, letting the disappointment and frustration run it's course, Adam decided to contact the owner and make one last desperate plea.

He asked if there was any way the owner himself would be willing to finance us. He said he was embarrassed to ask, but because Destiny needed so much work, there was no way we could get her financed. And we loved her so much, we just had to try every last option before giving up.

Again, he wrote back.

He said he was capable of financing us, but his wife had serious reservations. A few e-mails were exchanged, then he announced he was driving the california the next day to meet with us.

So we swallowed our pride and met Destiny's owner.

We sat on her flybridge and deck. . . He told us about all the work she needed and asked us why we were crazy enough to want her AND want to live on her.

I told him about our lives and what lead up to the decision.

Then he asked what the terms of our loan would have been if we had been financed after all. After finding out, he went for a walk to talk to his wife about it all.

When he returned he told us he would finance us for the same terms as our loan (Except at 4% interest, not 14.9% meaning out loan would be 6 years not 10). We talked the rough details of it out and then walked into the brokers office.

I thought the broker might just piss himself. The last thing he was expecting was Destiny's owner to walk in alongside us to tell him he was going to finance us and to sell the boat to us.

And so a few days later we met again, finalized the paperwork, and just like that Destiny was all ours. We hold her title and her previous owner is essentially our "bank". He was sad to hand her over to us, but after grabbing a few personal possessions, he gave me a hug and told us to "Enjoy and Have fun".

THEN as if he hadn't done enough already, he paid the current Marina she was at for the rest of the month, giving us 10 days to get her running to take to the Marina we planned to live at. (Originally we only had 24 hours to get her out of there or we had to pay the Marina a $900 deposit and $900 slip fee). We would not be able to have her towed to the new Marina, because they require you bring the vessel from it's own power.

And so the last few weeks have been spent making Destiny a powerful vessel again and our new home. Everything has come together nicely! Adam has spent long days plumbing, wiring, mechanic-ing, and handy man-ing while I've been vacuuming, bleaching, scrubbing, cleaning, and organizing. It's been the best time of our lives.

1 comment:

  1. This whole thing is thrilling, Sarah. Truly :) I couldn't be happier for you and your family!