It’s all over now but the shouting. Today, we go to the bank to wire money to our broker’s escrow account. I’ve never before sent money in this quantity to someone entirely on faith, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. He’ll hang onto it until Friday, and then he’ll wire it to the selling broker’s account in Virginia.
I talked to the nice lady from the insurance company yesterday and she said she’d received a binder form, so according to her, we have insurance. Don’t have anything in my hot little hands yet, but I should get it via email today. I’ll feel a little better when I am holding an insurance binder with my name on it.
I’ll fly to Virginia tomorrow morning and arrive around 2:00 in the afternoon. After checking into a nearby hotel, I’ll try to get to the marina to make one last pass through the boat to make sure nobody removed anything important like the liferaft, the engines, little things like that.
Thursday night will be spent in fitful slumber in the hotel while visions of mechanical difficulties dance through my head.
I think we were really lucky to find this boat and to get it at the final price we agreed to, but I’m also a firm believer in the old adage “Around every silver lining, there’s always a dark cloud”. (I think it goes something like that.)
Friday morning, I’ll go back to the marina again for (insert ominous music of your choice here) “The Closing”. This will, as I understand it, consist primarily of the two broker’s escrow accounts getting together in the electronic ether to exchange pleasantries, then exchanging significant amounts of currency.
With that computerized transaction complete, it will return to the human realm where the seller’s broker will make small talk with me about what a pleasure it’s been to deal with us (it wasn’t) and how much he hopes he’ll have an opportunity to work with us if we decide to sell the boat (he won’t) and then he’ll have me sign the back of the US Coast Guard vessel documentation form, sign a few more forms required by various agencies of the federal, state and local governments, and then hand me a few keys that ostensibly give access to the vessel. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if I tried to get into my new boat only to find they’d given me the wrong keys! Oh, there goes the old blood pressure…
Once the boat and all of its associated foibles are mine (actually, in the interest of marital bliss, I must state here that the use of the word “Mine” is merely literary substitution for the more correct use of “Ours”, since the boat will in all respects belong to the both of us. But I digress….) I’ll go back to the dock with my hired captain-for-the-day who will assist me with the fairly short trip up-river about 12 miles to the marina where we’ll have some work done.
Now I’m primarily an east-central-Florida boater. In the areas I’m accustomed to, tidal currents are either non-existant, or run at about the pace of molasses in January in Vermont.
In the area where we’ll be though, tides can run pretty high, and the associated currents can be rather swift. So, it seemed merely prudent to have someone more attuned to such conditions than I am guide the boat’s maiden voyage under new ownership.
I could do it myself I’m sure, but trying to become familiar with a new, fairly sizable vessel while also attempting to avoid unpleasant circumstances such as being swept broadside by the current into a bridge pier seemed to be pushing the limits of common sense.
Once we arrive at the yard, if all goes well and we’re early enough, they’ll pull it from the water and put it into the work area.
Based on past experience with nautical repair facilities, I have a fairly good idea of what comes next.
See, they’ll ask me “OK Captain, what do you want fixed?”
I then will enumerate a list of deficiencies in need of correction.
They will then say something like “OK Captain, pick a number between 5 and 9.”
“Now multiply it by your age.”
(a distinct disadvantage for me here)
“Now add as many zeroes at the end as there are feet in your boat.”
“THAT is what we will charge.”
It may not go exactly like that, but it’s pretty close.
With that first glimpse of an ever-depleting bank account, I will reluctantly bid my new boat adieu and retire to a hotel room a few blocks away, there to drink myself into a stupor. No, probably not. I hate hangovers. I’ll probably grab some dinner and crash.
Next morning, I fly back to sunny Florida to await the call from the marina saying “Hey bozo, your tub’s done…come and get it outta here”.
And that will be the beginning of a whole new adventure.