Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Show

It was a overcast and rain was in the air, the day my friend David, here after known as "Kinc", headed down to Kingston Washington to check out a little Catalina 27 named "Corleto".

 Kinc is a great friend and a mark of that friendship is how hard we laugh about almost anything. He is also someone whom I respect in the Boating world for his experience of boat ownership. When I had found the listing for this vessel on, I had immediately forwarded the ad to him for his scrutiny. 
His response - "lets go take a look".

So off we went on a grey February day, on a road trip that brought lots of laughs and loads of discussion. I was excited to go see this little gem. Kinc was happy to come along and be my "sober second thought" wingman. 
We were met at the marina by a friendly listing broker named Dave and another fellow whom I thought was the owner, but was introduced as Dave's buddy Jack. 
Jack could have easily doubled for any salty Maritime sea skipper- Weathered, grey beard and a sailors beanie this could very well be the mythical "Capt. Highliner" in the flesh. You knew by his conversation he knew his way around the sea and boats. 
Dave the broker, went to grab an access fob to enter the pier. I was fixated on the bow of what I figured on what we had journeyed to see. Dave and Jack had struck up a conversation about boating in these waters.
Dave returned and we accessed the pier and walked to the slip. And there she was, the Corleto sitting nicely awaiting inspection. Dave hopped aboard, and for a big guy he was quite nimble. He opened the companion way, all the while describing the vessel and her specs to me. Dave knew his stuff.

I hoped aboard and with the clumsiness of a land lubber proceeded to smack my skull against the dodger frame. 
"Kinc, the correct answer was 34!" I said.
"What?" he answered.
"34 seconds before I smacked my head." I explained.
Dave and Jack thought that was quite funny and I suppose that they thought the Mur and Kinc Show wouldn't be this entertaining. I'm sure they got their money's worth.

The Dodger where I whacked my head

Kinc and I quickly got to work looking for any major flaws humming and hawing about this and that. I quite expected that she would be full of water for the listing price and was damn near giddy when I found her dry. 

We both crawled into the small spaces to see the engine, the thru hulls, the plumbing, the chain plates, the wiring and the bilge. The keel bolts looked remarkable for a boat her age. We went topside to inspect the rigging and sails, and the rudder. Of course that is when it began to rain. 
Kinc made some funny comment about that fact and again much to the amusement of our hosts.

We hoisted the main, the sail went up rather easily. Eyeballed the spreaders and the spars, mast and rigging, it all looked good. 

"Shall I start the engine? " Dave asked. 
Kinc answered "Please" 
Dave turned the key on fired up the Universal Diesel. She started on the very first turn. 
We looked over the stern to make sure the pumps were working. All was in good order.

I snapped a few photos, Kinc and I spoke in whispered voices. Dave and Jack gave us some room. 
Kinc knew right then and there I was going to buy her. 
"Not so fast Mur." He said. "We'll discuss in the Boardroom"

Corleto at dock

The ferry ride back to the mainland served as the "Boardroom". This is where Kinc's boat buying and ownership experience really came into play. While I had been trying to keep my emotions in check, Kinc was using his powers of observation on subtile things that I had overlooked because I was fixated on the actual boat. Kinc was reading body language, gleaning information from conversations and adding his two cents. He knew that I did not have to rush, that we had been the first showing and the only showing, all by the way it had unfolded. Things that until he brought them up into context, I would have likely missed. He advised me on offer strategy and went even so far as to predict the final sale price. Which by the way he was bang on. 
We discussed what different scenarios would look like and what would have to be done to accomplish them. Things like moorage, insurance, marine surveys, bottom paint, cleaning, equipment upgrades and delivery. Customs, taxes and fuel by the time we crossed the border, my head hurt so bad I thought it would explode with the ensuing blast taking out the Peace Arch Crossing and it being blamed as an al-Qaeda head bomb.

When meetings finally adjourned (round about the time we rolled back into Kinc's driveway) I had an offer strategy and a list of things that had to be done. 


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