|My(!) Westsail 32|
So, on the ocean with Alex and the good ship Eleanor, I learned that though my Albin Vega was a proven ocean capable design, I wanted a bigger, heavier boat. Part of that motivation was the seakindliness I experienced aboard Eleanor, but also because I plan to cruise permanently with no home base for a good while. I need more room than I had with the Vega. Bella would compare to a nice camper. A Westsail 32, or something similar, would be like a small apartment that I could retire to and not ever have to worry about outgrowing. The Westsail has at least twice the interior volume as the Vega.
I became obsessed and surfed the web constantly. It was taking over my life, and, as I mentioned, I was in the process of cooling my jets, convinced I was maturing about boats [false alarm]. My plan had evolved to waiting until about June when I might have $15,000 or 20,000 to buy a good boat and not have to make some kind of deal. Then last week, an ad for a Westsail 32 popped up on Facebook, I just knew it was a good deal on the right boat. And I could nearly afford it. However, there were only three exterior pictures in the ad and she was in Florida.
Often the lack of interior shots is an indication that a lot of work is needed inside. Despite that logical conclusion, as soon as I'd seen the ad, I started blowing up the poor guy's phone last Wednesday morning. At
first I was getting a message that 'the cellular customer is not available at the moment.' Frustrated, I waited for a half hour or so, and tried again; and again. When the ‘not available’ message disappeared, the phone just rang and rang and rang, I gave up after three or four tries. I figured they were ignoring their phone because they had already sold the boat. I got dressed and went to the gym. Of course, I called once or twice from the parking lot before I went inside.
|I did get some interior shots|
As I was driving home, all sweaty, I checked my phone with all the coolness of an expectant father. Nothing. No calls.
This was looking grim; another near miss. Nevertheless, a bit closer to home, the phone rang and the caller was from an area code I knew was Miami! The guy apologized that his personal phone was not near him all morning and he had missed me. I apologized for stalking him. We had a good rapport and talked about boats and other Florida things for a while. The Westsail needs some work. He had gotten frustrated by a boat shop dragging their feet on an engine project. In a moment of weakness and frustration, he had fallen in love with another boat.
More conversationally than as a formal bid, I told him what money I had that I could send that day. If we couldn't start something with that then I wasn't going to be able make a deal. He countered that if I was just going to buy her right then and not have the chance to change my mind when I saw her, he'd come down to my price ... and we had a deal.
By then I had gotten all the way home to the driveway, but I backed right out, went straight to my credit union, got a bank check, and went to the post office to overnight the money to Coconut Grove. The next day he had it, the following day - Friday - with clear funds in his bank, he pulled the ad and asked me how and where to send the title. Suddenly, she was mine. My head still spins.
By now, I have the title and she is already registered in Michigan for now. The next paperwork to do is to officially document her with the U.S. Coast Guard as soon as I get the Michigan Title in the mail. Essentially, it is required to 'document' your boat to easily get in and out of foreign countries, besides the Bahamas. This boat and I have big plans.
|Badass. I am smitten.|
|My Sailrite machine and first project, a duffel.|
That’s really all I know. I’ll go down to see her in a couple weeks and will have a complete report. For now, I am out of my mind, excited to own a Westsail!! She is one badass, old school, full keel cutter!
|Not mine, but a sister ship; just frikkin' beautiful.|