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We’re Buying Another Boat

It seems like we’ve been on land forever, but in reality it has only been a few months.  It’s amazing how many ‘strings’ get attached to you in such a short time back amongst the people on land.  When we lived on the boat (unemployed mind you) the days were full but they were filled sequentially.   You were forced to do one thing at a time.  The nature of living on a boat is not conducive to starting several projects and leaving them in various states of completion.  The boat is just too small.

We sold Whiskey Charlie a few weeks ago and have been searching on a daily basis the World Wide Web for a good deal on a Gemini Catamaran.  The Gemini is a 30-34′ (depending on year) small catamaran that has 3 berths and is 14′ at the beam.  The importance of those two features is that we will have room for the two little ones as the grow (or guests) and we can still fit in a standard slip and haul out lift.

One thing we are VERY excited about is the Gemini has an 18″ draft when the dagger boards are up and over 5′ when the boards are down.  That means we can get up close and personal exploring sandy beaches and shallow harbours.

We’ve missed a few boats along the way.  There was a very well maintained 1986 Gemini that was in our price range that went under contract before Whiskey Charlie was sold.  I was literally about to jump in the truck and drive to New Orleans to inspect a 1990 Gemini when the seller accepted another offer.

I have emailed and queried owners about the availability of their boats and placed ads in  users groups and forums looking for a Gemini.

Well, we finally found one!  Of all places, Yachtworld.

You can click on the link and check out the boat listing.  The asking price on the boat was $49,500, which we don’t even remotely have, and we negotiated the boat price down to $38,500 “AS-IS, WHERE-IS”.  Which means if there’s anything wrong with the boat I can accept it or walk away and get our deposit back.

It’s a real stretch for us to buy the boat at $38,500.  But it’s such a good deal for the year, Hil and I both felt that it will be worth the short term struggle to earn the extra cash.  This is the first year model of the Gemini where they introduce the stern swim steps to the boat and the boat length goes up from 32′ to 34′.  While you should never count on the resale value of a boat.  Certainly having the newer hull design doesn’t hurt.

When we sold Whiskey Charlie, the Monitor Wind Vane was not included in the sale of the boat.  I did sell the KISS wind generator, which I will look for a replacement on the new boat eventually we like it so much over other wind generators.  I advertised the wind vane for sale and within 24 hours a young gentleman here on St. Simons Island called me and agreed to buy the self steering unit.  CHA CHING- another $1300 in the boat bank.

I have found some work remodeling.  Over the holiday weekend I did a minor bathroom refit for one of our neighbors.  I ripped out the base molding, performed some water rot treatment around the tub and then installed wainscoting with a chair rail mold and new base mold in the bathroom.  It may not seem like much but in a small room with lots of angles, everything has to be scribed and cut to fit around every corner, angle, and countertop.  Less so than boats, older homes (much less new homes these days) aren’t plumb and they don’t have right angles.  Anyways, it took me 29 hours to finish the bathroom and some odds and ends at $25/hr- another $725 in the boat kitty!

Things turned out very well and I have some more add on work to do for our neighbor the rest of  the week until we go to Atlanta and I start working on my friend Tom’s house.  There I will be doing deck repairs, interior trim, maybe a bathroom remodel, and maybe replacing his kitchen countertops.  All good work for me.

By that time, I should have just enough to pay for the boat in full.  I’m a little worried about incidentals, but we’ve come this far a little faith is in order.

In preparation for the traveling work show, I sold my 2002 F150 crew cab truck and we bought a 1999 Suburban 4×4 turbo diesel.  The ‘Burb is a little rough around the edges on the inside and has some dents and dings, but it will fit two car seats and still have plenty of room for tools and bags.  It is truly a land yacht!  I got the truck on the cheap, which means I already spent more on deferred maintenance than I paid for the truck!  The nice thing about a diesel though, you maintain it and keep oil in it and it will run forever (OK, 300,000 miles or longer).  I’m hoping this will become our ONE work/tow/hauling vehicle for the long term future.  I’ll get the interior and seats cleaned up or replaced, but the frame and engine are both strong and ‘almost’ up to speed on maintenance.

One of the reasons I was interested in buying a diesel was the possibility of using it to tow the Gemini from Mexico back to Georgia.  The Gemini is surprisingly light.  It weighs in at 8,000 lbs.  It can be trailered over the road with a permit at 14′ wide.  “In theory”, the suburban can pull over 11,000 lbs without too many problems.  If I can use it to tow the boat back to Georgia it would pay for itself the first trip.

Then if if THAT works out, maybe we keep the trailer and haul the boat back to Mexico and live on the cheap in the Sea of Cortez part of the year and bring it back here to work (or wherever).

In the near future, I have to hustle and bring in as much MOOLA as possible.  Our contract on the boat is set to close on June 29th.  I’ve got less than a month, I’d better start get moving!

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