Hi. I’m Dave. I’m a native of Central New York, and I’m a commercial sailor by trade. I suspect a large portion of the people reading this already know that, but just in case you didn’t, now you do. As of this writing, I’m 35, and for more than half of those 35 years, I’ve been in love with the idea of living on a boat, and spending my days cruising around. The impulse to do it came and went many times over the years. Sometimes I was convinced it was a great idea, and sometimes not.
Back in July of 2018, I decided to stop waffling and really commit to making this harebrained scheme work. I put together a rough five year plan, and started saving up.
In July of 2019, nowhere near five years later, I found an ad online for an interesting boat. In fact, I’d seen it before, but had never jumped off the page at me. For whatever reason, this time it did. I decided to go to Toronto to have a look, fully expecting to come home with four more years of saving to do.
I fell in love with the boat. As soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one. She looked a lot newer than her 35 years, and was obviously well looked after by her owner. I met said owner that day, and learned that he had spent more than 20 years completely refitting her, and lavishing her with love and money. I was equally impressed with both of them.
By the time I returned home, I’d resolved to try and make it work. Sure I was jumping the gun by four years and many thousands of dollars, but the boat was just over half of what I’d planned on spending. She was a lot of boat for the money. A really good deal.
I spent days and weeks looking for ways to work the numbers, following lead after lead, sometimes passing the point of submitting loan applications, only to have them all fall through. Many lenders wouldn’t finance a boat as old as this one, and a lot of them won’t finance liveaboards. It was frustrating, and there were several points when I feared I may have to let this boat go, and go back to the original plan.
Eventually, I found a local bank that was willing to take a chance on me. They didn’t know squat about boat loans like this, and I knew even less. With that in my back pocket, I made an offer, and it was accepted.
The survey and sea trial came next, and she aced them both. The process moved forward slowly but not always surely, and there were a few stumbling blocks along the way. At one point I was worried that the bank was going to pull out because the boat didn’t have a hull identification number.
A deal was struck though, and I packed up my house and loaded it into a rented van. My mom and stepdad piled in with me, and we set off to Toronto to take delivery and move me aboard. In keeping with the stress level of the process up to that point, the money was slow to cross the border, and we were all biting our nails half an hour before close of business on a Friday.
The money came through, and I got the keys.
She was mine.