Buying Colancer



Buying a new boat is itself always an experience to be remembered. It has been widely said that the two happiest days for a boat owner is the day they buy their boat and they day they sell her.


I had a chance to enjoy both buying and selling in September of 2006. A buyer was finaly purchasing our house in Willinboro, NJ , and I was going to buy a new boat with the money. What we ended up with was a gift from God.


Readers of my web logs last got a chance to share our adventures aboard El Tigre last winter. I should probably go back a few months...


The boys and I stayed in New Bern, NC at the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina through January and February. The decision was made to put the house up for sale and buy a new boat, while Eugene Jr. would move to New Bern and finish high school living aboard El Tigre. I made several trips back and forth towing boats behind our van loaded up with belongings. The house went on the market in March, and we soon got an offer with closing in at the end of April. It was a nightmare of a sale with closing delay after delay.


We spent some of the time in between aboard Aquarius, our old 55' ferro cement ketch. We had come across her in Norfolk, VA over the winter, and her newest owner had asked if I could come help them out aboard for a while. When the closing on the house fell through in mid May, I decided to go sailing again. One of the crew from Aquarius, Stir Fri, decided to join my boys and I for a cruise down the ICW from Norfolk to New Bern on our 22' McGregor Venture.


We made it to New Bern and closed the boats all up for while. Eugene Jr. finished school in early June, and we all loaded up in the van to return to NJ. We were going to fix the house up more, get it back on the market, and get it sold. Little did we know that it would take all summer. It was another nightmare of a closing on the house, with delays all through August. By the time we were done I had drained the last of my savings, and wore out our welcome with both of my ex-wives.


We went to closing after the buyer did their last walk-through inspection on Friday, August 25th. All the paperwork was in order, but the bank still had not wired the funds to the escrow account ! We were told we'd close on Monday, the 28th.


I had shopped hard for a new boat all year long waiting for the house to sell. I wanted the largest center cockpit I could afford to buy within our budget of less than $40K for the new boat. We'd looked at and had to pass by on several 37' Irwins and 41' Morgan Out Islanders. There were still two nice Morgans on the east coast market, and I had already called the broker to see an Out Islander in Annapolios, MD. If the house had closed that Friday night, I think I would have bought that Morgan the next day.


As I drank my morning coffee, I was dreading another whole weekend of waiting for the house closing, as was the crew at my ex-wifes apartment in Trenton, NJ. I had already re-scheduled my visit to Anapolis with the broker on the Morgan. I ran one more search on YachtWorld, with more general parameters than I usualy do. Most of the boats in the search result were ones I was already familiar with, but at the top of the page there was a new listing that I had not seen before. If the house had closed that Friday, I probably never would have found this listing...


The listing was for a 50' Corail Galapagos steel ketch. The photo caption said her name was Colander, probably not a good name for a steel boat, but the picture looked like the boat said Colancer. From what few photos I saw, she was a beauty. The price had just been reduced on her, again. The ad said that rust issues would make her a project boat.


I called the broker in Houston and asked about the boat. He emailed me some very extensive photos of bilge areas and elsewhere showing areas in need of some maint work, but nothing daunting to us.


We closed on the house that Monday, and I made an offer on the boat Wednesday morning, August 30th. The offer was low, for as-is, where-is. The sellers countered with a higher figure, which I agreed to, as long as they come down to Texas to take Colancer across Galveston Bay with me for haul-out and survey. I didn't hear a response untill Friday morning, when the broker called to tell me they wanted to accept the first offer.


We re-loaded the van as well as our 22' McGregor Venture on it's trailer with all the tools and belongings we could, and put the rest in a set of storage sheds in North Carolina. We left late on Monday after having to re-wire the trailer, but made it down to Texas by Tuesday night, and were at the Marina early this Wednesday morning...










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(c)Copyright 2006 by Eugene Kashpureff