Buying a boat took longer than we thought; but, we bought a great boat! Why did it take so long, you ask? Rip was set on buying a Rosborough RF-246 (“Rossi”) as the next boat. Finding the right one, well; let’s just say, what is meant to be … is meant to be.
When we left Florida, we had seen a Rossi way back in Apalachicola that wasn’t for us. We saw one we both like a lot right across Charlotte Harbor from where we were in Punta Gorda Florida. I left Florida believing this was the boat for us. We stopped to see one in Gainesville, Fl on the road trip home. Not in good shape, at least not for us even at the low price. None of these had the “transom door” option I wanted to make it easier on Cally getting on & off the boat to a kayak or dinghy for shore duty.
Boat #1 - Rip knew of another boat for sale by owner at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay and it has the transom door.
We had tried to buy the boat back in January but someone else jumped in before we finalized the sale of the Monk; we didn’t want to be a 2 boat family, so we let it go. That buyer walked away after survey. (well … we should have seen the writing on the wall) Sight unseen, we put an offer on that Rossi. Weather, the marina and the owner all seemed to be at odds. We weren’t sure who was causing the issues with scheduling a survey & sea trial. Add to that, the boat didn’t have a trailer. We’d have to buy a trailer before we could bring the boat home. Things were not easy in dealing with the owner who was illusive and scattered. We pressed forward, though we were warned it was not going to go well without a Boat Broker being involved. The engine survey was first & the report was better than we thought it would be. There was an issue with steering, but repairable.
About this time we find out through mutual friends there is another boat in the northern Chesapeake Bay an owner is seriously considering selling. It has the transom door and is reported to be in excellent shape. Not people to bail on a commitment … we march forward with the first boat dragging everyone in our wake. Rip drove up to survey the boat. He arrived the night before and went straight to the boat to see her. Disappointment set in quickly. She wasn’t in good shape. Repairable, but clearly not maintained. Rip had emailed back & forth with the owner of the other Rossi in the area and hit it off. They had drinks that night, just 2 guys with a mutual interest in boats. Rip picked Greg’s brain about Rossi’s and Greg picked Rip’s brain about larger boats/trawlers. Greg & wife Elaine wanted to buy a larger boat, hence why they were thinking of selling their Rossi. The next day, the survey was as we suspected … she needs work.
Everything was repairable, including the cosmetic work, but she is a project boat. The good news was, Rip’s brother Ham drove over to the eastern shore to attend the survey with Rip. At least they got to hang out a bit. After Rip was home and we had a chance to discuss things he still tried to make the first Rossi work. The owner needed to come down in price, basically 10%, to make it worth us buying the boat in the current shape. The owner didn’t respond in a timely manner letting Rip & I sleep on our decision. By morning, I was done with this boat, done with the owner… not ever seeing it. I didn’t want Rip to take on a project boat and work through the summer, AKA Boating Season, making this boat right. So, we withdrew our offer and received our deposit back from the owner. Well, all but $135. He tried to keep $270. But, we got him to return half of that. He didn’t have the right to keep any funds and we have the proof, but it wasn’t helping either of our attitudes, nor Rip’s blood pressure to fight over the last $135. Time to move on. We now call this the Bad Boat.
Boat#2 - We put an offer on Greg & Elaine’s boat, “Salty Dog”. More expensive, but reported to be in excellent shape.
Mutual friends, Tom Hale & Cristina Sisson aboard Tadhana told Greg we were looking for a Rossi. We had not seen Tadhana since Catskill, NY while we were on the Loop but have kept in touch through AGLCA, MTOA, FB, etc. They knew we were on the hunt for a Rossi. Matter of fact, Cristina started the Rosborough Owners Yahoo Group back when she owned a Rossi. Dealing with Greg & Elaine was positive and fun. They are great people, love their boat … and, it shows. The engine surveyed great. Rip drove up to survey the boat in person a couple days later; the last hour or more in driving snow.
Rip went to the boat, after checking in at the Mariner's Motel
and having dinner at The Pearl (Rock Hall, MD is known as The Pearl of the Chesapeake);
didn’t get out of the truck, but snapped a pic to send to me. I was home with Cally.
Luckily, by the next morning, the sun was out, the snow was melting and all was good. The boat was great! Better than any of the 3 Rossi’s I had seen previously.
She is moved out so she can be surveyed.
Survey went perfect, Greg & Elaine showed Rip everything and how they do things, including how to set the boat up to be trailered home. Yep, she has a trailer!! Survey complete, they all had lunch while Rip wired the remaining funds to close the deal. Boat & Trailer are adjusted to travel with our truck. Too late in the day to bring the boat back home in daylight hours; so Rip leaves the boat at the marina positioned ready to roll out in the am, has dinner and calls it a night at the motel.
Next morning …
Rip cannot believe someone parked mostly blocking the boat. They were no where to be found and Rip wants to get on the road early and home at a reasonable hour. He says another foot closer and he would not have been able to hook up the boat and get it out. But, he did it and was on his way. While Rip is driving, I am watching him on Google Map Shared Locations. If there is a traffic back up or issue, I can call and talk him through rerouting. Luckily none of the 4 trips (up & back to 2 surveys) were troubled by any major traffic problems. I enjoy watching his progress; especially when he is headed home.
Rip had scoped out where to get gas and food along the 8 + hour trip home. With truck, trailer & boat over hang – he is 55’ long. that’s the length of a semi. He pulled into a Hardees for lunch that has semi-truck parking for easy pull in/pull out.
Same thing at the Dismal Swamp Rest Stop. This Rest stop is a truck/car stop on the road side and has a dock for boats to stop for the night on the Dismal Swamp Canal side!! Last time here we were on our boat, the Monk, on the other side of the Rest Stop along with then new friends Tom & Melesia Goodman plus Mango the Flying Dog (on Journey) and Arch Fonken (on KaJen)
Driving down the road about 6 miles from home, Rip passes friends Phil and Carolyn who wave wildly in seeing the new (to us) boat headed home. Dang, I don’t even get to see the boat first. Rip parks the boat & trailer on the new gravel pad we had installed a few weeks ago. He is so exhausted, I just pat the boat and head inside with him so he can relax. But, I can tell she is a beauty.
Morning coffee and breakfast cannot get done quick enough so I can go see the boat. She is beautiful!! She just sparkles everywhere. Greg & Elaine (G&E), original owners, took exceptional care of her and we appreciate that immensely. I have emailed G&E and they have sent pics. They were excited that I was thrilled with her. We are friends for life now!
OK, in the It’s A Small World department or the It Was Meant to Be department comes this picture …
Tom & Cristina aboard Tadhana (who introduced G&E to us) are anchored and snap this picture. It is the Eagle Trawler G&E are under contract to buy passing our old boat the Monk 36, now named Sarah Louise who is anchored, which we sold so we could buy G&E’s Rossi and they could buy the Eagle.
Speaking of Sarah Louise; the new owners Fred & Robin (F&R) have sent a few pics of how happy they are with their boat! That makes me very, very happy.
Now … time to make this boat ours!! Next blog will be all of Rip’s projects!! Yep, Rip putting holes in our boat for new, better, different stuff!! Including, but not limited to (have you met my husband?), adding AIS with Wi-Fi multiplexer (I don't know what that is but I know I can see AIS targets on my iPad!), figuring out how to carry the two kayaks on the roof top like we did on the Pearson True North, new carpet, additional 12volt plugs, installing the Windows navigation tablet running Coastal Explorer as primary chart plotter instead of the Garmin, remove green striping to replace with navy and of course adding the Lab Partners name!
We did our De-Naming ceremony. Bad luck to change the name of a boat without it.
“To change the name of a vessel without consulting Poseidon is to invoke his wrath, so in order to change a boat’s name, a traditional ceremony is used to appease the gods of the seas.”
Here she is without the green stripes and prior owners name logo gone.Once we have the new name on, we can have the Naming Ceremony to appease the Gods; Champagne will be involved!!