Another wannabe on the journey to ownership

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Thanks much for the excellent explanation. Rather made it sound like a multi-month process, albeit a most fulfilling one.
Like you say though, these kinds of boat cannot be picked of Yachtworld; the hunt must take years.

Love the boat!
As for the length of the process, here's my schedule:

Owner placed the ad: 1/28
I found the ad: 2/15
Contacted the owner with initial questions: 2/16
Dug out from snow storm: 2/16 - 17 (a motivational factor)
Flew to the boat's location: 2/19
Viewed boat for the first time and agreed on initial offer: 2/20
(The 'books' advise not to talk money the same day as the initial inspection. I saw no reason to wait. We documented the agreement with a "Yacht Purchase and Sale Agreement" which set 31 March as the date to close by.)
Visited the yard where the haul would likely occur: 2/20
Returned home: 2/20
Contacted 3 hull surveyors: 2/21
Received responses from all 3: 2/21-22
Chose the hull surveyor and contacted an engine surveyor he recommended: 2/21
Agreed on survey date of 9 March with surveyors and owners: 2/21
Scheduled the yard for 9 March short haul: 2/23
Arranged non-refundable travel for me and a partner: 2/23
Two more snow/ice storms to dig out from: 2/25 and 3/5 (pucker factors and more motivation)
Flew to boat: 3/8
Survey: 3/9 (a full day but could have gone home very late)
Flew home: 3/10
Received hull surveyor's report: 3/10
Received engine surveyor's report: 3/13 (takes longer due to fluid sample analysis)
Met with owners by phone for post-survey discussion: 3/14
Agreed on final price: 3/14

I believe what is left to be done can be accomplished in a week, certainly two. The date we chose to close was suggested by me and mutually agreed to as 'reasonable,' agreeing we'd adjust it if absolutely necessary. The time from acceptance of the initial offer to closing the sale or the buyer rejecting the boat is time the seller can't be selling the boat to someone else, so there's motivation on both sides to move things along.

It might have been an aggressive schedule when there were many unknowns, but it was easily done once the other participants were coordinated. It might have been more difficult if done while the surveyor's or yard's schedules were more full.
Thanks again Greg,

I am sure I speak for others as well that we are getting a lot out of your detailed private buyer's journey. It's a great contribution you are making to the Forum.

I don't want to sound lazy, but since you have done the ground work, can you share some of your documentation resources? I assume you found various "boat buyers" guides on the web or such, some being more helpful than others. Can you point us in the direction of the ones you found more helpful?

You must truly be blessed to have executed this transaction relatively painlessly.
There are a lot of unscrupulous scam artists out there selling stuff on Craig's list and others - buyer beware! Although, probably not a lot of scammers hustling 48' Hatteras.

Really curious; how did you know, or how/when did you feel that you were talking with someone you could do serious business with? What was that something that said to you to go forward and spend the money for those flights, hotels, and transport to go do the deal? I am sure others will be pleased to hear this as well.
There isn't a sure-fire potion, a list of guaranteed steps, or magic glasses that if taken internally, followed religiously, or worn while viewing web pages will keep away evil spirits and Internet frauds. Lacking those, we all develop our own crap detectors and use them to filter the world around us. Until my own crap detector goes off, I choose to assume the best in those I meet. Set your own detector sensitivity as needed.

I don't know or don't have the personal experience to indicate that the Internet is as fraught with peril as you suggest it to be. I've been borrowing and sharing information online since the 300-baud BBS days in the mid-80s and buying/finding/researching products online since the late 90s. My first major purchase was also my first boat which I found in a Boat Trader ad (I think) in 2000. We still have it. In all those years of surfing the Web for various purposes, I found the BBS culture, now somewhat matured as forums like this one, to be one of the more intimidating and scary aspects of the Web.

As for sharing links to resources I found useful, I prefer to leave that discovery to others in the course of their own journey. My knowledge is collected from several sources and recent experiences, including information given to me verbally by brokers, boat show and Trawler Fest participants, and boat owners I've met along the way. I can't provide a link to those and other similar resources, and links that I could share taken individually are insignificant pieces of the whole.

Blessed? I don't think so. Lucky? Probably, but I've worked hard and long to create the circumstances that made the likelihood of a good outcome more likely than the alternatives. That's about all any of us can do, and, IMO, we are obligated to those we share our lives with to do at least that much. I suppose that's off topic. Oh well.

Whatever journey you're on or path you choose to get there, enjoy the journey, and good luck!
I think the most important thing is not to push a purchase if things are not working fluidly. Sometimes things happen to slow the process but I too believe in the "If it was meant to be" attitude.

Beautiful vessel ...
And she's all mine!

When the sellers and I wrote up the Sales/Purchase Agreement after they'd accepted my initial offer, we set the end of March as the date the deal had to be done, a short 5 weeks and 4 days later. I assumed there was some flexibility in that date, because we just guessed at a reasonable date and all agreed that we didn't really know what was reasonable. Even so, the Agreement said what it said, and I worked very hard to comply. Technically, if the owners wanted, and the deal hadn't completed by that date, they could take my deposit and walk away. I don't think that would have happened, but I sure wasn't going to let it be an option, if I could help it.

As it turned out, it took EXACTLY 5 weeks to complete the deal. The paperwork transferring ownership and legally documenting the boat's new status is still making the rounds for signatures, but it should be all signed and filed with the right agencies within a day or two. The owners have been great to work with, and I've done my best to treat them in kind.

In the final weeks of the deal, I submitted several insurance applications and settled on the best of the resulting responses. I'll write later - possibly in my blog, currently in its infancy - about the lessons I learned there, but I'll summarize here with a plug for Peter Ricks of Anchor Marine Underwriters. I learned there's no substitute for working the details with a live body. Peter was accessible and responsive throughout the entire process, and I'm confident that his efforts to tailor the policy to precisely what I needed, coupled with his knowledge of the industry, resulted in a policy with the coverage I need at a price I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. The same result MAY have been possible through some of the big online storefronts, but the effort and time required to get there would not have been reasonable. A couple of those agencies told me flat out that they were limited in what they could provide due to the age of the boat, my experience, or both. I got no such nonsense from Peter. If there were limitations, he worked with them or around them rather than presenting them to me as obstacles. I can't say enough about the experience and Peter's contribution to the successful conclusion. If you're in the market for a new policy or renewal, start there.

I was also able to arrange a covered slip at the boat's new home on the Chesapeake. I feel luckier to have found the slip than the boat, but that's due to my inexperience with such things. The timing couldn't have been much better - and that was purely accidental - because most of the marinas around here renew their agreements May 1st.

What's next? The boat is headed to a nearby marina to catch up some deferred maintenance items before making the journey home. I've engaged the experts needed and am waiting for estimates to get the work done. I'm planning to meet with the POs over a weekend in about a month to get a pass down on the operation of every system on the boat. I'll enjoy visiting with them and getting more details of their adventures with the boat and what they know of its history in a completely different context.

There will be lots more to share as the adventure continues. Be well.
Congrats on the beautiful boat, Greg!! I was on Steve Cary's (Scary on TF) 48 Hatt LRC this weekend for the first time. That's a lot of boat and much taller up close that it looks at a distance. What a salty vessel...and very comfortable. Nice choice!
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