The honeymoon is over. Or has it even started yet? Our love affair with Beautiful Dreamer began before we even had a survey done. What could be wrong with a boat that shows so well and looks so good. I mean, the engine runs and she floats – right? Ha!
We found her as we strolled the docks of Little Yacht Sales at Waterford Harbor in League City, TX. It was near the end of a day met with a bit of disappointment after looking over an Albin 30 Motorboat. Yes, our plan was to buy a motorboat! This Albin did not show well so after some lunch at the Kemah Waterfront we decided to go brokerage dock hopping. We never made it past the docks at Little Yacht Sales.
This Tayana 37 had been on the market for a while. In fact she showed as “Sale Pending” on the brokers website, but here she was before us, still for sale. What gives? Our broker Paul Stefast was very helpful. After all, we did show up without an appointment and there was a very good chance we were just out kicking tires (or fenders). Paul ran through the boats he had listed. When it came to the Tayana you could tell Paul had a fondness for this boat. He also knew about the warts and was very open and honest with us as he saw that we were interested. The previous contract on the boat had fallen through after the survey. Why? What are the problems? How bad are they? We would not know until we did the quick haul as part of the survey. First we needed to get our first offer accepted, which it was.
We contracted Nick Maudlin to do the survey. He arrived on the very wet and rainy morning of September 11, 2018. One good thing about doing a survey in the driving rain… you find all the leaks, and this boat had a few.
Problem #1 – the port side chain plates. Two of the three were leaking and were tagged as needing repairs. The forward lower was particularly “mushy”.
Problem #2 – the deck on the port side had delaminated for about six feet in the area of the chain plates. It was not spongy, but the core sound out hollow is likely rotted.
Problem #3 – The propane system was not to ABYC code. Major insurance problem as propane is heavier than air and if leaking will settle in the bilge of the boat. One spark and… Boom!
Problem #4 – The generator, a Westerbeke 3.8 kW was shutting down after 10 to 15 minutes of run time. Overheating?
Problem #5 – Hull Blisters. Now this will freak most people out and in fact Donna had studied this prior to the quick haul and we were both spooked a bit, but the on-line opinions were mixed so we kept an open mind.
With the survey done it was now time to determine if this boat was worth the time and money it would take to fix the problems. I had no clue how to estimate the work. We were in love with the boat and wanted to buy her so we stuck our finger in the air and totally winged a counter offer to the seller. They accepted! Now what?
To be continued…