Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Doing the Research

As retirement was approaching I was becoming increasingly distracted with thoughts of returning to the Caribbean.  We have been back to the Bahamas a number of times in the 30 years since we taught there.  We have also chartered in the BVI and Guadeloupe – so we’ve had some time to sketch out some retirement sail planning.  Spending time with friends in Puerto Morales in Mexico and more time in Belize and Roatan only added to our determination to spend significant parts of our cold Canadian winters somewhere other than Canada.  We are comfortable on our little Aloha 27 and with our chartering we know that something bigger takes a little getting used to … but we are confident in our abilities.

We are looking for the perfect boat.  A Valiant?  Made right near here in Bellingham.  What about Pacific Seacraft.  Our friends, Gary and Donna purchased a steel boat on the east coast – an Amazon 37 – that was built here in Surrey, BC.  However, there are too many variables including brands, lengths, levels of equipment, prices, etc.  Over the first couple of years we bounced from idea to idea and grew increasing frustrated.

Finally, motivated by the fervor of the people on the Island Packet list serve, we preserved our sanity by limiting ourselves to an IP.  Perhaps a 31 or 32.

Our first IP
First IP we looked at...

These fit into our price range and seemed doable in terms of learning to manage.  Unfortunately, we looked at some 35s and 38s.  So now the sights are set higher.

In the last couple of years we’ve looked at a 38 in Ft. Lauderdale,

Wow!
Wow!

travelled to the Caymans in the summer of 2007 to check out a 35

Oh well, it was a good trip!
Oh well, it was a good trip!

and then most recently to Tampa to see some

Beautiful
A beautiful IP 35

35s and 38s in the Tampa Bay area.  We wanted to see a 35 and a 38 on the same day so we could judge.  Seeing a 35 out of context makes us think that it is next to heaven.  Same with the 38.

Could this be the one?
Could this be the one?

But we got to see both within 24 hours and now we are sold.

So... it is to be an Island Packet 38!

But which one?  Fort Lauderdale?  Sarasota?  Orange Beach, Alabama?

What we will do, is to find the best deal in the next couple of months.  Of course our plans are being undermined by the unbelievable decline in the value of the Canadian dollar.  But who cares?  We are in a carpe diem state of mind.  After Christmas we will make an offer.

I wonder what will happen?

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