Boat shopping in Savannah, GA
July 10-16 2016
We were really looking forward to this next trip (You can watch the video from this trip here). Savannah is one of our most favorite places. We got married on Tybee Island in 2005 and we like to go back every few years. In fact it was almost a year ago on our 10th anniversary trip there that we decided sailing was what we wanted to do with ourselves. We had an awesome boat in our sights and thought it would be pretty cool if we found out boat where everything began.
The boat was an Endevour 33. We really liked the Endevours and the owner seemed like a great guy. When we got to Savannah, after we checked in to our hotel we headed straight too the boat. The owner said we were free to look around without him there, which we really like so we can look around and talk freely about what we find. We stepped aboard and it really felt like home. The cockpit had a nice bimini cover, the rigging looked in really good shape, and there were no soft spots on deck.
After inspecting the topside, we went in. It was obvious that it was dirty and needed a good cleaning, but aside from that it looked great. Plenty of storage, nice size quarter berth, nice galley, I actually had the warm and fuzzy feelings I have been looking for. I couldn’t believe it! Ben actually felt it too. We spent several hours on the boat looking in every nook and cranny, checking out everything we could.
During our search, Ben did see that the through hulls needed to be replaced. There was one other thing that stood out in that back of Ben’s mind…. the engine. The engine had over 4200 hours on it. Ben was hoping that it had previously had a rebuild on it and the owner just didn’t know. But when we got there and he saw it, that wasn’t that case. Still we liked it so much we wanted to take it or and do a sea trial.
The next day we met the owner at the boat, after a delicious lunch at the famous Pirate House, aka my favorite restaurant and a walk down Riverstreet. He answered a lot of Ben’s questions, but some he had no clue about. He’d only had the boat about a year. There were even some things that Ben knew about that he didn’t. (We’ll get to that later) After we finished talking and the owners friend came aboard to help us take her out, we excitedly pulled away from the dock and motored down the river.
Then it came time to pull out the sails. This boat has a special attachment on the mast with a furling main sail. It was a bit tricky to get the sail out. (This furling main is something new to us and we’ve decided we’d rather not have one on our boat.) As the sails came out and we turned to catch the wind, the boat did not turn in the way that we expected. The wheel went slack.
We were surprised to find that at that very moment, the steering cable had broken. So we quickly threw out the anchor so we didn’t end up in the shallow part of the river and run aground. Then there is a look of “now what?” on everyone’s faces. This is where Ben says let’s get out the emergency tiller. “The what?” The owner says. Luckily Ben had found it while we were searching the boat the day before, because the owner had no idea he had one. The owner was ready to call a sea tow.
We dig out the long rusted poles from a cockpit locker and Ben showed them how to assemble the emergency tiller. We pulled in the sails and motored back to the dock. We sat there for a while longer and Ben and the owner talked about what to do next. We decided that Ben and I needed some time to think about the situation and we would get back to him.
We went back to our hotel, had a shower, and got some dinner. At dinner we decided that we would pass on the boat unless we could negotiate a much lower price. We thought that if we could get the price low enough we could put in a new engine and would feel much better about the boat overall. No deal. We were a little bummed, but let the owner know that our offer still stands if he changes his mind.
The next day we decided we needed a little family fun and headed to Tybee Island.
On our way to Tybee Island we decided to stop at the Bull River Marina. We started down the dock and when we got to the end there was a man standing on his boat. We decided to say hi. His name is Steve. Doctor-Captain Steve. We stood there talking to him for an hour about sailboats. He showed us around his Morgan Out Island 41. Then he invited us to take it out for a sail around the river. We had a great time and really enjoyed learning from Capt’n Steve.
After we got back from sailing with Capt’n Steve, we went to Tybee and saw the lighthouse. We ate at the North Beach Grill and then went down to the beach to splash around in the water. It was such a great day and we really enjoyed ourselves.
Next we head down to Melbourne, Florida to check out some more boats. Stay tuned!