Table of Contents

  1. Post-survey
  2. Transferring Ownership
  3. 2nd Haul Out
  4. Evaluating Storage
  5. Ship Shape


Over the past few days, we’ve been working out the final price on the purchase. Adjustments were made on three lists of near-term expenses, which breaks down as follows:

  • Survey - The condition of the vessel was graded “Fair condition,” requiring usual maintenance to prepare for sale. Along with the grade, the survey outlined 17 recommendations identifying the required maintenance to be completed and to promote safety.
  • Extras - Pre-existing inventory on the boat that Bill wanted to sell to us, even though they were previously included in the purchase agreement.
  • Suggestions - Despite the fact that 60% of the stowage contained spares, apparently that isn’t enough. Bill furnished us a list of other items to purchase (e.g., hose clamps, sealants, synthetic oil, boat hook, fender, watermaker pre-filters) prior to our first offshore passage.

All told, we were looking at an additional $50,000 in expenses in the near term across the three lists before our maiden voyage, primarily due to deferred maintenance.

No matter how good the boat looked to us in March, the fact is very little maintenance had been done over the past couple years. As a result, a survey on her would inevitably generate a list of problems that we, as the new owners, will need to take on. Additionally, s/v Rachel J Slocum was built prior to some of the regulations that are now required to keep up with safety standards.

How did we handle it?

Quite frankly, we were transparent with Bill just as we had been from the beginning. We wrote up the amendment to the purchase agreement and walked him through the adjustments, with the material amounts quantified based on the issues identified in the marine survey. In the process, we didn’t want to nickle and dime Bill so we didn’t sweat the small stuff. Within a couple hours, we had an agreement and worked out our next steps.


This gave us a chance to see RJ Slocum again, but in a new light (both metaphorically and literally). The sun was setting as we approached the dock.

On the eve of becoming her new owners, we felt different. I think both Andrew and I kept the romanticism of “buying a boat and sailing around the world” at bay over the months. This was harder for him (the dreamer) than it was for me (the planner). The self-propelled momentum over this year depleted a tremendous amount of energy from us. So, we decided a quiet night in the hotel was the best way to restore ourselves.

I woke up rested…among the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time…which is huge given my battle with insomnia throughout this process. I realize this is finally the moment in which my mind and my heart is at peace.

Later that day, we turned over the largest check we’ve ever written. Sure there are a lot of zeroes in the amount, however I didn’t feel the pinch of anxiety as one might expect. We may be walking a quarter mil lighter, but we are happier by 22 tons.

Six months after our 1st look trip to Ft Lauderdale, s/v Rachel J Slocum was finally ours!


Transferring Ownership

When transferring boat ownership from the previous owner, there are a lot of details to handle. We’re handling all the paperwork ourselves since we’re not going through brokers. Is it glamorous? No. Cost-effective? Heck yeah. This worked out for us because of the inherent trust we built crafting this deal.

In addition to the paperwork (title, registration, insurance, taxes), we’ll need to get set up on the following:

2nd Haul Out

In advance of the trip, we knew a second haul out would be needed. Lauderdale Marine Center came highly recommended by our surveyor Ian Gardner and Royale Palm Marina by Suky Cannon.


On an apples to apples basis, we asked for quotes on the same scope. The differences lay with the level of detail and transparency that came through by each of the vendors. As you can see in the first column, YMG had line items for “paint upgrade” which did not have explanation.

Both Galvez and Starboard were located in Harbour Towne Marina and given our experience on the day of the short haul out last week, we didn’t want to go back to the marina due to its tricky access.

Lauderdale Marine Center never got back to us with a quote. They also required a higher liability coverage level ($1 million) and was located further up New River with low salinity levels, thus removing them as an option.

Royale Palm Marina became our boatyard of choice because of its location in higher salinity waters, ease of access to haul out, availability of slips, lower insurance coverage level ($300,000) and responsiveness.


Evaluating Storage

The measuring exercise during our first look trip was far from thorough. With the time we now have available and access to all hatches and lockers, we decided to blow them all open and mark down the sizes as well as current contents.

As we wrote previously in Living Space, Bill has spares for days stored aboard the boat and we wanted to inventory all the bits and bobs and where they are located (at least at present). We diligently filled out our bullet journal and then converted them digitally so that we can create a searchable inventory file.

Here is how it breaks down on the current use of the stowage:

  • 58.2%Spares
  • 11.4%Clothes
  • 11.2%Household
  • 8.8%Boat Systems
  • 6.2%Food
  • 4.2%Personal

Truth be told, when I looked behind each door, it did seem like well over 80% of the stowage space was devoted to spares. After going through this exhaustive exercise, it was a relief to discover spares only took up less than 60% of the space. Still, we also discovered that Bill kept some other bulky items at his home, which we’ll also need to figure out a long term solution that would work for us.


Ship Shape

Andrew and I spent the past few days deep cleaning the boat from bow to stern. We will be moving aboard in a couple weeks, and we wanted the boat to be in ship shape and move-in condition, which it currently was not.

Many stowage spaces needed clearing out, airing out the contents, and then make decisions about what to keep and what to toss. Just as we applied the 30-weeks to minimalism strategy to our own house, we needed to apply it to the boat as well. We also knew once our boxes arrived from California, we’ll want a place to stow the items in some way that made sense to us.

s/v Rachel J Slocum is afterall our new home.

It isn’t that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
 ~ Sir Francis Drake, 1540–1596, English admiral and circumnavigator

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