We finally did it, took the plunge, jumped off the edge, started on the journey. Whatever you want to call it, we bought THE boat. Not just any boat, the boat that will take us on our grand cruising adventure. Our search included several years, continents, countries and vacations to make the decision. We were looking for a 1990’s Beneteau, 43-47’. We ended up with a 1985 Tayana 55’. Not at all what we expected but we fell in love with her. Here’s why:
– Quality of construction and reputation. It’s a true blue water cruiser. Migration’s first owners circumnavigated with her, we have charts from all over the world left for us. We also have spent time cruising with friends who are currently circumnavigating on their 46’ Hylas which is very similar to the Tayana. The interior has generous amounts of beautiful teak, an open salon floor plan, three staterooms/heads, a work/tool room and enough storage to take our large family on board at the same time. And let’s not forget the all important PHRF rating of 54 which is what sold Clark. The exterior space is just as open and enticing, a center cockpit, a large flat deck in back to store toys, sun and work on projects.
– Location. We decided to narrow our search to California, Florida and Mexico – areas that would be fairly easy to reach since we would be going back and forth working on the boat and working at home to pay for the boat for the next year or so. Proximity to parts and service providers was also key. We found her in the boating capital of the USA, Ft Lauderdale, Fla. Easy, cheap flights and the home of the flagship West Marine store (it’s HUGE).
– We got a good deal. We bought Migration from her second owners who sailed summers in the Med for 16 years minimally maintaining her and adding a bow thruster. They had the boat for sale for 5 years and had turned down higher offers. We took on long time friends who wanted to take a chance on an adventure as partners and bid low. The owners wanted out and a deal was made. Everything on the boat is 20 years old or more. Most major systems need work or replacement. We think of it as buying a big old house ‘as is’. We know there are going to be surprises, big and small but we want to spend a good amount of years cruising so if we have to work for a little longer to get better quality and replace some of the major systems on the boat, we will be safer and happier in the long run.
Our plan: take a few trips out there, offload the 30 years worth of stuff left behind, install new electronics, new rigging and sails, maybe a new transmission and off to the Bahamas for Thanksgiving. Needless to say, that’s not what played out. It took most of 3 trips out just to go through all the stuff in the boat and land storage locker and that was just the beginning…