Bob and I went down to Brisbane on Sunday to look at a very interesting boat that Bob found on Craigslist. It was intriguing because Bob is a project guy, very precise, detail-oriented and exact in how he does things. And this boat was a project. I won't go into too much detail but suffice it to say you shouldn't be able to see through the deck or soak a sponge just holding it in the air in the cabin. And this isn't even getting into the woodwork.
Bob and I got there early, looked around the boat, asked some questions, and settled down below for some discussion. It would be a hell of a sale to our wives given the amount of time and money that the two of us would have to put into the boat. While we were down there, a couple came to look at the boat. My first impression: "who the hell wears leather sandals on a sailboat? Keelhaul that fool."
After a few minutes, we got up so they could come down below to look and experience the mustiness. When we got into the cockpit however, the owner said, "looks like I have a buyer" then waited around for the bidding war. I shook my head sagely, Bob said, "well looks like we're going sailing!" and started walking away. I looked over at the guy and said, "this is a nice boat, you'll be happy, but I'm surprised you bought it without seeing all that dry rot down below." I let that hang in the air for about 2 minutes while everyone stared at me dumbstruck and Bob was supressing a laugh. I finally let them off the hook, said I was joking and congratulated him on a good purchase.
The thing is, the guy got a good boat for $450. It has really nice bones, but the man must be an idiot for taking on the project without looking in the bilge, at the rotted fiberglass under the stanchion from below, or noticing the rust marks and leak indicators. He truly deserved the comment since I am about 99.9% sure he bought the boat so quickly because it looked like Bob and I were considering it. At the time, we were actually talking ourselves out of it, but he sure didn't know that.
Maybe we'll see a Pearson Commander 26 on the water soon, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing it back on Craigslist first.