The dodgy boat story

Buying the boat

This took me 8 months. From what I have heard it takes usually a year to buy a boat so I was lucky. Lucky Plukky.

I drove from Sydney to Cairns and visited 8 boats. Along the way. This is a long drive. I was committed to buying a boat because I had no house to return to. My lease had expired. So I was to return with a boat or sleep in my Landcruiser.

My boat to be, Long Reef, was located in Brisbane but for some reason I did not get the opportunity to see it on the way up. It didn’t really matter because there was little information about it (the broker was useless) and I had my sights set on a boat in Cairns, a home built 45ft Simpson catamaran. This catamaran looked great, the pictures were awesome, the inventory more than I needed (well derrrr), the condition seemed too good to be true….something you would expect from the local Commodore. Well, within 10 seconds I had decided that everyone on the seller’s side was a liar. The boat was in a bad way, the pictures were doctored and the inventory, either in poor shape or seriously out of date. You would think a yacht owned by the local Commodore would be in better nick. It was not to be.

I had visited all the boats on the way up so I was a bit dis-heartened when the Cairns boat fell through. So I started my long drive back and I got a call from the broker in Brisbane. He finally had some information and pictures for me even though the boat had already been on the market for 8 months or so. I hope when you all go and buy your boat that you have better brokers than I had but I will speak later on about that.

The information and pictures sent to me about Long Reef got me excited until I looked at the price tag. I had told the broker of my price range and he simply doubled it. Double the price double the commission no doubt. Something that he was used to probably because when people buy boats they usually have alot of money and I suppose they give a lower price range and he was simply used to doubling it. Well the broker and owner were going to be in for a rude shock when they meet me I thought. Bugger for them! It was on my way home so I thought I should take a look in any case….it can only educate me right?

It was a stormy day when I arrived in Brisbane. There was 25 knots blowing against the tide setting up a short steep chop at the edge of the marina. I walked down the ramp, passed a large stink boat and then suddenly saw her… to me it instantly looked like a cross between the Millenium Falcon and a M1 Abrams tank. It was beautiful just sitting there riding the chop and slamming into the marina. It was love at first sight but I remember being profoundly sad at that moment because this viewing was only for education purposes and not for purchase since it was virtually double my maximum budget. I kept on walking with the education mind set. As I got closer I noticed it was in serious need of tender loving care. The paint was peeling both inside and out, I mean it was atrocious. It was blistering and literally bleeding a red substance from underneath??? What was that? One of the main windows was cracked, the fairing was blistering and cracking all over and you could see the glass over the foam core in some places. Both inside and out, it looked like it had been in a war… and I thought slyly that I might be in with a chance to buy this.

I immediately came to the conclusion that no rich buyer would buy this, it was too run down, too much work and it certainly was not pretty or roomy. The only possibility would be a buyer like myself prepared to put alot of work in. The other things in my favour were that it was a buyer’s market and that the GFC had happened a year or 2 before with all the associated drama that followed it. But still, it was ridiculously way over my limit. But can you put a price tag on love? No. Maybe I could work for 2 more years?

I counted up exactly what I could afford including all my meager possessions and I squeezed out another 10K to offer. That was nothing. It was still almost double my budget. Oh well… I will just put in my best offer and see what happens. I waited and waited… there was no way in the world I was going to ring the broker. 2 weeks later he call me up for a chat and this is roughly how it went.

Broker “The owner wants more”

Plukky “How much more?”

Broker “He just wants more”

Plukky “Yeah, but how much more?”

Broker “Just more”

I see. Was this a deliberate tactic in coaxing the largest amount out of me by not stating an actual figure? I could play this game.

Plukky “Give me an exact figure”

Pause….. more pause

Broker “I will have to call you back”

So after an hour or 2 he called back and he eventually said 40K more but he really didn’t know. I suspected what he was up to. He was trying to get an agreement of an additional 40K and then come back to me and say that he simply guessed at that figure, and what the owner really wanted was 60K more etc. It is a small leap from 40K to 60K once you have caved in and ruined your budget. But if your budget is sacred then the initial leap of 40K will not ever happen.

But I was in love and love does not have a price tag…. Oh no, I am starting to weaken… well I had my 4WD I could sell for 15K but I was still 25K short… mmmm will I work for an additional 2 years? Weakening some more…. Oh no there goes the sacredness of my budget. Bloody hell, this love caper is a real pain in the ass.

I caved in like all people in love. But I did have a defense to my stupidity. It has always been with me, through thick and thin, a talent you might say. It has saved me from death and mangulation God knows how may times…. I was armed to the teeth with a thing called dumb luck. Some may even say it was the dumbest and blindest luck. I didn’t care what it was called, so long as it was on my side I didn’t give 2 hoots.

So I agreed verbally to the 40K knowing full well that the next phone call it would suddenly be 60K or more. Now came the tricky part. I had to speak with my girlfriend and get her to agree since we were buying it together. But we had just had a fight and she simply would not agree. No matter what I said she just point blank refused. Ah you have to love girls…

I gave it an hour. I said some nice things, tried to be charming…. I broached the subject again and I was shot down in flames. This was not going to happen.

The broker rang back a couple of hours later. I could sense it in the pause and the ‘ahhh’ that he managed to get out that the figure he was now officially asking for was higher than his unofficial 40K agreed to before. But just after his ‘ahhh’ and before he began his speech about the new figure whatever it was, I rudely cut him off and simply said I can’t offer any more and that the original offer I made was the only one. Well, what began then was the biggest pause in history over the mobile phone. It just went on and on and I felt that whoever spoke first would lose. Eventually he muttered something incomprehensible and hung up. Well I suppose that was the end of that.

About 5 minutes later he rings back and says the boat is mine. Wooohoooo.

We have existed on the planet for hundreds of thousands of years. Fights between males and females have yielded only one conclusion as far as I can tell… that males will always will be the losers in any of these contests. Even when we win we lose big time… well I would like to say to all the guys out there that there is hope. Fights, as incomprehensible as they are to males, and so necessary to the female function, have to my knowledge yielded finally one case where a benefit has come to a male… my fight saved me a bucket of money and a huge amount of time. Dumb luck. Lucky Plukky.

One thought on “The dodgy boat story

  1. Awsome story mate.
    I know a kiwi guy in brisbane here who has a foam core 42 ft Kelsall. I just mention him.. Craig.. cos he did the opposite of you. He sailed it around the reef for ten years but wanted more comforts and so for the last couple of years hes been driving himself nuts putting every bit of shit under the sun on it. He got disheartned for a while and tried to sell it for a bit over 100. I think hes back working on it at Bulimba.


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