(Have you read Part 1?)
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Three weeks after our trip to see Nice Pair, Kirk flew back to Seattle to help the owner take the boat out of the water. Since Nice Pair is trailerable, Kirk wanted to learn how the boat came apart so he’d understand how to put it back together after we towed it to the Midwest. Our plan was to start sailing in the Great Lakes.
By this point, we were convinced Nice Pair was our boat. We started talking like she was already ours. We researched storage options and launch locations. We came up with the list of projects we wanted to complete after we bought her. Our family and friends constantly asked about “the boat from Seattle.”
The only problem was the price — Steven, the owner, wanted way too much.
We made Steven an offer for Nice Pair at the end of October. We talked with the previous owner of Nice Pair and found out how much Steven paid for her, researched the value of the upgrades he said he’d added, scoured the market for any other catamarans for sale remotely comparable to Nice Pair, and finally came to a number we thought was at the highest end of reasonable for us.
Our offer was 35% off Steven’s asking price. Discounts like this aren’t unheard of in the used boat market. In fact, we went back and forth over whether it was too high an offer. After all, no one else had bought Nice Pair yet — and it had been for sale for over a year — clearly the list price was too high. The last thing we wanted to do was overpay for the boat, realize it wasn’t for us, then be forced to sell it at a huge loss.
Boats are not investments by any stretch of the imagination; they are, more accurately, holes in the water you throw money into. However, if you buy a boat (or any other depreciating asset, like a car) then immediately turn around and resell it, you would hope to recoup most of what you paid for it. At 35% off Steven’s asking price, we were fairly confident we could recover most of our “investment” if we needed to.
Steven didn’t like our offer. This wasn’t a huge surprise, as his valuation of the boat seemed wildly inflated, both to us and to our boat savvy friends and family.
That was okay; we could wait. With a little time, maybe his motivation would grow.
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Over the next few months, we moved out of our place in Oceanside, road-tripped across the country, and spent the holidays with our families in the Midwest. It was now the end of January. After having left California, and with nowhere to go but our parents’ basements, our sailing dream was calling. Nagging, really. When are you two going to make this sh*t happen?
We agonized over when and how to approach Steven again. We decided to up our offer to meet him in the middle of where we left off in our last negotiation. We worried we were offering too much. But, it was our dream boat, right? Let’s do it. Make the offer. Throw it out there, see what happens.
Just minutes later, Steven’s reply pinged Kirk’s phone.
“I can’t read it,” said Kirk, handing me the device, his eyes shielded.
I opened the message. My eyes widened. “Hmm, that could work…”
Kirk and I were ecstatic.
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(Read Part 3!)