Okay, so Caye left off with a nice evening with Charlie and Susan and another missed date with the boat owner. Today, we woke up committed to finding the owner, getting a bill of sale and picking up the sails. Knowing that this was our last full day here, after a week of work and coordination failures, we really wanted to make this happen – and it did! We met up with the owner and his son, who was the joint owner and main sailor of the boat it turned out. The meeting was great and we had a great time chatting with the father, son and family. They seemed to be having a great vacation and were supportive of our plans and seemed happy that the boat would be continuing her adventures with us. In particular, we chatted with the son a lot, as he had done more sailing on the boat then anyone else and had lots of good tips and ideas about her.
After chatting, we loaded up the 10 sails that went with the boat, a light-ish Danforth anchor (pivoting goofy looking thing) and the auto-tiller. We knew that a lot of sails were going included with the boat, but we had pretty much written off any ground tackle (anchors) and the auto-pilot/tiller – as both can easily be moved from boat to boat and thus were likely to be in use on the owners’ new boat. The inclusion of these was a super nice surprise and another really wonderful act of generosity from this family. Thanks guys!
We also chatted about registration, titles and federal documentation for a while. Turns out that, as we were kind of expecting, no one in the family has the Certificate of Documentation (essentially a title for boats registered federally, rather than with the state DNR). Buying a boat without that certificate is a bit like buying a car with a missing title – generally a bad idea, unless you have a really good/trusting relationship with the previous owners, which at this point, we were definitely feeling. So my homework tonight is to figure out what we need to do to transfer the Documentation and what we need to do at the state level as well. I’ve already spent 45 minutes on the phone with the DNR and Coast Guard and am starting to get an idea of what is involved and what the timeline will look like, but I have a whole lot to figure out still. What I’ve seen so far is not encouraging though – a two month backlog at the Coast Guard Documentation Center….
(update) just finished 2.5 hours of research and have lots of new info and questions about boat registration. I am calling the Coast Guard and DNR tomorrow morning to ask some more questions, then headed back over to the owners’ place to get bills of sale filled out and any other last minute stuff. !!!!