We've all heard it said before, "The happiest day in a boat owner's life is the day they buy a boat, and the day they sell it." While I agree with the first part of that saying I'm not so sure the latter is always true. I've bought and sold boats before and though I was always happy on the day I bought one, I've always had mixed feelings on the day I sold one. I've also observed this reaction with previous owners that I purchased from.
Despite knowing that the ultimate objective is to finalize the deal, there always seems to be that awkward- 'I'm going to miss you -hug-kiss-sob' -moment once the deal is done. You know what I'm talking about. It's the good bye at the train station moment or the returning the puppy you found and wished you had never called the number on his tag moment. It's the moment where the memories of every bad experience you've ever had with the boat just sort of vanish and you're suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of separation anxiety. This is kind of what I noticed the day I took delivery of my sailboat.
If you looked at the pictures in my previous post you are most likely thinking two things. 1-Why would anyone be excited about handing money over for this shipwreck? 2- Why would the person collecting the money NOT be jumping for joy?
I don't know how to answer that because just the opposite happened on the day we closed the deal. When the boat arrived, I was totally excited and the seller was sort of melancholy.
He pulled up and we greeted each other in person for the first time. We had only spoke on the phone to this point so this was our first face to face meeting. Neither of us were in negotiation mode anymore... We were both content with the deal as discussed over the phone and decided to finalize our transaction over a few beers In the garage.
During our conversation he explained that he originally had the same intentions for the boat as I do. His plan was to carry out a restoration and sail her as far as she was willing to sail. Unfortunately, his schedule didn't allow for it and he wasn't even sure he could actually carry out the task because she was in such bad shape. As the conversation continued I asked him about how he had come to acquire the boat. His response was somewhat brief. He quickly reverted to explaining all of the steps he was going to take to make her seaworthy again. He spoke of all of the modifications and upgrades that he was going to execute. He spoke of all the places he was going to sail. As the beer continued to flow, I noticed he kept correcting his sentences from, "I'm going to fix..." to "Um, I mean I was going to fix..." I wondered to myself, is he catching a buzz or getting sentimental? Maybe both...
Throughout the conversation he would look over his shoulder in the direction of the boat and exhibit a half-smile and let out a quiet sigh. That's when I finally realized he had not made the separation yet. There seemed to be a strong emotional connection between him and this little boat with three huge holes in her hull. It was that awkward moment.
Suddenly, I found myself overcome with empathy and in that instant,
I wrote the check! This guy was having second thoughts and I was not about to let him ruin the first day of the happiest day in this boat owners life! :)
Leave a comment, let me know your thoughts on the saying...