Find out why – and how – we decided to sell up and buy a sailboat!
Post updated May 4, 2018
I suppose this is the inevitable question all sailboat owners and liveaboards must answer eventually. But it’s one story we love to share anyway – how to buy a sailboat and why we slid out of “regular” life to become liveaboards!
Don’t be in a hurry
To summarize our discussion in the video, we embarked on our journey to “boat life” when we were simply walking around the marinas of Vancouver, BC one day. At this time, we already owned our house in Ucluelet and had steady careers going.
I should let you know, too, that at the time leading up to our jaunt in Vancouver (and even during boat shopping), we were perfectly content with our current life situation. That is to mean, we did not pursue this as a means to ‘solve a problem’ or cure any kind of unhappiness with our lives.
I say this only to make the point that transitioning to boat life comes with its own set of challenges and there are many things about shopping for and buying a boat that should not be rushed… which can happen if you’re in a hurry to leave any kind of ‘bad’ situation.
Still with me? Cool – I have just a little more backstory for you, then.
Why boat life interested us
I have a personal background with sailboats (as you might know if you’ve read our About Us page), and it was my original plan when I moved to Vancouver to buy a sailboat to live on. Sadly, the banks had other ideas, and with my modest savings they allowed me to buy a condo instead.
Morgan had a condo, too, when I met her. And together, at the time of our trip to Vancouver, we still had those condos plus a house in Ucluelet.
Now, back to our trip to Vancouver.
On that fateful day, we were looking at boats in the marina (because I love boats). Then, something cool came up in our conversations. We discovered that we were BOTH comfortable with the idea of swapping everything – all of our real estate assets – and giving up our careers to own and live on a sailboat.
And because we’re us, that meant we had to do it. 😉
Shopping for a boat & getting the money together
So it began. I had always fantasy-shopped for sailboats… now I was doing it for real!
Here’s where patience and work comes in, though. We had to start putting the wheels in motion to divest of our assets so that we’d know how much money we could work with to buy our boat. My condo was the first to go, but I didn’t end up making really anything noteworthy on it. Sad. Round two was Morgan’s condo, and she did a little better, banking about $50,000.
All this time I was still hunting for boats, and we were continuously talking about what our needs and desires were for our dream sailboat. This helped us narrow down our search and gave us an idea of the ballpark costs of boats we wanted.
Once we had our shortlist – and we had started taking trips to check out boats we were interested in – it was time to sell our house. We had had it listed at the top of its price range, since at the time of listing we weren’t in a hurry to sell. Now we could tell our agent that we were ‘motivated sellers’, to help speed things along.
And it worked!
We got an offer on the house that was much lower than our asking, as we expected, but still much more than we had paid for it. After a bit of back and forth, we sold with enough left over to outright buy a boat. An amazing gift of luck and good-timing with the market!
Actually buying the boat
Now it was time to get serious about buying a sailboat… as we were about to be homeless!
We took one last trip to Seattle and surrounding area to look at our shortlisted boats. It was, again, another blessing that we found our ‘perfect’ boat on this trip, and were able to buy it JUST as our house sale closed!
Not only did this boat check off next to everything on our list, it just FELT like our boat from the moment we stepped onto it. At least, that’s how it was for me. Now, I realize this isn’t a practical reason to buy a boat, and I would never recommend buying based ONLY on a feeling!! But as I said… it already met our practical specs. The feeling was just a bonus.
Closing the deal
We transferred, through our boat broker, a deposit on the boat and I went down to take part in the sea trial and survey. It passed with flying colours. We were ready, and willing, to make an offer.
With an accepted offer made, our house sale completed, and house sale proceeds transferred to the boat owner in the amount of $100,000 USD, Ladara Star was ours to take home! We even had some money left over to do upgrades, outfitting, and maintenance.
We hope you find this video informative and maybe even helpful to you in deciding whether this life is for you and how to start the process rolling!
Profanity Warning: cuss words are simply a part of our lexicon. Treat them like filler words, cuz that’s all they are! 😄