Vicki and Ron love doing new things. We learn about new things and then get excited about the possibilities. Decades ago we learned about the possibilities of circumnavigating the eastern third of the continental United States by boat and this was placed on the “bucket list” of things we needed to do some day. Last Spring (2014) Ron said to Vicki “we either need to start preparing to do this or we need to scratch it off of our list”. Vicki said to Ron “I don’t want to scratch it off the list” to which he replied “Well, we had better start planning and preparing then”.
Thus began the “Great Loop” saga for R & V. The first step was to determine what hull would be used to make this happen. It didn’t take long to realize that buying another boat on the east coast and then selling it again, when we had completed the journey, made more sense, financially, than trying to get the MV/Mei Wenti (a 42′ CHB sundeck trawler) to the east coast from Orcas Island. So began the search for our “Looper” boat.
Ron contacted boat brokers on the east coast explaining the plan and what kind of boat we were looking for and one broker in Florida came back quickly with five possibilities. Of the five two were not what we had in mind, two were serious projects but one matched our needs and was intriguing to us. After much communication back and forth we made an offer, received a counter offer, made a second offer and agreed on a price and conditions. Then it was lining up surveyors, making travel plans, arranging a sea trial and Ron was off to Fairton, New Jersey to see the boat for the first time.
All went well with the process and the decision was made to purchase the boat. The final papers were signed and the boat was ours on August 20, 2014. Vicki had not seen the boat in person yet but only a gazillion pictures.
She is a Grand Banks 32, Hull #194. This 1970 sedan model is a “woodie” and has been nicely restored/maintained over the years. She has fairly new electronics, upholstery, head liner, canvas, hard top bimini, bow thruster, microwave and refrigerator. Hull, deck and house are in good shape and the engine, generator and air conditioner have very low hours. She has an 11′ 6″ beam, and draws about 3′ 6′” so we think she will be perfect for shallow waters, smaller marinas and for the myriad locks we will have to navigate.
We made arrangements to travel from Orcas Island, Washington to New Jersey in October 2015 so Vicki could see the boat first hand and we could winterize it and make it ready for winter storage. Close friends of the previous owner who were very familiar with the boat helped in this process and this was much appreciated. The staff of Flanigan Brothers Boatyard were also very helpful.
We now spend much time in preparation for this trip, researching the route, planning for outfitting, making lists of things to take, organizing finances and being excited. It is our expectation that Ron will spend the month of April preparing the boat, Vicki will join him the last week of April to prepare the cabin and then we will get under way on May 1, 2015.