We visited Norfolk for the first time while we attended the AGLCA 2016 Spring Rendezvous. This is what we saw from our hotel room. Not my idea of a cosy marina where I would spend some time relaxing. I didn’t think we would come back eventually. But we were back in August to survey the boat we had chosen for our Loop…
That first time, coming from Paris, we wanted to make the most of our trip, and we had organized a dozen of viewings of the type of boats we were envisioning for our Loop. After a lot of searching and reading, we had set our views on the typical single-engine 36′-40′ trawler, with 2 staterooms, if possible with the sundeck arrangement. Our preferred types were the Heritage East 36, the Marine Trader 36-38, or the Monk 36.
We viewed a number of them, and there was no hesitation: we had found the ideal boat, a Heritage East 36 in very good condition, perfectly suited to our project. We found the price rather high (of course), and anyway we didn’t have the money to buy her until we sold our house. But still, we hoped to have found our boat.
But… in the back of my mind, I was attracted to power cats, the like of the PDQ 34 or the Fountaine Pajot Maryland 37. I had never owned that type of boat, and I was tempted by the novelty of it. They offered objective advantages, like a low draft, relatively large accomodations for the available length, and comparatively lighter displacements. Some extra speed if needed too. But very few were listed for sale, and their advertised price was practically over our budget.
Still, I had found one PDQ 34 that could be viewed in Chesapeake, VA, an hour away from where we were staying, and I set up an appointment with Virginia Yacht Brokers. We spent an hour on Beach Magic. We discussed at length with Bob Starr the broker. We went back to Norfolk very impressed by what we saw, and what we imagined. Very impressed by the price too! As we had put aside one for contingencies before flying back, we couldn’t help driving back to Chesapeake to view the boat again. And again, we were convinced that we had found OUR boat.
All we could do at that time was hope that the boat would wait for us, that we would be able to increase our budget, that the offer we would make would be accepted, that the necessary survey would go well, that…
We flew back to Paris the next day full of hopes.