Detour Ahead for Rode Trippers!

I’d never leave you hanging ‘By the Numbers’…and so the story of Rode Trip and Rode Trippers continues!

When we’d paused, Rode Trip had been hauled from the water in Deltaville, VA and had undergone a mini-makeover to prepare her for prospective buyers. We’d set the price just right, and provided a thorough advertisement hoping that we’d not wait long for the right buyer to emerge. Fascinating people come along when you try to sell things. We received some interesting offers for Rode Trip and here are two of my favorites:
1. An email that read simply, “too little, too slow, too deep, too old to enjoy the $ spending.” I’m sorry, were you actually interested in our boat? I just couldn’t tell from your enthusiastic inquiry. And so, I replied, “Everything else about her is perfect!” Our email respondent replied once again with his opinion that we were asking too much money for a slow moving boat accompanied by a low-ball offer. Maybe, he should have been making offers on faster moving boats.
2. A trade was offered; 7.83 acres of land in Virginia. Interesting. We investigated the land and determined that although it was equally priced (a fair trade), the parcel had been on the market for some time and had not sold. For those interested, send us a note because this man was also willing to trade for a motorcycle or a house boat.

While a fresh coat of deck paint was still drying, we received a serious offer from a man in India with whom we’d been corresponding via email. He had a genuine interest in Westsails, and was particularly interested in Rode Trip because she was water ready. Due to the man’s current location in India, he would be unable to view Rode Trip and so we answered many questions that he had regarding the condition of the boat. He didn’t want her to slip away, and we’d had other inquiries, so he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Just like that Rode Trip sold! We were very fortunate to have not needed the services of a broker. We completed a Purchase Agreement with our buyer and he provided us a deposit via wire transfer. We established a final closing date that allowed time for him to make travel arrangements from India to the United States. Chapter One of our cruising lifestyle would soon come to an end. In the meanwhile, Brian and I prepared for Chapter Two to begin.

We locked Rode Trip for the last time and said our goodbyes. Then, Brian and I did what so many transitioning, adult children do; returned to our parents (temporarily) in our hometown in Pennsylvania where each set of parents had readied a guest room for us. During the next few weeks we’d visit friends, sort our belongings, tend to medical appointments, and prepare for our next big move!

Proud New Owners

Congratulations to Bruce and Kathy, the newest boat owners of the family! We think they’ve made a very wise choice! The new boat is a 2001 Alliage 41′ cutter rigged, aluminum hull sailboat. If you’d like to see all the details, you can view photos and inventory here.

We’d like to extend a “Thank You!” to David Chateau, broker at AYC International Yachtbrokers. David was professional in his role as broker and he was also welcoming and informative regarding our unfamiliarity with France. He spent long hours with us at the boatyard, collaborated with the owner on numerous occasions to answer all of our questions, and assisted us to inspect the Alliage 41′ to the extent that we, “…might not need a surveyor.” We realize David was trying to sell us a boat, but he went beyond our expectations of a broker and continues to provide essential assistance throughout the purchase process.

A celebratory dinner in Nice, France was the perfect ending!



We’re headed stateside once again…

European Boat Tour

Brian and I met Bruce in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where we began our search by looking at an Antarctic 45′. The Antarctic 45′ was a beautiful boat; well maintained, well outfitted, and comfortable interior. We liked the interior layout, easy access to engine and systems, and large tankage for water and fuel. We did not like the 6’5″ draft. There was limited history regarding the builder of the boat, and we disliked that the stainless fittings on deck were mounted directly to the aluminum without insulators; problematic for corrosion and would require immediate attention to be remounted correctly. (Note; I am not sharing the nitty-gritty of our likes/dislikes because that could easily fill a month’s worth of posts. And really, we all want to get to the meat of the matter!)
We found no other aluminum boats for sale in the United States that met our search criteria or price range. But we did not let that stop us from finding the best boat for us…onward!

To Holland!

Kathy joined us in Holland where our first stop was the town of Monnickendam. We looked at a Koopmans 45′. The Koopmas was the oldest of all the boats we looked at, but it was impeccably maintained. We liked the pilothouse on this boat. On the interior we liked the location of the head and the layout of the galley. We did not like the access to the engine and systems, small tankage for water and fuel, and very narrow fore and aft berths. The Koopmans 45′, although we had arrived with high hopes, just did not “click” with us.



While in Holland, we traveled north to the town of Hindeloopen. Here we looked at a Koopmans 40′. Although we liked the interior of this Koopmans, the design of the boat was similarly narrow fore and aft which resulted once again in small berths. Koopmans was not the boat for us.


We looked at several other non-aluminum boats while in Hindeloopen. These brief tours reiterated to us that we would hold strong to our criteria.


We said goodbye to Holland…


The boat tour continued in France, where we began in the town of Arzal. Here we looked at three Ovni 435’s. Wow! Everyone liked the Ovni’s. We liked the interiors, large tankage for fuel and water, and access to engine and systems. The exteriors of the Ovni’s, however, were all in need of paint (deck and hull). The hatches and portholes on the Ovni’s leaked; most of which were already being replaced and resealed. The maintenance inside and out on the Ovni’s seemed to be lacking. At Arzal, we also looked at an Alliage 44′. This Alliage had been listed for sale very recently and not in our price range. We liked the interior, access to engines and systems, hard enclosable dodger, and overall the Alliage felt like a more stout boat than the Ovni 435’s. There were few dislikes on this Alliage 44′ and it was a brief look due to the price tag. With a lot of new information, we took a break from the boat tour before settling into yet another chain hotel for the night.



At the town of Argeles, France we’d reached the Mediterranean!



We looked at one Ovni 435 in Argeles. This boat moved to the top of our list. Similar to the other Ovni’s it required extensive exterior work, but the interior of this boat was well maintained and in this boat design it was the layout we preferred. We were making progress, but hadn’t yet exhausted our possibilities.


Back on the road, we traveled to Port St Louis du Rhone where we looked at an Alliage 44′ and an Alliage 41′. On the Alliage 44′ we liked the access to engine and systems, ample storage space, and semi hard dodger. We did not like the high engine hours, and the need to replace sails and canvas. The Alliage 44′ was well maintained but needed some sprucing. On the Alliage 41′ as soon as we stepped aboard something “clicked.” This boat appeared brand new; it had been very lightly used by its one owner. We liked the interior layout and ample storage space despite the smaller overall length. We liked the very low hours on the engine. We did not like that few systems had been installed; particularly the boat was in need of an alternative power source such as wind, solar, or generator.


During our week in Europe, we’d traveled through (including flight layovers and driving) five countries, met with seven brokers, and looked at 11 boats. This was not an easy decision! We were very fortunate that we had found the boat for us…the Alliage 41′ in Port St Louis du Rhone. We really had saved the best for last!