“...this beginning motion, this first time when a sail truly filled and the boat took life and knifed across the lake under perfect control, this was so beautiful it stopped my breath...” ― Gary Paulsen, Caught by the Seag

Jan. 30, 2017

A Survey is basically like a Home inspection, or Appraisal for your floating home.

As we discussed in the last blog, you will be required to have a survey if getting a loan secured by your vessel, otherwise it will be up to you whether to do so or not. You will have to weigh out your pros and cons.

Your survey and haul out will be scheduled for the same day, and you should expect this project to take at least 5 hours.

The day of our Survey we met our broker aboard S/V NeverLand and were joined shortly after by the Surveyor, Mike Hagen. Mike put us at ease right away, letting us know that he was there for US, and for us to ask questions about anything he was doing. He got busy poking and prodding and starting the engine and lighting the stove and checking the water pressure, and the bilge pump, and the electrical panel, and the safety equipment, and the deck, and the rigging. and- well.... you get the point, there is a lot to check, and every tiny thing ensures the safety and comfort of the vessel and crew.

He took notes via recorder, and soon, we were joined by the captain.

The captain is hired by the seller, as the vessel is still theirs and they approve,  hire, and pay him to take the boat over to the haul out.

Our Captain, Cory, looked to be in his mid twenties. He was a happy, easy going guy, who immediately threw off his shoes and hopped behind the wheel. We talked a bit about his sailing history that started when he was just a young boy, his stint in the islands, and his future aspirations. I have found since embarking on this adventure, that I am very curious about what gets people to this point where they can't imagine life without the sea. For Cory, he inherited the love of sailing from his parents, and planned to pass it on to his own baby boy. You could see on his face as he talked about his time in the BVI, that he longed to get back with every fiber of his being.

He motored the boat over to the boatyard for the haul out. The engine ran well, and he cranked it up for us so we could see her perform. Diesel engines aren't meant for speed, they are simply there "in case of" and as backup to the sails. But this one has no rattling or smoking or overheating or anything to cause alarm.  

The whole process built my anticipation for the unfurling of those sails.... Come on, I'm thinking, let's get to the good part!!

The haul out was pretty cool, though. as we watched our dreams get hauled into the air in a giant sling. The bottom has fairly new paint and showed no problems...cracking peeling, rusting, whatsoever- we even got to see the design features that made our choice of vessels such a good one, with the design of her hull providing greater stability.

But we don't want her in the air, we want her in the water, so the sling gently and slowly lowers her back into the water, and we board. Time for the good part.

I can't express the feeling when the wind filled the sails and we felt her surge into movement. S/V Neverland seemed to be just as excited as we were! 

It was only a few minutes before the engine could be killed. All of us aboard breathed a collective sigh of releif..a true sailor hates that noisy smelly engine and longs to be under sail,

....and she was beautiful, and the sun was dancing off the water and we saw dolphins jumping off the starboard bow! There is just no better feeling, it's magical and surreal. 

We are asked if we feel satisfied with the test- and I say, no, we better "test" another hour!!

Everyone laughs, but I think we all wanted to. Unfortunately it's a work day for the crew and we have to take the boat back to dock. 

We do not regret one penny spent on the survey- we can feel confident about our purchase and Mike tells us we have made a good choice and that the boat is well worth the investment. We have a sandwich with he and his wife, and then- one last thing, Mike is going up the Mast!

A lot of surveyors do not do this, in fact we are told most do not- but Mike dons a little harness and heads up! I can't even watch! He even takes a little soapy sponge up with him and scrubs the spreaders for us ! He is my hero! 

Never Land passes this test, as well, and we all call it a day, a great day, in the life of the Sailing Vessel NeverLand. We walk away knowing that we are going to own this boat, and love this boat and that it will give us many hours of happiness.

And now the work begins, as we prepare her for the Search for St. Somewhere.....