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We arrived back home in Mobile just before dark, exhausted, stressed over the boat offer, and road-weary. I expected we might hear back from Nani’s broker Monday morning or afternoon, but if the guy wanted to play hardball he might wait until Tuesday morning. And when Tuesday morning rolled around without a word, I waited (impatiently) until just after lunch to call our broker, Leo, and see if he could shake the tree a little and find out what was going on.

He called me back just after 2 p.m. with the bad news. The seller was not only rejecting our offer, but would not even counter. He was taking the boat off the market. Shelly and I have speculated on his decision, wondering if he had realized he had put too much money into the refit to sell at the price listed, or if he just had a change of heart and couldn’t give up Nani. It didn’t matter though, there was a duplicate Beneteau 393, Aquila, who had been fatefully sitting outside our hotel all weekend.

Remember I mentioned we had a hell of a time getting a hotel for the weekend? The only hotel out of dozens and it ended up right next to the first boat we saw on Saturday? My mind flashed back to that conversation Shelly and I had leaning against the fence Saturday night, staring at Aquila, with Shelly looking at me and saying, “What if she ends up being THE ONE?”

Well, I’m not big on fate, “meant to be”, and signs, but I couldn’t help thinking that Aquila was somehow bending the universe and drawing us to her even though we had headed down a path that I, in hind-sight, think might have been a lesser choice for us — even with all the sparkly new electronics.

Needless to say Shelly and I spent the next hour on the phone with Bill, the first broker we talked to Saturday morning, drafting up an offer for Aquila. And as luck would have it, the owner had dropped the price another five thousand just the day before.

So, with Bill’s advice, we presented what we thought was a fair offer and e-signed it. He told us we would probably get a counter offer by the next afternoon and he was right. The counter offer was a fair one and instead of haggling back and forth over a percent or two of the overall sales price, and pissing all parties off in the process, we agreed to the owner’s counter and now have a solid contract to buy a boat!

The short version of the next few days; Bill recommended a few surveyors to line up, we called our finance broker to get the ball moving on finalizing our paperwork, and we still have to pick out a boat name. We have one in mind, but are waiting to give the final word for the Coast Guard registration submission until the last minute incase something else pops into our heads.

For now, we just wait — and for those of you that know me, you know I’m not that patient, but we have a flight booked for this weekend to fly back to St. Pete for the surveys and sea trial on Monday the 6th.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, please, and let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or even if you just want to wish us good luck.


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