Six months after hurricane Irma, the insurance company decided to declare the second Lark a total loss, and we were able to make the decision to let her go. Since then, we have referred to her as “Bon Edda,” the name on her transom.
Things had been starting to move with insurance ever since Bon Edda got stood up. We’d been looking at options in anticipation of needing to reach a decision quickly when insurance finally moved. We’d looked at Maramus and Tayanas for sale all over the the world, but nothing we saw seemed quite right.
Our good friends Will and Wendy had checked out a Tayana for us in Grenada several months back and said it looked great and it was still listed, but we have eyes only for Maramus now. There was a Maramu we looked at in Florida that was only OK, but too expensive. Another one in Florida looked good from the listing, but was very expensive, and we hadn’t been able to reach the seller after weeks of trying. I finally got through to him during our last week in Costa Rica, and the guy actually wanted me to pay him for a dinghy ride to go look at the boat out on a mooring ball. We even had a pre-survey done on a Maramu in France, but the condition report was disappointing.
It seemed that the only option for us was to fix Bon Edda, but even if insurance were to pay out the full covered amount, we’d still have to come up with $25K out of pocket just to get her back to pre-Irma condition.
It seemed pointless, but I posted on an Amel owners group asking if anyone had a Maramu for sale. To my surprise, a couple from the UK responded that they hadn’t got around to listing it yet but were thinking about selling their Maramu in Mexico. They had already done many of the same upgrades we were planning for Bon Edda, and the price was right. It really seemed too good to be true.
On top of it all, Dave and Tanya, cruising friends from Nederland, had just arrived in Mexico and were within dinghying distance of the new boat. They made arrangements to meet a friend of the owners and go look at her the following Monday, the day after we would arrive in Sint Maarten. This was all arranged before we left Costa Rica, but we would have to wait four long days to hear Dave and Tanya’s report.
In the meantime, we travelled to SXM and April and the girls got their first look at Bon Edda since the storm. It was hard, because while we knew how expensive she’d be to fix, she didn’t look too bad. Our emotions were at war with our intellects, as we loved Bon Edda and wanted to keep her and couldn’t help feeling that she wasn’t that badly damaged, but we also knew what the repair estimates added up to.
First glimpse of the inside of Bon Edda
Monday afternoon, Tanya facetimed us and took us on a video tour of the Mexico boat. Dave and Tanya were both impressed and thought she looked quite good. They took a bunch of pictures inside and out and sent them to us. We’d also found the sellers’ cruising blog, going back to 2009, describing the time and circumstances of all the maintenance and upgrades they’d described when they first responded to me.
A photo Tanya sent of the boat in Mexico
So we were very taken with the Mexico boat, which made it easier to say goodbye to Bon Edda.
But the logistical challenges were daunting: the boat in Mexico, the owners in the UK, ourselves in SXM. The owners could not travel to Mexico in April, so they would need to come in March or wait until May for the sea trial. There are no marine surveyors at all in the area of Mexico where the boat is located, so someone would have to fly in. As Spring Break season approaches the prices of flights toward the end of the month increase dramatically.
As long and hard as we’d had to look to find a boat we liked this much, though, we did not want let this deal sit around an extra month– time during which it could only go south. So pulling together, April and I feverishly phoned and emailed and researched escrow options, surveyors, flights, hotels and haul-outs. It seemed impossible to get it all sorted in time to book reasonably-priced flights with time for the sea trial before the end of the month, and several times I said to April it was too hard and we’d just have to wait for May. But then on Thursday it all just fell into place!
A surveyor said he was free and could fly in. The haul out yard said we could reserve a time on the date we needed. We got flights booked from SXM to Miami for this coming Tuesday and Miami to Mexico on Wednesday. The owners will arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. The surveyor will arrive on Sunday. The sea trial will take place on Monday, the 26th.
Mixed in with all of this, Grampsy arrived in SXM the day after we did to help celebrate Audrey’s birthday, which was the next day, 6 months to the day since Irma. And there was the small matter of unpacking our belongings from Bon Edda and arranging to get them off of SXM, along with a 1300-pound pallet we had shipped to SXM from Miami a week before Irma. We also sold 2 dinghies, 2 outboards, a kayak, and 3 gallons of bottom paint for almost enough Euros to pay for the cost of storing them for 6 months.
playing with Grampsy in St. Martin
Audrey’s karaoke birthday party with Grampsy and friends Tanya, Julian, G, and M.
Enjoying some fine French dining while on the island.
packing our pallet to ship out
We have still found some time to laze around on the beautiful beaches.
It’s been a long week and a half!