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Driving home from seeing Sognare for the first time we were in love. We were so excited about what this boat could offer us. Sognare had everything we needed to live on board and we could already imagine owning her. As a boat, she had so much to offer and some new toys for us to try out. As a home, she offered a small clean space for us to call ours. We just had to make sure our emotions wouldn’t cloud our objective judgement.

The survey was the next step and even though I came across to the owner confident and pretending to know what it is like to buy such a big boat, this was totally new territory for us.

I asked when we could get the survey done. The owner was amazing throughout the whole process, and said he can get his friend at the marina to take it out of the water for free.

Sognare on Survey day

We found the surveyor James Newcombe online and gave him a call. A few days later we met James. It was an odd feeling because in one respect we wanted to live on board a boat and travel the world one day, but there was still some hesitation. We had only met one live-aboard at that point, but he said he was loving it and we would too.

For our first survey, James helped build our confidence in Sognare. He was very professional and knew what he was talking about. When you are buying a boat that costs this much we wanted to make sure she was sound. The previous boat we bought we didn’t even do a survey and we were lucky it was a good boat. This time around we weren’t going to be so silly.

James spent a good four hours going over every little square inch of Sognare and later that evening we had a survey report come through. Quite a nervous feeling again as we opened the PDF. If the report was good then I knew we were going to buy, but if it didn’t I was worried we wasted both time money on the survey. In saying that, better to have a survey come back with problems than not know about those problems at all!

James showed us most of what he found as he found it. We were there for most of the day so nothing in the survey was much of a surprise. Deck fill caps needed to be replaced. Some you could use and others were bent. They looked like they were the original ones. Not too much to replace but it was something we wanted to do because they were the waste, water and fuel caps.

Small cracks in the gel coat on the back boarding platform, and the jib tracks didn’t have end caps, but again not a major. The tender that was on Sognare wasn’t the greatest and was the only item that came back poor in the report. For $1000 we could get a brand new one so it isn’t something we were upset about.

Some things James didn’t check was the entire rigging and the Yanmar inboard. Personally, I wasn’t too concerned about the inboard but the rigging is something we are planning to get checked out in 2018 so we don’t have any surprises in the future.

So we found a boat we liked and better yet the survey came back with only minor work required to get Sognare back to 100%. The scary thing was we now needed to convince the finance company to give us a large loan. We had originally only intended to purchase a boat towards the end of the year (and had hoped to have a nice deposit ready to go!) however we knew this was the boat for us, so we had to work with what we had. ┬áSadly in New Zealand you can’t get a mortgage for a boat you are planning to live on (unlike the US).

If you need a good surveyor get in contact with James. Absolute top bloke.

The next part of the story is all about the finance and the moving day.