From Solitaire to Zanshin I (Boo Tiger)

Sailing past the Dogs Sailing past the Dog Islands on my way to Trellis Bay in order to meet Barry, who at the time was a prospective purchaser but ended up buying Solitaire from me.
(2008-12-08 22:17:54 DSC-N2 [f/8.0, 10/10000s] ISO 160)
Sailing past the Dogs
Last sail on Solitaire My last sail as owner of Solitaire, I'm heading to Nanny Cay and Barry & the Bluewaterkids are about to purchase her.
(2008-12-08 22:18:06 DSC-N2 [f/8.0, 10/8000s] ISO 160)
Last sail on Solitaire
Barry on Solitaire Barry and I having a cold one after he'd purchased Solitaire from me.
(2008-12-18 00:04:43 DSC-N2 [f/2.8, 10/400s] ISO 200)
[18°23'58.6"N 64°38'7.02"W ]
Barry on Solitaire
The Bluewaterkids on Solitaire Alison, Kayla and Quinn have just arrived after a very lengthy ordeal of missed and cancelled flights and hotels but are finally aboard their new home.
(2008-12-23 22:19:34 DSC-N2 [f/8.0, 10/6400s] ISO 160)
[18°23'58.24"N 64°38'7.25"W (facing N)]
The Bluewaterkids on Solitaire
Boxing Day on Solitaire The first ever trip on their new boat for the Bluewaterkids on Boxing Day. The winds were quite strong for a first day but all went well.
(2008-12-25 20:29:57 DSC-N2 [f/8.0, 10/4000s] ISO 160)
[18°19'3.4"N 64°36'55.39"W (facing E)]
Boxing Day on Solitaire
Zanshin I paint repair Performing initial paint repairs on Zanshin I - which was still called "Boo Tiger" at the time.
(2008-12-18 15:06:05 DSC-N2 [f/8.0, 10/5000s] ISO 160)
Zanshin I paint repair
Hull preparation on Solitaire Preparing Solitaire's hull for bottom pain as part of my selling her to Barry and the Bluewaterkids.
Hull preparation on Solitaire

My previous boat, Solitaire, was a 2002 Jeanneau 43 DS (Deck Salon), essentially the same design in a smaller package than Zanshin I. While 43' is already a respectable size, I wanted a larger and heavier boat with which to do my circumnavigation. A larger boat has more storage capacity for water, fuel, supplies, spares, etc. and larger boats tend to be more sea-kindly and safer (while that is not always true, generally biggerisbetter). I also wanted a boat with a full or longer keel and preferably with a skeg hung rudder as I already had a rudder loss fiasco behind me and wanted to avoid a repeat of that feeling of helplessness. A rudder protected by a full keel and a skeg would go a long way in ameliorating my worries.

I put Solitaire onto the boat market through BVI Yacht Sales at Nanny Cay in the BVI. They used their network as well as the major web-based sales engines to offer Solitaire and, while there was general interest in the boat and a couple of unserious offers, no purchaser immediately pounced and, a couple of months later, the global economic malaise of 2008 came around and I was forced to drop the price significantly in order to keep it line with other similar boats.

By this time the I realized I would soon have to drop the price yet again to make Solitaire an attractive purchase and I decided that instead of doing that I would keep her, add those items which I felt were necessary for a circumnavigation (watermaker, radar, more batteries, SSB, AIS, wind generator, big inverter and perhaps solar panels at some point in the future) and get started on my voyage. I arrived back in the BVI in mid December 2008 and put Solitaire back into the water. I cleaned her up inside and out and planned on sailing around the BVI for a couple of weeks while deciding which route to take. A week before Christmas I found myself anchored between Saba Rock and Prickly Pear island in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. It was early afternoon and I fired up the PC to use Saba Rock's free WiFi and send/receive emails. To my surprise I had an urgent mail from BVI Yacht Sales telling me that a potential buyer from Canada, Barry, was in their office and would very much like to take a look at Solitaire. I called Chris Simpson via Skype and we agreed that I'd head off to Trellis Bay immediately to let Barry look at the boat. The winds weren't that strong so I motor sailed most of the way and made it there just prior to dusk. Barry and Chris came aboard and inspected the boat (while I stayed above decks to give them some room) and all seemed well.

I sailed down to Nanny Cay the next day, Barry was looking at some more boats on his shortlist (Catamarans, of all things. But I forgive him for thinking about switching to the dark side). The day thereafter I received an offer to buy Solitaire from Barry, but his offer price was substantially below what I was willing to accept.

That would normally have been the trigger for me to withdraw Solitaire from the market and sail off to the duty-free island of St. Martin to purchase and install the missing equipment. Serendipitously the broker mentioned that they had just received an almost new Jeanneau 49DS for sale that very day, it was so fresh on the market that they hadn't yet taken any pictures, just done a quick walk-through and inventory. While another fin keeled Jeanneau was not at the top of my list of potential boats, I decided to take a look at the boat, as it was stored a short walk away from the BVI Yacht Sales offices in the Nanny Cay yard. I went aboard and was amazed at the spaciousness (and new-boat smell). Going from a 43' to a 49' boat doesn't sound like much, but those extra 6 feet of length also imply extra width and in total I would say that the new boat had double the internal volume of Solitaire! The new boat already had all of the blue water extras that I wanted, and the only two negative aspects were the teak decks and blue hull. Those, while making the boat pretty, are added maintenance factors. Blue hulls soak up a lot more heat than white hulls - this might be a good thing in Europe but not in the hot tropical climates where I intend to stay throughout my circumnavigation.

After a restless night spent trying to make up my mind on what to do I came to the decision that if we could negotiate a fair purchasing price for Boo Tiger and an acceptable sale price for Solitaire the deal could be consummated.

Then things immediately got very, very busy. Both Barry and I had to get pre-purchase surveys done, figure out financing and all the other minor and major details associated with a boat sale and purchase. Barry had his family coming down from Canada at Christmas and their intent was to head out upon their arrival and start sailing around the Caribbean. I had similar plans (while I wasn't in a great hurry to leave, I wanted to move aboard Boo Tiger quickly so that I wouldn't have to stay in a hotel) and wanted to consummate the deal as quickly as practicable.

Surveying Solitaire was done by Robert Hirst and it was a very thorough one (I wish I had chosen him when I bought Solitaire), finding a number of smaller issues that I had to address prior to the sale; likewise the survey of Boo Tiger discovered some things as well which I either had to have fixed or, failing that, would reduce the sale price accordingly. Solitaire was hauled out of the water to clean, fillet the keel, and put new antifouling on the hull plus repair the toe rail and stuffing box (at my cost). At the same time Boo Tiger had some cosmetic repainting done and then both were put into the water just before Christmas.

While the repairs were being done to both both boats, Barry and I rented a car and combined a bit of sightseeing with trips to every chandlery on the island in order to relieve them of excess stock and ourselves of most of our cash. We also managed to find wholesale food places, various hardware stores and saunter along some of the docks and marinas in the BVI. Most of our time was spent shopping for boat parts - it was certainly worth comparing prices and we put a lot of miles on the car going back and forth. Since anything labeled as being intended for use on yachts tends to be quite expensive, those miles were worth it. What we really should have done was to wait until we arrived in St. Martin before doing any of this shopping, but even though I knew better I still wanted to fix things up immediately.

By Christmas day the paperwork for Solitaire's sale and purchase had gone through and I was just awaiting a final fax from the seller's bank in the UK before my purchase was completed as well. Barry's family (his wife Alison and two children, Kayla and Quinn) arrived Christmas day after a lengthy and tiring trip from Canada and we all went on their first sail on Solitaire on boxing day.

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