Red Rover, Red Rover Come on… (to Seattle)

Red Rover, Red Rover Come on… (to Seattle)

The week between the survey and heading back down to do the off-shore delivery seemed to both drag on and then seem like we didn’t have enough time!  As promised, Lee provided us with a quick turn on the survey report.  It was submitted to the bank over the weekend and they hoped right on drafting all the papers to sign.  As we had sent most of what we needed (or ordered and drop shipped from Amazon to CA), we didn’t have too much left to pack.

On Tuesday, we signed the papers and the title company sent all but $1000 off to the sellers.  We wrapped up a few things at work and raced to the airport (oh the Seattle traffic is getting bad!).  We had a busy week lined up ahead of us…  Off-shore delivery on Wednesday, add fuel (lots of fuel) have all of our packages delivered, unpack those packages, shop for food, store the food, have Jeff run thru systems with us, do an overnight passage with Jeff and Pam Thursday night, pick up our crew that arrives on Friday and be ready to head out Saturday morning!  Whew!  I still can’t believe we crammed it all in.

So Wednesday, we did do the off-shore delivery with Neil, Jeff and Pam (Jeff’s lovely and so, so helpful wife – I don’t think Jeff could survive without her!).  We traveled about 4 miles off shore, with Neil driving.  At that point we had some papers to sign, photos to take and the last $1000 to transfer to Neil.  Done properly, this allows us to not pay California sales tax.  Once paperwork was signed, she was officially ours!  8 years after learning about Nordhavns, we have our own.

So, ok, I now have the reigns to the 125,000 lbs boat.  Huh.  This thing is big!  We headed back to the marina with OUR boat!  So as with our last boat, the docking is always the fun part to get used to.  There is about 18″ on either side of the fenders to each finger pier.  Not a lot of room…  With the control station on the starboard wing, coming in went great.  Alison and I had historically chuckled at the yachties with the headsets.  We purchased a set and have to say – a must on a boat this size.  I can’t see her or would even be able to hear her.  But she can stand at the port stern and quietly let me know what is going on while I am on the starboard side.  Beautiful.

Shortly there after, we had the guys from arrive with our shipment of packages.  Loads and loads of packages.

The van was packed.  All of it ours…


Then it was like Christmas!  I think it we had over 60 packages to open and sort thru.  Then many of the items were retail packaged, so open again.  We had cardboard and more cardboard…  Pam and Jeff were saviors – they helped open and store all we had in those boxes Wednesday night.

The next day was, well putting more stuff away and going thru systems with Jeff.  Jeff and I also pressure washed the engine room.  Now that was fun!  We also marked the engine room for the critical items to look at/take temps when doing hourly engine room checks.  Alison and I both wanted to do some “hands on” lessons – so we talked Jeff and Pam in to an overnight passage Thursday night.  So mid afternoon on Thursday, we headed out to do a “quick” stop at the fuel dock.  Some 1300 gallons later, we headed west to the open ocean!

Insignia at the fuel dock.  We actually met someone that helped the original owner deliver her (then named Higher 5) to her home port.

On our way west, we had a few flyovers from naval helicopters as they were doing drills near by.  Shortly after the photo was taken, the navy asked us to give them a little bit more separation!   How could we say no…


Pam and I took the first half of the night watch and Jeff/Alison took the second half.  We did our hourly engine room checks, became accustomed to the navigation software,  radars and generally just enjoyed cruising in our boat for our first time.  Alison’s comment about cruising overnight…  “It’s just like cruising during the day but you can’t see anything!”

The whole purchasing process along with surveys, off shore deliveries, provisioning, cleaning, learning, etc is hard work.  I don’t think anyone worked harder than Jeff…

Jeff Merrill catching some shut eye

We rolled back in to the marina Friday morning and were sad that Jeff and Pam were heading home.  Jeff was off to New Zealand the next day and Pam had her puppy to get back to!  We really cannot thank both of them enough for what they did those few days.

The the Merrill’s off, it meant it was time to gather our crew up from the airport!  We had Darrel (my dad), Laura (Alison’s cousin) and John, Laura’s husband, arriving within an hour of each other.  Laura and John are our salty relatives from Maryland.  Laura is the business manager for a multi-state boat brokerage and John, well – he has done a bunch, including being a cargo ship captain.  They have had more boats than you can shake a boat hook at.  Dad has turned more wrenches than most mechanic shops combined. I knew that if we needed any help mechanically, there isn’t anyone else I would rather have aboard.  It was was a busy day ahead…  fill water, continue to put stuff away, grocery shop for a trip north, etc.

Alison and Laura with hopefully enough blue tape.  Jeff said we should never run out….

It was dark by the time most of our list was crossed off.  I returned back to the boat from returning our rental car – a near death uber ride – to a hot dinner.  After such a long week, that meal tasted amazing!  We all were ready for bed – just a few hours away from our 6am departure time on Saturday…

Our salty crew Saturday morning.  We didn’t know how salty we were to get a few days later!







Survey says…

Survey says…

Ok – we are a little behind on updating the blog.  We will work to catch everyone up over the course of several posts…

It’s finally time for the survey!  June 13th and 14th – two days for the hull survey and one for the mechanical survey.  We flew in Sunday morning, the day before.  Jeff Merrill met us later that Sunday.  Lee, our hull surveyor, came Monday morning and Ernie, our mechanical surveyor arrived Tuesday morning.  Neil and Elaine were on the boat Monday as well.

Neil – what are you doing in the electrical closet?

Lee got started first thing Monday.  To say that Lee is detailed would be a disservice to him. He spent two full days looking at every part of the boat, every piece of equipment and tested everything for operation.  He didn’t let up even when we were underway during the sea trial.

Earnie came in Tuesday morning and checked the operation of the main and wing engines as well as the generator.  Oil samples were pulled and sent off for testing.

Jeff, as usual, took copious amount of pictures.  If we haven’t said it yet, Jeff is an amazing broker.  His knowledge and detail is amazing.  We cannot say enough…

The haul out is always fun.  We knew that the boat was big but seeing her out of the water is a show stopper.  She is almost 40′ from keel to the tip of her antennas.

After we splashed her, Insignia was tied up to the yard’s side tie and they allowed us to drop the dinghy down for a quick cruise.  The RIB ran well – fun baby boat!

At the end of the day Tuesday, Lee gave us a verbal run down of the items that will be on his written report.  Our goal was to get the survey back from Lee and submit it to our bank by the weekend.  We also were to have our mechanical report by the end of the week as well.  If the bank had the reports by Monday morning, they could draft the paperwork and have it ready for us to sign on Tuesday – which was great as our one way return (Seattle to San Diego) Alaska tickets were for Tuesday afternoon!  Tightly scheduled…


After leaving Lee, we drove Jeff to the train station and ourselves to the rental car return.  Back to Seattle to wait for our paperwork and financing to wrap up over the course of the next week.