And the answer is – yep, we did!!! Our final decision was to buy, but lower our offer. The seller, Jack, agreed and finally it was a done deal! We would close on or before August 14th! Woo hoo! The Meridian 408 named Her Idea was soon to be ours!!! We would eventually be re-naming her Pivot.
Oh, boy, once we made a final decision, all of a sudden things started happening fast. It had been two months since our first visit to Maine. Time had slowed to a crawl and it seemed to be taking forever to finalize the deal. But now that the final steps of the sale were suddenly on the very near horizon, things went into high gear.
However, during what we perceived as those slow moving two months, much had been accomplished: the surveys were arranged and completed, our financing and insurance coverage had been obtained, and almost all of the updates/repairs on Quantum Leap had been completed. And best of all we finally had a closing date – August 14th! Woo hoo! Excited? You betcha!
Now the fun began, with the closing looming, we now had to scramble to sort through some logistical issues. Obviously the boat would need to be moved from Maine to RI. Can we/should we/will we do that ourselves or are there other alternatives? Perhaps hire a captain? Have it transported by truck? In the end, this wasn’t a tough decision since it would be less costly and probably more fun (albeit a little scary) for us to do it ourselves.
With the new purchase, we would be a two boat family, hopefully for only a short period of time. So how would that work? Well, one boat would have to occupy our existing slip while the other would need to be moved to our town mooring in East Greenwich Cove. Which one would go where? Will the new boat really fit in our existing slip (our measurements said she would, but…)? Obviously, Quantum Leap would need to be easily accessible to show her to potential buyers. What should the plan be? Would she sell quickly or would we need to resort to donating her?
Regarding travelling to Maine again by land, since it would be a one way trip, how would we get there? Car rental? Public transportation? And once again we would need an overnight hotel stay. One thing that was absolutely definite – based on our experience on our last trip, we would NOT be staying at the Ogunquit Tides again!
Since neither one of us could remember the finer details of what was on the boat and what wasn’t, it was tough determining what we needed to bring to stock the boat for our trip back. Lot’s of texts were sent to Jack asking if this-or-that were staying onboard. Food was also of concern. Although we would be stopping at several ports on the way, there might not be any stores within walking distance, so we wanted to make sure we had most of what we would need. Also, Pivot/Her Idea would be on the hard without power until the day we picked her up, so that meant there would be no refrigeration for at least a day after launch. A definite concern.
Travelling by water has similar logistics to traveling by land, plans need to be made as to how far to travel each day and determine what ports are available along the route that will accommodate a 42′ boat for an overnight (or longer) stay. Should we make advance reservations being in the midst of the busy summer season? The free Dockwa app which allows boaters to request advance reservations would hopefully make that easier. Note, even though the boat is basically a 40 footer, on this design, with the extended bow rail, the total length, or length overall (LOA) is 42’3″. The dinghy hangs over the swim platform by another 2 feet so technically that increases the LOA also. For the purposes of Dockwa, we used the official LOA of 42′. Check out the pros and cons of Dockwa.
To help with some of the planning, we purchased a Waterway Guide which has info about each port including nautical charts, things to see and do, and details about marinas, moorings, anchorages, and how to get there safely. Additional advice would come from our boating friends who have made the trip previously. Jack (seller), and Michael (broker) would also be excellent sources of information.
So many questions to answer and things to do! Although figuring everything out added a bit of stress to our excitement, it didn’t take us very long to come up with a workable game plan! Good thing because we didn’t have much time!
As far as the two boat situation was concerned. Our plan was to move Quantum Leap to our town mooring in East Greenwich Cove before we left.
Then upon our return, Pivot/Her Idea would occupy our usual slip at the yacht club (assuming she fit, ha ha!). When we had potential buyers for Quantum Leap, we were confident that Matt, our Club Steward, would provide us with temporary dock space to make showing easier.
It was also an easy decision in terms of the transportation to Maine, there really was only one viable option. Since we would need to transport a lot of supplies for our forthcoming week long excursion down the coast, public transportation made absolutely no sense. Plus we would need transportation to get from whatever hotel we chose to the marina. So a car rental was a no-brainer. Ultimately, we rented a minivan from the Enterprise location at T. F. Green Airport in Providence, RI on the 13th. The only potential gotcha with this plan was that there were no drop off locations directly in Kennebunkport. We would need to drop it off at the nearest location then use Uber, Lyft, a taxi or a bus to get back. Without any prompting by us, Jack (seller) suggested that we drop the car off at the Enterprise in Biddeford, Maine and being the very helpful and great guy that he is, he quickly offered to meet us there to give us a ride back to the boat. How awesome was that! Cross that gotcha off our list!
The Holiday Inn Express in Biddeford, Maine, about 10 miles from the marina was our final choice for a hotel. Still a little pricey (we didn’t have any remaining IHG points), but not quite as expensive as the Holiday Inn Express Wells-Ogunquit-Kennebunk, where we had stayed on our first trip to Maine. It was probably somewhat cheaper due to age and location a bit further away from the prime tourist area. And it goes without saying that it was much, much, much nicer than the Ogunquit Tides!
So on the day of our third (and hopefully last) journey northward, on August 13th, we picked up a Chrysler Pacifica mini-van at the Enterprise location at T.F. Green airport in Warwick, RI at 10:30 a.m., then returned to the coach where we loaded up all of the necessities (clothes, toiletries, tools, towels, non-perishable food items, paper plates, nautical charts, miscellaneous boating gear, etc.) that we would need for our journey. Jeesh, by the time we finished, the van was totally chock full of bins, boxes, bags and other stuff! Maybe we should have rented a U-Haul truck! HA HA!
The purchase of a cooler would solve our short term refrigeration problem. In addition to bringing a few refrigerated items packed in ice from the coach, we stopped at a BJ’s Wholesale Club in Portsmouth, NH where some easy microwavable food items were purchased. Since the hotel had a small kitchen, we were able to store the food in the fridge overnight, then fill the cooler with ice and transport everything to the boat. A local grocery store or Walmart would be an option if we determined we needed anything else before we began our cruise on the 16th. By 12:30 p.m., we were on the road. We arrived at the hotel in Biddeford shortly after 4:00 p.m.
Earlier in the week, we had been advised by Michael, our broker, that the yard planned on launching Pivot/Her Idea first thing in the morning of the 14th (before 9 a.m.) and once launched she would be plugged in so the batteries would charge and the refrigerator would cool.
In addition, Michael told us that the owner of the marina had offered us the opportunity to stay on the boat at his slip, free of charge on the night of the 14th. Awesome! But because we wanted to stay on the boat a total of two nights, a few days before we hit the road, we used the Dockwa app to make a reservation for the night of the 15th at the Arundel Yacht Club in Kennebunkport.
One of the reasons for launching the boat so early, was that the fairly small marina parking lot served two purposes – not only was it used by the owners of the boats docked at the marina, but it was also a parking lot for the crowd of people who had made reservations on the daily whale watches or a lobster tour boat also located at the marina. After 9:00 a.m., the marina parking lot would be jammed packed with vehicles.
Following breakfast at the hotel, it was an early start for us on the morning of the 14th. Even though we were very excited, we were also a little apprehensive about the activities of the day. Fingers crossed that everything would go smoothly.
Smooth? Ha! Not hardly – things certainly didn’t start off quite as we expected. When we arrived at the marina around 8:30 a.m., Pivot/Her Idea was still perched on blocks at the far end of the parking lot! She hadn’t been moved. Huh? What’s with that? And the parking lot was already in a bit of chaos as cars had started to arrive for the whale watch tour but weren’t allowed to park. Instead they were instructed to form a line at the entrance to the lot.
But soon after our arrival, there was activity with the Travelift. We thought that once things started happening, it would be pretty straightforward moving her across the parking lot. Wrong! That was another very incorrect assumption on our part! The cause of the problem? A car parked smack dab in the middle of the parking lot was obstructing the path that the Travelift needed to follow so it could line up properly with the boat. We soon found out that the owner of the parked vehicle had been a little inebriated the evening before and decided to leave his car there. Smart decision to not drive in that condition, but not so great for us!
Guess the marina staff had experience with this type of situation because they quickly sprung into action. By disconnecting the two lifting straps from the Travelift, they would be able to straddle it over the parked car. The lift could then be driven straight and positioned correctly around the boat. Phew, success!
Now that that obstacle had been conquered, she was lifted off the blocks and ready to begin her slow journey towards the boat ramp! But this time they couldn’t straddle the car, so had to go around it. However, with the boat lifted, lining up perfectly was not an issue and the Travelift had a bit more maneuvering discretion.
But wait! There’s more! In the midst of all this, the yard owner’s German Shepherd decided that he wasn’t thrilled about our buying the boat – we watched as he positioned himself in the path of the moving Travelift, squatted and pooped in the middle of the lot! Too funny! Wonder if he was trying to tell us something? Or was this some type of omen of things to come?
Our giggling over that event quickly turned to nervousness as we watched the Travelift with our boat continue to make its way towards the boat ramp. Oh, no, it was an extremely tight squeeze between the parked car and other cars parked along the perimeter of the lot. Would it be able to make it past the car?
You can see how close it was in this video.
Perhaps 6″ between the tire of the Travelift and the front of the parked car! Yikes! Thankfully neither the car nor the Travelift nor our newly acquired boat sustained any type of damage. Whew, as she moved closer to the boat ramp, we both breathed a collective sigh of relief! Well, actually not a complete sigh of relief! Seeing your newly purchased 40′ boat dangling by two straps over a boat ramp was still a little disconcerting! And the way the day had been going, who knew what might happen next!
In the meantime, the line of cars waiting to park for the whale watch had been growing longer and longer! Fortunately everyone was patient, most likely because they were being entertained while watching all the yard activity. Plus they must have felt comfortable knowing that the whale watch boat wouldn’t go anywhere without them. When our boat was finally positioned over the boat ramp, the cars were directed to parking spots.
We thought things would go smoothly from there but nope, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? Another gotcha was thrown at us. Remember earlier I mentioned that the marina owner had offered his slip for us to use overnight for free? Well, apparently he decided that he needed the slip that night so he reneged on his offer. Really??? At the last minute, now what do we do? Since we would have to go somewhere, they temporarily tied us up where the whale watch boat normally docks so we could plug in for a few hours and charge the batteries.
While that was happening, we were scrambling to find a place to stay for the night. DeMillo’s Marina was located next door but in checking with Dockwa, the charge would be $5 per foot plus electricity, so it would cost us over $210 for one night. Yuk!
As mentioned above, prior to our departure from RI, we had used Dockwa to make a reservation on the night of the 15th at Arundel Yacht Club. Maybe they had room for us on the 14th too.
When we mentioned staying there to Jack, he explained that he had experienced electrical problems there, so he wasn’t sure if that would be the best option. Since our choices were pretty limited and we were already booked there anyway for the 15th, Rob called to see if a 50 amp connection would be an issue and if there was room for us for both nights. Yes! We were told that they had room for us for both nights and there was a 50A hookup.
At $4/foot, it was still fairly expensive to stay at Arundel ($168 per night), but it was still a $82 savings for the two nights vs DeMillo’s and a $252 savings vs Chicks Marina ($7/ft) a little further downriver. Once the batteries were charged, Rob, with Jack’s assistance, moved the boat over to the yacht club and docked her while I drove the car over. The 50A seemed to be working fine!
Once the boat was docked, we began the arduous task of unloading everything out of the van and carting them down the dock, then loading it all onto the boat. What a chore! Boxes and bins were strewn and ended up everywhere. Being unfamiliar with all the nooks and crannies in the boat, it would take a while before we decided where to put everything. After making an assessment of what else we might need, we made a quick trip to Walmart to pick up some additional items.
Finally it was time to quit for the evening. What an exhausting but an exciting day! It didn’t take us long to know that we had made the right choice – we totally loved this boat! We were so looking forward to our first night onboard….
But first we needed a little relaxation.
Coupled with the colorful glow of a beautiful sunset. Let’s hope the saying “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning” means that we will have fair skies for our departure.
And the warm glow of our boat lit up at night.
The next day, the 15th, as promised, Jack met us at the Enterprise drop off location in Biddeford. Rather than taking us directly back to the boat, he offered to take us to a grocery store if we needed supplies (we didn’t) and then very nicely became our tour guide, pointing out a few of the local attractions. What a great guy! He sure helped to make our purchase an awesome experience!
The first tour stop was Walker’s Point compound, the summer White House of President George H. W. Bush and still home to other Bush family members.
Then St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport which has a fascinating history. It has been in continuous use as a summer chapel since it was consecrated on August 24, 1892 and is one of 18 historic summer chapels in the Diocese of Maine.
Jack pointed out some other places as we drove back to the yacht club.
We would spend the remainder of the day learning the various systems and navigation gear, as well as continue putting items away. We needed to get things in order because we would be departing the next morning. Fingers crossed that fog wouldn’t delay our departure.
Fortunately, so far (knock on wood), we didn’t so far have any issues with the 50 AMP electrical service.
Additional photos are available here. More to come….