James had been a 20 year client of our Canadian sister company Cooper Boating, and this past November, he joined Colin for a boat delivery from Bellingham to Sidney so a Grand Banks could head into our boathouse for brightwork and freshening up.
Flying out to Vancouver James met Colin and headed down to Bellingham, although bad weather didn’t make it possible for everyone else involved to do so. It’s ironic when a client from Winnipeg (James) made it, while some of the local crew from Bellingham could not; washed out roads will do that to you!
The storms kept Colin and James dockside that day, so when in Rome, do like the Romans do. When stuck at a dock, look at boats. James was on the hunt for something for his next Alaskan adventure, having taken his Nordic Tug up there in 2015. That boat now had a new owner and James was on the prowl for something bigger and better.
James had been aboard a couple Hampton Endurance 65’s and while Kohala was at the dock, neither she nor another was available to purchase. Touring more of the NW Explorations fleet, James came aboard one and commented “this is a close second.”
“How close?” asked Colin. “Is there one available on the market?” Colin’s thumbs went to work and there was a newer sistership to the boat we were aboard and it was very convenient to look at the specifications while sitting on the very same model on the nearer side of the continent.
That night, at dinner, they decided that with the current speed of the brokerage market, an offer should be made right then and there, so as not to head all the way to Florida only to find it already gone. James took her off the market with a conditional contract and a simple deposit into our trust account. The team of prairie boys (Colin is originally from Winnipeg as well) and their trusted mechanic jetted off to Florida as quickly as possible.
Love at first sight? Seems the Kadey-Krogen website talks about owners taking years to make an educated decision to buy one of these. James’ initial decision took hours – perhaps setting a new record.
We got a quote to ship her home to Canada, but the best part of Winnipeg in the winter – is LEAVING Winnipeg in the winter. Why fly back home when one could embark on an epic boat delivery from Florida to British Columbia?!
James asked Colin what his commitment would be to getting the new baby all the way around, and a commitment was made to ensure all the legs of the trip would have capable crew along with Colin himself. With thousands of offshore miles including 4 trips to Maui, Colin could do the parts that we couldn’t find other people for.
We had one small delay in launching as James was waiting on the arrival of his daughter’s new addition to their crew (let’s call Ripley the smaller baby). Odd to plan around THAT event, but family is always first, boats are a close second.
James was aboard for over two-thirds of the miles around from Cancun to Panama, through the canal and to Costa Rica and to Puerto Vallarta (with our fearless leader Ross and his lovely wife Evie on board) as well as from San Diego to Bellingham. Our trusty sidekick and attempting-to-be-retired mechanic Gregg was second with only one fewer leg than James. A band of people made it all happen and we’re happy to have her back at her home in our lovely Pacific Northwest waters.
The arrival of a grand-baby causes some angst, but the many month’s of worrying about the safe passage of a bigger yacht-baby causes those feelings all over again.
People ask about a big boat deal that took almost no time to come together and I have three thoughts. The first, it was 20 years in the warm up period. Second, James didn’t buy a boat, he bought an adventure. I forgot the third thought, but it was good. Trust me.
What’s next? James just decided that it’s a shame to leave a boat here in our waters year round, so let’s look forward to more adventures back to Puerto Vallarta this winter!
A ship in the harbor is safe… but that’s not what ships are for.
Stella Luna takes the lead on the Ocean Reef Yacht Club – Desolation Sound Flotilla, beginning soon from our location in Port Sidney.
If you’d like to have experiences like James – or with James, let’s connect. firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Colin Jackson