I knew as soon as I stepped aboard that this was the boat for us. It was love at first sight and all intelligent thought went straight out of my head. I turned all glassy-eyed to Jean, our advisor and boat surveyor, and said, “Tell me why I shouldn’t buy this boat. Please be objective for me, because I can’t. I love it!” Jean didn’t find any reason why we shouldn’t buy the boat.
Deans, like Admirals, are built in South Africa. South African cherry wood is gorgeous, but the only Admiral that had much of it was the one that had way too much of it. The Dean was beautiful to behold. The inside boasted a lot of wood without over doing it. The salon and hulls were spacious and comfortable. Headroom seemed sufficient everywhere except at the helm. Jeff measured: standing under the hatch was fine, but under the permanent bimini was 6’1”. We didn’t think this would be a problem, Dave just needed to be careful when he stood up quickly. The boat had 4 berths, 3 heads (2 electric, 1 manual), and 3 showers (2 separate from the heads). We didn’t need 4 berths, but we could convert one into a storage area. The two rear berths were also engine rooms. Since access to the engines was under the beds, these would need to stay as bedrooms. However, one was set up more as a utility room with the closet converted to a parts and supplies cabinet as well as the placement of the watermaker (included). The boat was equipped with 10 solar panels and a wind generator, which were sufficient to run all of the boats appliances and systems and keep the house batteries charged. The boat was heavy (28,000 lbs) and unlikely to set any speed records, but was likely to have a smooth, comfortable ride. The laminate main sail was shot and would need replacing. Also, the boat was set up for European power and didn’t have a generator or air conditioning. These things would need rectifying.
Layout of our boat:
There was already an offer in on this boat when I viewed it. Now, I never felt comfortable being the decision maker on the boat purchase. I always assumed Dave could fly out and make the final decision. However, I called Dave and told him we need to put in an offer. NOW! I consulted with my team and we agreed the boat was already listed at a very fair asking price, so here I was asking Dave to pay full price for a boat he knew nothing about. All he saw was the listing and the video the selling broker shot. He trusted my opinion and we immediately started the paperwork. I sent him pictures that I took myself, but Dave never did see it until we went to sea trial and had it hauled for inspection. By this time there were two back up offers to ours. Nothing major came from the survey, so we let our offer stand as is.
The sea trial and haul out were done in a protected area in Ft. Lauderdale and up the New River. Therefore, we were never able to feel how the boat would respond in swells or chop. The ride was smooth, though, and Dave and I both wore perpetual goofy grins while under way. Just like me, Dave was in love. He approved of my choice and we started to make plans.
As an after note: We chartered the Lagoon 39 and Leopard 39 just after making the purchase. I must admit that I didn’t like any of them. The ride was bumpy and the motion unnatural. The boats were not as comfortable as I thought they would be and we had multiple problems – mostly related to lack of proper maintenance on the fleet boats. The Lagoon was brand new, but the design was poor. Several of us went home with bumps and bruises on our hips and thighs. If we hadn’t already bought this boat before the last two charters, I don’t think I would have bought a catamaran.
Tour of Our Boat: