Money is in the bank. Last Australian bill paid. Insurance cancelled. Currency contract booked so our funds can sit in Australia for 3 months.
Time to breath a sigh of relief? Too bloody right it is.
Although we believed the deal to be done there is nothing more definitive than seeing the funds show in your own bank account. Settlement took longer than it should have done which was frustrating as the Ozzie dollar has been steadily falling off it’s recent peak against the UK pound. Very frustrating as the tiniest changes in fx have big $$$ impacts. It can go either way of course but the feeling is prevalent that down is the direction it’s going.
So what can I say now that I couldn’t say before? I want to be careful here and simply stick to facts. But we’ve reached survey twice and the two experiences were completely different.
On the whole, this second time has been more mature, more professional and less hostile than the first.
The broker for the actual sale, Jason Chipp from Ensign, worked hard all the way through, brought multiple prospects to the table, handled conflicting interests very professionally and maintained almost constant communication.
The first broker started off with the appearance of being very helpful albeit often hard to contact. To the point where we made recommendations to friends. As the first sale broke down we had learned the broker had used my health battle as emotional coercion which had had a very negative result on the buyers. Then, having given both Helen and I assurances that the boat would be professionally handled during survey and that any issues that transpired would be covered, and then finding the boat had been dinged then badly tied to the dock causing dock scratches, the broker backed off any responsibility at high speed denying any responsibility from the get go. The damage was so minor that their reaction was very hard to understand. When pointed out that the broker was damaging the fine reputation they’d built up to that point and that we would be sharing their emails with the friends we’d made recommendations to (it would after all be disingenuous if all we did was share part of positive side of our experience) the broker threatened to tell all the brokers in the region that Dignity had failed survey and tell the same story to the prime trade magazine in the area. This was a lie of course as there is a colossal difference between a buyer finding reasons to back out of a sale and a boat failing survey. The broker, like an idiot, said all this in an email so I forwarded it to the magazine, the publisher and all the brokers we were in contact with so that they could read the whole thread and make their own minds up. We did get one prospect who mentioned they’d heard that Dignity had ‘failed survey’ and wondered how that could be. They didn’t disclose where they had heard that but for now, that first broker has now lost any shred of the benefit of doubt. There are other reasons, which I won’t go into here, that I would suggest foreign boat sellers to steer away from this broker (if you have any idea who it is). Contact me if you want to hear more.
You’ve perhaps seen my previous rant about the first buyer’s surveyor. I’ve since learned more. It turns out that that surveyor recently lost a court case where they were sued for grossly overstating cost of repairs to a boat (many, many times more than 10x) to drive survey values down to near zero. I had thought he was a blind fool, with reckless survey procedures but it now appears he is known for doing what he does. The second surveyor turned out to be the same surveyor we used to value Dignity for import. The only issue we had with him (and I believe the buyer took issue too) was that he listed a slightly less than trivial item having not discussed it with the buyer and broker on the boat when all the other items were discussed.
And how each buyer handled the process was considerably different too. The second buyer appeared above it all and ignored all the niggly things the surveyor chose to list. This was in contrast to the first buyers who brought to our attention a lot of trivial items from the first survey (including the issues the surveyor fabricated) and even the electrics which the boat was listed as having.
Whatever the reason for all this I know the second buyer is and will continue to be happy the first buyer pulled out. On sea trial, with the help of her new rig and sails, she flew along at 10 knots in 20 knots of wind and did well in all conditions. His critical friends, also aboard, were completely bowled over. She passed survey with only $400 ultimately negotiated off the contract for the item I mentioned earlier.
As you can see, it’s been a long process and it’s the frustrations that stand out more than the highlights.
So it’s done. Dignity is sold. The money is in the bank. Now, bar some small details, the focus is fully on the future. I’ll leave writing about that for the next blog.