After several months on the market, the owners of Do It talk us through the final stages of selling their beloved blue water cruiser

For the past two months, our lives have been
dominated by the process of selling our blue water cruiser Do It.

On our first day in Southsea Marina we
received a text – could Bob come and see the boat? He’d been following our
website, knew the boat was for sale, and wanted to see her as soon as we
arrived in the Solent. He just had an hour free, but after a quick look round,
confirmed that Do It ‘ticked some of
his boxes’.

A few days later an enthusiastic young chap
called Olaf who was looking for a boat to live on board in Oslo visited us.
Angus suggested he should sleep on it, and make us an offer the following day.
Enthusiasm, great!

The next day, Olaf made us an offer and we
accepted. The champagne was popped and plans were made to move ashore. The following
day he arrived to sign the contract and hand over the money. Could it really be
so simple?

After several hours of deliberating, and
peering into the bilges, Olaf decided he couldn’t really afford the boat and
walked away.

Subsequently a brokerage website advised us: “The
more enthusiastic people are during a viewing, the less likely they are to
actually buy the boat. The serious people are those who appear taciturn and

Thankfully Bob returned for a second visit. We probably relaxed and told Bob too much about systems
which might require work in the future and he used these ‘defects’ to argue for
a reduced offer.

Try before you buy

Against RYA advice, we agreed to do a test
sail before securing a deposit. Since Do
isn’t a standard production boat, we thought this was fair.

The forecast for the agreed day was nasty -
so we rescheduled, and ended up test sailing in a light F2. Sails went up &
down, reefs in & out, cruising chute up & down, anchor down & up.
More manoeuvres than we do in a week of voyaging.

Back into the marina, and Bob left, giving no
clue as to his future intentions.

Negotiating a price

Finally the negotiations started. With only
one interested buyer, we weren’t in a strong position. We had decided what our
out absolute bottom price would be – and that’s what Bob offered. His advisors
reckoned the trusty Perkins needed to be replaced. We don’t agree – but if we
lost this sale, how long would it be before another potential buyer appeared?
Friends have been trying to sell their steel yacht for five years – holding out
for the price they believe she is worth. We decided a firm offer was worth
holding on to.

Completing the survey

This is the real nail-biter. Would the
surveyor find faults we didn’t know about? What would his ultrasonic testing of
the hull reveal? There was an apprehensive wait until the survey date, a tense
visit by the surveyor, and an anxious few days before the results were known.

It was a huge relief to know that Do It passed with just a couple of minor
defects. Of course the defects kicked off another round of negotiations – What
work was really required? How much would it cost? Who would pay for it?

Having come to a mutually agreed position,
the deal was sealed.

Walking away from Do It

One final big task remained – removal of our
belongings from Do It. It’s
astounding how much kit we’ve carried round the world – we’ve almost filled a
garage, and raised the water line by six inches.

Today the RYA ‘change of ownership’ was
signed, and the bankers draft deposited into our account. As I type this, Angus
is giving Bob a final briefing on how all the boat systems work.

This evening we will walk away from Do It for the last time. The old adage
about the two best days of boat ownership: the day you buy, and the day you
sell, still holds true. There will be a spring in our step, but also tears in
our eyes.

Ruth and Angus Ross-Thomson
have been keen sailors since they were children and their love of boats is what
brought them together. After eight and a half years of enjoying everything this
steel blue water cruiser has to offer, they’ve made the tough decision to sell
and spend a few years on dry land here in England.