Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

November 23, 2009

Done and Dusted

After spending a few months trawling the internet looking for another yacht to purchase to replace our beloved Stolen Kiss, Peter came up with a short list.

Always on the hunt for a bargain in the true cruiser style, we first tested the waters to see how different the actual price was compared to the asking price. On an average, we could expect a 30% drop in price.

There were, of course, a few yachts that would have been a great price, but needed a lot of work, however, we really wanted to step aboard and just go cruising. In reality, this was a little on the ‘you wish’ side of the equation.

Separately we drew up our ‘must have’ list and compared notes. The end result was that we decided a yacht with excellent hull integrity was most important as we could always add the toys that we desired!

Hylas Yachts were built in the Queen Long Shipyard, Taiwan primarily for the Caribbean charter fleets in the 1980’s. We were very fortunate to find one in Mexico that was built in 1989 and had one owner. It being in Mexico was a little daunting as it was not easy to get to, and as suspected, not easy to get gear to it! More on that to follow, but if anyone complains about difficulties in having a yacht in Malaysia or Thailand, wash your mouth out!!!!!!!! It is a doddle compared to Mexico!

Hylas yachts are sensational! Their build is excellent and of course S&S design!! The earlier models were called Stevens 47. ‘Used Boat Notebook’ written by John Krestschmer has a fantastic review of the many yachts he has delivered, one being of course, Hylas 47.

Although we had had warnings about doing business with yacht brokers in Florida and the Caribbean, we were fortunate to only have positive responses. In their defence, there are a lot of tyre kickers out there and somehow they need to decide who is worth pursuing. Peter did put in one very low offer on a yacht in Texas, with the broker coming back with a comment like ‘we do have a 30 footer you might like to look at!’

Zephyr Queen, a Hylas 47, was for sale in Mexico via a broker in Florida. From our first contact, Pepper Rodda, the broker, was excellent in the way he expedited the deal. He made phone contact with us earlier on in our enquiries and gave us an honest appraisal of the yacht as far as he knew.

The current owner of Zephyr Queen could only meet us within a 5 day window, which happened to coincide with my holidays. So at great expense, we decided to ignore the cost and put it down to an adventure and set off for San Carlos, Mexico.  Eventually we all coordinated our flights and enjoyed San Carlos!

Although she was pretty tired and needed a lot of gear, Zephyr Queen was an excellent purchase, with only minimal water damage to one bulkhead from a few leaky hatches. It became a small joke that it never rained in San Carlos, being located on the edge of a desert, however it had rained significantly before we arrived due to a hurricane hovering nearby. The significant rainfall was 32 inches of rain in 24 hours!!!!!!!!!

Due to the inclement weather, it was decided that we would do the trial sail first. So in overcast skies and up to 25 knots of wind, we went out for a short sail, still in protected waters outside the bay. In true S&S style, she of course sailed magnificently!

The haul out was done on a hydraulic trailer, expertly handled by the marina. Much less traumatic than a travel lift! As Peter is not allowed to sign off on our surveys (we should have kept separate names!) we enlisted the expert services of Allan Smith, an English surveyor who lives in San Carlos.

Gerry, the owner, was very sad to sell her, which is understandable as he had owned her for 20 years. One day we will sadly be in the same boat, so to speak.

Marina San Carlos is a wonderful marina, professionally run and very helpful in getting us sorted. The marina is rated to a Category 5 hurricane hole and nestled below a small mountain called ‘Peaks of Las Tetas de Cabro’ (Goat Teat’s Peak). The immediate areas are absolutely stunning, with anchorages in the Sea of Cortez mostly 5 to 10 miles apart! Our style of cruising!

Our immediate plan is to stay in the Sea of Cortez for a year and whilst exploring our new cruising ground, we will also be exploring our new Stolen Kiss!

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