A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Monday, 26 September 2011

And the winner is………..

Carolyn arrived on time on Friday night (16th September) and in relatively good condition after 18 hours in the air from New Zealand to Chicago (via San Francisco). We got up early on Saturday and headed up to Kenosha to see the first Silverton 453 “Urban Legend”, which was also the very first boat I had looked at some three weeks before.

Then it was down to Dolton to see the Carver 466 “Epiphany”, before heading across Michigan towards Lake St Clair. We stopped for the night in a wee town off the I-94 called Paw Paw (yes….really!) and on Sunday continued to Harrison Township, where we met up with Hilary and Bert in the afternoon. They had shifted their Silverton 453 from the marina they were in to a heated indoor dock where their slip happened to be 2 down from the Silverton 43 we were due to see on Monday.

This boat, “More Graphic Gratification” was a lovely example of the model, with a custom hardtop which made it quite unusual. The owner took us out on the Lake for a run, but had an overheating issue on one engine which made us get back a bit late in making our next appointment in Catawba Island that day. This boat was the other Silverton 453 “Moor Fun” and, while she was a bit older than Urban Legend, there was a significant price difference. Unfortunately it was raining and we were tired and grumpy and it was getting late and we were told we were not going to be allowed a sea trial, so we didn’t give her much attention that day. It also became clear to us that we were running very short of time to make a decision before heading for home on Friday.

The next day (Tuesday) we saw the last of the finalists, the Cruisers 455, for which a sea trial had been arranged. Unfortunately Carolyn disliked the boat as soon as she stepped aboard, so it was pointless to pursue that one any further. Instead we went and had another look at Moor Fun and got estimates on equipment and repairs that would bring it up to a similar standard as the other 453. However we were still refused a sea trial without an offer to purchase being made, and we wanted to see Urban Legend again (on which the broker had arranged a pre-offer sea trial) before deciding. So…back to Wisconsin we headed, staying in Michigan City, Indiana, that night and finally finishing up in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. This is where Urban Legend was going to be brought to the next day for her winter storage.

We were taken down to Kenosha on Thursday (the day before leaving for LA) and had the sea trial back up to Milwaukee. Urban Legend went very well during the 2 hour trip and we got to play with all the toys with which she is so well equipped. And yes…..you guessed it…..she came out the winner. By 4.30pm the deal was done and UL was lifted out of the water and put away in her heated shed to wait for us to come back and start the Loop next year.

From the first time I saw her almost 4 weeks (and 3618 miles and 8 states) before, she had set the standard for the rest, and nothing bettered her. The Silverton 453 is a spacious, gracious boat and this one is a stunning example. (mind you I have to say that now, don’t I?)  The deal is still subject to a favourable survey, which I arranged prior to departing the USA on saturday, but I would be very surprised if anything bad turns up – I was fairly thorough in my own examination of the boat and it was useful having the input of people like Hilary and Bert, who know their 453 inside out.

She comes with all the usual standard features on this model, but for those who hadn’t looked her up on the yachtworld website, here are some of the additional bits n pieces she has.

10’ Zodiac inflatable with davits and 6 HP Mercury 4 stroke outboard (the ONLY boat I looked at that had a dinghy!)
Twin 480 HP Volvo electronic diesel engines
Auto Oil change system
13kW Genset
Double hard top (flybridge and Sundeck) with new plastic clears on the flybridge and glass enclosures on the sundeck.
Fully airconditioned INCLUDING flybridge.and sundeck
Central Vac
Trash Compactor
Oven and 3 burner top
Convection Microwave
……and a bath

And this neat little remote control for the bow thruster and engines, so you can park the boat while standing on the landing board, if you want!

Carolyn reckoned that the broker and I looked like a couple of kids with a new toy at Christmas when we were having a play with it after the sea trial!!

Here are a few more pics:

Master stateroom

Just kidding....that was just a posh motel room I was put into in Minnesota. (The mattress was so thick that you had to climb a set of steps to get into the bed...........true!!! - look closely at the pic!) 

Here is the real master stateroom - no steps but still pretty posh though

                           Galley and dinette                                   3rd Guest stateroom

                      2nd Guest stateroom                               Door to engine room

In the water, Kenosha 

                 Out of the water, Milwaukee             Transom with dink and outboard

Me and John, the broker

There are some things that have to be done to bring her up to how we want to use her. She is poorly equipped with ground tackle, (but then most of the boats I looked at are. They don’t use anchors like we do over here – if they use them at all!)  The 35lb Delta anchor will be replaced with a 45-50lb and the 6ft of chain and 100ft of warp will be replaced with 200ft of all chain. That way we may be able to sleep nights while anchored.

We arrived  back at home in New Zealand at 6.30 this morning, picked up Woody from the farm,  and I'm knocking this out so I don't have to tell all the interested parties one at a time. As far as the trip was concerned, I guess we can put it down as "Mission Accomplished".


I wrote the draft of this posting last night on Ms Word and am posting it today. This morning, the Surveyor rang (3.00pm Milwaukee time) to say he had completed the survey and only found 4 tiny items that warrant attention - which I can do myself when we return to the USA. He is an ex Silverton engineer and described Urban Legend as the best example of a 453 that he has ever surveyed. We are looking forward to his full report, but I guess we can take it from him that she's worth buying!

1 comment:

  1. So happy that you have found the perfect boat for your Loop!