Crossroads


The year 2018 found us at a crossroads.  After 10 years cruising full-time, we had been luxuriating in the beautiful Bahamas and feeling at ease in all of our favorite spots…


 





It took us a while to recognize that it might be time for a change.  For some this might mean an end to cruising, but this is not where our heads were at all!  We were looking forward to our next 10 years (& more?) of sailing; to revisiting our favorite places in the Caribbean and venture on to new destinations and a new ocean.    


Intellectually, we were aware that burnout could happen and over the years, have learned ways to manage it.  Let there be no doubt, cruising is hard work!  Land-trips and “vacation” from the boat were already important components of our lifestyle.  But this felt like something different.  We found ourselves in limbo.



Our boat has never been better outfitted. 


Over the 15 years that we’ve owned her, we had made her better and stronger with every improvement and optimization possible and then some over the years.  


She is perfectly suited to comfortable cruising.  So what gives‽  




At last, it dawned on us that we were ready for a new boat!  The incentive to have a new floating home with a bit more space and performance for our future cruising goals became very attractive.  This boat must be strong and solid and meet most of our very particular design preferences.  It turns out that there are VERY few boats that we would even consider that could come close to replacing the Manta.  


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Earlier in the year while in the Bahamas, we came across an OceanCat 49 for sale on-line that piqued our interest.  


A cousin of the Manta, it has the same sleek LeRouge design lines that we love to look at.  We went so far in making an offer contingent on seeing the boat, one of which we had never seen beyond in-passing.


  



As luck would have it, another OceanCat 49 pulled next to us in Long Island and we got to do an early inspection.  Despite a solid build and design for performance, we discovered that this make was way too bare-bones in interior and basic systems for our preferences, so we backed out of the deal.


We researched and researched, and discovered one make that fit the bill in the Dolphin 460.   There are few Dolphins made in Brazil (~30) and fewer for sale, so we were keeping an eye out.  We found two on the market and soon discovered that one was already under contract.  


The other one was in West Palm Beach and so we headed that way to take a look when we returned from he Bahamas in July.  The Dolphin 460 is definitely a boat that met our goals of more space and performance, plus a good looking, strong design and luxury interior with Brazilian woodwork.  


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Upon viewing, the West Palm Beach boat was beat-up from a recent circumnavigation cosmetically and with systems.  The engines were questionable, there was a crack in the topsides and a broken daggerboard, among other major issues.  


We anchored next to her and decided to make an offer for what we calculated would be reasonable for a project-boat in this shape.  The owner didn’t agree with our assessment, so again, we moved on.  




Eventually, we came across another Dolphin 460 for sale in Antigua excellent condition.  We took a quick trip to inspect her and were very impressed with this boat and its condition, so we made an offer.  The third time was a charm and we reached a deal.  A month later we returned for a survey and sea trial.









Not taking anything for granted this time, nothing was official in our minds until she passed the survey and purchase finalized!  Owners Bob & Suzanne joined us in Antigua for a very thorough transition, where we had a good time getting to know them and the boat.  We also got to know a little bit of Antigua and will take with us pleasant memories of the island and the people we encountered there.




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We are now happy Dolphin 460 owners and, after a few projects (of course!) to convert her into Reach (2.0), will get her ready for extended cruising.







© M&M 2016