Milagros is ours – We’re boat owners!!

It was time to check out our newest find called “Milagros”. We had taken a big risk with coming over to the Americas. But who would have thought that we’d be look at two Kelly Peterson 44’s at once? And who would have thought what Milagros had in store for us?

Café d'abord, tout le reste ensuite.

For the visit to Milagros, Iñaki and I were received by Brent, a cool Canadian yacht captain. He used Ensenada and Milagros as his headquarters for his travels and lived full-time in the marina on the ship.

Un voilier bien entretenu

Brent first showed us around on deck. It was immediately clear: He had invested a lot of good work in Milagros. According to him, he had bought the ship and completely overhauled it, before taking her on a six-month voyage through the Gulf of California. All of his installations were on hand.

Dans l'évier

Par exemple:
On Scorpido in Los Angeles, the deck drains were laid out in such a way that hoses led through the ship and then out through the hull. Where do you want the water on your ship to be? Definitely not in the interior. So why drain excess water through Milagros’ hull? Brent removed the whole installation without further ado. He replaced everything with hand-made outlets in the toe rail. They are much more effective and drain the water directly overoard.

Deck drains of Milagros made by Brent
Drains de pont fabriqués à la main par Brent

Mises à jour utiles

And that’s how Milagros presented itself in the interior. Everything that was superfluous was removed by Brent and replaced with new installations that were as simple as possible. The electrical installations were well organized and labeled, a watermaker was installed on board and could be serviced from all sides, the engine could be completely flushed with fresh water and the entire cabin and the cockpit could only be illuminated with red light if desired. Incidentally, this small but fine point is extremely helpful. When underway at night, as the human eye remains adapted to seeing in the dark when light is red. And these are just a few examples.

L'histoire des réservoirs d'eau continue

Après l'expérience sur Scorpido, I immediately jumped at the water tanks. Brent knew about the corrosion problems of water tanks on Kelly Peterson 44s. After his purchase, he had them completely re-welded during his major renovation. But still the same problem here: The welds of Brents tanks were corroded. He had neither known nor expected that and was accordingly irritated. There were also frowns in the aft cabin – this is where the access to the propeller’s drive shaft is located. Although Brent had also completely removed, overhauled, and reinstalled the engine, he told us that this part of the ship was relatively unknown to him and that he hadn’t really looked into it. Possible, but who knows? The entire rigging was old. Apart from a few adjustments, there was no indication of how old it actually was.

Temps pour un travail de peinture

The paint on the hull and deck also seemed to be older and was slowly cracking and crazing. That was another important item on our list. The paint on a sailboat is the barrier between the nasty salt water and the fiberglass of the hull.

Pourrait-elle être notre future maison?

So far so good. The time on Milagros flew by. When Iñaki and I looked back on the visit over a beer, one thing was clear: I wasn’t misled my feelings. This ship was nothing like Scorpido. Milagros seemed to be in really good shape. She was equipped for our plans with exactly the simplicity that was right and important. She had a few cuts and corners that caused us concern, but name a vessel didn’t have those?

Encore une autre inspection marine

So it was clear: The search for a surveyor to take a closer look at the ship started all over again. We found who we were looking for via George Jarvie, our trusted man from Los Angeles. Michael Weston de Atlantis Marine Surveys viendrait à Ensenada de San Diego pour inspecter Milagros. Malheureusement, je n'ai pas pu me présenter moi-même à l'examen parce que je devais rentrer chez moi et travailler. Comme Iñaki restait de toute façon avec Blue, il s'est rendu disponible pour assister à l'inspection de ses propres yeux. Des moments passionnants…

En attente de nouvelles du Mexique

When I was back in Switzerland, Pati and I could hardly wait for the examination. We were in contact with Iñaki the whole time. Until late at night we waited for sporadic news that he sent us via WhatsApp due to the time difference of 9 hours. We were incredibly excited, and sleeping was out of the question anyway.

Elle est prête à partir!

Et bien sûr, cela devait arriver: lors du dernier appel téléphonique avec Iñaki, il a annoncé que Milagros avait réussi l'examen avec brio. Malgré quelques petits détails, mis à part le gréement et les réservoirs d’eau, il n’y avait pas d’autres gros travaux ou problèmes que nous n’avions pas envisagés. Le résultat a confirmé que nous avons fait du bon travail lors de la visite de Milagros.

Le résultat global de l'enquête. Le document original comporte 33 pages.

Sommes-nous assez fous pour acheter un voilier au Mexique?

Maintenant, c'était à nous. Voulait-on vraiment entamer des négociations pour un voilier de 14 m? Nous deux propriétaires terriens et navigateurs laïques? Était-ce malin de se lancer tête baissée dans une aventure de cette ampleur?

ça y ressemble...

Well, it seems like we’re crazy enough for such an undertaking. The negotiation with Brent was quick and painless. He met us at a few thousand dollars less because of the leaky water tank and the thing was over. We knew from the start that we didn’t have a lot of leeway. Brent knew exactly what a great sailboat he owned and he could have sold it without any problems anyway. So we transferred a whopping $ 71,000 to the broker in San Diego in mid-August 2019. Ouch.

Nous sommes propriétaires de bateaux!

Mais nous étions soudainement propriétaires de notre propre voilier. C'est malade. C'est une idée complètement irréelle, et le restera probablement jusqu'à ce que nous nous soyons adaptés à notre vie de voile.

Maintenant que l'une des conditions les plus importantes pour notre aventure - le voilier lui-même - était remplie, nous pouvions commencer à planifier.

Nous sommes propriétaires d'un voilier…

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