You look at all of the profiles that show up matching your criteria:
Perhaps you are looking for a monohull, or maybe a catamaran is more your style. Beyond that there are a plethora of options. Not just a monohull, but a ketch, or a yawl, or perhaps something really sleek and sexy that you want to actually impress that online date when you finally meet “IRL”.
You immediately look at the photographs to see if there is the immediate physical attraction:
It’s a major turnoff to see a dirty deck and a tattered bimini. Or perhaps she doesn’t have the right equipment on deck, like solar panels, or that coveted bowsprit that you’ve been searching for all your life.
Location, location, location:
Just like online dating, you know certain places just will not work for you. Perhaps you found that super sexy model but she is a Greek or Croatian model. You can dream about the possibilities of cruising the Adriatic or Aegean. Romanticize over finding secret little sandy coves with bright turquoise anchorages where you can show off your Med-mooring skills. But, you are thinking in a more realistic sense so you limit your options to say, Florida and the Caribbean.
You create a shortlist of favorites:
There are some that just don’t “float your boat” so to speak. So those that do get you excited you add to a list of favorites that you can go back and learn more about later. You are always checking the new matches to see if “the one” pops up just in case. You don’t ever want to limit your options to just your favorites list, you might miss something special.
You read about the ones in your favorites list intently (and repeatedly):
For each “profile” in your favorites list you begin to build a mental image of scenarios as to whether or not she’s “the one” based on what you read. She has a generator, bonus; she has low hours on her engine(s), double bonus; she recently was hauled and had fresh bottom paint; now you’re getting excited. As you go through this list of favorites there may be one, or two, or seven that bubble up to the top.
There is always the “super model” that is really nice to look at:
But you know that despite all of your drooling on the keyboard, she is way out of your league. Or is she? This boat always stays in your favorites list because you hope that one day you will have the courage to send that email on the one-in-a-million chance that the owner will sell her for pennies on the dollar. Deep down, you know this will never happen. But this fact doesn’t prevent you from dreaming.
Some just don’t make the cut:
Whether it is too many hours on the engines or perhaps she has a history of blisters (osmotic of course) there are those that just end up not being a good match for you. So you eliminate them from your favorites list. They still catch your eye when you are looking for new matches though. Especially since they continually pop up based on your criteria.
Some just disappear:
It is bound to happen. One that has been on your favorites list just disappears one day. Your mind races wondering what happened? Did someone buy her? Did her owner suddenly realize that they didn’t want to sell after all? Did she block you for being a creeper? (Ok, not really likely in the sailboat shopping world) Regardless, for quite some time you wonder what happened to the one that got away.
Some photographs are nothing like what you see in person:
You know the ones. The silly broker who thinks that they are being smart by posting images of model boats or manufacturer images of new boats. Or even the most unsavory of brokers that post images of completely different boats all together! (Yes, this happens believe it or not!)
In the end it’s all about finding the one that’s perfect for you. There is no such thing as the “perfect” one. Just the one that’s perfect for you. The one that you’ll spend the rest of your life with. (Or at least the next couple of years!)
Do you have a funny boat shopping story? Share it in the comments below. We would love to hear more!