This is Jordan and Erin’s story of finding their dream boat through Charter ownership program – Charter a Seawind 1260.
The couple named their boat as sonder.
sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
Jordan and Erin – Finding Sonder
We started our journey together in 2013, and as many couples do, we soon started discussing our future goals, dreams and hopes. Not just as a family, but also as empty nesters when the time would come. We have both had an extreme love for the ocean and adventure. This turned into discussions on how we could find ourselves living where we loved and continue our journey. We started brainstorming and we thought “how amazing it would be to live aboard a sailboat, be free to journey as we wished”. Knowing that our kids shared the same love for the ocean and adventure, the thought couldn’t leave either of our minds. We were thinking about it weekly, daily…
We wanted to be able to set off with the wind in our sails when we became empty nesters. We needed to find a way to make this affordable and realistic. What about Chartering? Could we start a business and enjoy the company of others for a week at a time and show them how amazing this life could be? Could we sustain? But the biggest question we faced was… “How are we going to be able to afford to buy the boat of our dreams?”
We started following different cruisers and their stories and decided to travel to the 2018 Miami Boat Show. We had a plan to investigate all the different options from monohulls to catamarans, from simple to mid-range. Our thoughts were, if we found a boat then, we would know what to look for in 5 years in the used market. We have seen couples that have started out on monohulls that they paid little to nothing for, to those that have started out with very modestly priced boats. Our discussions quickly turned to what we “needed” vs “wanted”. This triggered instant restructuring of our personal financial planning. We started looking at things in the perspective, need vs want. We left the Miami boat show with excitement, confusion and the realization that we should have started planning (saving) years earlier.
Over the next few months, we bounced between monohull and catamarans… New or used… We had come to the conclusion that we would need to save as much as we could over the next 4 or 5 years, assess our financial situation at that time to be able to decide the boat that was best for us financially. We knew that purchasing a new boat was more than likely not going to be the best option for us (unless we chose a less expensive monohull). We continued to research all of the manufactures and tried to make us the most educated that we could, and learn from other cruisers that we have met along the way.
When it was time to start making plans for the 2019 Miami Boat Show, we were excited to go again, but slightly hesitant as we knew it was not our buying time. We had two main goals visiting the Boat Show this year. The first was to completely make up our decision on Monohull vs Catamaran. And the second was to not get caught up in the glam of the floating condo’s.
We started out touring the monohulls and cats that we thought could be in our price range. We quickly realized that they were not that much less expensive than the catamaran in comparison to what you get. We were starting to think that our best option was going to be buying an older boat and doing a refit if needed.
Our turning point: charter a Seawind
This is when we turned the corner to see a Seawind 1160 sitting there for show. We had already done a research on Seawind and knew that they were growing in their reputation and branding. Tommy and Amy from Sail Away Catamaran’s greeted us and invited us onboard to take a tour of the 1160. We instantly fell in love with this boat. We liked the simplicity of the boat, the openness of the inside of the vessel to the outside and of course the performance aspects were amazing.
We spent a couple hours with the group from Sail Away discussing our future dreams and goals, that is when our path to Sonder completely change. We had heard of putting a boat into a charter program, and actually investigated that option previously. However, until we heard of the program through Barefoot Yacht Charters, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, that was not an option we were open to. Tommy at Sail Away spent time discussing the differences in the charter program through Barefoot Yacht Charters and how it could subsidize the cost of ownership to help us reach our goals and we will be on our dream boat. After many calculations, this program will enable us to potentially have our boat paid for within the next five years.
After the Miami Boat show, we couldn’t stop thinking of the Seawind 1160 and actually wondered what the Seawind 1260 was like. We started researching the 1260 and reached out to Sail Away Catamarans to discuss further and start looking at actual financials to see if this is something that would work for us. Tommy introduced us to Philip at Barefoot Yacht Charters. We spent several hours in discussions with Philip on how his program worked and the ROI for owners. After many restless days of thinking through everything, we decided this might just actually work for us. We were nervous, excited and emotional all at the same time. Philip’s team sent us financials to review, current owners to call and ask about their experience and an open ended invitation for a visit.
Our next stop was a visit to Sail Away Catamarans to see the Seawind 1260. Much to our expectations, we were even more in love. Tommy and his team took us out on a day sail and it confirmed our thoughts. The boat was easy to sail, relaxing to be on and performance was outstanding. It was time for us to make a decision. Take the risk to follow our dreams, or wait and see how things pan out in 4 or 5 years. We decided to take the risk and Sail Away connected us with a lender to start exploring options for financing.
We then made the trip to St. Vincent to tour the Barefoot Yacht Charter organization. There we were able to spend time with Philip, Marissa and their baby boy Ocean. Philip spent time with us showing us around the Barefoot property and introduced us to the entire team. We were able to spend a couple of days visiting with charter guests to learn about their experiences. We felt more than confident that our Sonder was going to be in good hands. Philip is striving to bring his charter business into the next world class experience for cruisers. Barefoot will offer Sonder in a performance class of charters. Offering Sonder in her standard configuration, without her bowsprit and screecher, as a proficiency level 3 yacht. With her Bowsprit and screecher, specifically designed as a Grenadines reaching sail, Sonder becomes a proficiency level 4 yacht.
Seawind Catamarans, Sail Away Catamarans and Barefoot Yacht Charters have all been absolutely amazing to work with through this part of our journey. They have welcomed us as family into their homes, lives and sailing community.