Friday, October 7, 2011

Waterfront property in Baltimore

We are parked right on the water at Baltimore's Inner Harbor (map). This is a pay-to-park lot for the nearby Harborview Marina, operated by the same outfit who operates the Inner Harbor Marina, which is the venue for Trawler Fest. We're paying $15 per night (which may get discounted to $9 before we leave), and are within walking distance of the show. Since the show is also using this lot for parking, they are also running a shuttle van during the day, so we really only need to walk the half mile after dinner.

We have a great view of the Harborview Marina and a good deal of the inner harbor right out our windows, and it's been great watching the boats coming and going. It was a bit of a challenge squeezing the bus through the narrow entrance lane, as well as negotiating some of the streets downtown, but we're squared away now until the show ends Sunday. It was just about an hour drive here down US-40 from the Havre de Grace Elks lodge, where we spent Tuesday night topping up the batteries.

We had a nice ride down to Annapolis Wednesday with our broker Curtis to look at a Selene 43. This model is really the front runner in our search at the moment, although we had been led to believe that this particular example was in poor condition. We were pleasantly surprised to find that she was in much better shape than predicted, and would make a decent starting platform for us. The biggest issue is that she lacks stabilizers, which is a very expensive addition to a finished boat. That said, the current owner is not very motivated and we're not willing to agree to any of his current stated terms, so we will likely not be making an offer.

Yesterday we strolled the docks and boarded a half dozen or so boats, including a '94 Nordhavn that had looked good on paper. It turned out to be far from ideal for us, with extremely poor engine room access and a very cluttered topsides. It did sport a motorcycle on the boat deck, evidence that this is not only possible but has been done with some success. We also spent some time with friends Mark and Jennifer aboard Starlet, a 2000 Nordhavn from the same hull mold but with a much nicer layout.

A couple years ago, as we made our first circuit through New England, we stopped off and toured the Maine Cat factory in Maine, where we saw three Maine Cats in various stages of construction, none of which was a finished boat. Yesterday we met company president Dick Vermeulen aboard the latest finished example of this product, which was quite nice, even though we did not care for the main salon layout that this owner specified. While aboard I spent half an hour or so inside a cabinet in the kitchen helping him diagnose a problem with the solar controller, a model similar to ours. Unfortunately, the controller board was dead, with nothing I could really do about it, leaving him with 680 watts of unusable solar panels on the cabin roof.

In a few minutes we will head back to the docks for a second day of browsing. It's looking like it will take us the full two days just to make a first pass through all the interesting boats, which will leave tomorrow for a more detailed look at any particular boats we found worthy of it. The show has half day hours on Sunday as well, in case we don't squeeze it all in by tomorrow evening.

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