Sailing Journey: Selling SV Naiad

Selling the home-built SV Naiad – 34′ Bruce Roberts Motor Sailor – is a bittersweet and emotional moment, especially after 20 years as our home.

A little background

The reason for finally selling Naiad after being liveaboards on her all these years is the realisation that we ‘gonna need a bigger boat’. Especially, if transitioning from coastal cruising to bluewater cruising.

Not finding a suitable Catalina 40′ in Australia forces the search around the world. The global boat market holds a plethora of boats. Decide to concentrate all our efforts on 8 boats in the USA that are mainly around New York.

If you would like to read about the 9.5 years to build Naiad, check out Part 1 and Part 2, also extending Naiad later.

Getting Naiad ready for sale

Of course, before flying to New York to buy another boat in early 2008, Naiad needs to be presentable for selling.

This work involves a new spray job for the hull and cabin, a coat of antifoul paint, and completing other general maintenance jobs.

Brisbane, Australia, Oceania

Naiad lives in Brisbane, so this is where the work is completed to ready her for the market.

Selling a boat is similar to when you sell a house.

Sailing boat, Whitsunday's, Queensland, Australia, Oceania

You need to make the boat as presentable and appealing as possible to sell. A no brainer really.

Spraying the cabin

Before spraying the cabin, it needs sanding and masking so that the overspray doesn’t get everywhere, and the paint goes only where it’s supposed to go.

Spray painting a sailing boat, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Masking and preparing the cabin

Masking up loads of work and takes a couple of days, but worth the time and effort.

Spraying the topsides

It’s never quick or easy spraying a boat, especially when using 2-pot Polyurethane paints.

Spraying the topsides also involves loads of filling, sanding, and preparation work. This is even before you actually get to the undercoat stage. So sand and prep we do…

Experiencing a few disasters in the past when spraying Polyurethane paints on Naiad, this time we hire a professional in Brisbane to complete this job.

Spraying the topsides of a sailing boat, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Undercoat finished and topcoat going on

For some unknown reason each time Naiad gets a new spray job, something goes amiss. As soon as the paint is mixed and loaded into the gun, threatening black ominous clouds start looming. This just adds to the stress of achieving a good finish on the boat as the paint is very expensive.

Unlike the time in Townsville (far north Queensland) when we sprayed Naiad, on this occasion we’re lucky.

The final coat is magnificent! I’m exaggerating a little, but don’t you agree it’s pretty Schmick, especially for a steel boat?

Topsides of a sailing boat, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Super glossy finish with a fresh coat of antifoul paint

Final touch

Hiring an elderly signwriter instead of buying stick-on letters this time, he does a fabulous and authentic job.

Sign writing on a sailing boat, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Look at that shine!

So lucky to find a good signwriter really as sadly, this ancient skill is fast becoming a dying art. Be warned though, it’s not a cheap exercise.

Maintenance and fixing up below decks

Wanting a more traditional look inside, we used a lot of Teak timber for the fit-out when building Naiad.

Wood also floats. So, if Naiad was ever holed in a tragic circumstance, the timber would help to keep the hull submerged and not sink to the bottom of the sea.

All this beautiful teak needs maintaining. All this beautiful teak needs maintaining. Maintenance isn’t as often for the internal timber as the external timber trims. Nothing lasts very long under Australia’s scorching long summer months.

All the teak on Naiad is varnished, not oiled. Of course, a light varnish throughout to help spruce up Naiad is needed. This takes time.

Selling Naiad

Before leaving Australia to fly to the US to buy a bigger boat, we put Naiad on the market with a broker. Also giving the keys to a friend for potential viewings and commissioning, just in case.

Not holding much hope for a sale during the global financial crisis in 2008, we believed that it would take a long time to sell Naiad. Thoughts cross our minds that we’d be a 2-boat family for quite some time.

It’s not much fun entertaining the thought of owning two boats for months and potentially years – especially, after sailing out of Marathon (Florida) in Reality. This means two lots of outgoings, double the time to maintain two boats, and very expensive at double the costs.

Luckily, during the painful drawn-out 3-month ordeal of buying Reality in New York and fitting her out for bluewater sailing, negotiations for selling our beloved baby Naiad started. The selling also takes around 3 months until the money hits our account. So, it’s double-stress with the overlapping of buying one boat and selling another, all from the US.

Catalina 47', Los Roques, Venezuela, South America
Reality at anchor, Los Roques, Venezuela

Five months really isn’t a long time to sell a home-built steel boat in Australia, especially during a depressed market. And, extremely grateful that all the planets aligned for us during this time.

Although selling means closing another stressful chapter, it’s a bittersweet moment saying goodbye to Naiad and from afar, as she’s still in Australia.

A little on Naiad’s new owner

If you’re interested to know a little about Naiad’s new owner, I’m sharing this here as he was also a surprise.

A university student from Brisbane bought Naiad to live on while completing his Law degree. Without any boating or sailing experience at all, he also wants to learn how to sail. Eventually, he would love to explore Australia’s expansive east coastline.

I’m always happy to see a boat going to a good home and still in use, instead of becoming part of a neglected floating caravan park. Or even worse, a forgotten decaying dream, rotting away in a boat graveyard somewhere in an overgrown paddock. I’ve seen this happen too many times and in too many places.

Sailing boat, Whitsunday's, Queensland, Australia, Oceania
Looking gorgeous

Boats are expensive toys. Especially, if not used frequently or as a home – just left to sit and crumble. Outgoings and maintenance don’t stop. You need to keep on top of both regardless of whether the boat is used or not.

Boats are considered a luxury item in Australia, regardless of whether you build one or import one second-hand.

Importing a new or second-hand boat means that you automatically owe the tax office 10% GST of the purchase price, on landing in Australia. The government needs its chunk of your hard-earned cash. But, don’t get me started on that subject.

What next?

With Naiad sold and transactions finalised not long after leaving the US in Reality, we’re free to continue cruising around intriguing Cuba.

The sketchy plan is to sail to Haiti, Dominican Republic, south through the Caribbean Sea, and onto Venezuela

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

16 responses to “Sailing Journey: Selling SV Naiad”

  1. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Must have been heart-breaking to sell but Reality is very pretty. I assume that, as planes, pretty ships sail well?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It was, especially after living on Naiad for 20 years, so our home.
      Yes, Reality was an excellent boat and sailed very well. Catalina did a great job on everything really.

  2. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    You did a great job fixing up Naiad for sale. And, it’s so nice to know that the new owner was not only going to live in it but use it as part of a new experience! 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Indeed – it was very comforting to know that Naiad went to a great new and very keen owner. It would of broken my heart if she’d gone to a paddock with overgrown weeds some place…

  3. gillmorris Avatar

    I bet you were a little sad even though you werent there when she was sold! For the new owner, what I fab way and place to study! Did you see Naiad again when you got back? xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, I was very sad as a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into building Naiad from the plans. Especially, also as she was home for 20 years and held a plethora of wonderful memories.

      I did see her when I returned but didn’t go aboard as the owner wasn’t home. She was still in the anchorage at Brisbane Gardens where we used to live and work. I sat in the park just staring at her for about an hour. It was quite an emotional experience on many levels, but also for other reasons. 😉 x

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        I bet it was! Do you know what’s happened to her these days? x

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah well, that’s another chapter.
        I believe she was sold again a couple of years ago to a Shipright in Port Macquarie, but I lost contact with her previous and new owner after that, which is a shame.

  4. Patty Avatar

    Hi dear Nilla,
    As always, enjoying your stories and especially the photographs. The last conversation we had, you were in Australia. Are you still there, or back in Italy? Hope all is well and sending a big hug! XxX

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Patty,
      Thank you for your kind words and happy that you enjoyed this read!
      Still marooned in Australia as we’re not allowed to go on international flights unless it’s for a very good reason.
      All is well and hope that you’re okay – sending you a hug also… 🙂 xx

  5. the eternal traveller Avatar

    I was wondering while I was reading where she is now. I hope that young man has had plenty of wonderful adventures.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, he did have plenty of sailing adventures. Andrew even went for a Guinness World Record of the number of islands he could sail to in a certain number of days this was up in the Whitsundays. I can’t remember whether he cracked the record or not as it was quite a while ago. He’s since sold Naiad a couple of years’ ago and I’ve lost contact wiht him sadly, but it happens.

  6. Lisa Dorenfest ~ One Ocean At A Time Avatar

    How lucky were you to sell Naiad in 2008?1? And to a good guy who was going to live aboard her. She looks lovely with her blue paint and handcrafted name on her stern. Looking forward to the next installment.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      We were extremely lucky to have sold her during the GFC and received close to out sail price.

      Naiad was/is a good strong boat but sadly, just a little small for ocean passages. Although, I know that sailors do ocean crossings in much smaller boats than 34′.
      I hear that she was sold again to a boat builder in Port Macquarie a couple of years ago, so hopefully she hasn’t gone to boat heaven.

      I kind of wrote all these chapters in reverse to what I’d already published and think you may have already read a few posts including Cruising Cuba and several more on the Caribbean. 😉
      Sunday’s post will be on a totally different subject, but hope that you enjoy the read. 🙂

  7. Puzzles of the Soul Avatar

    Oh so sad to say good bye to an old friend Naiad and lucky for you all went well and you were able to buy your larger boat.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Nanette
      Yes, it was very sad – almost like saying goodbye to a child at the time. We built Naiad from scratch taking 9.5 years to fully complete, then later extending her whilst living aboard.
      Hope all is well with you.

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