Big Wheels Keep “A-Turnin” (Most Times)

“Breaker, Breaker, Yacht Roller? You got your ears on? Big Wheels wants to know.”

“Ten Four Big Wheels.  This is Yacht Roller.  Come on back now.”

“Yacht Roller? Big Wheels here.  I heard your kitty cat is sick.”

“Affirmative Big Wheels. We’re broke down on I5.  This big Cat engine gave it up this morning pulling on this load.”

“Dang Yacht Roller! You must be in a world of hurt.  You got a dragon wagon ready to tow you?”

“Ten Four Big Wheels…wait’n on it.  Just like the owner of this here yacht loaded on my rig.”

Not to mention his yacht broker!

So began yet another chapter in what proved to be a most challenging boat deal.  I had helped my Buyer find the boat of his dreams in L.A. last March but we had been unsuccessful in our initial attempts to reach an agreeable purchase price with the Seller through his Listing Broker. When the Buyer came back to the negotiation table three months later, we discovered that the boat was technically off the market and the Seller was in the process of trucking it from Los Angeles to Seattle in hopes of finding a more responsive marketplace.  As it was now Labor Day weekend the truck was stopped somewhere in Oregon waiting for permits to move further north.  Meanwhile, the Seller was cruising his other yacht in the vicinity of Vancouver Island with sporadic cell phone coverage, his Listing Broker was back in L.A. enjoying the holiday weekend, the truck dispatcher was in Tacoma, WA while the Buyer and I were in Northern California doing our best to re-negotiate the deal.

By Sunday of Labor Day weekend we had reached an agreement on the price of the boat  as well as the new logistics and costs of returning the boat to San Francisco Bay.  The truck could then simply turn around and start heading south while the dispatcher re-applied for California permits.

Within hours of closing our deal the following Tuesday and with the knowledge that the truck was now headed back, we were informed by the dispatcher that the truck had blown its engine.

So this was a new one in my 27 years of yacht sales.  I have had many boats moved all around the country with no problems.  But now, a blown engine on this truck?  Sounded simple enough.  Send another truck to finish the trip with the same rig.  Except there were none powerful enough available.  This Eastbay 43 weighed 35,000 pounds empty.  With fuel and water onboard, it was closer to 40,000.  The dispatcher told us they were towing the rig to a repair center and we would have to wait for the engine to be re-built.  Turn-around in these 24 hour-a-day shops was 72 hours, three days max.  With no choice but patience, we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  As did the shop for parts from Caterpillar.  Finally, after six full days the rig was underway again.

The truck ran great for almost 100 miles.  Then it blew up again.  And so did I.

Surprisingly, this time there was another truck powerful to carry all the eggs in the basket as the truckers say.  So they swapped out the cabs and the rig was off and rolling.

Except for the blowout.   Which broke the fender loose.  Which scratched the bottom of the boat.  Which raised my blood pressure.

Ten days late from the original ETA, the truck finally did arrive and the boat was off loaded safely.  Re-assembled and launched, she was delivered to her home port and new owner a week later.

“Breaker, Breaker, Yacht Roller.  This is the Yacht Broker.  Got your ears on?” (Hmmmmm, no answer?  Maybe his radio is broken now…….)

As I mentioned, I can’t remember such an incident ever happening before unless of course you count the time when the driver of a rig we had loaded with a power boat in Florida that, per the insurance company, absolutely, positively, needed to leave the next day before the hurricane arrived, broke his tooth and called us on the way to his dentist……..but that’s another story.

This entry was posted in A Day in the Life of a Yacht Broker, About John Baier, Boating and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Big Wheels Keep “A-Turnin” (Most Times)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I Just saw this post….. So glad this came together for you, your buyer, and R.G. Learned a lot and have a tremendous amount of respect for you. You went far beyond what was required of you as a broker to make the deal happen and ensure your client got the service he deserved. Anyone looking for a broker to represent their interests would be hard pressed to find someone with the integrity and tenacity that you have.

    Good Selling!

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