Buying Sojournie

We bought Sojournie in Nelson in December 2015. We’d looked at many 30-35 ft boats, but most were either out of our price range or just didn’t feel right. They say you’ll know when you find the right boat, and I think Clare definitely did. Moments after stepping aboard and looking down the companion way, Clare said “I think this is it”. My anxiety and fear of buyer’s regret was busy noticing the frayed topping lift and the damaged mast step, but as the excitement of finally owning our own boat overtook me, I joined in Clare in the wide-eyed, heart-thumping anticipation of asking if we could put in an offer. A bit of to and froing, but we settled on $40,000, $3k under the listing price.


The boat being in Nelson, did present both a problem and an opportunity, we’d really get to know her, taking her home over the summer holidays via Pelorus Sound, Queen Charlotte Sounds and the Cook Strait. Our lack of coastal sailing experience just meant we’d have to think and plan carefully.

What we learnt

Buying a boat is HARD. Being December, the Nelson marina travelift was booked out and we had a really hard time getting the boat out of the water for the boat builder to take a look. I was able to visit for the engine inspection, her Bukh DV20 was declared “a beauty” and so far, touch wood, that has been the case. Visiting for the hull survey unfortunately didn’t go well, I sat in the broker’s office waiting for the travelift operator to haul her out, but it didn’t happen and the survey occurred with me not present. In retrospect, I think I’d insist that this happened with me present, I really wanted her home for Christmas, so I accepted the survey happening without me, but we didn’t get her home for Christmas anyway. One thing we did not do is get the rig inspected, this was a big mistake as we needed $5k of work done on her mast and rigging a couple of months later. Next time, I’ll be more thorough…

Sojournie has proven to be a great boat, sure she is 33 years old and has her flaws, but we love her and she sails beautifully.