Last minute boat broker fiasco

11 minutes before we were due to meet with the owners we received a call from our boat broker. Kevin and I were under the impression we had agreed on a price substantially lower than the one the sellers had for the last two weeks. The paperwork came to a standstill just as we pulled into the marina.

The current owners of Yolo, counter-offered with an amount their broker embedded in tiny font that required 300% zoom to read. The counter offer number was nothing more than a gray line in the document signing software. They had been pushing their personal comfort to sail north from the Bahamas, and we’d been driving from Maine for two days to meet in Hampton, VA. Both parties unaware of the discrepancy.

Our broker hadn’t caught it either. I perceived her response to be mostly angry at the seller’s broker, and partly embarrassed. She had just sold her boat, and her husband was sick. She was also in a strange homeless limbo. I don’t think she should have taken us on.

The reception was poor and she spoke way too fast when she called. When we asked her questions or tried to interject, she kept talking over us. It was very frustrating.

We parked at the marina lot and pulled out Kevin’s laptop to look the document over ourselves. Sure enough, when we downloaded it and zoomed way in, a higher price was written beside the price we’d offered. Interestingly, the deposit and payoff we agreed on is still based on the number we originally offered. There had been no attempt to alter or update any of the other figures. There hadn’t been any initials beside the change, a verbal mention of the change, or any mention of it via email. It’s like he didn’t think we’d notice.

Fortunately, all four of us talked and tried our best to overlook the train wreck behind us and let the brokers duke it out in the background. We discussed life on the water, visited, and overlooked the elephant in the room. Sandy and I took the dogs for a walk and retrieved the car while Kevin and Bill spoke about the fiasco.

Sandy and I are a lot alike. I haven’t known her for very long, but I can feel it. We are firecrackers, and are either in or out. I’m sure she was ready to say fuck this and peace out. I was in panic mode when I heard the news and wanted to get their broker on the phone and tear him a new one. I was tired, uncomfortable, and angry. She looked drained.

We all went to downtown Hampton and found outdoor dining on the old cobblestone streets. We talked about family, life, and even met their grandson via video chat. By the end of the evening, we had all mellowed. Though Bill and Kevin really didn’t need mellowing, it was their nature.

As it stands we will be hare in Hampton, VA for another week while we iron things out. Hopefully everything comes out in the wash. I really need to work on some boat euphemisms and drop the housewife ones.

The first night we stayed in a Red Roof hotel. The bedsheets felt damp. I felt like I was in a petri dish waiting to see what would be growing on me the next day. I swore something bit me, more than once. The AC was rattling and someone was playing music with the base cranked all night somewhere.

We were on the wrong side of town. I didn’t sleep more than a few hours. I woke up a crying mess. The heavy brick of depression clung to my chest. It felt like work just to breathe, let alone walk to the bathroom to shower. The shower was broken. I had to reshape the thin metal collar around the handle to make it move to hot. The curtain wouldn’t stay and wrapped around my leg. I didn’t feel any cleaner when I stepped out.

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