In­side An­gle

Buyer be­ware, there’s some in­sider jar­gon that needs de­ci­pher­ing.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE -

Mak­ing plans for that new boat? Odd­ball list­ings re­veal the in­ter­net’s dark un­der­belly knows no bound­aries.

Have you ever pe­rused YachtWorld? Of course you have! You prob­a­bly own a per­fectly nice boat. Or three. Maybe a dozen. But that isn’t enough for you, is it? Who among us can re­sist the temp­ta­tion to make plans for The Next Boat? So we look. As a yacht de­signer I tend to look at new and old boats as much or even more than the next guy, but with a de­cid­edly jaded eye. I’m also an aver­age-Joe owner of a Tiara con­vert­ible who can’t help but pay close at­ten­tion to the op­tions avail­able for My Next Boat. Maybe some­thing 45 to 55 feet, a lit­tle newer, a lit­tle faster … I’ll be right back.

Al­right, I just saw a Vik­ing 53 for sale with a rip saw dis­played on the salon bulk­head! Look, I man­age to wrap a dock line around a prop shaft about once ev­ery 20 years, but in this lim­ited ex­pe­ri­ence I’ve found that a Bench­made pock­etknife does the trick in that in­stance. So what’s the deal with the rip saw? Does this seller re­ally need to cut his lines free so of­ten that he keeps a blade on two hooks in the salon, or is he third­gen­er­a­tion Acme Saw money? I hope it’s the lat­ter.

Pic­tures tell much of the story on an in­ter­net boat list­ing, but savvy bro­kers know they can sub­vert our ac­cepted boat-speak to subtly con­vey de­tails the seller might not want broad­cast. I learned this les­son in a par­tic­u­larly bit­ter fash­ion one hot day in Florida when I drove from Sara­sota to Ft. Laud­erdale to see a 40-footer which looked pretty good in pho­tos. It took me all of 30 sec­onds be­fore I turned my back on the boat and bro­ker, got in my car and drove home. Dur­ing the long slog west on Al­li­ga­tor Al­ley I be­gan cul­ti­vat­ing my own list of the true mean­ings be­hind much of the bro­ker­age-boat jar­gon with which we are all ac­cus­tomed. I humbly of­fer this work in progress to you, dear reader, for your ben­e­fit as you pe­ruse the on­line list­ings tonight with your bev­er­age of choice.

SMOH: We all ac­cept this as mean­ing “Since Ma­jor Over­haul,” as in 200 hours since a ma­jor en­gine over­haul. But as of­ten as not, SMOH means “Since Ma­jor Op­er­a­tion Hap­pened.” The owner’s health is on its way out the ex­haust, so the boat is for sale.

BRIS­TOL CON­DI­TION: This is as­sumed to re­fer to the English city of Bris­tol, which his­tor­i­cally had a rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence in ship­build­ing and re­pair, as a means to im­ply the boat has been main­tained with an open check­book by the most eru­dite yachts­man who only used the boat one Sun­day a year. In fact, it of­ten more ac­cu­rately refers to Bris­tol, West Vir­ginia, whose only post of­fice closed in 2005, or Bris­tol, Nevada, a ghost town. OWNER MO­TI­VATED: Wife found out about the girl­friend. AVAIL­ABLE FOR WHITE GLOVE IN­SPEC­TION: Uhhh, wear gloves, and let the bro­ker lead the way. Rub­ber boots might be a good idea. Don’t go alone. Ever seen that Net­flix se­ries Blood­line? Be­ware. BOAT IS TURNKEY: This is sim­ply a typo. The boat is a tur­key. NEW CAR­PET NOV. 2018: Hur­ri­cane dam­age Oc­to­ber 2018. BRING ALL OF­FERS!: This boat is worth less than zero and a new owner should be paid to take pos­ses­sion, as the costs of own­er­ship will ex­ceed the ini­tial pur­chase price by five­fold in the first sea­son. LESSER BOATS SCURRY FROM HER PATH LIKE COMMONERS MAK­ING WAY FOR ROY­ALTY: Look, I saw this on a list­ing for a 21-year-old pro­duc­tion boat. I prob­a­bly could have made this up, but trust me, I didn’t. It goes on: “Bill­fish seem to be at­tracted like fencers hon­or­ing a for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent.” (I have noth­ing to add here.)

Of course, there’s a way to avoid all these sce­nar­ios. Buy a new boat! Come on, you know you want one. And be­sides, one more won’t hurt. Just try to sell yours 200 hours BMOH.

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