Boat Owner Speak : Buying My First Boat

Carmelino Machado from Goa, has a family run business which is shipping related (stevedores and shipping agents). He has never been keen on any water sports but loves to swim and used to snorkel a lot. When asked about how he took up sailing as a sport, Carmelino says, “I guess all people living on the coast have a close affinity to the sea as long as they can reach into themselves to discover it. That is what happened to me and now every week that goes by the passion for sailing becomes stronger.” Carmelino shares some of his experiences and thought processes about buying his pre-owned yacht and how he is enjoying the fun of sailing away!

The Brand and Model Name of your Boat 
MacGregor 26

When and what made you decide you wanted to own a boat? 
I have always wanted to own a boat over the last 20 years but seriously decided to acquire one about 3 years ago. Living in a place like Goa and the charm and romance of being out at sea were one of the main reasons of wanting to own a boat, but it was the convenience and beauty of owning a riverside property at Chapora that goaded me into buying the boat.

Why did you choose to go in for a pre-owned boat? 
Well I did not know how to sail and had never sailed before and so I was not sure of being comfortable about and justified in owning a boat. I wanted to be sure that I would use it without feeling too guilty about spending too much on a brand new boat and one thing for sure was, I did not want to buy it as a showpiece. Also, I was sure that I did not want a power boat nor a racer.

Why did you select this particular model? 
I first honed in onto this particular boat about three years ago when I first started seriously looking around for a boat and I thought it was best suited for me because of the ease of sailing and trailering. The enclosed head was another very important feature in this class and size of boat and the ease of raising and lowering of the mast was another feature that grabbed my attention.

How did you go about your research? 
Over the last 3 years I visited the boat shows in Goa and even went to Cochin to see if there was anything else better suited to what I wanted. Of course I checked the internet and read everything about the Macgregor including what hundreds of people had to say about the pros and cons of the boat. I asked every friend and acquaintance about this particular boat and anything similar to it and after three years of this research I decided on the very same boat I had honed in at the beginning.

Do you know people / friends in the boating circuit, how did they help you out? 
Oh yes I know quite a few and they all had and shared their opinions, but I finally sailed right in and bought the boat because of two friends – Vipul Amin, who was very encouraging and even made a couple of trips with me to check out the boat and Mark Butt who with all his experience provided the final inputs and helped me sail the boat to Goa.

How was your experience with the companies? How many did you meet/consult? Did they show you options? were you satisfied with the way they responded? 
I met many, they were all very helpful and provided me with lots of info but primarily they all wanted to sell their own boats. I don’t blame them as there is such a small market. I wish the Government would do something to promote this activity or at least allow the private entrepreneurs to go about promoting the sailing experience.

Did you have a checklist for the boat? 
Yes I did, a checklist of what type of boat I wanted and a checklist of what I wanted on board.

Have you considered your boat to be an income generating asset in the near future? 
Yes, now I do have people coming to me and asking if they could charter it for the day, but right now I just want to enjoy it with my family and friends.

Were you well informed of its upkeep & crew + maintenance costs, what it involves and how to go about it? Share a few words on it. 
Yes I knew 50 % about all these things and the rest I am learning as the days go by. So far nothing too shocking has happened and the few situations liking cleaning the hull of the barnacles I have been able to take in my stride. After more than 2 months of using the boat in Goa I am still enjoying it too much to worry about a few extras I did not know about. What is most satisfying and encouraging is that my wife Belinda who was not at all enthusiastic at first has started enjoying the boat and has even confessed that from the very first day that I landed with the boat in Goa, she has been surprised at the amount of fun she has been having both on and off the boat.

Final words to new boat owners:
Just follow your heart and sail with the wind !


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