Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps” – David Llyoyd George
Photo courtesy: Kindle Lynn Reeder
After a life long dream of owning a yacht,at age 55,that opportunity presented itself. I was working as the Executive Chef at Linns restaurant in Cambria, Ca. A wonderful job, great people, good salary, really the perfect spot to finish up my career. A few years into that job I became restless leading to a discussion with my wife on why we should buy a yacht and open a yacht charter business in the neighboring town of Morro Bay. ARE YOU CRAZY?! My boyhood enthusiasm for yacht ownership was met with a great deal of skepticism, resistance, and what ifs from my partner of 23 years, my wife Midge. In fact, there was little to no encouragement from friends and associates, most thinking this would be a phase I would get over.
NEVER UNDER ESTMATE THE POWER OF A DREAM !
In 2005 my search led me to KKMI boat works in Port Richmond San Francisco. There was a 72 ft. Burger Flushdeck motor yacht for sale, hauled out for inspection. It was owned by the founder of Gallo Salami Co., appropriately named the Papagallo II. After spending an hour or so touring the vessel, I decided this was the best yacht I had located out of all the yachts looked at so far. It had all the features we needed to begin the charter business, most importantly a current COI enabling us to carry passengers for hire.
Upon leaving the vessel I told Graham, the broker, I would be making an offer by the end of the week. A huge smile appeared across his face as he commented how glad he was that I liked the yacht. He went on to ask what I was moving up from, a sailboat or cabin cruiser? Replying, I said neither one, and that my boating experience was limited to paddling a 12 ft. kayak around San Simeon cove below Hearst Castle. His smile quickly turned upside down .He asked if I had any idea what it took to operate a 72ft. yacht and said that morally he needed to express his concerns that I would not be up to the task.
His concerns and honesty were duly noted in my quick response I informed him that after 40 years (now over 50 years) in the restaurant business I was no stranger to hard work and was also a quick learner. Besides, if I put my money down I will figure out a way to make it work. After shaking his hand his smile returned I jumped in the car and headed home to share the great news with Midge that our yacht had been found.
The entire trip home was spent rehearsing the sales pitch I would need to get Midge over the hump or better yet ONBOARD! Arriving home I could hardly contain my excitement sharing how wonderful my day was and we were going to be off on a new adventure. ARE YOU CRAZY! Not exactly the response I had planned and hoped for. If her body language was any indication of acceptance it was painfully obvious I would need to move to a full court press mode. Pleading my case I convinced her to agree to visit the Papagallo for a sea trial. Enlisting the help of some very close friends, Tom and Arlene, for moral support, we drove to San Francisco. Graham met us at the dock helping all onboard. The captain set a course to the Golden Gate Bridge on a spectacular day on the bay. Graham with all his wisdom provided snacks and chilled Champagne as we motored along, a setting remincent of the show “The Rich and Famous ” . As it turns out the ladies were very enthralled with the experience, commenting “we could get used to this.” I could Touch, See, Feel, Taste, Hear,and Smell that the deal was done. Now all that remained to be done was to come up with the money – a minor detail for dreamers. WHERE”S the MONEY? Next blog.