“If you’re going to buy a boat that is mass produced, make sure you don’t buy the one that was put together on a Friday afternoon,” Skip Helme, Owner Brewer Street Boatworks.

Well Skip and I made our offer, it was accepted and we needed to get it surveyed. Skip said he knew just the guy: Steve Maddock.

Turns out our boat was built on a Friday afternoon.

Steve Maddock is one of those guys that’s so good at what he does you’re just happy he’s on your side. He’s not afraid to ruffle feathers and tell people what he thinks of the boat they’re trying to sell.

So, Skip and I planned another trip to Long Island to meet up with Steve and to put the boat through its paces. Steve was all business, asking the seller’s rep questions, blocking out the BS, and then talking things over with Skip. When we got back to the dock Steve asked the seller’s rep to leave because he wanted some privacy to discuss his findings with Skip and me, and he didn’t want the seller’s rep piping in after every negative comment.

When the coast was clear, Steve said he had some concerns about one section of the hull. He pulled out his hammer and started to lightly tap the hull moving slowly from stern to bow. The sound was tic-tic-tic-tic like hitting a granite counter top. But when he got a few feet from the stern of the boat, the sound changed immediately. It sounded like hitting the outside of a kitchen cabinet. He said that is fiberglass separation. At some point water got into that area and probably froze and expanded during the winter.

That destroyed the deal.

After Skip and I left, Steve said the other guys were furious calling him all kinds of names. They had the boat hauled.  Steve did the test on dry dock to show everyone his findings. They still couldn’t believe Steve would do such a thing to them. But he did right by us, and I am thankful to have worked with him. Having a good boat surveyor makes all the difference in the world.

I made an offer on another boat up in Maine, but it failed the survey too.

But the third boat passed the marine survey done by Captain Paul Shaw II with flying colors. This boat was located way out on Cape Cod, in Wellfleet, MA where the owners summered. It was exactly what we were looking for: It passed the survey, the engines had real low hours, spent a couple of winters in Florida where it was stored inside, and it was in great condition. It was the Grady-White Canyon/Bimini 306 with twin Yamaha 250 horsepower engines we had been looking for the whole time.

And if a roller coaster can be named after a rock group then our boat would be named after a song:

Tom Sawyer