O'Baby!! was purchased through an online auction in August of 1999. When I placed the bid (click here to see and read the bid sheet), from my home in Graham, Washington, for a boat in San Diego, California, i wasn't sure I knew what I was doing. All I had ever seen of the boat were some pretty sorry photographs of the exterior and parts of the interior. (Click here to see the photos.) I had not visited the boat. Debbie had briefly talked to the seller/owner (she obtained the photos) and we felt he wasn't misrepresenting the boat. Based on the value of the engines (twin Perkins Turbo Diesels, purported to only have 50 hours on them), I made a bid of $11,000. Then we waited.
This was the second time that I had bid on a boat on eBay. A month or so earlier, I had bid on a 36' Pacemaker in Michigan. I was the high bidder on that boat until the last few minutes of the auction, when I was outbid by $100. I made the mistake of not watching the last couple of minutes of the auction, or I could have bid another $100 and more than likely won. This was in the back of my mind during the O'Baby!! auction. So even though the opening bid was $10,000, I had eBay put me down for $11,000. The way it works is that eBay will take your maximum from you, then bid whatever is needed to be top bidder up to the limit of your bid. So my bid was the first, and obviously, the highest, posted at $10,000. For most of the week or so that the auction was active, I was the only bidder, still at $10k. As with the other boat, right at the last minute someone else tried to outbid me at $10,100 (the minimum increment was $100). With my minimum at $11k, eBay automatically made my bid $10,200 to keep me on top. I don't think the other bidder had enough time to make another bid, so I won.
Now, the rules of eBay auctions generally state that the deals be consummated within 10 days. Hmmm.... I made the bid in Graham, Washington, watched the auction end in Indianapolis, Indiana, and first contacted the San Diego owner while in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. To say that this was interesting is an understatement. I spent a lot of time on the negotiating with the owner over how we could do the deal and protect both our interests. He was reluctant to give up the title without the payment, and I didn't want to send ten thousand dollars on a promise. We finally agreed on an escrow deal that worked out fine, and I was now the owner of a 44' boat. Who'd a thunk it!
The First Look