Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Don't Buy Anything Down Here
That's the advice a few of the locals gave me. Don't buy a boat, a car, a house or even rent something. The odds that the hurricane messed something up are too great. They only told me this after I'd hung out with those guys for a few days.
I can see where they are coming from. At first glance, the campground I'm in looks in pretty good shape. The security guard told me parts of the place were under four feet of water. There are a series of permanent trailers on the property. Most of them look undamaged from the outside. However, just about all of them have had at least some water damage.
A few have been quickly fixed and are occupied again. Others are waiting for things like new floors. A number of the residents are staying in the campground part while their trailers are being repaired. Some people just gave up. One 96 year old woman decided to abandon her place. She had someone open the place up and give everything away.
My lovely wife picked up some odds and ends herself. One was a neat little folding dolly that's perfect for hauling groceries or laundry. When she got it it was a struggle to unfold it and the wheels could barely turn. A liberal application of oil got everything running smoothly again.
The thought had crossed my mind that there might be some good sailboat deals down here. Considering how many boats were plucked out of the mangroves or raised from the bottom, I'm going to pass. I was talking to the owner of a dive boat. He'd just spent $6000 on new bottom and top paint for the boat. It was well secured, but other boats broke lose and smashed into his. He felt lucky that the boat was still afloat, but the new paint job was trashed. Apparently a lot of people did almost nothing to secure their boats.
The more I think about it, the better I like the idea of buying a boat up north and hauling it south next year. Not only were the boats not in a hurricane, they are only used a few months of the year. As long as they are winterized properly they should be in decent shape.
Those local guys really opened my eyes. It was nice of them to warn me off.