Our boat is a 2002 Sea Ray 480 Motor Yacht. We have owned her since new and as a result, she is familiar like an old friend. She has just under 700 hours on her engines as this is being written and she has been outfitted with this trip in mind. We fully understand that a Sea Ray 480 Motor Yacht is not the ideal platform for the trip we have planned. We spent several years researching the options. We wore a path between the Annapolis, Ft Lauderdale and Miami boat shows. We want to thank the good people from Selene, Kady Krogen, Nordhavn, Symbol and others for showing us countless beautiful boats and answering our seemingly endless series of questions. In particular, we want to thank David Marlow and Eric Gervais for helping us with what we have decided is the ultimate cruising yacht for us, that being a Marlow Explorer. We came very close to a deal on a beautiful Marlow named “Reel Class” but in the end we just could not get there in the time available with the dollars we had. As a result, we have decided to press on with our dream with the boat that we currently own. We could continue to wait for the perfect opportunity for the perfect boat but better to go now with the boat we have than to wait for a boat that we may never acquire. While we are thanking people, we would be remiss if we did not mention Joe Carr, our original boat broker when we bought the Pilots’ Discretion. Joe was astute enough to set a realistic goal when we first set out upon the path to yacht ownership. Joe said he was going to help us buy our third boat first under the theory that you have nothing but enthusiasm for your first boat without any real understanding of what you actually need. Your second boat encompasses a lot of improvements from your first boat as you learn more about what is both necessary and available in a cruising yacht. By your third boat, you finally understand what you really need to do the type of cruising you want to. Thanks Joe, the Pilots’ Discretion although not perfect, has proven to be a great third boat, she will serve us capably as we embark on “the thorny path”.