Saturday, 16 November 2013

Viewing the Boat

After a magnificent breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, yummy sausage, delicious black pudding, fried tomatoes, mushrooms and toast, we felt fortified enough to go and view the boat and to make the return journey home. I really should have taken a photo of the breakfast for the blog. It was as good as dinner the night before. Anyway, I digress, the main point is that we viewed the boat and what a fabulous boat it appears to be!

Quite often, when you view photos online, they lie or give you a somewhat more positive outlook than is really warranted. This certainly was not the case with Genesis (the name of the Beneteau First 26). From what we could see, without having the benefit of a current survey, she seemed to be in fairly good nick. We couldn't see any sign of blistering or delamination. The inside was fairly clean and the trailer also appeared to be fairly sturdy and in reasonable visual condition.

En route home, we decided to take the rest of the weekend to have a think about it to make certain we had a list of all the questions we needed answered and to make certain our initial excitement was not over-ruling our sense of logic and proportion. We are very fortunate to have a very good friend who conveniently happens to be a Master Yachtsman & John's Golfing Partner. Big Al, as we affectionately call him, has given us loads of good advice and told us what to be wary of. It always helps to have someone in the know to keep you on the straight and narrow or in this case at an even keel! 

PS Big Al is tall, with a big personality... not wide...

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Trip from Hell

The Beneteau First 26, that we had arranged to go and see was based at Suffolk Harbour Marina near Ipswich. Unfortunately, Ipswich is a bit of a pain in the backside to get to from South East Wales. There is simply no direct route to get there. It didn't help that John's car had an invasion of fruit flies, thanks to him leaving apple pomace in there overnight.

The trip to Ipswich was supposed to be a 4 hour trip, in reality it took nearly 6 and a half hours. The last half hour was spent fruitlessly driving around dark farm lanes whilst the Satnav tried to tell us our destination was in the middle of a field. Eventually, we managed to negotiate with the Satnav and find our way to the Angel Inn in Stoke-by-Nailand. What a relief it was to finally get out of the car and away from the fruit flies and to have a nice warm shower and get served a lovely cold glass of wine.

Hopefully the boat lives up to expectations, I would hate to think this trip has been wasted. Although, to be fair, the Angel Inn has been such a lovely experience that it would be worth making the trip simply to stay here.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Was it Possible?

 My husband John and I had dreamt of owning a boat for quite a long time. Originally, we had hoped to build our own boat. In anticipation of making this happen, we had purchased the cutting plans for a Bruce Roberts 46 ft motorboat. After much consideration and scrutinising of the bank balance, we decided the project was not practical. The costs would have been enormous and time was the major limiting factor. Aside from which, the price of fuel is only ever going to go up. This doesn't even start to take into account the ongoing outlay of mooring something that size.

I would say that we had pretty much shelved the idea of owning a boat until we retired somewhere cheap! Fortunately, hope never really completely goes away and a holiday in Croatia completely revived our interest in owning a boat.

We had gone on holiday in Croatia and we ended up hiring a 10 ft long 5hp boat with a Bimini. We used this to tour some of the islands off Hvar and despite it being so small and having so little power, we had a fabulous time. We spent a good 3 days on this tiny little boat in what could only be called somewhat uncomfortable conditions and we were thrilled to be on it. The following year, we did the same thing and toured the islands off Korcula. Again, we had an absolutely fantastic time. Whilst pottering about the islands, we passed quite a few people on their sailboats and came to the conclusion, that whilst we might never be able to afford a 40 or 50 ft motorboat or sailboat, we could afford something considerably smaller and with our combined skills, we could make it quite comfortable. It certainly wouldn't be hard to make it more comfortable than the 10 ft boat we had been hiring.

John in sunny Croatia

Once we had returned to grey and gloomy Britain from sunny and warm Croatia, depression set in! We comforted ourselves by looking at property for sale online in sunny destinations. This progressed to looking at sailboats online. We spotted a lovely little Beneteau First 26 for sale, that seemed to be in relatively good condition but it was out of our budget. Less than a year later, the boat had decreased considerably in price. In fact it was suddenly within our budget although it was being stored, quite a distance from where we live. After much hemming and hawing we decided to go and have a look at the boat.