Apologies, dear readers (if I have any left). A new blog post has been long overdue but I do have a good excuse in that I have recently been buying the hell out of a boat.
Yep, you heard correctly. After one year of trial boating, one two-month trip up the Grand Union, countless boxes of poo, many many ducks, one ACTUAL WINTER (sort of) and just a few mishaps (per day), we somehow thought it was a really good idea to buy a boat of our very own.
Which meant my pre-Christmas conversations all went something like this:
“What did you do yesterday, Carli?”
“Ermm… I got up, had breakfast, bought a boat, played the DOWNTON ABBEY BOARD GAME?!”
“I know! I had no idea they’d even brought a board game out!”
Naturally, buying a boat was a huge-mongous decision that we wanted to take slowly and carefully so we went out and bought the first one we saw.
Of course we shopped around (for a few hours) but we were insanely lucky to discover that the boat of our dreams had gone up for sale just before we had started looking so, after a quick visit to make sure we weren’t about to accidentally buy a toy boat, we put in an offer and had it accepted.
I don’t know if you’ve ever done it before but buying a boat is a terrifying business. It’s sort of exactly like buying a house except, if your surveyor says your new purchase is likely to sink, he doesn’t mean over a couple of decades.
The sheer amount of things you have to check is mind-boggling; “Does it have an engine?” seems like it would be an unnecessary question but APPARENTLY NOT. Beyond that you have to make sure it has everything else you require such as proper electrics, solar panels, a toilet and not a hole in the bottom.
Having said that, I read somewhere that boaters get ‘The One’ syndrome, whereby they instantly fall in love with their chosen boat regardless of whether or not it possesses everything they had wanted. This was pretty much the case with us too, but luckily the additions we want won’t cost too much or be too hard to sort out so we feel like we’ve made the right decision.
We were also lucky enough to organise our purchase through a broker — the lovely Steve and Dominic at Rugby Boats — so we didn’t have to go through the nerve-racking process of dealing directly with a boat owner and handing over a large deposit to a complete stranger (not that I’m saying boaters are anything but completely trustworthy).
For the moment I won’t share any details about the boat because we are awaiting its survey next week before we can know for sure that we really own it. All I can say that it is AN HISTORIC BOAT (mostly) and that, should everything go well, you shall soon see me out and about on the canals looking pretty much like this.
Updates after the survey!