29 September 2009

confidence battered

So confirdent was I that the oyster would fly through the survey, with obviously expensive bits to think about... that I had already booked the time off work to bring the boat back.

It was never to be though.

With my car in pieces up north, I had to think fast to avoid wasting any valuable time. It seems time and money are inextricably linked.

I rented a car and went for a drive. A long drive.
I had just 4 days allocated to the next round of my search.

I wasnt going to waste time checking into B&B's, the car would be my home for a few days.

Ever tried a Ford Fiesta? Huh? Have you?
Good job I can sleep on a washing line and I'm not too tall is all I'm saying.

 the long drive to pemborke dock was to see an Etap 38, which I really quite liked the look of. But it didn't have the wow factor.
Etap 38

I drove through the night. back out of Wales

to helford river

to see a Beneteau 405 with a cracked mast...
To another Beneteau first with teak decks... that needed replacing

and then on to a sigma 362 in Brighton, which despite being a tip inside, I really liked.

But one Sigma was quickly trumped by a bigger and far better bad ass Sigma 38 on the Isle Of Wight
I spent hours on this one. I loved it. really.
but one more boat to view before I make any descisions.
the feeling, in Holland, after a quick trip on the eurostar and in a little rented fiat 500, I found my way to see this. it was absolutely lovely. really. and the salesman was the hottest, but coolest guy Id seen in a long time.
back to the here and now...

I put an offer on the Sigma 38.


waited some more.

then after what seemed an age. the Broker came back to me and said that the owner had just sold it to a friend.
it was the only one that really sang to me.
back to square one.

06 September 2009

Flexible assets

What I want wis a boat with pedigree; one that I can sail solo; a good engine, hull and sails, not too worried about the interior needing tlc and not more than £45,000. 
Jeanneau 38
I started in Poole with a Jeanneau Sunshine 38 which had just enough storage for a stoat, 
followed by a Southerly 105 in Ipswich that looked like Beirut in the 80's;
Southerly 105
moody 33
a Moody 33 in Burnham that was designed for pygmies;  

an Oyster 41 in Cardiff that I liked so much I had to have a lay down on the bed, 

oyster 41
 another Oyster 41 in Plymouth that looked like the House of Lords inside, 

tradewind 35
a Tradewind 35 in Fowey that had interior and exterior woodwork so luscious it looked edible, sadly lacking in guest berths though and an Oyster 35 Mariner in Troon that had a master cabin with en-suite boat. 

oyster mariner 35

Both of the Oyster 41's had something special about them. The large semi flush decks; beautiful lines; seriously hefty winches; excellent chart table; ocean-going companionway. They ticked a lot of my boxes.

I made an offer on the Oyster 41 in Cardiff. It's got a slightly tired but willing look about it. The upholstery, so floral and garish that even Laura Ashley might need sunglasses but that part doesnt matter as long as it's basically sound. 

We agreed £42,000 subject to survey after haggling. 
Two weeks later, Survey day, I was standing before a boat in slings watching my surveyor earn his living. It was going quite well up until he started tapping along the hull. It went quickly from a bright clack clack clack to a very dull thunk sound. He gave the hull a press by hand and it flexed easily. More people joined in with the cardiac massage style testing. Heads were shaking in disbelief. 
My heart sank. 
Days passed while tests were done. Patches of hull were ground out to inspect for de-lamination. 
The salesman sent me pictures of the boat looking like swiss cheese, trying to convince me there was nothing wrong with it. 

But I had to act with my head and not my heart and walk away. 

It's gut wrenching and a serious blow to my boat fund.

04 September 2009

Blow me

this car, it's not just having a rest, it's dead. It has ceased to be.
for sale: a 2004 Nissan Cube, high mileage but otherwise in tip top nick. OH, But it'll need a new cylinder head gasket. 

Yes my poor little pope mobile has blown a gasket. All this tripping up and down the country has finished it off. I've called a friend of a friend to come and tow it away to fix it in a cheaper part of the country. It's heading north to join my dog and the rest of my stuff in storage.
I got a quote to fix it in the south £2000. A quote from a garage I know in Derbyshire, £850.
Even including the £100 to get it towed north. It's a no brainer.

second viewing

I asked a friend with a nice car (that works) to come and have a look with me at the Oyster in Cardiff.
She drove, I waffled on about all kinds of shit. When we arrived she lithely clambered down the vertical companionway that had been the subject of much discussion and looked around. "uh huh, yep, looks alright" she replied
and then we started poking and prodding all over again.
It is quite old, build in 1980, a lot of things will need replacing, but every boat I can afford is a money pit, the main thing is, I need to love the money pit otherwise it will all be a waste of time and effort.

So, I put an offer in.

The Oyster 41 I went to visit in Cardiff has the edge over all the boats I've seen.

Im just arranging the surveyor to come down to do the business...

exciting times.