Finding a Boat

On Tuesday 22nd June I was travelling up to Leeds for work, and Midnight Star II was moored on the River Witham, so we both travelled up, with Fiona planning to return by train.

The owner of the boat, Glenn was very welcoming, and very happy with his boat, only selling it reluctantly because he hade come into possesion of another one. He had owned the boat for around 5 years and carred out quite a lot of improvements – the heating was still gas, but a modern Alde boiler, rather the the old thin caravan type we had on Pollyanna. The engine was sweet, and the gearbox new, so she slipped into gear without the slightest noise. The interior hadn’t been mucked around with from the original fitout, but neither was it looking tired.

Our only disappointment was the state of the paintwork. The boat had been blacked quite recently, but the upper half needed some serious patching up, or more likely a full repaint. The price was almost at the top of out budget, and it became apparent that it wasn’t negotiable – buyers were lining up to view the boat.

One issue was easily solved – how to get the boat near to home. Glenn was positivly keen to deliver the boat free of charge, and as this involved the tidal Trent, and we we both busy with work over the next month, that seemed like a good idea.

The other was the need for a survey. Glenn was OK with the concept, but the boat hull had been inspected carefully before it’s last blacking and he assured use that there was little more than minor pitting along the waterline which he was told might need attention when it was next blacked. Given the timescale, complications of arranging a survey and the owner’s obvious honesty, we decided to take the risk of not getting one.

A deposit was paid and a date set for the handover. Glenn would bring the boat down to Gayton Marina, where I had accertained that there were vacancies, and hand the boat over on 18th July. As that turned out to be the date of the British GP at nearby Silverstone, we later moved the day back to the Saturday.

One promise from Glenn was that although he had other interest, he wouldn’t succumb to Gazupping – taking a higher offer after having agreed the sale. Glenn later told me that someone offered him £5K more than us. He was a man of his word, however, and set off the following weekend to deliver Midnight Star to Gayton.