Just what the doctor ordered…..

So,being one who always listens to medical advice(and a compulsive liar!) the hunt for another boat began,any boat almost! For the sake of my sanity if nothing else.
Trouble was funds,or lack thereof. After much thought,well,some, i decided to sell my car to fund the boat purchase. Can’t drive at the moment,the tablets i’m on have a few side effects including lightheadedness and mild confusion. Not really conducive to safe driving! And besides which the car held lots of memories of happier times. And being out on the water is far more enjoyable than being on the road. So it had to go. Public transport and lift scrounging from now on!
Ideally i wanted a boat that was pretty much usable straightaway but still in need of improvement so that in bad weather i would still have something to do. Didn’t really want another project on the scale of the kingfisher. I do want to go sailing this year.
I considered making an offer to buy the leisure back but it was just too badly damaged by this point.
So,Gumtree and preloved kept coming up blank, and i turned my attention to eBay.lots of potential boats,bid on a few but they either didn’t reach reserve or the man with the fatter wallet than mine outbid me.
Lots of other boats i fancied were just too far away.
I also didn’t know for sure what price i would get for the car,whats a 13year old Renault worth? I put it up for sale at what i hoped was an attractive price and crossed my fingers.
One of my sisters very kindly offered to front me the cash if i found the right boat and hadn’t sold the car. Didn’t really want to take her up on the offer but as it turned out i had to!
With a rough budget in mind i scoured eBay again and came upon what i hoped was a little gem.
Quite a few pictures of her on the listing and,being carless, i decided to put a bid in without seeing her,so once again i ended up buying a boat without seeing her in the flesh.
I had one little trick up my sleeve though! As always i spent ages on the web researching any prospective model of boat,reading blogs and reviews etc.
Not a great deal about the boat i was looking at this time though.
But(and this is where it gets good) i found an old online advert from a broker for the actual boat i was looking at! The ad was from about 2/3 years ago and contained a lot of information that wasn’t in the eBay listing.
Gave the age of standing rigging which was good to know. And far more importantly the age of the outboard on the boat and the fact it had been annually serviced. The outboard was listed as untested but known to have been in regular use last year. Time for a gamble!
The overall condition of the boat in the old ad was very good and was described as being very well maintained.
Couldn’t have deteriorated that much in two or three years could it? Well,if you look at the state of the leisure after 3 months,yes it could!
I just hoped it hadn’t.
I bit the bullet and put a maximum bid in,at a figure slightly below what i hoped to get for the car. I eventually increased the bid slightly towards the end of the auction as there was another bidding against me and i didn’t want to lose out for the sake of £25.
It was a very nervous/exciting last couple of minutes on eBay. I was convinced someone was going to put in a higher bid than my maximum in the last few seconds (i’m sure it’s happened to us all!) but the auction ended and i had won!
I was thrilled but also a bit worried. Got an email from seller almost immediately asking how and when i wanted to pay. At this point i still had no money so i wangled it that i would pay cash the following weekend. This gave me 4 days to sell the car! I had a bit of interest in it but no viewings or test drives arranged. I was sweating on it selling.
Got to Wednesday and still nothing so i got in touch with the banker(my sister) and asked if the offer of a loan still stood. I was a bit concerned she had made the offer out of politeness and i absolutely hate asking people for money.
Anyway she came up trumps for which I’m thankful. She knows the shit I’ve been through in my marriage over the past few years and how desperately unhappy and depressed I’ve been since it ended.
She was happy to help in any way she could to help me with my attempt to rebuild my life.
Love her to bits.
She brought me the cash over and i took a deposit on the car the very next day. Sods law.
My eldest daughter and son in law kindly offered to take me to the boatyard on the Saturday to finalise the deal. 2 more people to who i owe an enormous debt of gratitude,they’ve been brilliant.
I think they were quite keen to see what I’d bought this time around and prepared to be a shoulder to cry on if I’d got it badly wrong!
It was a very apprehensive 45 mile drive that Saturday,i really couldn’t have afforded to have made a big mistake. The grandchildren kept me occupied with a game of ‘i-spy’ though!
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So,there she is. 1976 valiant 18. Better than i thought, but still with some work to do. Sailable as she is with a bit of minor fettling and preparation but also ripe for improvement and slight cosmetic attention.
A lot more detail in the next post.

Back in Black (for ac/dc fans everywhere)

Well I’m back(from the brink!) And spiritually at least in black. Mourning the demise of my 25 year marriage and trying to rebuild my life.
I am still deeply in love with my wife but sadly the reverse isn’t true,so i’m learning how to be a single guy again and its a struggle. Have been to hell and back in the past 3 months and it has taken its toll,more mentally and emotionally than physically,but now its time to accept it for what it is and start over.
Sadly,the lovely leisure 17 i bought late last year had to be sold and at a bargain price just to get me on my feet after i had to leave home. I walked with a holdall of clothes,a few books and a few more CDs. Nothing else.
So since late January have been living in a static holiday caravan and boat less. Not an ideal set of circumstances but I’ve survived(just) with a lot of support from family,friends,the medical profession and antidepressants.
Part of my recovery process has been to buy another boat though so its not all bad!
It was actually recommended that i do so by a member of the local mental health team, the severe depression I’ve been suffering from was at its worst at the weekends when i felt very isolated and alone and so now i have something to do,something to focus on,something other than my failed marriage to think about.
I was very sad to see the leisure go,she was such a lovely little boat. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that since i sold her she has sustained so much damage that to my mind she’s a write off. I warned the guy i sold her to that he ought to move her asap from her temporary home because she was so exposed there,but unfortunately he didn’t do so.
The strong winds did the rest. The fenders all gradually got ripped off as did most of the rubbing strake. Mooring lines chafed and snapped and she lost her cleats and snubbers. Eventually she sustained serious damage down the starboard side where hull and deck meet. And she got broken into. I haven’t seen her for a month or so but i would imagine the harbour authority will have moved her by now if the new owner didn’t.
Such a shame, she was so clean and tidy and unmolested.
But anyway,the past is the past and nothing can change it,so onwards and upwards.
My next post(coming soon) will introduce the new boat and include a few pictures too.