The viewings

The Viewings

The time has come for me to go round and have a look at my boats. It has taken me almost a week to get this far. I feel I have gained a lot just by reading everything I could lay my hands on. I will write a complete list of the information I found useful in getting me this far, later on in the project (After I buy my boat!)

I have managed to view the boats in order. The first viewing is at 10 am, the second at 1pm and the third at 3pm.

My impatience and keenness has brought me before the 19FT Dolphin at 9:45 am, and the owner is nowhere to be seen. Good news for me because I can have a poke around without fear of eyes looking over my shoulder. I do not feel comfortable viewing the boat on my own; remember I have never even sat in a boat before. The whole point of this exercise though is to put me in your shoes if you too are a novice and without a knowledgeable friend to help you out.

One other thing I should mention at this point: I did ring round a couple of boat yards and ask if there was someone available who could visit these boats with me and sort the good from the bad. I got a fairly pleasing response, however I decided against this route in the end because it would give me an unfair advantage, and would almost break one of the rules set for me at the start of the project. After all, paying another external professional when I was not allowed help back at the office would be cheating (I am too honest!)

My first impressions of the boat, sitting there in a drive of a nice modern semidetached house were mixed. I was overwhelmed by how such a small sounding boat could tower into the sky on a single-axle trailer and almost blot the sun from this guys windows.

I was also a little concerned to find that it looked like what I perceived to be a normal cabin cruiser; not at all sporty. Never mind, what do I know? Either way I was impressed, as it is a boat, and a boat that I can buy, today, because I have the money in my back pocket!

Do not fear. I decided before I got here that I will not rush into my decision. I would instead view all three boats and then rethink my plans. After all, I do not have to buy any of them, although I am under a little pressure to buy something to show the guys back at the office.

Finally the owner turned up, almost 5 minutes late. He apologised for keeping me waiting and rushed out of his car and began removing the cover from the top of the boat.

I did note the fact that he had a new car. This, paired with the fact that he lived in a new house, in a desirable area meant that he at least had some money. Or did it mean he was so in debt that he had neglected to service the boat, and was selling it to pay this months mortgage? Damn, I need to stop thinking so hard!

He told me the reason for selling the boat was that he never used it since he moved house. Fair enough. He also said that work pressures meant he had less and less time to spend on leisure activities. Fair enough again.

The boat turned out to be not bad. It had a full set of fenders (big plastic balls that sit around the outside edge of the boat to stop people like me from slamming the side into a wall!). It also had lights, a cooker and a sink. Indeed it did have everything the advert said it did, and although I did like it, it didn't strike me as being the kind of boat that I really wanted. It also seemed mighty old-fashioned.

After almost 40 minutes with the guy, I left, feeling kind of disappointed.

Never mind, there are two more to go!