Wednesday 7 September 2016

A new start

This blog will be about our new adventure - commissioning the building of a new boat to replace Take Five which had served us well until three months ago when we decided to replace it.

Our last trip aboard Take Five ended with half term, up the Llangollen and finally to Swanley Bridge Marina where we planned to leave it for a couple of months whilst we had a busy period back home. The next trip was then scheduled to take the whole of August, with two grand daughters joining us again for the second half.

On the way from Macclesfield our thoughts about a new boat were crystallised when we called at a boatyard and made some enquiries. Not only were we pleasantly surprised about the likely resale value of Take Five but also very much aware of the benefits of upgrading to a new boat, fifteen years on from when Take Five was built.

Overall, the size and layout we have grown used to has served us well and it has not always been easy to look at alternatives without comparing back to what we know! At the same time, we also have ideas about what design weaknesses could be addressed in a new design.

It is perhaps a strange move, given that we had just spent quite a bit on replacing many of the key components including a new engine and propeller as well as almost all of the Eberspacher heating unit. However, it did mean that we could offer the boat for sale knowing that all that had been done and that, as far as we knew, the replacements were in good order.

From that morning in Middlewich the die was cast and it would have been difficult to reverse the inevitable trend. We continued thinking about it as we made our way over to Llangollen, with Joanna and Jess dropping Alice off to stay on board for the half term week.

By the time we arrived at Swanley Bridge Marina we were ripe for spotting that they too have a brokerage and so, that afternoon (with us due to leave the next day!) we made enquiries which seemed positive. They were very much in the market for taking on new clients as the supply of boats at the optimum length (60 ft seems to be about right - anything longer commands lower prices) that are in good condition. However, the person who could give us a valuation was not around but his colleague took all the details and arranged for us to get a call at the start of the next week based on a more detailed examination of the boat. They also gave us a couple of names of boat builders whose work they knew.

As it happened one of them was around at the marina before we left and so we took the opportunity to discuss options with him. Although he did not eventually make our short list he was most helpful and we learnt quite a bit about interviewing potential builders in the process.

We headed back home with some anticipation!

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