Monday 1st January 2007.
I (we) have done the hiring thing and were happyish shared ownership boaters. We had a desire for our own boat, but a timeline for it. We also knew that moorings were as important as the boat for our type of ownership - day and weekend breaks and longer visits as and when family and work allowed.
We knew where we wanted to moor any future boat - either Fradley junction or Kings Bromley marina. Both identified on a round trip to Burton and back from Stoke in the summer of 2005. In fact for the summer of 2006 the Swan at Fradley was my Friday evening after work local - a walk by the locks in early evening then a shandy (I was driving) at the Swan. The atmosphere and tranquility of the junction when all the visitors have gone and just the boaters remain is/was intoxicating and very special to me.
We had made an offer on a boat called Longfellow in 2006 that was moored at Fradley (third boat down on Hunts lock moorings) but missed it as the other buyer took it without a survey !
Sorry about the poor pic, but that is/was Longfellow July 2006 ish
So, Fradley being one of our two mooring locations it was always a favorite walk. With a belly full of over indulgence we went for a walk to Fradley and low and behold saw Comet for sale....
I took what I thought was a picture I could enlarge when I got home of the telephone number that was in the window. This piece of cunning logic was flawed by an out of focus picture ! No problem, an email was dispatched to Chris Wells (no relation) who lives aboard NB Belle about four boats down from Comet - in fact I think Chris and Stella had only just taken Belle to their moorings
Chris very kindly emailed me the number the next day and the call was made.
John Hall the owner was recovering from some 'out of date' food poisoning so he could not meet us for nearly two weeks. We did arrange an appointment time of 12.30pm on the 14th January 2007.
This gave me plenty of time to think of all the things that I should be looking for and questions to ask. The 14th arr rived and with excitement and we travelled again to Fradley.
I do like it when you see something you know you want/need to have/are going to have. (Rachel my wife, our present house and our present boat all fall into this category) The inside was nice, well laid out. We both liked John, we 'trusted' him from first meeting him which is a good feeling. Long and short of it we offered him the full asking price subject to survey. He had let us know someone else was viewing after us so that is why we offered what we did - we also considered the boat worth the asking price having viewed others that were well over priced for what was being offered. We did feel a little sorry for the couple who were sitting on the Hunts lock gate, looking excited and expectant, as we left the viewing, knowing that they were going to be given the bad news Comet had been sold.
We went to the Swan to celebrate with a carvery and a couple of pints of Pedigree.
So we were boat owners (pending) on the 14th January 2007
The survey to follow !