Thursday, 14 February 2008

Waterlily hits my radar.....

We had Comet and we also had a part share in Sylph, so we were technically a two boat family. Sylph was up for sale via Ownerships at a fair share price and as we had not taken any holidays (our pre booked ones anyway) we were hoping for a quick sale - that way whoever took Sylph would pay us our sinking fund fee on top of the share price.

We subsequently were advised we had interest in our share and to Ownerships credit (and at a cost) we sold our Share in Sylph and the transfer took place on the 1st April. :-(

I do not recall the exact day I first saw Waterlily on Whilton marina's web site (I wish I could pin point it for nostalgia sake) I do recall showing Rachel, jokingly saying that it was the perfect boat for us - very much like Sylph, very much the style we liked. At that time I did not imagine we would ever own her.

Whilton is exactly 50 miles from Derby and about an hour on the motorway. So as I had some time owing I took a long lunch break and drove down in appalling weather.

I like the set up at Whilton, very friendly and accommodating. I took the keys and was left to my own devices. I go on gut instinct a lot and first impressions. I had a very strong 'good feel' about Waterlily the first time I went on board. She seemed ideal, nice and clean inside - someone had loved this boat. I had been on board quite a few boats when looking as you do - pretend buying if you know what I mean. So many were dirty, damp, untidy - not the sort of place I could imagine myself. Waterlily was just the opposite nice, clean, friendly tempting...........

O blimey, that planning worm had started in my head. What had turned into a casual visit out of interest had seen me winging my way back north with all sorts of ideas and plans in my head. My doubts were based not on the boat but how easily should it be to realise a dream. And was this dream being realised too easily and should I give Comet another go and should I have not sold Sylph as we had had such good times on her.......

My poor long suffering wife Rachel had seen this all before, the reading, the planning the focus. I know she knew I was not happy with Comet, and we had discussed buying a cheap boat to get a mooring then selling it on. The planning continued.

As I saw it I had three problems,

1. I already had a boat
2. I did not have the money
3. Our mooring was only 45 foot and Waterlily was 50 foot

No 3 was the easiest and the first problem to go away - a call to the moorings officer at Fradley and she dispatched the lengthsman to check if we it would be ok to take up a little more space between Elizabeth and Mabel (I strongly suspected this would be ok but wanted the official ok) a couple of days later I got number three struck off the list.

The fact I already had a boat was a bigger problem. Money and moorings were issues so there was no way I wanted to have two boats - not even I am that greedy. I went back down to Whilton for a second look at Waterlily just to cement my desire for the boat - no problem at all. I then discussed my own boat with the staff. They said that part exchange may be an option and agreed to come and look at Comet. The fact they were travelling to see the boat gave me hope they may be in the mood for a deal. So once again I took a longer than normal lunch (bearing in mind my normal lunch breaks were five minutes eating while answering emails) a few days after my last Whilton visit to meet Rob for him to offer me a price on my boat.

I recall the day being a May day and it was soooo hot. We met on the boat and I could see straight away he thought this boat would sell. His interest was dampened by the 'wavy' lines of where the GRP shell met the hull. But the inside was practical, clean and well looked after. He spoilt the day by offering me well below what the boat was worth and what i had paid. I put forward the scenario of me taking the price and the price of Waterlily being reduced as well. He took the proposal back to his boss, but cautioned he was not optimistic.

The next day his pessimism was founded when he rang back and told me the seller was not willing to drop the price at all ! Bugger..... at this point Waterlily seemed further away than 50 miles of M1

My only option was to consider a private sale of Comet. I told Rob I would do so and if Waterlily went in the mean time - so be it, fate would deal her cards accordingly.

So on to the sale of Comet.........

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