Monday, 14 April 2008

The Whilton experience

Whilton is the subject of a discussion on Canal World discussion forum at the moment. We purchased Waterlily from them. I would say that at all times they were friendly and professional.

Anyhow, we had sold Comet and sold our share in Sylph and were very keen on Waterlily. I had sorted out the funding for the purchase - it was just down to the survey. At this time we had done some haggling on the price and got a couple of thousand off the boat subject to survey - that is what I had thought.

We got in touch with Balliol Fowden who did the survey on Comet and between us we arranged for a date to get the survey done.

I was a little annoyed when I turned up at Whilton to be told the boat had already been out of the water. This frustration was tempered a little by the news the base plate was actually 10mm not the 8mm Whilton were quoting. Balliol spent some time taking me through the issues with the boat and spent some time discussing the issues around the engine.

A few days later we received the survey. Main problem was the gas installation was poor - would not pass the BSC and the stove has a superficial crack in the back edge. There was also some surface rusting on some of the cabin welds. Not a bad survey, basically a sound boat.

This is when I had some disagreement with the salesman at Whilton. I went back and offered a lower amount based on the works being needed. Whilton man said he had told me that the offer they had accepted was final and they would not take a lesser offer post survey - he suggested this had been explained to me, something I certainly did not recall.

The boat was for sale due to the death of her owner and his widow was selling it. Whilton told me they has taken a hit on their commission in order to accept the lower offer I had made. I would like to think this was the case as I did not wish to take advantage of the position. I eventually took a pragmatic view and went through with the purchase of the boat and arranged for Whilton to fix the gas installation prior to collection.

Waterlily was ours
Owning a narrowboat was a long term plan, we had achieved it much earlier than expected. I picked up a chronic condition a few years ago that changed my outlook on life. Nothing life threatening but life changing. I made my mind up to live as much for today without impacting on other family lives too much. I have never regretted buying Waterlily early. She is expensive to own and a large depreciating asset, but the enjoyment we get owning her is bigger than any monetary value.
So we started to plan the collection, little did we know we were going to collect her in the middle of one of the worst storms in recent memory.........

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