In my younger days I had a dream to get a boat and sail it around the world, inspired by the likes of Sir Francis Chichester, Sir Robin Knox Johnston and Clare Francis to name but a few. I didn’t want to go in any record breaking way but as a live-aboard cruiser working as a photographer. As with many youthful adventures this one suffered initially from a major lack of funding that prevented me from buying a boat and gear that was all ready to go, so, like many people going down this road I hit upon the idea of buying a lower cost boat, applying “sweat equity” and after the prescribed work had been completed, off I would go!
To cut a long story short, I did a deal on a boat that was way outside my capability to complete the work as well as being outside my fund limits. I worked valiantly on the boat for two years under the watchful eye of the foreman of a local boatyard but made no significant progress on the real issues and finally lost the boat in a divorce. It was all very grand, writ nailed to the mast and she was eventually purchased by someone who had more money and understanding than I and here is the result.
I don’t know who you are but I am eternally grateful that you were able to complete the work; thank you. Gudgeon is an Alfred Mylne designed yawl built by Hamworthy Engineering in Poole, UK in 1926.
Coffee & Beignets
Move forward to the millennium and a casual visit to a marina where I spotted her sitting pretty next to the brokers office while out with my wife and friends; needless to say I was immediately smitten and talk of boats and sailing abounded.
Nothing happened until about six months later when the same friends, my wife and I were on another visit to the area they asked:
“Whatever happened to that boat we saw?”
I was suitably non committal having done nothing about it.
Then it happened! my wife made the fatal statement:
“You know you should have bought that boat.”
“I tell you what I said, if she is still there I will buy her.”
My wife was probably fairly confident at this point in view of the time that had elapsed. We drove into the marina and my wife sounded suitably disappointed:
“I don’t think she is here”
“Oh yes she is!! I would know that mast and rig anywhere”.
Long story short I bought the boat.
Survey, Sail & Buy
I went to the broker’s office and said that if the boat surveyed and sailed as I expected that I would buy the boat. The broker, a lovely lady said “don’t you mean you will make an offer” to which I replied “no I will pay the asking price if she surveys and sails as I expect”.
The survey was conducted on May 18th 2001 and she came through as expected with flying colours, fully vindicating the faith I had from first sight. Imaging the gathering excitement as I progressed towards the long awaited replacement for Gudgeon.