With permission from the girlfriend, I invited my only boaty friend, Steph, to come up with me on the back of my motorbike to Ipswich, just to have a look at a few boats. Steph was more than happy to oblige, although ‘sailing’ through a roundabout thinking we had hit a green light, when in fact there were no lights, was not my high point, and the trip could easily have stopped there.
Well its true to say I didn’t do any research, and I couldn’t tell the difference between a fin keel or a long keel. The first boat yard was full of wrecks, boats that hadn’t seen salt water for about 10 years, with interiors that appeared to have been abandoned in haste. Steph convinced me that the best boat of a bad bunch was really, really bad, so I put my wallet back in my pocket…with much annoyance.
The last place we visited was Burton Waters in Ipswich. I had still not bought a boat and I felt pretty downtrodden. Like my dad, when I get an idea into my head, I can get pretty impatient. However, things suddenly improved when on the hard standing we saw a 28ft brown racing boat called Moonpenny. Moonpenny had been standing for 10 years while the owner refitted it, spending copious amounts of money on things that I had no appreciation for at the time. Still, it made no real difference as we climbed up and sat down in the boat, I could instantly envision living on Moonpenny: for me it was a done deal. I took down all the details, we got back on the motorbike, and as we sped off I shouted to Steph “I’m going to buy that boat”. Steph laughed “YOU’RE CRAZY!!” , which if anyone know’s Steph will understand that’s quite a compliment!