I have made no secret of the fact that buying a boat was not on the agenda when we put our house up for sale over two and a half years ago.
In fact, it was still not on the cards when we got a buyer and the sale eventually went through.
I know very little about boats, certainly nothing about living on one, but you may be surprised to know that it was an option in 2007 when we were house hunting last time.
Hubby looked into it and was very keen.
I had my piano then (and no plans of selling it), but the boat broker said it wouldn’t be a problem as because the vessel would be built to our own specifications, all I had to do was give them the weight and dimensions, and they would build the boat round it, thus getting the balance right.
This was an interesting scenario, but two things went against us (three if you include me).
One was the cost, especially as it was a 50% deposit with the remainder on completion in about 4 months, and the second was the company went into liquidation and our deposit would have been lost. Also, somehow I don’t think me beating out the theme from The Terminator or I Who Have Nothing would have gone down too well here in the Marina, and then the desire to sell it? Ah.
I can just see the advertisement:
‘FOR SALE: UPRIGHT PIANO £ XXX,XXX, comes with free narrow boat’.
In the three months since we took possession, we have had all sorts of things thrown at us, the most concerning of course being the weather.
Bertha had a go at us, and now Gonzalo.
We are still here, dry, and warm, and most thankful that we gave priority to having the covers made for the stern and bow.
Sunday afternoon we double roped the boat to the pontoon as yet more bad weather was forecast.
Yesterday, we checked and re-tied them. Looking out of our window, we could see other boats being jostled against the pontoon fingers, some quite violently and have seen some of the Marina staff checking ropes and securing those that had become loose.
When we took the dog out yesterday afternoon, we noticed the cover of one of the smaller unattended boats had become undone, so secured the relevant studs. On the way back, it was undone again, then we noticed the owner inside and told him what we’d done.
Hubby had looked up the weather forecast at the library and said a hurricane was heading towards us. It was expected to have three days rain in a few hours, so once again we checked and double checked our mooring ropes and that all our covers were secure.
Last night, we walked the dog as late as we dared, and the wind was just beginning to pick up by the time we got back.
I catnapped most of the night, but not because I was worried about the wind or the rain. It was just the noise of the wind against the plastic part of the covers (our green sleeves were working an absolute treat by the way : see condoms for zippers), which disturbed Hubby too so he got up at 3.30 and poked his head out of the hatchway to check. Everything was dry and secure, as it still was this morning at 7.25 when we had a lull and he got up to take the dog out for the quickest (and dry) wee and poo ever.
I am certain that had we still been in the house, there would have been storm damage to the fence again last night. In the past, we had been considerably lucky in just sustaining that, but other properties around us lost roof slates or tiles, or part of their chimney stack or garden wall.
We have no such worries here.
In heavy rain, we were lucky never to get flooded out, but we came close which instigated our drainage modification several years ago. The council never got round to fixing the road outside our house, and the water would run down off the tarmac into our drive. When the wind had been in a certain direction, rain had seeped through our guest bedroom window and was immediately addressed and resolved. From another direction, water would be forced through the joints in our front door despite a fresh coat of paint every year. Hubby kept on top of all of the ‘little things’, but it was getting away from us and the ‘little things’ getting bigger and more expensive, which was one of several reasons to sell.
Again, we have no such worries here.
Living on a boat is different, but not unpleasant.
Yes, space is limited. Yes, there are inconveniences. But we are adjusting and doing OK.
The tail end of Gonzalo is having another go this afternoon as hail whips around us, and the water in the marina seems to be boiling with the onslaught of that and the wind. We may even have thunder.
We are swaying a little, have the usual creaks and groans and to be honest it’s pretty miserable outside.
Inside, we are cosy, dry and safe.
The dog’s curled up beside me, and Hubby’s gone back to bed.
Like I said, no worries.